The UnibookCharacter Browser

Version: 6.1.1 (build 260.2)
Revised: May 30, 2012


The UnibookCharacter Browser is a tool developed by ASMUS, Inc. to present information about the characters defined in the Unicode Standard and the International Standard ISO/IEC 10646. Using Unibook, you can print and search listings of character codes and names, as well as display and search a variety of information about Unicode characters and their properties. Unibook can be used to look up unknown characters copied from a document and to generate the Unicode value for any character for pasting into documents.

Unibook takes a simple text file containing a character name list, plus some font and formatting configuration files, and produces fully interactive versions of both code charts and character name tables. These code charts can be used interactively to look up information on particular characters or character properties, including tracking cross references to other characters. They can be printed in a format resembling the standard documents.

Unibook allows you to view the characters supported by any font installed on your system and to print cross mapping tables for several other character sets to the Unicode Standard, based on the mappings built into and provided by the operating system.

Unibook has been used to produce the printed and online code charts for The Unicode Standard since Version 3.0, as well as code charts for all editions of ISO/IEC 10646 since 2000. (For that work, a non-public collection of fonts is used, which may differ in some details from the fonts available on your system).

The program can also be used to prepare drafts and proposals for future additions to the Unicode and ISO standards. While there is no editing support in the program itself, all changes in content can be made to the input files using plain text editors. You can also change the formatting of the resulting charts and nameslist by changing the formatting parameters in the dialogs and save these format settings as files. Another useful feature for proposal editors is the ability to create lists of characters and load them into Unibook for proofing.

About this Version:

Unibook Version 6.1.1 is based on Version 6.1.0, which was used to print the code charts for Unicode Version 6.1.0. It supports the properties and characters defined for Unicode 6.1.0. In addition, it provides a number of new features, such as better support for users preparing character proposals as well as several new features for viewing Chinese Han ideographs (CJK).

Note: This version of the Unibook distribution does not contain character property data. Data are available at (see installation instructions).

1. Setting up and Running Unibook

1.1 System Requirements

Unibook requires Microsoft WindowsTM XP or later as well as a suitable collection of fonts to view the characters of interest. This version of Unibook has been tested on Windows XP, and to a lesser extent on later editions of Windows. Mac Users may run Unibook using Windows XP under Parallels.

1.2 Installation

Unibook will run best if all the supplied files are kept in the same directory.

  1. Download and Install character property data files as described in the next section.
  2. Download the Unibook Installation file.
  3. Run the intstallation file, Select the same folder for the installation as you used in step 1.
  4. The installer will run Unibook as the last step of the installation.
  5. Unibook will ask you to accept the licence and give you additional Installation Options.
  6. Initially, the program comes up in a built-in default view using the fonts selected in default.cfl.

During installation Unibook will give you the option to set up Unibook as the default program to handle the UPR and LST file types, and to install a shortcut to launch Unibook from the desktop. You may manually install additional shortcuts in the taskbar by right clicking the Start button in Windows, selecting Explore and copying the Unibook shortcut from the desktop to the desired location(s) in the Start Menu folder.

On Windows Vista or higher, you may replace the file Default.cfl by the file Vista.cfl to utilize the additional fonts present on those systems over Windows XP. Alternatively, from within Unibook, open the file Vista.cfl using the File / Open.. command followed by File / Save Project As... You can also edit these files in a text editor to add/remove fonts as described below.

1.3 Installing Character Property Data

Unibook requires the character names list data file as well as some of the character property data from the Unicode Character Data Base (UCD).

  1. Locate the version of the UCD you want to use
  2. Download the zip files and
  3. Extract these files into the Unibook folder on your system (for example C:\Program Files\ASMUS-inc\unibook)
  4. Install Unibook to that same folder, or go to Add/Remove Programs.. in the control panel and choose Repair for Unibook.
If you rename the file NamesList.txt to have the extension LST, as in NamesList.lst, you can open it in Unibook by double clicking on it.
Several of the Unihan files are needed to create a multi-column layout for the CJK Ideographs. These include Unihan_IRGSources.txt and Unichan_RadicalStrokeCounts.txt. All other files are used to view and show properties for Han ideographs. If you do not require this, you do not need to install those other data files. During Install, you will be given a choice to create a concatenated file, or you may manually concatenate these files. See Installation Options.

