Re: Why people still want to encode precomposed letters

From: Jukka K. Korpela (
Date: Sun Nov 23 2008 - 08:24:47 CST

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    Hans Aberg wrote:

    > It is in fact even more complicated, because even it is called
    > one can have, as a matter of rendering style, the ring dipping into
    > the main character, even being partly obscured. So one may not get
    > around recognizing certain combination and provide special designs
    > for those.

    The letter Å is a rather special case, because it is particularly
    challenging in font design. I daily see examples of texts where Å or (more
    often) its lowercase equivalent å looks very poor, often almost
    indistuishable from Å or å e.g. because the ring is drawn as much thinner
    than everything else in the text. The uppercase letter suffers from the
    problem that if the ring is reasonably large to be distinguishable, the
    character may extend rather far beyond the limits of the font size. One of
    my favorite examples in demonstrating the need for larger line height in
    many cases is text with words like “Åberg” in the Verdana font—you can then
    often see the ring cross the descenders of letters, unless line height is
    larger than common defaults.

    The letter Å exists as precomposed of course, and so do some even more
    challenging letters like Å with acute, Ǻ. Yet, we have font problems with
    them. We might have even more serious problems if they did not exist as
    precomposed, but adding new precomposed characters is _not_ an option. What
    you can do is to ask font designers and software designers to pay attention
    to the combinability of characters and diacritic marks in rendering.


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