Re: Unicode fonts

From: Tommy Nordgren (
Date: Fri Apr 21 2006 - 17:47:40 CST

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    On 22 apr 2006, at 01.11, Philippe Verdy wrote:

    > From: "Tommy Nordgren" <>
    >> Are there any fonts available that include glyphs for the entire
    >> unicode character set?
    >> (Macintosh compatible.)
    > I think it's not possible for the existing TrueType/OpenType
    > format, given the limitation on the total number of glyphs per font
    > (but it may be possible with fonts which contain multiple designs).
    > I see no interest in such giant font. At best, you'll find fonts
    > that cover a whole Unicode plane (these fonts make better sense),
    > and it will already be a very large font (notably a font that
    > covers the Han ideographs, but it will be true as well for a font
    > that would code the future Egyptian or Maya hieroglyphs).
    > A font that completely covers the alphabetic scripts (including
    > alphabets, abjads, abugidas) and syllabic scripts is already very
    > large andvery complex to design, due to the number of
    > substitutions, contextual forms, and fine hinting needed for
    > drawing at small size or at low resolution on screen. And even this
    > font needs constant updates to cover the additions in Unicode, or
    > simply to correct bugs or limitations (missing substitutions or
    > ligatures or contextual forms) or defects (bad hinting).
    > Keep things small. What users do want is fonts that correctly and
    > completely handle each script (letters, ligatures, digits) and
    > related signs or symbols (notably punctuation, and notational
    > marks). It's much easier to update fonts that cover correctly a
    > limited set of scripts. And it's generally more reliable interms of
    > results, given that some scripts require specific knowledge of the
    > script by the typograph (notably the contextual forms, ligatures,
    > and substitutions, but also the specific graphic design needed for
    > some scripts that have very different metrics and layout, for
    > example the hinting process for Han ideographs which requires
    > specific algorithms due to their graphic complexity).

            I realizes that such a font would require a lot of hard disk and ram
    space. The context in which i want to use it is for editing plain
    unicode text files. Text editors can't display documents in multiple
    fonts depending on which script each character belongs to. To be
    specific I want to edit test cases for a lexical analyzer generator
    that I want to be able to handle unicode.
    "Home is not where you are born, but where your heart finds peace" -
    Tommy Nordgren, "The dying old crone"

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