RE: more dingbats in plain text

From: Peter Constable (
Date: Sat Apr 18 2009 - 21:43:03 CDT

  • Next message: Peter Constable: "RE: more dingbats in plain text"

    I wasn't commenting at all on the appropriateness of using Unicode PUA for symbols. Certainly in some situations that may be appropriate.

    Rather, I was explaining that, technically, it is not the case that "symbol" fonts (at least, on Windows) use Unicode PUA. They declare a different encoding, "Windows Symbol". In practice, some rich-text applications that format text using symbol fonts may represent that *text* using Unicode PUA, but the fonts themselves do not, and not all rich-text applications do represent such text using Unicode PUA. For instance some will map the symbols into the Unicode Basic Latin range and represent the text that way. Others will map them into an 8-bit character set such as Windows code page 1252 and represent them that way.

    For instance, I just created an RTF file with a few characters formatted with Wingdings. The RTF file itself is encoded in cp1252, and the symbol characters are represented as cp1252 literals "asd" but the markup applied to those characters points to an entry in the RTF's font table that declares the font and charset for that text as Wingdings and Windows Symbol.

    I hope that clarifies what I meant.


    -----Original Message-----
    From: Marion Gunn []
    Sent: Saturday, April 18, 2009 3:50 AM
    To: 'Unicode List'
    Subject: Re: more dingbats in plain text

    I don't understand, Peter. I understood that that was a practical,
    widespread application of Unicode PUA. If not, what is?

    Scríobh Peter Constable:
    > Not 100% true. These fonts are encoded in a encoding called "symbol" -- which means a font-specific encoding. The Symbol encoding uses a 16-bit representation in the fonts, and typically fonts have characters mapped from F020 to F0FF. It looks a lot like Unicode PUA, though strictly speaking it is not.
    > Peter
    > ________________________________________
    > From: [] On Behalf Of Christopher Fynn []
    > Sent: Friday, April 17, 2009 9:36 PM
    > To: Doug Ewell
    > Cc: Unicode Mailing List
    > Subject: Re: more dingbats in plain text
    > Doug Ewell wrote:
    >> The Wingdings and Webdings family of fonts, distributed with every copy
    >> of Windows for over a decade, absolutely qualify as "compatibility
    >> character sets" according to the guidelines being applied for the emoji.
    > At least Microsoft has always mapped the glyphs in Wingdings and
    > Webdings to the PUA.
    > - Chris

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sat Apr 18 2009 - 21:45:42 CDT