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Debian Euro HOWTO (Obsolete Documentation)
Chapter 4 - Euro support in applications

FIXME: Text needed

4.1 Why talk about applications?

Even if you have the euro symbol working correctly (you can input it from the keyboard and see it on your screen) you still need to see if your applications work properly.

Some problems here arise in graphic applications which might use their own fonts and might, therefore, be unable to represent the euro symbol (even if you input it correctly) because they do not have an internal representation for it.

Hint: you could make your life easier if you run a font selector program like gtkfontsel (gtkfontsel package) and you set the mask of visible fonts to ISO-8859-15.

However, the encoding made by the program for texts and data that it uses is also an important issue. If it's unable to represent internally the charset used (be it ISO-8859-15 or Unicode) support for euro might not fully work. So, one thing is using ISO-8859-15 for menubars, program messages et al, and a different one is using ISO-8859-15 for data used by the program (text, information on databases...).

4.2 Applications with known euro support

The following applications are known to have support for the euro character:

4.2.1 XTerm and its derivatives

If the euro character is not represented in your X terminal emulator, you can change the default font by changing either the users' configuration files (.Xdefaults or .Xresources) or the system-wide configuration at /etc/X11/app-defaults/XTerm:

     *font:     -misc-fixed-medium-r-normal-*-*-120-*-*-c-*-iso8859-15
     *VT100*font2:           -misc-fixed-medium-r-normal-*-*-70-*-*-c-*-iso8859-15
     *VT100*font3:           -misc-fixed-medium-r-normal-*-*-100-*-*-c-*-iso8859-15
     *VT100*font4:           -misc-fixed-medium-r-normal-*-*-120-*-*-c-*-iso8859-15
     *VT100*font5:           -misc-fixed-medium-r-normal-*-*-140-*-*-c-*-iso8859-15
     *VT100*font6:           -misc-fixed-medium-r-normal-*-*-200-*-*-c-*-iso8859-15

In /etc/X11/app-defaults/XTerm, make sure you replace old lines with these options.

After editing a .Xdefaults file, reload it with xrdb -merge ~/.Xdefaults. (Similarly for .Xresources.)

Note that the derivative programs also use the font resource to set the default font, so the procedure is analogous.

4.2.2 GNOME Terminal

You can configure the Gnome terminal to use a euro-ready font by changing the font in the Configuration->Preferences menu.

4.2.3 RXVT and its derivatives

Rxvt and the programs derived from it (e.g. Aterm, Wterm) also use the font resource from ~/.Xresources or ~/.Xdefaults, see above for how it's done in XTerm.

4.2.4 Eterm

Change the user configuration (~/.Eterm/user.cfg) with:

     begin attributes
         scrollbar_type motif
         scrollbar_width 10
         font default 2
         font proportional 0
         font 0 -b&h-lucidatypewriter-medium-r-normal-*-*-80-*-*-m-*-iso8859-15
         font 1 -b&h-lucidatypewriter-medium-r-normal-*-*-100-*-*-m-*-iso8859-15
         font 2 -b&h-lucidatypewriter-medium-r-normal-*-*-120-*-*-m-*-iso8859-15
         font 3 -b&h-lucidatypewriter-medium-r-normal-*-*-140-*-*-m-*-iso8859-15
         font 4 -b&h-lucidatypewriter-medium-r-normal-*-*-180-*-*-m-*-iso8859-15
     end attributes

4.2.5 gVim

~/.vimrc or (systemwide) /etc/vim/vimrc:

     set guifont=-b&h-lucidatypewriter-medium-r-normal-*-*-140-*-*-m-*-iso8859-15
     set encoding=iso-8859-15

4.2.6 Emacs, XEmacs

GNU Emacs 21 and XEmacs 21 provide support for latin9. However, in versions previous to Emacs21, (Mule) does not show an option to save documents using latin9 (latin0) or ISO-8859-15.

You might need, however, to change the font that Emacs runs with in order to present the Euro character in X windows. To do so, run emacs with a euro font with the -fn switch or configure it to always use a given font by editing ~/.Xresources:

     Emacs.default.attributeFont: -*-Lucidatypewriter-Medium-R-*-*-*-110-*-*-*-*-iso

You can also try adding the following lines in .emacs, or .xemacs/init.el for XEmacs:

      'default '"-*-courier-medium-r-*-*-*-120-*-*-*-*-iso8859-15")

4.2.7 GNOME and GTK+

Gnome applications do mostly support another charset without problems. Depending on your local configuration, you probably would have to change the default font. Please start (in Gnome) the Control Center and choose a font with iso8859-15 encoding. If you don't have gnomecc installed, you could make this setting manually, creating an customised gtkrc file in your home directory (~/.gtkrc) and adding the lines show below.

Better yet, change the systemwide GTK+ settings in /etc/gtk/gtkrc. You can do this in two different ways:

Here are some sample lines you can add to the configuration file:

     style "user-font"
     widget_class "*" style "user-font"

4.2.8 KDE

KDE euro support works as described at http://lists.debian.org/debian-kde/2001/debian-kde-200110/msg00423.html. You have to set up yor Xfree environment as described above. Users have reported even to have KDE's euro support working in Potato using custom XFree86 3.3.6 fonts (as described in Font configuration, Section 3.4.2.