1.4 Configuring for additional fonts

By default, Unibook opens the files Default.fmt and Default.cfl. These are preconfigured to make use of some of the multilingual fonts available via recent versions of Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer or Microsoft Windows. Unibook will still run without these fonts installed, but Unibook may not be able to show as many Unicode characters as would be possible by using these fonts on your system. Usually, all you need to do to activate the use of these fonts is to install them on your system. The Default.cfl is also set up to work with two large shareware fonts, Code2000 and Everson Mono Unicode. If you have one or both of these fonts installed, they will be used to display any characters not already covered by other fonts. (See also Font Table and CJK Fonts)

If you have additional fonts from other sources, first make sure they are installed in the Windows fonts directory. You can then modify and load a Combined Font List (*.cfl) file and a corresponding formatting configuration (*.fmt) file. For information on how to edit the sample files provided see Section 3, The input Files and their Formats. When loading *.fmt and *.cfl files, the best sequence to follow is to:

  1. Open an optional Format Configuration (*.fmt).
  2. Open a Combined Font List (*.cfl) file to tell the program what fonts to use

The second step will cause a complete re-layout and re-pagination. Once the program is initialized with a particular set of *.cfl and *.fmt files, it will reload the same files upon startup until a different set of files have been opened manually.

1.3 Opening a different Character Names List

By default, Unibook opens the file NamesList.lst. You can use the File / Open... command to open a different character names list (*.lst) file. This will cause a complete re-layout and re-pagination. After loading the names list, you may adjust the settings in the View / Show As... dialog to view the information in one of five modes, or select the View/ Character Set... command to switch into character mapping view. Once the program configuration has been changed, it will always return to the last selected configuration upon startup. 

If you want to open the character nameslist file downloaded from the Unicode Character Database (NamesList.txt) it is best to rename the extension from "txt" to "lst" so Unibook can distinguish it from property data files. You can open a NamesList.txt file using the File / Open... command but, for example, you can only open a *.lst or *.upr, and not a *.txt file by double clicking on the file name.

1.4 Reporting Problems

If you should encounter problems, first see the section on troubleshooting at the end of this file. For ways to report problems or how to make suggestions, or to check on the availability of updates to the program or this file, please see

2 Basic Operations

2.1 Views and Navigation

You can use Unibook to view and print characters in the following ways, called views:

  Index View Index view
  Iso View ISO/IEC 10646 view
  Unicode View Unicode Book style view (charts, names, or both)
  Character Set Character set mapping view

To select a view, use one of these toolbar buttons, or use their corresponding dialogs via the View/Show As... command or the View/Characters... command. These dialogs offer additional customization of the view. (See also Viewing CJK Characters).

To navigate within a view use the ,,◄◄, or ►►toolbar buttons, or use the PgDn / PgUp, Home and End keys in combination with the Ctrl and Shift (see keyboard reference). The first page of some views will display a summary file statistics and the filename, or it may be a blank page. In these case, use the PgDn key to begin viewing the contents.

Use the Backspace key to return to a previously viewed page, or use the Go Back button. To navigate within each page, use the arrow keys or the scroll bars.

Any of the four basic views can be modified to display the results of highlighting a combination of properties:

  Next Property Highlight property or search result
  Prev Property Use alternate highlight

For example you can locate all Latin characters, by pressing F6 key or the Next Property button and selecting the "Script ID" property from the UCD Additional tab. In the list, click on the word "Latin" and press Enter. All Latin characters will become highlighted. Use the or toolbar buttons or the F7 or F8 keys to skip to the nearest page with a highlighted character, as described in Viewing Properties below.

2.2 Lookup and Search

To search for a character by any part of its name use Ctrl-F or the Goto/Find... command. All characters matching the search expression will be highlighted. To search for all characters that have "LATIN" in their name, type "latin" into the Find box and check the Character information tab. Use the or toolbar buttons or the F7 or F8 key to view the pages containing these characters.

To go to a specific character by Unicode code value, including UTF-8, use Ctrl-G or the Goto/Go to... command. You can also locate an unknown character by pasting it into the Goto/Go to... dialog. To locate a character by Unicode block, use Ctrl-B or the Goto/Block... command.

2.3 Inspecting Characters

In addition to the major views, Unibook provides several ways to inspect individual characters via small popup windows, which are accessed by clicking on a character image or 4-digit hex code in chart or name list view.

