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LaTeX and Russian texts


A working environment to compose Russian texts in a user friendly way and then to treat them with LaTeX and print them has been installed on the Unix and VMS systems at CERN. The prime aim is to have a setup compatible with what is used in Russia, so that articles and reports can be easily exchanged between Russia and CERN.

Although various 8-bit encoding schemes exist for Cyrillic, the more common one on Unix and VMS is KOI8. It has the Latin letters in the lower 128 positions of the font set-up and Cyrillic in the upper 128 positions (see Fig. gif)

Preparing the text

The first step in preparing a text consists of entering the source with an editor. In the case of Cyrillic the editor must be able to display the Cyrillic characters on screen. When using X-windows, one can get such fonts (at CERN) from the xtsoft1 font server. In particular, one can add Cyrillic fonts to your X-station by typing:

The first command declares the supplementary fonts,
while the second has the server reread its font database.
Then to actually have emacs  load one of the KOI8  fonts 
you have to issue the command ESC set-default-font
and then choose one of the many fonts available via the xtsoft1
A nicely readable font is eg.




: Key mapping between Latin and Cyrillic character sets

To get a complete list you can (on Unix) issue the command

which will list all the fonts know to the X-server that have the
string koi8 in their name (when last running this command
there were 133 such occurrences).

Next you need to set up emacs to switch between showing English and Cyrillic characters on screen. Basil Malyshev has written an add-on for emacs , that gives one access to the Cyrillic characters in an easy way. To load his file you should add the following lines to your emacs start-up file .emacs

By typing two ``Control-C's'', you will toggle between the English and Cyrillic character sets (moreover, the first time in the session that you type \^{CtextttC} emacs will load the cyrcern package itself).

As we have no cyrillic keyboards at CERN, one must use a mapping of the ``standard'' QWERTY layout to the Cyrillic characters. This mapping is shown in Fig. gif, where the first line in each case shows the character on the keyboard and the second the corresponding Cyrillic.

On VMS one should use the MicroEmacs editor, which can be envoked by the mg command. Moreover, on that system, you can translate your document from other coding schemes used in Russia to KOI8 with the help of the RTCU program.

Running LaTeX

To be able to print Russian with LaTeX one must make TeX aware of the new encoding, and provide glyphs for the characters at the given code points.

The necessary declarations for LaTeX are made with the following commands:

or its (now deprecated) LaTeX 2.09 variant
The iheprep class for preparing IHEP (Protvino) preprints is available. To get plain layout use the header:

On Unix you would then run LaTeX with the command

The format does not yet include Russian hyphenation
patterns, but it is foreseen to generate several
formats for certain language combinations during the
January 1995 change-over (see section gif).

On VMS you should type

where hyphenation patterns
for English, Spanish, Italian and Russian are loaded
(with format=l2eml English, French and German are available).

To generate a PostScript file, you can type the command:

This will use Malyshev's PostScript type 1 outline fonts. The output can be printed on any PostScript printer or previewed with ghostview or any other PostScript previewer.

next up previous
Next: Presenting Omega Up: Text Processing Previous: Installing LaTeXe on

Janne Saarela
Tue May 23 09:56:57 METDST 1995