From: William_J_G Overington <>
Date: Tue, 3 Jul 2012 08:10:48 +0100 (BST)

Brennan Smith <> wrote:
> My name is Brennan Smith and I am wondering how I can
> transfer my images or PNG icons to unicode?
> Any info will help.
> Thanks,
> Brennan
It depends quite what you are seeking to do.
Unicode has code numbers assigned to characters, one code number to each encoded character. The assignment process is controlled by committees. There are some codes that do not yet have a character assigned to them. People can apply to have a code number assigned to a new character: not all applications are successful.
However, there is also a facility known as the Private Use Areas. There are three Private Use Areas, one of them is much more useful than the other two in relation to many present day software packages.
Anyone can assign a code number from a Private Use Area to a character. That is very useful in some circumstances, yet the assignment is not unique, because anybody can use the same code number for something else.
However, the Private Use Area facility can be very helpful in some circumstances. For example, if someone is wanting to produce a pdf (portable document format) document and wants to have some extra characters available in a font.
It is important to know that encoding is of monochrome characters.
I have used the Private Use Area a lot. Such encoding is not as good as having a character encoded into regular Unicode by the committees, yet such encoding is very useful for some purposes and does have the advantage that encoding is as rapid as you want it to be. It is quite possible to devise a symbol, assign a Private Use Area code number to it, produce a font with the symbol assigned to that code number and have the font in use in much less than a day.
However, there are limitations to the usefulness of a Private Use Area encoding, particularly if one wants to exchange data using a Private Use Area encoding with other people, though such exchange is possible and useful with care.
There is some information about the Private Use Area in section 16.5 of the document at the following place.
One possibility is to make your own fonts using code numbers from the Private Use Area. Such a font can, if desired, also have characters from regular Unicode in the same font.
There is a friendly font forum at the following place.
I hope that this helps.
William Overington
3 July 2012
Received on Tue Jul 03 2012 - 02:14:18 CDT

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