View on GitHub


The multilingual framework for localizing LaTeX, LuaLaTeX, XeLaTeX

Old, deprecated, and removed functions

Removed from the manual

Some functions where introduced years ago because they made sense at their time. However, LaTeX has evolved and currently they are of limited interest, and therefore their description has been moved here, for not to clutter the manual.


Package option with a value. Selects the encoding of strings in languages supporting this feature. Predefined labels are generic (for traditional TeX, LICR and ASCII strings), unicode (for engines like xetex and luatex) and encoded (for special cases requiring mixed encodings). Other allowed values are font encoding codes (T1, T2A, LGR, L7X…), but only in languages supporting them. Be aware with encoded captions are protected, but they work in \MakeUppercase and the like (this feature misuses some internal LaTeX tools, so use it only as a last resort).


Option in \babelprovide. Assigns the font for the writing direction of this language (only with bidi=basic). Instead of this option use onchar, based on the script. More precisely, what mapfont=direction means is, ‘when a character has the same direction as the script for the “provided” language, then change its font to that set for this language’. There are 3 directions, following the bidi Unicode algorithm, namely, Arabic-like, Hebrew-like and left to right. So, there should be at most 3 directives of this kind. The only value is direction, and this option won’t be developed any further.


If one prefers for example to use the character / over " in typing Polish texts, this can be achieved by entering \aliasshorthand{"}{/}.

One of the reasons for the deprecation is shorthands remember somehow the original character, and the fallback value is that of the latter. So, in \aliasshorthand{~}{^}, if no shorthand is found, ^ expands to a non-breaking space, because this is the value of ~ (internally, ^ still calls \active@char~ or \normal@char~). Furthermore, if you change the system value of ^ with \defineshorthand nothing happens.


This command takes three arguments, a font encoding and two font family names. It creates a font description file for the first font in the given encoding. This .fd file will instruct LaTeX to use a font from the second family when a font from the first family in the given encoding seems to be needed.


A couple of tentative macros were provided by babel <3.9g with a partial solution for “Unicode” fonts. Shortly after, with the introduction of \babelfont, they were deprecated, and now, finally, have been removed. A short description follows, for reference:

  \expandafter\addto\csname extras#1\endcsname{%
      \edef#3{\csname bbl@#2default#1\endcsname}%
      \edef#3{\csname bbl@#2default#1\endcsname}%
  \expandafter\addto\csname noextras#1\endcsname{%
\def\babelFSfeatures{% make sure \fontspec is redefined once
  \expandafter\addto\csname extras#1\endcsname{%