Posts in Category "Building Fonts"

Standardized Variants—Part 1

One problem that has been plaguing CJK Compatibility Ideographs is the fact that they are adversely affected by normalization. Regardless of which of the four normalization forms is applied—NFC, NFD, NFKC, or NFKD—they are converted to their canonical equivalents, which are CJK Unified Ideographs. This is a problem, particularly for Japan, because 75 kanji in JIS X 0213:2004 kanji map to CJK Compatibility Ideograph code points. Furthermore, 57 of these 75 kanji correspond to Jinmei-yō Kanji (人名用漢字), meaning that they are used for personal names. The bottom-line problem with CJK Compatibility Ideographs is that any application of normalization, by any process, will permanently remove any distinctions between a CJK Compatibility Ideograph and its canonical equivalent. Not all processes are under one’s direct control, meaning that it is impossible to guarantee that normalization will not be applied. My opinion is that it is prudent to assume that normalization will be applied, and that preemption is the best solution.
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Old Hangul—Redux

In the December 4, 2012 Old Hangul article I mentioned that the ‘ccmp’ GSUB feature that is referenced in Microsoft’s Developing OpenType Fonts for Korean Hangul Script document is not necessary. Jaemin Chung kindly pointed out to me that environments that do not yet support Unicode Version 5.2 still require the ‘ccmp‘ (Glyph Composition/Decomposition) GSUB feature to be present, otherwise proper shaping will not happen.

The main purpose of this short article is to provide a revised Perl script, named, that adds a complete ‘ccmp’ GSUB feature definition for environments that do not yet support Unicode Version 5.2 (or greater). The sample glyph-map.txt datafile that maps the Unicode-based glyph names to CIDs is unchanged.

Old Hangul

Okay. It is time to put some “K” into CJK…

Seriously, much of the content of this blog has been focused on Chinese and Japanese issues. This article will provide some much-deserved Korean content.

I spent the last few days coming to grips with Old Hangul (옛한글 yethangeul), specifically how to implement proper shaping using the three registered OpenType GSUB features, ‘ljmo‘ (Leading Jamo Forms), ‘vjmo‘ (Vowel Jamo Forms), and ‘tjmo‘ (Trailing Jamo Forms).
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Turning CID-Keyed Fonts Into OpenType Fonts Using AFDKO


10月10日水曜日、香港で開催されたATypI Hong Kong 2012にてAFDKOワークショプをおこないました。とても専門的な内容にもかかわらず、多くの方にご参加いただきありがとうございました。

3時間のワークショプの前半2時間は、Ken Lundeによる「Manipulating CID-Keyed Fonts Using AFDKO Tools」が行われ、後半1時間「Turning CID-Keyed Fonts Into OpenType Fonts Using AFDKO」を私が担当しました。
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Combining 3 Tools Into 1:

For those who make use of the,, or tools, all of which are AFDKO tx tool filters and are included in AFDKO, and whose purpose is to list the glyphs in the specified font resource, I’d like to introduce a new tool, named, which combines their functionality, thus making font development simpler.
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Kazuraki: Under The Hood

I had the opportunity this morning to present at ATypI Hong Kong 2012 about Kazuraki, specifically the details about its OpenType implementation. Hence, the title of the presentation is Kazuraki: Under The Hood. The purpose of this article is simply to make the presentation available.

Manipulating CID-Keyed Fonts Using AFDKO Tools

Yesterday—meaning Wednesday, October 10th, 2012, Hong Kong Time (UTC+8)—I had the honor and privilege to present the first two hours of a three-hour ATypI Hong Kong 2012 workshop entitled Manipulating CID-Keyed Fonts Using AFDKO Tools. When I did a rough count, there were nearly 30 people in attendance. I’d like to use this opportunity to thank those who were able to attend, which meant that they made the effort to travel to this conference, and also chose to attend this workshop in lieu of attending presentations from the Typography & Reading and Typography & Culture tracks, or other concurrent workshops. I’d also like to provide to those who attended, and to those who were not able to attend, the presentation that I used to drive these two hours, which includes material that can be studied and referenced.

