Re: recognize character entities
Given that you mention EPS and Symbol, do you need the eventual output to be the Type 1 Symbol set code for the character as well as being wrapped in an element that specifies the 'font'?
If you have some downstream process that translates ÷ to Symbol code 270 (octal - as given in the back of the PDF reference manual), Α to Symbol code 101 etc. then this is overloading the entity reference syntax in a way that is potentially very confusing.
I suspect that the problem here is not so much recognising entity references, but that the syntax has been used to represent characters that are not to be handled as Unicode code points (so interpreting ÷ as meaning U+00F7 will give the wrong result.)
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