How can I access hidden glyphs that have no Unicode mapping?

Visualize's picture

In PoeticaStd and several other OpenType Adobe fonts I've been looking at lately, there are several glyphs that have no Unicode mapping (they aren't listed in the font's internal 'cmap' table)

For instance, glyph index 977 (0x3D1) has no Unicode mapping. The only reason I'm aware that it exists is because I was looking up the glyph indexes in the OpenType 'ordn' feature and it lists index 977 as a replacement for index 66 (which has a Unicode mapping of U+0061).

So I guess my question is, is there any way (outside of InDesign or other OpenType 'aware' programs) that I can type in a keystroke and access this glyph? Or perhaps it's intentional that these glyphs aren't allowed to be accessed that way?

Thanks for any help!

cuttlefish's picture

On am Mac you can access these characters from the Character Pallette in the Keyboard menu (usually displayed as a little flag in the menu bar). select from the popup menus in the pallette View>Glyph and Font>whatever font you're trying to access these hidden glyphs from. Then scroll through the display frame and double click on the character you want to enter into your active text insertion point on the next window below. Entering characters this way can crash some older programs, but works fine with Text Edit. Sometimes you can copy/paste from there, but that won't always work with some other programs. They can be fussy..

Visualize's picture

Thanks for the response -- I should have mentioned I'm using Windows, though.

Good to know that Macs can handle it at least.

cuttlefish's picture

There is a similar feature on Windows, but I don't know much about it or how it works.

david h's picture

Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Character Map

satya's picture

Also its always better to have a shortcut on the Taskbar somewhere.

Visualize's picture

Unfortunately, the Windows CharMap utility only shows glyphs which are mapped/accessible by a Unicode character (or by a character in a specific encoding).

What I'm specifically referring to is how to access glyphs which have no character mapping defined in the OpenType font.

satya's picture

You are right, Joseph. It doesn't shows the glyphs which are not assigned to the Unicode.
I cant think of anything other than InDesign Glyph Pallet where you can access all the characters you have in your typeface.

Typography.Guru's picture

There is a simple answer: It is not possible.
The apps like charmap (or even they keyboard driver for that matter) work by passing on the code. When there is no code it cannot work.


satya's picture

How things work in the InDesign then?

dan_reynolds's picture

Adobe has its own font-handling system inside its programs. IIRC, it does not rely on the operating system as well.

Ralf, I'm glad you told he that he wouldn't be able to do this. I didn't have the heart to tell him myself :-(

Sorry Joseph, I'm afraid it is the OpenType-savvy application or nothing! Can you use a different application?

Visualize's picture

Thank you all for your answers, it's appreciated! I figured as much that it isn't possible on Windows.

I found out a way on Windows to render a specific glyph index using their GDI rendering engine, so I guess I'll end up writing my own application to see these unmapped glyphs.

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