Posts in Category "Unicode"

August 11, 2008

Need a Unicode font?

Every so often I get a request (either from within or outside Adobe) for a “Unicode font.” Unfortunately, that term is not very meaningful to me. The obvious interpretations are:

1) To me as a font geek, the phrase “a Unicode font” “logically” means “a font with a unicode encoding (cmap table).” That would be pretty much every one of the 2400+ OpenType fonts Adobe has in our type library. So that interpretation doesn’t really narrow things much.

2) They could mean “a font that covers all of Unicode.” However, Unicode today has over 100,000 defined code points, and as there is no font format that can include more than 65,535 glyphs, such a font is not technically possible. (There’s a separate question as to whether it would be desirable – see below.)

3) They could also mean “a font that covers some useful subset of Unicode that is more than just the basic WinANSI or MacRoman 8-byte (256-character) set.” However, for that to be meaningful, they’d have to define exactly what writing systems or languages are important to them.

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5:18 PM Permalink
May 12, 2006

Eliminate Private Use Encoding in Revised Fonts?

I’m cross-posting this with the OpenType mailing list to try to get a wider cross-section of views.

As has been mentioned here and elsewhere, in new fonts Adobe is moving away from using Unicode Private Use Area (PUA) encodings for glyphs that are alternates or variants of another glyph that is encoded as the default form for a character. About the only thing we’d use PUA for in new fonts would be ornaments or dingbats that really don’t have their own codepoints.

We’re working on a general tune-up of our whole type library, and one of the questions which arose is, should we make such a change in revising already shipping fonts?

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4:52 PM Permalink