Be careful when setting the locale and use the aliases defined in the X library since, as described at http://bugs.kde.org/db/32/32919-b.html, setting the charset as 'ISO-8859-15' will not work, it needs to be 'ISO8859-15'. This issue is further discussed at Localisation issues, Section 3.2.

Once this is done, you have to go to KDE's Control Center::Personalization::Country & Language. And set your Country name and "Charset: iso8859-15".

When writting this document, I first thought (when I read http://users.pandora.be/sim/euro/112/) that KDE didn't work with Euro characters. But you only have to configure it properly. You can see it for yourself. If it does not work for you check your charset and the fonts available.

However, there are know bugs due to the localesconf which does not set the KDE environment properly. You should take your time and read Bug 122533. and Bug 130259.

4.2.9 Apache Apache

You should modify your webserver settings if you want to present some sites with a non-ISO8859-1 charset, unless you want your users to change their charset manually each time. Following settings for Apache (eg. put into an .htaccess file) tells the browsers the charset they have to use:

     AddType        text/html;charset=ISO-8859-15   html

You can use the euro character directly in the documents, this information could be provided also in the HTML documents DTD. In any case you can use, the HTML 4.0 euro representation and not configure Apache.

4.2.10 Mutt

Works flawlessly by setting if $LC_CTYPE is properly defined. If you are having issues making it work (i.e. you have a broken system) try adding to the muttrc file (user's or global):

     set charset=iso-8859-15
     set send_charset="us-ascii:iso-8859-15:iso-8859-1:utf-8"

4.2.11 LaTeX

There are several ways to introduce the euro character in LaTeX:

Thus, you can use the marvosym package that is included in tetex-base (/usr/share/texmf/tex/latex/misc/marvosym.sty). This package includes some symbols, including the euro symbol, in different fonts (Times, Helvetica and Courier). Of course, you do not need to be able to input the euro character (or see it in X) since the LaTeX files will be translated into postscript files (no font needed for their viewing with xpdf or other postscript viewers). The include it in your documents with


Debian 3.0 also has the tetex-eurosym package which allows the euro representation too. You can use this package even if on a pure stable system to reproduce Euro symbols.


In order to represent the cent you need to use textcomp.sty which is provided in tetex-base.

A common problem is, however, not having an input encoding in order to include this characters directly. You can use, however the files provided at File definitions for LaTeX, Appendix A, and place them under /usr/share/texmf/tex/latex/base/ in order to do so.

FIXME: Wishlist bug against tetex-base so they get included.

4.2.12 Kword

Kword includes a document in the demos directory called eurosign.kwd which can be used to determine if fonts are properly installed. It is available at /usr/share/doc/kword/examples/eurosign.kwd.gz

Note: This file was available since Kword 1.1.1-5, see #132627.

4.2.13 LyX

As of version 1.1.6fix4-2 LyX adds support for latin3, latin4 and latin9 encodings.

4.2.14 groff (nroff, troff, grotty)

It provides latin1, ascii8 and utf8 as devices. In order to generate manpages in latin0 it seems the ascii8 device needs to be used.

Latest versions of groff (1.18, available in sarge or sid) do provide the glyphs for the Euro sign (eu for the official Euro symbol and Eu as a font font-specific glyph variant).

4.2.15 Debiandoc-sgml

The package debiandoc-sgml has been fixed as of April 2002 fixing Bug #138437 and now supports the @euro locales.

4.2.16 Tgif

The tgif can support the euro character too. You will have to add the following lines to your .Xdefaults or to the system-wide app-defaults (under /usr/share/apps/tgif/app-defaults/):

     Tgif.AdditionalFonts: \n\
     	new century schoolbook-medium-r-normal,iso8859-15,Helvetica2-Light\n\
      	new century schoolbook-bold-r-normal,iso8859-15,Helvetica2-Bold\n\
      	new century schoolbook-medium-i-normal,iso8859-15,Helvetica2-Italic\n\
      	new century schoolbook-bold-i-normal,iso8859-15,Helvetica2-BoldItalic

This will add another (Helvetica2) font to the fonts-menu. To get a Euro sign do Esc-$. Repeat this process for any of the other iso8859-15 fonts that you want to use.

4.2.17 Perl

Perl is euro friendly. If it outputs some messages similar to "This locale is not supported" when running with an euro locale, this is due to not having your system properly configured to support the euro locale (see locale-gen(8)).

Perl is used by quite a number of administrative scripts (including Debconf) so be prepared to see this errors if you have not configured your system properly (locale-wise).

4.3 Applications that do not support the euro character

The following applications (and associated versions) have been reported not to work with the euro character:

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Debian Euro HOWTO (Obsolete Documentation)

version 1.2, june 4th 2003.

Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña mailto:jfs@computer.org