The screen shot shows a sample Character Entry popup in Index View. (To select index view, press the Index View toolbar button).

A character entry is all the information for a given character in the Unicode nameslist. By using the Ctrl or Shift key while clicking, other styles of character information can be displayed. For more details on the available information, see character popups in the command reference.

Character Popup

Clicking on a character code inside the popup brings up information about that character. Use this to look up more information about a cross reference, for example. Double clicking on any character code will jump to the associated charts or list page. To remove a popup, simply click elsewhere on the page or press the ESC key.

For a complete explanation of the special symbols used, and the meaning of each field, please see the description of the character code charts in The Unicode Standard.

Once a character is selected (that is, the popup is displayed), its character code can be copied to the clipboard using Ctrl + Ins or Ctrl + C, or its character name can be copied via Ctrl + Shift + C, or by using the right mouse button.

Character popups are also accessible in other views. On nameslist pages clicking on any part of a line that contains a character code (group of 4 hex digits) will access the character popup for the associated character. The type of character popup shown here requires that a character nameslist is loaded, for details on other views and popup types, see character popups in the command reference.

2.4 Viewing Character Properties

Unibook allows you to view all characters that share a given character property, for example various types of punctuation characters. Use the View / Properties.. command or the corresponding toolbar button, either Next Property or Prev Property, to select from several sources of character property information. Within each source, for example "UCD Properties", you can then select a property, for example, you can select the "General category" property and the value of the property, e.g. "Po - punctuation, other".

This highlights all characters that correspond to this value of the property. Use the F7 or F8 key, or their equivalent toolbar buttons, and , to quickly navigate through all the ranges of characters with that property value.

Viewing Properties

Use the second toolbar button to select another property to highlight for comparison, or use the Goto / Find... command to highlight all characters with a common part in their name or description, for example the word "Mark". Characters that share both properties, are highlighted with split colors. The screenshot shows the result of these example selections.

See the View / Properties... command reference for more information on advanced modes, such as loading external property files or creating unions, intersections and complements of properties.

2.5 Viewing CJK Characters

The characters for Japanese, Chinese and Korean, together, make up the largest part of the Unicode characters. With the View/Show As... dialog you can select whether you would like to view any or all of these large subsets, and whether to display the Chinese ideographs in multi-column format. Multi-column format shows the character code, radical glyph and an index in the form <radical>.<# of strokes> on the left. To the right are several columns showing an official source mapping number for each country, below a country-specific glyph. Glyphs will be visible as long as fonts are installed for them on your system and configured as described in CJK Fonts.

Multi-column Han Table

In the CJK Unified Ideographs block, as shown, the columns are arranged in the order: Mainland China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Hong Kong.  Source mappings and glyphs for Macao and those defined as Unicode-specific, are shown on a second line, where they exist. Other blocks use a more compressed format, which leaves no gaps for empty columns. The character popups will show the following information:

  1. Formal character name
  2. An English gloss, where available
  3. Chinese or Japanese readings, where available
  4. UTF-8 bytes to encode the character
  5. UTF-16 code units for non-BMP characters
  6. Radical stroke index
  7. Source mappings defined for the character.

Source mappings identify the character, but do not necessarily correspond to a code point in any specific local character set. The English gloss for any ideograph can be searched like any comment information for a character.

In multi-column format, the blocks for CJK compatibility ideographs provide the same information as those for unified ideographs plus decomposition mappings and annotations.

2.6 Viewing Fonts

Pressing the View Font button on the toolbar opens a dialog for selecting a single font. Use this to view all the characters covered by a specific font. In addition to using the toolbar, you may also select a font to view with Options / Font.. command or directly open a TrueType font file with File/ Open.. command. The latter is especially handy if you want to explore a font that you have not yet installed in the Windows Fonts folder.

If the font contains characters in the Private Use Area, make sure that "Index" is selected in the View/ Show As... dialog and that the checkmarks for "Private Use" or "All Blocks" are enabled. In the Character Display tab under Options/ Format... check the "Do not mark private use".

To quickly find all characters supported by a given font, select "Font Coverage" in the Goto / Find... dialog. Type in the exact font name and press OK. Now you can navigate all areas covered by the font using the F7 and F8 key. To get back where you were before viewing the font, click the A button again, or use the Options / Reset font.. command. This reloads the most recently loaded font configuration.