In addition to installing the latest-and-greatest version of AFDKO, the workshop attendees were also provide with the actual sample font data that I used to demonstrate the various workflows and techniques.

My hope is that these materials are useful to those who attended this workshop, and to those who were not able to do so. Enjoy!

Speaking of enjoy, that is what I plan to do for the remaining four days of this five-day conference. ☺

AFDKO Workflow Diagrams

One of the most useful bits of feedback that I received from my portion of the June 25, 2012 AFDKO Workshop was that I include workflow diagrams that visually explain how various tools and control files work together. While preparing to present the same material at ATypI Hong Kong 2012 on the afternoon of October 10, 2012, I spent last Friday and this week creating additional presentation slides that include such workflow diagrams.
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Details About The New AFDKO Version…

As I wrote earlier today on our sibling blog, Typblography, a new version of AFDKO was release earlier this month. I want to use this opportunity to point out some of the changes and enhancements that affect font developers who work with CID-keyed fonts. The details are buried in the detailed Release Notes that Read Roberts prepared.
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Glyph Corrections Via AFDKO Tools—Redux

As described in the August 24, 2012 article, I am currently updating most of our OpenType Japanese fonts. One aspect of the update is to include the 32 additional IVSes, based on the March 2, 2012 version of the IVD (Ideographic Variation Database), which means that all of the kanji in Adobe-Japan1-6 now have a “plain text” representation. Another aspect of this particular update is to use the latest UTF-32 CMap resources, which include three additional mappings, one of which is U+9FCC that was appended to the URO (Unified Repertoire & Ordering) in Unicode Version 6.1. But, the topic of this article is about fixing a small number of glyphs, and the techniques that I used to do so.
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Glyph Corrections Via AFDKO Tools

I spent part of this week staging the data for some minor glyph corrections for our Kozuka Mincho and Kozuka Gothic fonts—and those that are derived from them—and was reminded that the techniques I described in the February 27, 2012 article are incredibly useful and indeed time-saving. These same techniques were also conveyed during the AM session of the June 25, 2012 AFDKO Workshop, as shown is the presentation slide below:

Minor Adobe-Japan1-6 Unicode CMap Resource Update

Many thanks to Nozomu KATŌ (加藤望) for bringing to my attention that the Adobe-Japan1-6 Unicode CMap resources were missing the following mapping:

U+207F → CID+15908

I decided to add this mapping to the following eight Adobe-Japan1-6 Unicode CMap resources this evening:


The eight updated CMap resources were just posted to the CMap Resources open source project that is hosted at Open @ Adobe, and the details are in the associated forum post.


To CID Or Not To CID

When developing OpenType/CFF fonts, in particular CJK ones or those with a large number of glyphs, one question that I am often asked by developers is whether it should be name-keyed or CID-keyed. The answer to this question is not simple, though it truly is a binary condition.
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CFR Support in Mac OS X Version 10.8 (Mountain Lion)

On July 25, 2012, Apple released to the world Mac OS X Version 10.8 (aka Mountain Lion). Among the many new features in this latest iteration of Mac OS X is support for CFR objects. For those who are not aware, CFR objects are based on ISO/IEC 14496-28:2012 (Composite Font Representation), and are used to define both composite fonts and fallback fonts. CFR objects effectively break the 64K glyph barrier. Mac OS X Version 10.8 is thus the first implementation that has broken the 64K glyph barrier.
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Tokyo AFDKO Workshop (PM Session)

Once again, to those who were able to attend the Tokyo AFDKO Workshop that was held at Morisawa‘s Tokyo office on June 25th, thank you for your participation! Not counting those from Adobe and Morisawa, a total of 21 people attended. (Details about the AM session were covered in the previous article.)

