New Ideographs in Unicode 3.0 and Beyond

John Jenkins - Apple Computer, Inc.

Intended Audience: Manager, Software Engineer, Systems Analyst
Session Level: Beginner, Intermediate

This presentation discusses the new ideographs or characters related to ideographs being added to Unicode 3.0 and various proposals to extend the ideographic repertoire of Unicode beyond Unicode 3.0.


A number of new blocks are being added to Unicode 3.0 representing extensions or supplements to Unicode's ideographic repertoire These new characters should be taken into account by implementors of Unicode.

First is the Vertical Extension A, a set of some 6500 ideographs which are targeted for encoding at U+3400. These characters are derived from older national standards from Taiwan and the PRC, from new national standards in Korea and Vietnam, and from major industrial standards in Japan. The addition of these characters to Unicode goes far towards covering the major needs of existing users.

Next are proposals to add the KangXi radicals and ideographic variation character. The significance and possible uses of these characters will be discussed.

Next is the Han description scheme under development. Some of the rationale behind composition schemes for Han will be discussed and illustrations of how this method works will be given.

Finally, there are plans to add new ideographs to Unicode through the use of surrogates. These surrogate-encoded ideographs will not be in Unicode 3.0 but will be included in future versions of the standard.

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30 October 1999, Webmaster