Re: Unicode support on Macintosh?

From: Deborah Goldsmith (
Date: Thu Dec 09 1999 - 20:15:24 EST

on 12/9/1999 5:01 PM, Yung-Fong Tang <> wrote:

> Fine ? Try to display these text with font size ~ 9,10,11,12 first. From my
> experiences, ATSUI does not generate glyph in commerical quality for these
> sizes- at least in my MacOS 8.5. (Sorry to say that Deborah) I have not try
> MacOS 9 yet. Hopefully you already fix that problem.

Enclosed is a JPEG showing ATSUI displaying Times and Helvetica in 9, 10,
12, and 14 points. This is using the default settings in Mac OS 9, which is
to have anti-aliasing on. I certainly consider these to be of commercial

These fonts do not look as good with anti-aliasing off, because currently
ATSUI does not use the 'NFNT' bitmap fonts that QuickDraw uses. The reason
is that those bitmaps are intrinsically limited by the NFNT format to the
MacRoman repertoire, and using them would have made using ATSUI pointless,
since the new Unicode characters would not be available.

We are looking into how best to support non-anti-aliased display in future
releases, either by adding ATSUI-compatible bitmaps to the fonts, or by
selectively using the NFNT bitmaps. However, we believe that
non-anti-aliased display will become less important over time. As I said,
the default in OS 9 is already for anti-aliasing to be on by default. Fonts
that contain ATSUI-compatible bitmaps (so-called 'sbit' tables, found in
many double-byte fonts) will also work fine with ATSUI (and QuickDraw). We
could add these tables to our existing Latin fonts, but tuned bitmap glyphs
for the additional characters needed by ATSUI need to be generated, which is
a painstaking process.

The only difference between ATSUI and QuickDraw glyph rendering is that
ATSUI cannot currently use NFNT bitmaps. They use the same TrueType scaler
to rasterize outlines, and the results are identical. Remove the NFNT from a
font suitcase and display it in QuickDraw, and you'll see the same thing as

Deborah Goldsmith
Manager, International Toolbox Group
Apple Computer, Inc.


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