Rotated Glyphs

From: Frank da Cruz (
Date: Thu Jun 20 2002 - 10:41:25 EDT

As you might know, we (the Kermit Project at Columbia University) have
been working on Unicode-aware terminal emulation and file transfer software
for some time. We recently released version 2.0 of our Windows version of

which, among other things, handles UTF-8 as a host character set on
SSH, Telnet, FTP, serial, and other kinds of connections (as did earlier
releases; the big advantage of 2.0 is that it does this in Windows 9x/ME,
whereas earlier releases could do it only in NT/2000/XP).

As part of the release, I made some screen shots showing text in many
languages and writing systems on the same terminal screen:

The CJK examples were so crowded I didn't notice until James Kass pointed it
out that they were also sideways! Windows had rotated each glyph 90 degrees
counterclockwise. But when another font is used (bottom of same page) the
same glyphs (e.g. Japanese Kana) are upright.

The font in question (Agfa/Monotype Andale Mono WT J) is a TrueType font
containing most of the Unicode repertoire. It is evidently not an OpenType
font. The .TTF file does not contain any of the strings "hani", "vert",
"GSUB", "vhea", or "vmtx", but it does have other well-known tables such as
"cmap", "glyf", etc.

The people at Agfa/Monotype have no idea why the rotation is occuring but
they verified that the CJK glyphs are upright in the font, which can be
verified by using the same font to display a Web page such as:

I'm not a font expert and haven't a clue what's going on. Can anyone
explain why this is happening and how to make it stop? The source file is
plain UTF-8 text sent to the terminal screen -- there is no "markup" of any
kind, and the terminal emulator does not do anything special for a
particular font or Unicode character range -- it just decodes the UTF-8
and sends the resulting glyphs to the screen.

- Frank

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