# How can I produce the old glyph "long s" in Latex?

In old texts, one finds the glyph "long s", that I was not able to find a proper Latex representation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_s

How can I produce "long s" in Latex?

I am aware of How to enable old ligatures, long s in LaTeX? but this was not helpful in solving the problem.

• Welcome to TeX.SE. Answers to your question depend strongly on which TeX engine -- pdftex, xetex, luatex, something else? -- and which text font you employ. Please provide some more information.
– Mico
Apr 12, 2020 at 14:48
• I use pdflatex, but can run luatex if needed. Apr 12, 2020 at 14:49
• Use amsart standard fonts. Apr 12, 2020 at 14:51
• Computer Modern doesn't have that glyph, afaik. So you'd have to either change to a font which has (e.g., kpfonts or others) or import that single glyph from another font, which will give nonuniform looks. Apr 12, 2020 at 14:55

Computer Modern Unicode does have the glyph, as well as a few other fonts, e.g. erewhon, libertinus, &c. However, I found only ebgaramond that worked – yet it doesn't make the difference with the final s (I added a spelling error at the end of the first verse to check).

Here is illustrating example, with CMU Serif, EB Garamond and the commercial font Sabon Next LT Pro, with fragments of a poem (in French) with an overabundance of ss. With fontspec, the option to obtain the long s is StylisticSet=4 or Style=Historic (with possibly some more features)

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{verse}
\usepackage{color}
\usepackage{fontspec}

\newcommand{\lgS}{\char"017F}
\newcommand{\lgSS}{{\color{red}\char"017F\char"017F}}

\begin{document}

\begin{verse}[1em]
\setmainfont[Ligatures = Rare, Style=Historic]{Sabon Next LT Pro}%
\poemtitle{Complainte amoureuse}
Ah! fallait-il que je vous visses, \\
Fallait-il que vous me plussiez, \\
Qu’ingénument je vous le disse, \\
Qu’avec orgueil vous vous tussiez !
\end{verse}

\setmainfont[Ligatures = Rare, Style=Historic, StylisticSet =4]{CMU Serif}%
\begin{verse}[1em]
Fallait-il que je vous aimasse,\\
Que vous me désespérassiez,\\
Et qu’en vain je m’opiniâtrasse,\\
Et que je vous idolâtrasse\\
Pour que vous m’a\lgSS a\lgSS ina\lgSS iez !
\end{verse}

\setmainfont[Ligatures = Rare, Style=Historic]{EB Garamond}%
\begin{verse}[1em]
Fallait-il que je vous aimasses,\\
Que vous me désespérassiez,\\
Et qu’en vain je m’opiniâtrasse,\\
Et que je vous idolâtrasse\\
Pour que vous m’a\lgSS a\lgSS ina\lgSS iez !
\end{verse}

\end{document}


• +1. Just out of curiosity: Is this your own poetry? :-)
– Mico
Apr 12, 2020 at 19:49
• @Mico: Not at all. It is from one of the greatest French humorists of the end of the 19th century, Alphonse Allais, who used in this poem a plethora of rarely used past tenses (even then). Here's a link to the poem, in case you read French: Complainte amoureuse. Apr 12, 2020 at 20:00
• Many thanks, this is great! Et oui, en tant que Suisse (du canton Valais), je sais bien lire -- et parler! -- en français.
– Mico
Apr 12, 2020 at 20:10
• Is the long s at the end of "vous" correct? In German or English, the usual round s would be used in that position. (My command of French fails when it comes to traditional typographic conventions.) Apr 12, 2020 at 21:09
• @User-JG: If you didn't buy it, that is normal. I added the example with this font to show how easy it is with fontspec, when all features are correctly implemented in the font. The other reason is that it is one of the most beautiful fonts I know. Apr 12, 2020 at 21:19

Under both LuaLaTeX and XeLaTeX, the character -- "LATIN SMALL LETTER LONG S" in Unicode parlance -- may be typeset by inputting \char"0017F.

The default font under both LuaLaTeX and XeLaTeX is Latin Modern. To use a different Opentype font, be sure to load the fontspec package and issue suitable \setmainfont and \setsansfont directives.

%%% compile with either LuaLaTeX or XeLaTeX
\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
\char"017F
\end{document}

• OK, compiled with no problem. But, how to make long-s to appear in my text? z.E. hier: Man sieht nun \"uberhaupt leicht, da\ss\ wie man auch ein Zahlengeb\"aude annimmt, dasselbe deswegen angenommen werde, damit sich durch wenige einfache Zeichen alle m\"ogliche ganze Zahlen vorstellen lassen, und da\ss\ man dabey \"uberhaupt auf die Einf\"ormigkeit der characteristischen Structur zu zu sehen habe. "Dasselbe" sollte etwa "daffelbe" sein. Apr 12, 2020 at 15:14
• @User-JG - Is something stopping you from writing das\char"017Felbe? (The first s should be an ordinary, i.e., short, "s", no?) Incidentally, why do you input ä, ö, ü and ß as \"a, \"o, \"u and \ss?
– Mico
Apr 12, 2020 at 15:25
• And you can define a shorthand if you find \char"017F" to be too unreadable, e.g., \newcommand\longs{\char"017F }`. Apr 12, 2020 at 18:33
• @User-JG -- What version of LaTeX are you using? This will be reported as the first line of your log file. I'm not sure, but think that if you are using an older version, that may be affecting your results. If the places where this character should appear in your text are just "closed up", you should also find messages in the log file about missing characters in the font being used; please report that information too. Apr 12, 2020 at 20:52
• @User-JG - I'm afraid I am definitely out of my depth here. I don't know what to tell you, except to recommend that you post a new query in which you (a) describe your current computing setup -- both the OS and the TeX distribution -- (b) ask how to find out what the most recent version of TeXLive for Debian is, and (c) ask how you should go about upgrading to this most recent version.
– Mico
Apr 13, 2020 at 18:45