From: John Hudson (email@example.com)
Date: Thu Oct 11 2007 - 12:13:38 CDT
Jukka K. Korpela wrote re. the .notdef glyph:
> Some designs are better than others, especially since some of them (like
> "?") can easily be mistaken as real characters and some of them (like a thin
> vertical bar) might escape the reader's attention and might be interpreted
> just as some kind of dirt, if noticed at all.
> But this cannot be solved at the character code level. The "missing glyphs"
> should be clearly indicated as distinct from glyphs representing characters,
> but by its very nature, this requires something external to the character
> level (and fonts), such as the use of colors, which is not always possible.
Automatically displaying the .notdef glyph in a distinct colour would certainly be a
welcome feature. Adobe InDesign colours the typespace behind the .notdef glyph pink, which
is also its convention for missing fonts and other unsupported elements, which means that
whenever you see a pink background in an InDesign document you know something is wrong.
Regarding the design of the .notdef glyph, Microsoft provides some specific
recommendations in the OpenType spec.
I believe I invented the ? in a rectangle form, although perhaps others had the same idea.
Recently, I've started using a reversed ? in a black rectangle, as this stands out better
? is used by many Windows apps (and elsewhere?) to indicate an unknown character, as
distinct from a known but unsupported character. So, for instances, non-Unicode apps may
display any 16 bit Unicode character as ??
-- Tiro Typeworks www.tiro.com Gulf Islands, BC firstname.lastname@example.org Do not begin to paddle unless you intend always to paddle. - St Jean de Brébeuf, instructions for missionaries, 1637
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