Unicode 3.0 layout suggestion

From: Markus Kuhn (Markus.Kuhn@cl.cam.ac.uk)
Date: Wed Aug 25 1999 - 11:55:06 EDT

Suggestion to the production team of Unicode 3.0 and ISO 10646:2000:

It would be *really* useful, if the example glyphs were shown together
with a couple of reference lines, such that the alignment of the example
glyphs can be recignized more easily.

These reference lines should (at least for the European scripts and the
symbols) be:

  - base line
  - height of x
  - height of H
  - left margin
  - right margin

The reference lines could be made grey and very thin, such that they do
not disturb the visual appearance of the glyph. Alternatively to the
reference lines, you could also place short marker strokes on the glyph
cell rim where the reference lines would end, such that I can use a
ruler to add the line myself with a pencil.

Unicode contains quite a number of characters, where font designers have
no other easily accessible sources for learning how the intended
alignment of the characters should be. For instance, which of the
geometric shapes are supposed to sit on the baseline and which are
supposed to fill the entire character cell without any safety distance
from neighbor characters? Visible baselines would reduce the amount of
guesswork and random decisions that the font designer has to make here
and the resulting fonts will be more exchangeable. All to the benefit of
the user, without restricting the font designers' freedom to chose
whatever alignment seems artistically apropriate, if they are knowing
what they are doing.


Markus G. Kuhn, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK
Email: mkuhn at acm.org,  WWW: <http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/>

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