Re: Why people still want to encode precomposed letters

From: Hans Aberg (
Date: Sun Nov 23 2008 - 15:34:41 CST

  • Next message: Hans Aberg: "Re: Why people still want to encode precomposed letters"

    On 23 Nov 2008, at 15:24, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:

    > The letter Å is a rather special case, because it is particularly
    > challenging in font design.

    Yes, that is why I came think of it as an extreme test case.

    > 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.

    In the Caledonia font from the Mergenthaler Linotype Company, 1967, I
    mentioned in another post, the letter "Å" is exactly as high as the
    letter "l" (lower case ell). So the letter itself must have been
    pushed downwards, in order to admit this. In the letter "Ä", the dots
    are sunk to the sides of the upper point of the letter, but not
    fully, protruding a bit.

    > The letter Å exists as precomposed of course,...

    Yes, but suppose one should make a font model that admits it to be
    composed at typesetting time - something to think about.

    > ...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.

    Perhaps one only needs to list the combinations that belongs to to
    the proper language alphabets. In Swedish that would be
    "ijåäöÅÄÖ". Other combinations, like é, would not be as
    important to get right in Swedish, though it is imported from the
    French where it would appear. But it illustrates the idea.


    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sun Nov 23 2008 - 15:36:48 CST