Word 97 "Unicode Text" (was: Chess symbols, ...)

From: Otto Stolz (Otto.Stolz@uni-konstanz.de)
Date: Fri Jun 21 2002 - 07:37:19 EDT

William Overington wrote:

> [description of Insert/Symbol] Saving is to a file type known as "Unicode

> Text". Getting the file back may display wrongly.

Indeed, if style elements are used to convey meaning. The various "Text"
formats convey only the mere character string, and leave off all style
elements. E. g., a table will lose its arrangement of rows and columns;
in Word's "Text" formats, every cell of the original table will constitute
a paragraph.

> One needs to specify the fount to read it properly.

Not necessarily. Specifically for Word's "Unicode text", any Unicode-
capable font comprising the characters used in the document will be
alright. This is the bliss of standardization.

> For example, [Word's] default fount does not have the fi ligature

> in the Private Use Area. [...] a file using [a] typeface using

> the fi ligature from the Private Use Area.

This is the intrinsic problem with the PUA: the sender (in this example
Word with some particular font) and the receiver (in this example Word
with its default font) must agree on the interpretation of the PUA
code-points (which they don't in that example). That is, in a nutshell,
the meaning of the P in "PUA".

Hence, you are well advised to confine the exploitation of PUA to arenas
where there is no other easy possibility. In the case of chess boards,
unicode plus some amount of style info does the job quite nicely, so
there is really no reason to insist upon using plain text + PUA assign-
ments. You have been advised how to do chess boards in both Word 97 and
HTML 4; I am quite sure that any other text processing application will
be able to do the same, in intrinsically the same way.

> The format "Unicode Text" is not defined within the Word 97 help

It is simply UCS-2 (or perhaps UTF-16, in more recent Word versions),
cf. <http://www.unicode.org/unicode/faq/utf_bom.html>.

> [...] reading it into Paint Shop Pro as a grey scale picture then zooming

> in on the picture and deducing the bit patterns from the colours.

Ever heared of the Debug DOS-conmmand, available in yout Windows 98?

Best wishes,

   Otto Stolz

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Fri Jun 21 2002 - 05:57:35 EDT