2.7 Registry and project files

Unibook always stores the latest values and settings for formatting options and loaded files in the registry. You can save a particular set of formatting options to a file via the Save or Save As.. commands, and restore them via the Open command, by opening the corresponding ".fmt" file. Once a fmt file has been loaded, the information is kept in the registry. If you edit a *.fmt file with a text editor outside Unibook, you must reload it manually via the File / Open command for the change to take effect. You can use the File / Exit and Discard command to bypass saving changes to the registry. You cannot save the name for a font file opened for viewing, nor changes made to the font table.

Manually clearing the registry key associated with Unibook restores the program to factory settings. See Returning to Factory Defaults in the section on troubleshooting at the end of this file.

2.8 Working with multiple configurations

Unibook always remembers the last settings and starts up with the same settings the next time it is started. However, whenever it is desired to work with multiple configurations, for example in order to inspect an older version of a nameslist, or switch between different formats, saving all the settings (including the location of the nameslist) in a project file can be very handy. Loading a Unibook Project file (*.upr) file, loads all necessary files and settings at once. Project files can also be opened at startup by placing their file name on the command line.

Project files contain a list of filenames for the various files for a given project, such as nameslist, formatting options file, font configuration file etc. If the contents of any of the files in a project are edited outside Unibook, the changes take effect whenever the project is reloaded. To save changes to a project file (i.e. after adding, or removing a file used in the project) use the File/Save Project As....command.
Individual files that can be changed by settings in the program can be saved individually: to save formatting options in the current format configuration (*.fmt) file, use the File/Save... command.

3 Command Reference

3.1 Keyboard

Key  Action
+ zoom in
- zoom out
= normal view
p zoom out to view full page
w zoom page margin to current window width
P zoom out to view full width of the page of paper
W zoom paper rectangle to current window width
PgUp go to the next page (does not scroll on the same page)
PgDn go to the previous page (does not scroll on the same page)
Ctrl + PgUp go to the next 'section' (next 16 pages in index view, next block otherwise)
Ctrl + PgDn go to the previous 'section' (previous 16 pages in index view, previous block otherwise)
Ctrl + Ins place the selected character code on the clipboard
Arrows scroll inside a page (up/down arrows will not scroll to a new page)
Ctrl + Home Jumps to first page
Ctrl + End Jumps to last page
Home go to the first page on the plane (skips empty pages in some views)
End go to the last page on the plane (skips empty pages in some views)
Ctrl + B go to a given Block
Ctrl + G  Go to
Ctrl + P Print
Ctrl + C Copy the selected* character on the clipboard (as Unicode character)
Shift + Ctrl + C Copy the selected* character name and hexadecimal U+ code number on the clipboard
Ctrl + S Save to current configuration file
Ctrl + O Open File
Back Space Return to last page viewed
ESC Clear open popup
F1 Open help file (this file)
F5 Show the View / Character set dialog
F6 Show View / Properties dialog for the primary highlight
Shift + F6 Show View / Properties dialog for the alternate highlight
F7 Jump to the preceding page with characters of the currently highlighted property or search result
F8 Jump to the next page with characters of the currently highlighted property or search result

  *) The selected character code is the one for which a popup is being displayed

3.2 Mouse

Clicking on Left Mouse Button Right Mouse Button
Any character image in a chart or close to any character code in the names Selects the character and displays more information about the character or its glyph. 

By using the Ctrl or Shift key when clicking the style of information presented can be selected:

  • Shift + click displays an enlarged character image
  • Ctrl + click displays the enlarged character image with glyph metrics information
  • Ctrl + Shift + click displays information about the font
  • Alt + click displays an excerpt of the character listing with additional information

To permanently select the default style of information shown as result of a mouse click use the Options/Character Popup... dialog, or click on the character with the right mouse button.

Using Ctrl + Ins or Ctrl + C after a character is selected places its character code on the clipboard

Double clicking on a character in the code charts will jump to the nameslist page for that character.

Double clicking on a character in the nameslist will jump to the code chart page for that character.

Context Menu

Select modes for viewing characters:

  • an enlarged character image
  • an enlarged character image with bounding box drawn in
  • the full character entry from the nameslist pages
  • the requested and actual font face used to render this character

Allows to copy the character code (Unicode value) or the character code plus name (in the U+XXXX CHARACTER NAME format) onto the clipboard.

