I'm writing a little BibTeX exporter for the publication database of my institute. We do have a lot of authors with all kind of weird characters in their names, which get the "WTF is Unicode?"-treatment from BibTeX.

As I have to preprocess author names and titles before exporting anyway, I thought that I could replace as much unicode characters as possible with their LaTeX equivalent. There's an image with such a mapping on bibtex.org: mapping

But that image is

  1. incomplete (e.g. capital German umlauts are missing) and
  2. not of much use to me in this form.

Does someone know of such a mapping that is as complete as possible and available in a machine-readable format?

Edit: Juan's XML is probably as complete as it gets (I'll post a Python dictionary reduced to unicode and LaTeX on github). But in the meantime, I also found the mapping that Zotero uses. It can be found in their SVN-Repository.

Edit2: OK, the Python dictionary can be found here, and the XSL Style Sheet to convert Juan's XML into a Python dictionary is here.

  • 4
    Use biber+biblatex or bibtex8?
    – Seamus
    Jan 27, 2011 at 11:52
  • 3
    we don't use the exported bibtex files ourselves. It's a service for people that download papers from our website. I can't influence how they use the bibtex files we provide. Jan 27, 2011 at 12:14
  • 1
    Philipp: What alternatives are there that are widely in use? I'm a programmer, not a researcher, so I'm not current on this topic :) Jan 27, 2011 at 14:18
  • 1
    piquadrat: The mapping you linked to is great, but how did you actually apply it? It would be great to use this mapping to update this ancient Python unicode-to-LaTeX recipe.
    – gotgenes
    Jul 24, 2011 at 4:45
  • 1
    @TextGeek I updated the links. It probably broke because, by coincidence, somebody signed up on github with the username matching one of the gist IDs, at which point GitHub displays the user profile instead of the gist Apr 14, 2021 at 6:17

2 Answers 2


From a related question on SO, there is

... an XML file from the W3C. It maps Unicode to HTML, MathML, LaTeX, Mathematica, and others. (The file is 1.4 MB, uncompressed.)

You can read more about it here: http://www.w3.org/TR/unicode-xml/


You can use biber with the optional arguments for the bibdata bibtex and the exported bib encoding (UTF8).

biber --bblencoding=UTF-8 --bibencoding=latin1 --allentries --bibdata <file.bib>
  • this command does not seem to work anymore. allentries and bibdata are unknown options on biber v2.11
    – glS
    Aug 8, 2018 at 13:29
  • It worked for me on the contrary of bibtex % which wouldn't accept accents.
    – Hakim
    Nov 7, 2018 at 12:26
  • Current version of biber can convert UTF-8 bib file to ASCII using the following command: biber --tool --output-encoding=ascii -O output-file.bib input-file.bib
    – michal.h21
    May 4, 2022 at 19:40

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