# Missing Unicode Euro Symbol in lualatex

With lualatex and xetex it became straight forward to choose from the huge universe of TrueType and OpenType fonts for typesetting text at high quality. Recently, I was preparing to set a letter in the free Colaborate font face, when I observed that the Euro symbol was not rendered by lualatex.

After trying all usual suspects from various Euro symbol add-on packages to incuding the Euro symbol’s unicode character directly with

\symbol{"20AC}

I came to the conclusion that there was a problem with the Colaborate font face. Examination of the font in fontforge

View -> Goto-> 0x20AC

revealed that the Euro symbol was indeed missing from the font face. Browsing the gylphs provided by the font I discovered the Euro symbol as Unicode Character CURRENCY SIGN with hexadecimal code U+00A4. Entering this general unicode character in latex by

\symbol{"00A4}

finally gave me the Euro symbol. For further convinience, I defined a command in the documents preamble,

\renewcommand{\texteuro}{\symbol{"00A4}}

For managing issues with missing spaces after a latex macro, use it with trailing {} brackets, for example,

\texteuro{}

See also here for other solutions to deal with spaces after latex macros.

# TeX Live on Ubuntu – Why fontspec does not work with LuaLaTeX on Ubuntu 12.04

Recently, I was catching up with developments in the TeX world. With xetex and luatex being serious replacements for good old pdftex by now, I wanted to give them a try on a recent Ubuntu machine. Trying to compile this minimalistic lualatex code

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{fontspec}
\begin{document}
The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
\end{document}

I ended up with the error message

********************************************
* XeTeX is required to compile this document.
* Sorry!
********************************************

Wondering, what the problem might be, I learned that fontspec was originally developped for XeTeX. lualatex support was added with version 2.0 released in 2010.

When it comes to LaTeX support, Debian (and with it Ubuntu) include the TeX Live distribution. Being one of the most popular LaTeX distributions, TeX Live included the new fontspec packages from version 2010 onwards. However, as of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise, the TeX Live packages are
still at version 2009.

As reasons for this, the immense packaging work necessary to get TeX Live into Debian is quoted, see here for example. This means that without further ado, LuaLaTeX on Ubuntu will not work with fontspec (and will be pretty outdated anyway).

The good news is that things are about to change. In March 2012, the latest TeX Live packages entered Debian experimental and started their way through the Debian package queue. At the time of writing, they made it to unstable; unfortunately too late to enter Ubuntu 12.04. From what I know about the Debian to Ubuntu package updates, chances are good a recent TeX Live version will make it into the next Ubuntu version 12.10.

In the meantime, you will find instructions on how to directly install TeX Live on Ubuntu or, if you are using an i386 system, may use the TeX Live backports from this Ubuntu PPA.