Re: RE: Word, Asian characters, and Arial Unicode

From: Rick McGowan (
Date: Mon May 07 2001 - 12:54:57 EDT

Marco Cimarosti wrote:

> East Asian Width is a property that tells whether or not each Unicode
> character should have the same typographical width as a CJK ideograph. The
> property may be "yes", "no", or a few different kinds of "maybe".

Whoa, wait... Whether or not you care at all about the East Asian Width
depends on your context. It's perfectly acceptable to use many of those
things in classical studies, if your font supports them with reasonable
metrics that fit your context. Even Tech Report #11 says:

"The East Asian Width property provides a useful concept for
implementations that:
    * have to interwork with East Asian legacy character encodings
    * support both East Asian and Western typography and line layout
    * need to associate fonts with unmarked text runs containing East
Asian characters"

Furthermore, it goes on to say later:
    "in the context of interoperating with East Asian legacy character
    encodings and implementing East Asian typography..."

That's a recurrent theme.

Unless a character has "Full Width" or "Half Width" in its name, it's
generally fair game for having a width that is appropriate for the font in
which it occurs.

Now, Word2000 or some other product, or some specific set of fonts may not
be what a classicist wants, but that limitation is not because the width
of many characters are somehow CONSTRAINED by the East Asian Width


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