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LaTeX Beginners Guide by Stefan Kottwitz

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Time for action – directly using special characters

In a TeX document, we would like to use the German name of a street. It contains diacritics, so called umlauts. Let's check out how to make it work right.

  1. Start a new document. Within a small parbox, write the text:
    \documentclass{article}
    \begin{document}
    \parbox{3cm}{Meeting point: K\"onigsstra\ss e (King's Street)}
    \end{document}
  2. Typeset and have a first look:
    Time for action – directly using special characters
  3. Try babel instead! It provides shortcuts for German umlauts, if you state the ngerman option. Use "u for ü, a for ä, and s for ß":
    \usepackage[ngerman]{babel}
    …
    \parbox{3cm}{Meeting point: K"onigsstra"se (King'sStreet)}
  4. The output would be the ...

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