Any character code in a popup Changes the selection to the character code and displays more information about it.

Double clicking will jump to the charts page for the character.

Select modes for viewing characters
Any other part of the page No action Presents a context menu of applicable operations

Scrolling with the mouse wheel is supported, but like all scrolling in Unibook is limited to within the currently active page. To switch pages, use the keyboard commands, the navigation controls on the toolbar or the Goto menu.

3.3 Toolbar

Window Title - The title area of the main window shows information such as the currently viewed block, the selected properties or character sets (in Index view only), or the % completed during loading of a nameslist.

Tool Bar

Toolbar - The Unibook toolbar gives access to some of the more frequently accessed commands. When hovering with the mouse over each button a short description of the button will pop up. The following list describes some of the buttons in more detail.

Buttons affecting views


Unicode View Format the code charts as presented in The Unicode Standard
Index View Format the code charts as a 16 × 16 grid
Iso View Format the code charts as presented in ISO/IEC10646:2003
Next Property Select a primary property to highlight. The button remains depressed until it is clicked a second time. When released, Unibook no longer highlights the primary property.
  There are three alternate highlight colors so up to four properties can be selected at one time.
Mark Unassigned If pressed, indicates unassigned code points with cross hatching.
View Font Select a single font for viewing. Unchecking the button returns to the loaded font configuration.
Character Set Show charts arranged according to one of many character sets. This button remains depressed until it is clicked a second time. When released, Unibook returns to showing Unicode, instead of a selected mapping to another character set.

Navigation buttons


Go Back Go Back to the previously visited page
F8 Skip to the next chart page with a highlighted property or search result (whether primary or alternate highlight).
Next Page Go to the next page.
Next Block or Section Go to the next block, or, in Index view, jump 16 pages.
Last Page Go to the end of the charts

Other buttons

The remaining buttons are for standard functions such as file open, save any, print and help.

3.4 Menu Commands



Selected Dialog Tabs

Page Setup Tab
Character Display Tab
Page Headers Tab
Nameslist Layout Tab


Open... A variety of files can be opened. The name of any opened file will be stored in the registry and, if possible, the file will be reloaded upon startup. The file also becomes part of the current project and can be saved to the project file with the Save Project As... command.
*.lst nameslist files (also *.txt)
*.fmt format files
*.cfl combined font list
*.txt highlight set
*.cmb list of combining marks
*.rtl list of combining marks that overhang to the right
*.ttf a font file for viewing
*.upr a project file
Save All Check the configuration, project and font table for changes and ask whether to save them to the registry as well as to the currently open *.fmt, *.upr and *.ftb files. This is automatically done on exit.
Save Options As... Save the format configuration into a specific *.fmt file.
Statistics... Show the number of entities parsed. This is most useful when editing the nameslist.
Project... Show all files that are currently loaded. File names shown with an asterisk have changed since the project file was loaded. Unibook will prompt you to save these file names to the project file on exiting. (For more information, see the note under File / Exit...)

Note: True Type font files (*.ttf) that are open for viewing will not be shown in the list.

For property data files that reside in the same directory  as the UnicodeData file only the base filename is shown. For most other files, as long as they reside in same folder as the Unibook Project file, only their base name is shown.

Project Dialog

Property data files are loaded by the View / Properties... command. If you use the Remove command on a property data file, for example, DerivedAge.txt you will be prompted for a new file name next time you try to view the property with the View / Properties... command. All other files you can override with the Add... command which works just like File / Open... Use the Reload File command to force Unibook to re-read a particular file. This is useful if you have made changes to a given file.

Note: Reloading a Unibook Project (*.upr) file will reload all other files, reverting to the original filenames (for starred entries).

Save Project As..... Save the current list of open files into a new project
Print all pages This setting affects the Print... command. If selected, all pages will be printed
Print even pages only This setting affects the Print... command. If selected, only even pages will be printed. Use this to make a double sided printout in two passes.
Print odd pages only This setting affects the Print... command. If selected, only odd pages will be printed. Use this to make a double sided printout in two passes.
Print... Print the document in the currently selected view. In the print dialog, you can specify a range of pages, all pages, or the current page (some versions of the Windows print dialog show this choice as 'selection').
Recent Files A list of recently opened files (up to nine).
Exit Terminate the program after saving the current configuration to the registry. If there are unsaved changes to the configuration or the project file, Unibook will prompt and ask whether these should be saved to their original files.

