PostScript and Unicode

From: Kevin Bracey (
Date: Mon Dec 07 1998 - 08:10:51 EST

Two queries regarding PostScript:

1) Could anyone working at/with Adobe enlighten me on the position of
PostScript with regard to non-BMP UCS characters? Looking at the Unicode and
Glyph Names document at

there is a firm 16-bit assumption: "g is of the form uni<CODE> (where <CODE>
is a 4-digit uppercase hexadecimal number)".

Our system uses a proprietary font format, but uses encoding files containing
PostScript glyph names. The system is fully capable of handling the 31-bit
UCS space, and as such will require a way of specifying characters outside
the BMP as a PostScript glyph name.

Are there plans to extend this specification to cover non-BMP characters?

2) When it comes to actually printing, what is the best source of information
on how to send Unicode text to a PostScript printer? Is this actually
possible yet? Can I specify an encoding vector in terms of /uni4E00 etc on a
standard Japanese printer?

Kevin Bracey, Senior Software Engineer
Acorn Computers Ltd                           Tel: +44 (0) 1223 725228
Acorn House, 645 Newmarket Road               Fax: +44 (0) 1223 725328
Cambridge, CB5 8PB, United Kingdom            WWW:

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