I've already asked this in the ConTeXt mailing list but I also drop it in here because I'm more likely to get a quick response:

I am using pandoc to covert a file called test.tex from LaTeX to ConTeXt. Here are the contents of test.tex:


The file compiles OK with the following command and I see a resulting pdf:

latexmk -pdflatex test.tex

Then I try to convert with pandoc:

pandoc -f latex -t context -o test_context.tex test.tex

Pandoc appears to successfully generate a file test_context.tex containing the following:


Then I try to compile the test_context.tex file:

context test_context.tex

Which unfortunately results in an error:

resolvers       | formats | executing runner 'run luametatex format': C:/context/tex/texmf-win64/bin/luametatex --jobname="./test_context.tex" --fmt=C:/context/tex/texmf-cache/luametatex-cache/context/5fe67e0bfe781ce0dde776fb1556f32e/formats/luametatex/cont-en.fmt --lua=C:/context/tex/texmf-cache/luametatex-cache/context/5fe67e0bfe781ce0dde776fb1556f32e/formats/luametatex/cont-en.lui  --c:currentrun=1 --c:fulljobname="./test_context.tex" --c:input="./test_context.tex" --c:kindofrun=1 --c:maxnofruns=9 --c:texmfbinpath="C:/context/tex/texmf-win64/bin"

system          > callbacks > not registering frozen 'local_box_filter'
system          >
system          > ConTeXt  ver: 2021.11.02 10:03 LMTX  fmt: 2021.11.4  int: english/english
system          >
system          > 'cont-new.mkxl' loaded
open source     > level 1, order 1, name 'C:/context/tex/texmf-context/tex/context/base/mkxl/cont-new.mkxl'
system          > beware: some patches loaded from cont-new.mkiv
close source    > level 1, order 1, name 'C:/context/tex/texmf-context/tex/context/base/mkxl/cont-new.mkxl'
system          > files > jobname './test_context', input './test_context.tex', result './test_context'
fonts           > latin modern fonts are not preloaded
languages       > language 'en' is active
open source     > level 1, order 2, name './test_context.tex'
tex error       > tex error on line 1 in file ./test_context.tex: \textfont0 is undefined in (text) char, font id 0, character 63)

<line 3.1>

1 >>  $\mathcal{A}$
Somewhere in the math formula just ended, you used the stated character from an
undefined font family. For example, plain TeX doesn't allow \it or \sl in
subscripts. Proceed, and I'll try to forget that I needed that character.
mtx-context     | fatal error: return code: 1

Why does ConTeXt not accept mathcal? Why does pandoc not account for this? How can I remedy this with a reasonable amount of effort?

  • Are you sure that ConTeX accept ˙\mathcal{...}` outside of math environment? Try \documentclass{article} \begin{document} $\mathcal{A}$ \end{document}
    – Zarko
    Mar 26, 2022 at 6:47
  • Sorry, that was a typo in my question, fixed it now...
    – user32882
    Mar 26, 2022 at 7:06

1 Answer 1


I got an answer from the mailing list. The key is to include an -s flag in pandoc, otherwise it won't generate a standalone ConTeXt document:

pandoc -s -f latex -t context -o test_context.tex test.tex

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