Note: if you click "No" on any of the file save reminder dialogs, the corresponding file will remain unchanged, but the registry will still be updated and Unibook will start up with the same settings it had when it was exited (which may differ from what is in the file on disk). However, if Unibook is started by double clicking on a project file (*.upr), the registry will be ignored, as Unibook reloads the project file and all files referenced therein.

Exit & Discard Exit the program but do not save anything to the registry


Show As... Selects between major views and enables optional content.

View/Show As.. dialog

Index - A compact 16x16 matrix format used by default when no nameslist is loaded. This is similar to the index style in the Unicode 1.0 book. A single page may contain multiple blocks. A few smaller blocks appear coalesced in this view and block names may be abbreviated. With the appropriate options selected, this view can be used to view any of the private use characters supported with the installed fonts.

Charts Only - Displays just the charts, one block per chart.

Names Only - Displays just the nameslist tables without intervening charts

Book Style - Interleaves charts and nameslist tables. Does not display the private use area unless a private nameslist is loaded that contains private names for private use characters. Does not display empty charts by default.

ISO Style - Creates framed nameslist tables with simple entries, i.e. without the extra annotation and cross reference lines present in a Unicode name entry.

Show In Index - These options are only available in index view. If all are checked, it is possible to print a complete index for all code locations in the standard up to 0x10FFFF. (See also the section on Viewing Fonts).

Show Large Scripts: Han, Hangul & Tangut - With any of these options disabled, the display of the corresponding charts is suppressed, except for Index View. (Note: Some of these blocks may still be undefined in the Unicode Standard at release time of this version of Unibook.)

Show Optional Content: Empty Charts - With this option disabled, chart pages that are empty because they cover an empty part of a block, or because of lack of font coverage, are suppressed. This also disables character information popups for the affected ranges. 

Show Optional Content: File Comments/ File Statistics - The NamesList.lst file may contain header information before the first block. Such headers or a summary of file statistics can be displayed on the first few pages by checking these options. Using these options will affect page numbering for all following pages, but page numbers are not shown on these optional pages.

Show Optional Content: Multicolumn Han - Not enabled in all views. If enabled, selects multi-column display for CJK charts.

Note: Switching views will reset the display to the starting page.

Character Set... Select another character set to view. Currently this works only with certain character sets installed into your copy of Windows, but usually that includes a number of the more interesting character sets by default.

Character Set

To see the UTF-8 bytes for any character, just click on that character to bring up the Character Entry popup. The same goes for the UTF-16 paired surrogate values for characters above U+FFFF.


Alternate Properties...

Properties 3...

Properties 4...

Select one or more character properties to highlight using the primary highlight color. You may select properties that are built into the Windows operating system, or load various external files (*.txt) from the Unicode Character Database or user defined files (External Property).

The alternate properties commands are identical, except that it uses one of the alternate highlight color. Use the alternate highlight colors to compare one property to another.

All characters matching the chosen property value will be shown by highlighting with the current highlight colors. Use the F8 toolbar button or the F7 and F8 keys to jump to the next page containing characters with the selected property. The color for highlighting can be selected; the new color applies for any future property selection. See section 3.4 on the file formats for external property files.

Selecting multiple lines in the listbox ORs the properties together, that is, all characters matching any of the selected values will be highlighted. There are additional ways to highlight a combination of properties, see Set Union and Set Intersection. Multiple lines are ORed before applying Set Union, Set Intersection or Set Complement.

Pressing the corresponding toolbar button, for example  Next Property or one of the three alternate highlight buttons will toggle between clearing the highlighting for the selected properties and invoking this dialog.

Select Character Properties

Windows - This tabs allows you to inspect three groups of properties built into Windows.

UCD Properties - Use this tab to select one of eight groups of properties from the Unicode Character Database (UCD) and associated files. For example, selecting, General Category and Letter, Uppercase will highlight all upper case letters. Selecting a property from this tab will open a local copy of the corresponding data file from the Unicode Character Database.

UCD Additional - Access a set of additional properties from the UCD. Some of these are collections of Boolean properties.

