Re: Printer that can handle Unicode fonts

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Wed Jul 28 1999 - 17:50:59 EDT

The Unicode Standard Version 3.0 is currently in the final stages of
editing. A big part of the standard are the character charts. To print them
I use a combination of Unicode encoded fonts from commercial suppliers as
well as a number of special purpose 8-bit fonts created for printing
previous versions of the Standard and/or for printing some of the new
scripts added to the standard.

The chart printing process is special, in some ways as only a single glyph
per character code is needed, but also, in that a glyph is needed for
*every* last character, no matter how recently it has been added to the
standard. Finally, the shape of some characters are occasionally adjusted
as they will not look right when by themselves in the chart, even though
they are fine in context of a written line of text. This includes things
like the dashed box around the space character, etc. All of these require
non-commercial fonts.

The printer I have used for draft purposes is a Brother MSF4550 plus,
essentially a plain paper fax machine. For the production process I am
using an HP Laserjet 4000 T. Printing speed has been fine in both cases,
that is relative to the speed difference between the two printers. I've not
seen a big adverse effect from downloading outlines. The interesting thing
is that the LJ has problems with one of the fonts, where the simpler
printer does not.

I have also used ink-jet printers in the past with good success, while
postscript printers often try to 'substitute' device fonts and can get it

I use custom software written for Windows NT. Using a different glyph in
every cell of the charts really exercises the glyph cache, and when I
scroll through the scripts, there will be the occasional slowdown when the
rasterizer needs to catch up and rasterizes glyphs as they are drawn. The
effect is not unlike one of the old 9600 baud terminals. Some of this might
be due to the fact that I am using a Pentium 90 for this part of my work.
Still, the old machine keeps up nicely.


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