Calling swedish unicode users....

geraintf's picture

a swedish colleague of mine recently purchased an opentype font. he's running windows NT. he wants to access things like the alternative figure styles.

some of his applications support unicode but not opentype layout features, so i advised him to insert the desired glyphs through character map.

trouble is, his character map seems different to mine, and only seems to support the first 255 characters (ascii?)

here's a screenshot of his charmap:
swedish
here, for comparison, is my charmap, offering the full range of glyphs in the font:
british

any ideas would be greatly appreciated. thanks, geraint

Thomas Phinney's picture

IIRC, NT supports Unicode. However, the CharMap utility may be a bit different. It may be that the NT CharMap only views specific Unicode ranges one at a time, instead of being able to browse through all of Unicode. That might also make it hard to get to private use codepoints or other odd things.

Your friend should poke about for an option like the "advanced view" that enables full Unicode browsing in the Win 2000 and later CharMaps.

T

twardoch's picture

1. With Character Map, one is only able to access the alternate characters if they are encoded in the Private Use Area. While the Calaxie Polaris font (by Thirstype) supports this, not all OpenType fonts support PUA because, in a way, it is a sort of a "hack".

2. While the Windows NT character map looks different, it supports Unicode ranges -- just like the Windows XP character map. In the Windows NT character map, the Unicode ranges are shown in the list that in the Swedish version is labeled "Delm

geraintf's picture

hey thanks guys, i'll direct his attention to this...

cheers

geraint

geraintf's picture

hey thanks guys, i'll direct his attention to this...

cheers

geraint

geraintf's picture

many thanks for the advice: i've spoken to him and he can now access the ranges, including the all-important private use area

incidentally adam, you say 'hack', but is there any other way to encode multiple glyphs (eg alternates, figure styles)?

twardoch's picture

Geraint,

Encoding alternates (swashes, old-style ligatures, small caps, inital versions etc.) or ligatures should be done only through advanced typographic layout features. The by far most popular and relevant advanced typographic layout system is OpenType Layout.

Practically, alternates and ligatures should not be encoded via Unicode, but only by associating them with the basic glyphs using OpenType Layout features.

Assigining PUA Unicode indexes are just a hack, its aim is to allow the user to access the alternate glyphs in applications that do not support OpenType Layout features. The main problem is that glyphs inserted into the text corrupt the text logic: a small cap "a" inserted into the text using PUA Unicodes will not be recognized by the application's spell-checker, hyphenation algorithm, or the find-and-replace feature. Similarly, copying-and-pasting the text or changing the font will result in corrupted text: square boxes instead of the actual letters.

Regards,
Adam

geraintf's picture

thanks for this useful info, adam, which i've only just noticed!

regards, geraint

peterbruhn's picture

"Delm

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