LaTeX forum ⇒ Feature SuggestionsUnicode as default encoding for Texniccenter

Suggestions and discussions for new TeXnicCenter features
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Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:58 pm

Unicode as default encoding for Texniccenter

Postby Hellstorm » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:24 pm


I wonder if Texniccenter could provide Unicode as the default encoding for new documents.

Currently, new documents are saved as iso-8859-1, the help at the beginning recommends ansi as the encoding, the sample documents have ansi encoding, the quotation marks are automatically converted from " to "` and other things.

Because Unicode is the standard in computing nowadays (every operating system, every word processor and almost every web site, including this one, uses it), I wonder if Texniccenter could make Unicode it as the standard, too. Latex supports Unicode via the utf8x encoding package or via Xetex without problems. Therefore, it would be nice if Texniccenter would change to it, too.

Advantages would be:

1. No character problems if one wants to include Cyrillic, Eastern Europe or other characters – It would work right out of the box.
2. Correct quotation marks (“”, „“, «» etc) could be displayed correctly in the document text – This would make reading the text more straightforward, because you see what you will get in the end (I know that Latex itself is not WYSIWYG, but escaping quotation marks is as unnecessary as escaping umlauts (\"a or something like that).
3. It would be better if you create a document with Xetex, because Xetex is UTF-8 right from the beginning – No need to change the character encoding when saving the file.
4. As far as I know, there is even an package where unicode characters can be written inside formulas: You would not need to write \beta any more, but you could write just β – This would make complex formulas easier to read and shorter in the source text.
4. It would show a technology progressive attitude – Unicode is clearly the future.

I don’t know about programming that well, but I guess it would not be much of a problem to change it: Texniccenter already includes everything in Version 2.0. The only things which needed to be changed is the default encoding when saving a document, the help at the beginning, the sample documents, and the smart quote mechanism.

I guess, some more “traditional” Latex users don’t see this as important, but I think it is really important to show a progressive attitude. There are obsolete packages and other latex things which are discouraged, why wouldn’t it be possible with iso-8859-1?

What do you think about this?
I would be really glad if this could maybe still enter the final 2.0 version (if others see this as a good feature as well). If it does not involve too much coding, I could maybe try to do it by myself (or at least do the simpler things).


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