Is there a way to type the Unicode character U+02B9 in pdfLatex (command, macro, keyboard combination ...) without getting an error? Copy and paste the character does not help!


\usepackage[a4paper, total={180mm,257mm},left=15mm,top=20mm]{geometry}  
    $(Xʹ)$, Eʹ,  This is Unicode character U+02B9: ʹ  

Compiling the above gives error. I know that there are some alternative characters, but different: smaller, thinner etc. This character is very well seen. Is there any way to type in pdfLaTeX this character or another very closed to this one?

  • 1
    This is the prime character. You just have to type a prime on your keyboard.
    – Bernard
    Jul 31, 2022 at 12:38
  • 1
    Actually, U+02B9 is MODIFIER LETTER PRIME, but if you need the PRIME character U+2032 something like $\prime$ should do. Or, of course, switch to a Unicode capable TeX engine and a suitable font.
    – Ingmar
    Jul 31, 2022 at 12:42
  • 1
    note the question as asked doesn't have a direct answer or has answer "no" pdftex fonts have at most 256 characters so never have a character in slot hex 02b9 (= 697) . Actually as you mention LGR are you looking for Greek numeral sign? U+0374 is GREEK NUMERAL SIGN which is a character which normalises to U+02B9 this is \textnumeralsigngreek in the LGR setup for LaTeX Jul 31, 2022 at 13:07
  • @David Carlisle Yes that I was looking for. I also found the \textdexiakeraia and \anwtonos but I noticed that \textnumeralsigngreek, \textdexiakeraia, \anwtonos, shift+; and ' all five produce the same output symbol in pdfLatex. This is not of course the case for LuaLatex and XeLatex. Any way I am fully satisfied with what you clarify and explain us here.
    – miltos
    Jul 31, 2022 at 13:37

1 Answer 1


U+02B9 is MODIFIER LETTER PRIME and like all Modifier letters should be avoided. Like U+2032 PRIME it is full size so would need to be in a superscript.

' expands to ^{\prime} so if you have documents with U+02B9 and removing them is inconvenient you can define it via


U+02B9 has the same Unicode Normalisation as U+0374 GREEK NUMERAL SIGN which is set up with Unicode mapping in the greek inputenc mapping so

enter image description here





that uses

\DeclareUnicodeCharacter{0374}{\textnumeralsigngreek}       % ʹ \anwtonos

from lgrenc.dfu so you could add

\DeclareUnicodeCharacter{02B9}{\textnumeralsigngreek}       % ʹ \anwtonos

if you are looking for this use.

  • @ David Carlisle I was looking for a slightly bigger and clearer symbol than this produced in pdfLatex output by using all five alternative input methods I mentioned in a previous comment. But this one is just fine. So everything is perfectly in place. I keep also the ideas for compatibility you explained above.
    – miltos
    Jul 31, 2022 at 13:46

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