UCD Auxiliary - Access a set of auxiliary properties published by the Unicode Consortium.

External Property (user defined) - Highlight a single property defined by a list of characters loaded from a user-specified file using the format described in the section on Other Files. Instead of listing the properties, the list box lists the most recently viewed user-specified files. Files can be added to the list with the Open File.. button.

Set Complement - Use the set complement, in other words, highlight all characters that do not match the property value.

Set Union - Highlight all characters that match the current OR a previously selected property. Disabled if no other property is selected. Use Apply after selecting the first property and OK after selecting the property with which to union it. You can switch to a different tab, but do not close the dialog.

Set Intersection - Highlight all characters that match both the current AND a previously selected property. Disabled if no other property is selected. Use Apply after selecting the first property and OK after selecting the property with which to intersect it. You can switch to a different tab, but do not close the dialog.

Foreground color - Selects the text color to use for highlighting. Depending on how this command was invoked it affects the primary of secondary highlighting.

Background color - Selects the background color to use for highlighting.

Zoom In Enlarge the view by 25%. Display only. No zoom settings have any effect on printing.
Zoom Out Reduce the view by 25%.
Page Width Scale the view, so the width of the page margins fit the width of the window
Entire Page Scale the view, so an entire page margin fits the window
Paper Width Scale the view, so a page of paper fits the width of the window
Entire Paper Scale the view, so an entire page of paper fits the window
100% Normal view
200% Double size view
300% Triple size view
400% Quadruple size view
800% Enlarged eight times


Back Return to last page viewed
Page Navigate by page.
Section Navigate by section. In index view, a section is 4096 Unicode characters or 16 pages, in all other views a section is a block.
Property Navigate to next/previous page with a highlighted property
Find... Locate and highlight all character entries matching a given search string. Unibook always highlights all characters matching the search expression, and then opens the nearest page containing one of the characters found. You can use the or toolbar buttons or the F7 or F8 keys to navigate to the next or previous page containing a matching character.


You can search for characters based on their name, whether they are part of a given block or rang or are in a given font. Finally, you can search on any information in the character entry, such as comments, cross references and so on.

Find What - The text to search for. For example, as shown, the search would find all characters that contain the words LATIN, GREEK or CYRILLIC in their names.

A limited form of regular expression search is supported:

^ matches the beginning of a line
$ matches the end of a line
< matches the start of a word (a character following a space or tab)
> matches the end of a word
. matches any single character
* matches any number of the character preceding the *
\ escapes the special characters
| separates alternatives, for example {a|bb|c+}
{ starts a group
} ends a group
[ starts a character class, [abc] matches one of characters 'a', 'b', or 'c'
] ends a character class
^ inverts a character class, [^a] matches any single character but 'a'
- defines a range of characters: [abc] is the same as [a-c]
\u \u2018 matches the single right quote character, in a comment
\U same, but for UTF32

The information in the above list is displayed for reference when the Help button is pressed.

The | operator acts on all characters on either side of the search expression, unless enclosed in a group as in this example: {LATIN|CYRILLIC} .* LETTER A. This example will find both LATIN and CYRILLIC characters whose name contains LETTER A.

Character information - select this option to search character names or annotations.  This can be fine tuned further by the Find in Character Names Only and Ignore Comments and  Cross Refs options. If comments are ignored, then only aliases are searched along with the character name. The character code is always searched.

Ranges and blocks - select this option to search for groups of characters by the title of their closest enclosing subheader or block name. This is most useful in looking for groups of characters, such as 'stars'. This option matches  multiple headers for the same range. For example, in the Tamil block, the block name (Tamil) would match a search for that string, and a search for "various signs" would match the first character range because it is enclosed by its own subheader (Various signs). In the first case, the whole block would be selected, in the second case only the range spanned by the specific subheader.

Font coverage - select to locate all characters covered by a given font (the font must be part of the font definition file, or have been selected via the Options / Font command)

Highlight color - Use one of four highlight buttons, for example  Next Property , to select which of four separate sets, displayed in a separate colors are used to contain the search results. Results of up to four find operations can be viewed simultaneously, if they are displayed in different colors.

Options - limits the search to exact match, matching case, information in the character name only. If character name only is disabled, you can limit the search to matches in character names plus aliases. Look in Unihan definitions enables search for the English gloss of CJK ideographs.

