Character Identity and Font Selection

From: Karl Pentzlin (
Date: Tue Jun 07 2011 - 05:34:56 CDT

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    If you want to use special Unicode characters e.g. for linguistic work
    (beyond common things like IPA), it is a fact that you need
    special fonts which contain these characters.
    Usually, you cannot expect to have them included in standard fonts
    like Arial or Times New Roman.

    However, a character, once selected, has to be displayed as the
    "correct" character in all situations as long as the used font contains it
    at all.
    Otherwise, the character has a "multiple identity", which indicates an
    erroneous unification of different abstract characters into a single
    Unicode point.
    Font selection is a selection for a stylistic or aesthetic preference,
    not a means to select a specific character.

    (This is a generally applicable answer to an issue raised during
    discussions at the ongoing SC2/WG2 meeting in Helsinki.)

    - Karl Pentzlin

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