Re: Arabic letters separated by markup

From: John Hudson (
Date: Tue Jun 14 2005 - 16:40:17 CDT

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    Richard Wordingham wrote:

    >> Take MS Word for example. You can make selections at the character
    >> level and apply colour
    > to the glyphs that represent the selected characters.

    > Which version? It doesn't work for Thai vowels in Word 2002. For Thai
    > I can colour the vowels separately with an 8-bit font like DB ThaiText,
    > but not with a Unicode font such as Arial, Tahoma or Angsana New.

    Thai and Indic scripts are different, because selection takes place at the syllable
    cluster level.

    >> It is possible (globally in Word, using complex script mark display
    >> options) to
    > independently colour the combining hamza because it is identified as a
    > 'mark' in the GDEF
    > table.

    > Again, which version? I tried with Word 2002 (Thai edition, I presume -
    > 10.2627.2625), but I couldn't get combining hamza above (U+0654) to
    > combine. I tried several fonts - Trebuchet MS 1.23, Andalus 1.01,
    > Traditional Arabic 1.01, Arabic Transparent 1.01. It was always offset
    > to the left. Perhaps I had the wrong base letter - my knowledge of the
    > Arabic script is chiefly based on uncomputerised Farsi plus a few
    > snippets from Wright. When I tried damma (U+064F), it lost its
    > independent colour as soon as I converted the hex digits to the encoded
    > character with alt-x.

    This works fine for me in both Word 2002 and 2003. Not all the current versions of the
    fonts you mention have mark attachment positioning data for Arabic, though. You want to
    test with something like the MS Arabic Typesetting font, or another advanced OT font.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC
    Currently reading:
    Truth and tolerance, by Benedict XVI, Cardinal Ratzinger as was
    An autobiography from the Jesuit underground, by William Weston SJ
    War (revised edition), by Gwynne Dyer

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