Re: Open-Type Support (was: Greek Prosgegrammeni)

From: John Hudson (
Date: Wed Nov 22 2000 - 05:33:00 EST

At 01:20 AM 11/22/2000 -0800, Lukas Pietsch wrote:

>I figure that
>people are mostly thinking of the technology called "Open Type", is that

>Can anybody enlighten me about how much support for that technology is
>already available in standard software, say, in browsers or text processors
>under Windows 9x? If I had a True-Type font that implemented the glyph
>substitutions, say, for the Greek combining diacritics, could I make my
>average standard word processing software actually use these features? Or
>would I have to wait for specialized multilingual word processors to appear
>on the market?

OpenType Layout feature support is still somewhat spotty, although
improving. Language required glyph processing in Windows is supported via
the Unscribe shaping engines, which is what you have seen at work with
Arabic under IE. At present, polytonic Greek is not supported in Uniscribe,
I suspect because no one has determined that it needs to be. The kind of
case mapping confusion discussed in the recent thread on the prosgegrammeni
may or may not be something that Uniscribe would normally handle (Uniscribe
relies on Unicode character properties in processing clusters of
characters; if there are ambiguities within Unicode, Uniscribe will inherit
these). OpenType glyph processing outside of Uniscribe -- e.g. typographic
layout controls, discretionary layout features, etc. -- requires direct
support at the application level.

For more information on OpenType, Unscribe and Windows glyph processing in
general, you might find this article interesting:

This explains not only how this technology works, but also some of the
issues involved in supporting OpenType Layout in applications.

John Hudson
(who wrote the article and hopes that someone out there is actually reading

Tiro Typeworks |
Vancouver, BC | All empty souls tend to extreme opinion. | W.B. Yeats |

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