Re: Transcribing old documents into Unicode compatible document files.

From: William Overington (
Date: Mon May 05 2003 - 06:52:43 EDT

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    Doug Ewell wrote as follows.

    > I'd say your best bet is to go with the circled numbers.

    Yes, that seems the best way to go.

    I have now implemented CIRCLED DIGIT ONE through to CIRCLED DIGIT NINE and
    also CIRCLED DIGIT ZERO in the Quest text font.

    An interesting aspect of applying these codes if someone is using a program
    such as WordPad where one can insert each of the characters using an Alt
    sequence with a decimal code point value, yet one cannot have a look through
    the font to observe which characters are available, is that it might be
    useful to have an easy way to remember the decimal value of the code point

    Remembering the famous rhyme for remembering the value of pi, where the
    number of letters in each word is the value of the corresponding digit, with
    ten letters for a zero, I wondered if a suitable phrase could be produced
    for remembering the decimal value of the code point of CIRCLED DIGIT ONE.

    CIRCLED DIGIT ONE is at U+2460 which is decimal 9312 and so I have managed
    to think of the following.

    Encircled and a no.

    CIRCLED DIGIT ZERO is at U+24EA which is decimal 9450.

    Encircled zero coded separately.

    The rhyme for pi starts as follows.

    Sir, I bear a rhyme excelling
    In mystic force and magic spelling

    When testing the font I did then try displaying the same text in various
    well-known and widely used fonts and found that none of them displayed
    CIRCLED DIGIT ONE and CIRCLED DIGIT TWO. Now, the PC I was using for that
    test is a Windows 98 machine so maybe the fonts are not the latest versions

    I find that when I am looking at fonts at various sites on the web there are
    very few fonts which implement the characters for Old English and Middle
    English. Most stylish display fonts have the English alphabet and sometimes
    a couple of handfuls of accented characters for those European languages
    which have a large population speaking them.

    I wonder if I could please put forward an idea that fontmakers might like to
    consider please. Whilst recognizing that adding a lot of extra accented
    characters for languages with other-than-large user populations to a font
    may not be the way to go for most fonts, how about adding four or five so
    that each font supports a language with an other-than-large user population?
    One font might support one language, another font another language. In that
    way the languages with other-than-large user populations might gradually
    acquire a choice of display fonts in which they can be set.

    There is a large collection of pdf files available in the webspace for the various languages of Europe, which
    documents specify the characters needed for each language. For some
    languages there is an overlap of characters with those for other languages,
    so the extra characters needed for a font which already has accented
    characters (for the languages with large populations of users) to support
    such languages is small.

    William Overington

    5 May 2003

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