Re: Non-standard 8-bit fonts still in use

From: Oren Watson <>
Date: Mon, 2 May 2016 12:31:36 -0400

Hm... I don't think that simply search-replacing of ascii characters for
the characters the font uses them for will work, except on .txt files.
Microsoft Word documents, HTML files, and any other non-plaintext files
will almost certainly be corrupted by such a program, because the tags
might contain those letters. (in addition, unlike .docx files, .doc files
from windows xp contain binary data which could have arbitrary bytes.)

Probably in practical terms a good solution is to make a Microsoft Word
macro to do the replacement, and post instruction to copypaste it.

On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 3:34 AM, Martin J. Dürst <>

> Hello Don,
> I agree with Doug that creating a good keyboard layout is a good thing to
> do. Among the people on this list, you probably have the best contacts, and
> can help create some test layouts and see how people react.
> Also, creating fonts that have the necessary coverage but are encoded in
> Unicode may help, depending on how well the necessary characters are
> supported out of the box in the OS version in use on the ground (which may
> be quite old).
> Also, a conversion program will help. It shouldn't be too difficult,
> because as far as I understand, it's essentially just a few characters than
> need conversion, and it's 1 byte to multibyte. Even in a low level language
> such as C, that's just a few lines, and any of the students in my
> programming course could write that (they just wrote something similar as
> an exercise last week).
> On 2016/05/01 02:27, Don Osborn wrote:
>> Last October I posted about persistence of old modified/hacked 8-bit
>> fonts, with an example from Mali. This is a quick follow up, with
>> belated thanks to those who responded to that post on and off list, and
>> a set of examples from China and Nigeria. I conclude below with some
>> thoughts about what this says about dissemination of information about
>> Unicode.
> I'm not familiar with the actual situation on the ground, which may vary
> in each place, but in general, what will convince people is not theoretical
> information, but practical tools and examples about what works better with
> Unicode (e.g.: if you do it this way, it will show correctly in the Web
> browser on your new smart phone, or if you do it this way, even your
> relative in Europe can read it without installing a special font,...).
> Even in the developed world, where most people these days are using
> Unicode, most don't know what it is, and that's just fine, because it just
> works.
> Regards, Martin.
Received on Mon May 02 2016 - 11:32:36 CDT

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