In the 1980s there was a Swedish format for TeX named "SweTeX" in use at least at Uppsala University, maybe also at KTH in Stockholm and elsewhere. It was meant for writing texts in Swedish using a Swedish version of the ISO-646 character encoding family (ISO-646-SE). There [\]{|} doesn't exist but are replaced by ÄÖÅäöå, so with this format category codes were changed so that / was used as escape character and <> as grouping characters. I don't remember if there was some special hack for using < and > in math or if you used commands for those. (Actually many users really used terminals that showed US-ASCII most of the time, so would see the Swedish letters as *}{|][* when writing the text, and not see the right characters until the DVI, but that was really not a problem after you got used to it.)

I think that a special format was made for this, built on "Plain", but I'm not sure, maybe you just included a file swetex.tex every time. I think that some people used .stex as extension for SweTeX files.

Where was this created? By whom? Where there additional changes? Is the source still available? Can my recollections be confirmed?

  • Might be easier to type with a Swedish keyboard: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:KB_Sweden.svg Jul 16, 2023 at 22:11
  • That was not that important as you might think. There were of course Swedish terminals, like Swedish versions of VT100, but computer savvy people normally preferred not to use them, because reading computer code with ÄÅ instead of [] is a bigger problem than adjusting the other way.
    – pst
    Jul 16, 2023 at 22:20
  • The package can still be found on CTAN: ctan.org/pkg/swetex There seems to be a second package, too: ctan.org/pkg/slatex Interestingly, I never encountered a similar approach with German. They, too, have 7 special non-ASCII characters (ÄÖÜäöüß), but best as I can tell they always just used \"A or {\"A} for Ä etc.
    – Ingmar
    Jul 17, 2023 at 5:27
  • Thanks, @Ingmar. I feel stupid for not checking CTAN. I sort of expected that when I didn't find information about it with normal web search it wouldn't be that easy to find! As far as I can understand this modes.tex from KTH is an alternative to the SweTeX version I meant. If you make your comment into an answer I will maybe comment more there – otherwise I'll make it into an answer myself.
    – pst
    Jul 17, 2023 at 8:02

1 Answer 1


Not sure this warrants a proper answer, but here goes:

I don't know much about this particular package, but it can still be found on CTAN. The README file mentions quite a few people and might provide further insight, even though it's clearly only of historical interest at this point.

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