I use AucTeX as my latex major mode. I have been trying to setup the minor mode latex-pretty-symbols which is available from melpa. I did:

;; Install from package-list-packages
(require 'latex-pretty-symbols)
(add-hook 'LaTeX-mode-hook
  (lambda () (message "Show that my code ran") (latex-unicode-simplified)))

What's supposed to happen is that font-lock should render \alpha = 1 as α = 1 in a latex buffer.

Unfortunately, this doesn't happen in AucTex. Instead I have to either interactively call latex-unicode-simplified or manually evaluate M-:(latex-unicode-simplified) from the buffer.

Is there a way to programmatically send keystrokes after a mode is loaded? Is there some other way to tell auctex to do what I want ? I have been trying to solve this for 2.5 hours now so any help is welcome.

NB 1: This problem only happens when I use auctex. When I deleted auctex and did (add-hook 'latex-mode-hook 'latex-unicode-simplified) then the problem got resolved. But I can't stop using AucTex.

NB 2: This problem is not resolved through file local variables, I tried to put a % eval: (latex-unicode-simplified) but that did not work

NB 3: The package author is using bitbucket, with issues disabled.

  • 1
    Incidentally, (add-hook 'LaTeX-mode-hook #'prettify-symbols-mode) should also do the trick if you use Emacs≥25.
    – Stefan
    Feb 18, 2016 at 13:53
  • Regarding NB 3, bitbucket does have issue trackers, but repository managers can disable them. This is the case for that particular repository.
    – giordano
    Feb 18, 2016 at 14:48
  • @Stefan : It seems that to actually make good use of prettify-symbols-mode I would have to write the prettification rules myself. Is there some code with those rules already written? I can understand that latex-pretty-symbols is basically doing that.
    – Pushpendre
    Feb 18, 2016 at 19:01
  • Yes, Emacs≥25 has such rules.
    – Stefan
    Feb 19, 2016 at 4:16

1 Answer 1


A couple of things:

  1. The sharp-quote (#') is used only before functions, not all symbols.
  2. For easy debug and addition/removal of functions to hooks, it's better to first define a function and then add that to the hook.
  3. Bare lambdas should not be quoted.
(require 'latex-pretty-symbols)

(defun my/LaTeX-mode-stuff ()
  (message "Show that my code ran")
(add-hook 'LaTeX-mode-hook #'my/LaTeX-mode-stuff)

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