For those who attended, and for those who could not attend, the presentation for Masataka Hattori’s (服部正貴) portion of the workshop is now available for download. Besides demonstrating how to build OpenType/CFF fonts based on the Adobe-Japan1-x and Adobe-Identity-0 ROSes, one of the highlights of Masataka’s presentation was demonstrating how to build a font that includes fully-proportional kana glyphs, based on the proven techniques which were used to develop Kazuraki (かづらき) that are detailed in Adobe Tech Note #5901 (Special-Purpose OpenType Japanese Font Tutorial: Kazuraki).
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Tokyo AFDKO Workshop (AM Session)

To those who were able to attend the Tokyo AFDKO Workshop that was held at Morisawa‘s Tokyo office on June 25th, thank you for your participation (and for enduring my poor Japanese speaking abilities)! I hope that you learned new ways in which particular AFDKO tools can be used to make your CID-keyed font production work (or workflow) more effective and less time-consuming.
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Two AFDKO-related Tool Updates

I spent this evening in Gyeongju, Korea enhancing two AFDKO-related tools, and

These tools are tx filters, and simply output the list of CIDs or GIDs in a font. I had been using another tool,, to turn the list into ranges. One of the enhancements, which is the addition of an “-r” option, makes the tool no longer necessary. In other words, the following two command lines have the same result:

% -r <font>
% <font> |

The tool was additionally enhanced with an “-s” option, which outputs the ranges on a single line using a comma separator. This makes the output very convenient in terms of repurposing it, such as copying it, then pasting it into a new command line as the argument of the “-g” option that is supported by many AFDKO tools. Consider the following two command lines and their output:

% -r

% -r -s


Be warned…

For those who signed up to attend the AFDKO Workshop that takes place on the 25th of this month in Tokyo, be warned that I will be conducting my portion, which is from 10AM until noon, in Japanese, or at least in my rendition of Japanese. ☺

Seriously, though, I hope that my Japanese skills, or lack thereof, don’t serve as an impediment for those who attend this workshop. My focus will be to demonstrate how particular AFDKO tools, such as tx, mergeFonts, rotateFont, autohint, and so on, can be used to not only build, but also to directly manipulate CID-keyed fonts. My hope is that I can convey useful information that can serve as inspiration for making font production workflows more efficient and less time-consuming.

For those who are attending, note that materials will be provided that will be based on a small subset of Kozuka Gothic Medium. If any attendee wants to use their own font data for this purpose, I suggest that you bring along an Adobe-Japan1-0 or greater OpenType/CFF font or CIDFont resource. I have prepared scripts that will quickly create the same materials, but using a different base font.

Wish me luck in finishing the accompanying presentation, which currently has 24 slides. In Japanese.

I am very much looking forward to meeting everyone who has signed up to attend this workshop!

Preparing for the Tokyo AFDKO Workshop

I am spending most of my time preparing for the Tokyo AFDKO Workshop that Morisawa is hosting at their Tokyo office on the 25th of this month, which is a Monday. At this point, most of the sample data is ready, and I now need to prepare the accompanying presentation slides.

This will be my first opportunity to engage a larger number of font developers, and to convey to them useful tips, tricks, and techniques for several AFDKO tools, particularly tx, mergeFonts, and rotateFont. My portion of the workshop, which will consume the entire morning, will be about building and manipulating CID-keyed fonts, to include controlling the assignment of CIDs (glyphs) to FDArray elements. I will also cover the use of the special-purpose Adobe-Identity-0 ROS. I am very much looking forward to this event, and working directly with many font developers.

Note that this workshop will be conducted in Japanese.




弊社のAFDKO(Adobe© OpenType©フォント開発キット)を利用されてフォント制作を行われている開発者の方々を対象としたワークショップとなります。それぞれのツールについて有効な利用法について、弊社米国本社のKen Lunde(ケン・ランディ)を含む弊社スタッフが説明する予定です。ぜひご参加ください。
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