After searching:

In index view the number of characters that were found to match the search is shown in the window title. If two sets are active, only the combined count is shown (subtracting any overlaps). To jump to the next page containing a search result, use the F8  toolbar button or the F8 key. The F7 key and its associated button can be used to jump the reverse direction.

To clear the highlighting use the corresponding toolbar button, for example Next Property.

NOTE: To locate a character by UTF-8 value, use the Go To / Go To... command (Ctrl + G).

Block... Select from a list of blocks to jump to. This list is taken from the block headers present in the NamesList.lst file. Blocks can be sorted by range or name for easier access.

Blocks by Range Blocks by Name

Go To... Select a character, page or plane to jump to. If character is selected Go To will jump to the names list page containing the character, and bring up a popup for the selected character. If plane is selected, Go To will jump to the first page of the given plane, and bring up a popup for the first character. If page is selected, Go To will jump to that page number.

Goto Dialog

When the style Auto Detect is selected, a character code can be given in one of these formats:

  • UTF-8 hexadecimal notation (e.g. E4 B8 80)
  • UTF-16 hexadecimal notation (e.g. 004A or D800 DC00)
  • UTF-32 hexadecimal notation (e.g. 10FFFF)
  • literal character (e.g. "両"), useful when pasting characters

The screenshot shows an example using UTF-8.

Auto detection ignores any extraneous data following a character code. In case auto detection of the format fails, or gives an unexpected result, select a specific format.


Font Overrides the current *.cfl file with a single font. This is useful to quickly inspect the contents of a given font. This feature supports TrueType and OpenType fonts that are Unicode-encoded. This command ignores any non-zero offsets in the ASCII offset field. Since the override is not remembered when the program exits, use a *.cfl file for permanent changes in font assignments. 

This command works best in Index view, see the View / Show As... command. To limit the display to only those pages containing characters supported by the font, use the font search feature of the Goto / Find... command.

To switch to another font collection, to view a *.ttf file not installed in the Windows fonts directory, use File / Open....

Reset Font Restores the previously loaded font configuration.
Format.. The format command provides access to these dialogs:
Page Setup set page margins, pagination and numbering options
Character Display select size and shading of character cells
Headers and Footers select content and placement of headers and footers
Nameslist Layout customize the look and feel of the nameslist

The *.fmt files provided with Unibook.exe will set up consistent sets of page setup values that are independent of the nameslist or output document. The items that are expected to vary from job to job are the initial table and page number. The chapter number is used only when "include in page number" is selected.

All format choices are retained in the Windows Registry upon program exit, but can also be saved explicitly.

Character Popup.. Select the format of the popup. Supported formats are
Large character  
  Large Character Image This format provides an enlarged view of the representative glyph for a given character code.

This can be useful when the glyph contains a lot of details, or when the zoom is set too small to view each individual glyph in a chart.

Use Ctrl+C to copy the character code to the clipboard for pasting into another application.

Note: the size of this popup changes in proportion to the zoom value selected.

Glyph Information  
  Glyph Information This popup provides an enlarged view of the representative glyph together with additional information placed on a background grid.

The black line is the baseline. The red box outlines the ink, or black box of the glyph. The blue rectangle extends this to the top and bottom of the character cell, while the green rectangle extends from the character origin to the advance width.

This popup also contains font information.

Note: the actual size of this popup on screen is independent of the zoom value selected.

Character Entry  
  Character Entry

This format provides the full entry for the character from the character names list. If this popup is displayed, use Ctrl-C to copy the character code. You can also use the right mouse button to copy the character code in U+XXXX notation together with the character name.

Note: this format requires that a character names list file has been loaded.

The types of information that appear in a character entry are described in Chapter 17, "Code Charts", of the Unicode Standard (PDF). Lines starting with "→" indicate characters referenced by the current entry while lines starting with "←" refer to characters entries that cross reference the current entry.

Note: By clicking on any character code displayed in a character entry (such as 028B) you can further navigate to that character's entry.

For each character, the UTF-8 hex values are also shown, and for characters where UTF-16 uses paired surrogates, these values are shown as well.

Font Information  
  Font Information/
  Use this format to view the requested and actual font face used to show the glyph, as well as the font size and offset. The example shows the font used for character 0017. The font in this example is the SpecialsUC4 font, which is used for visible representations of controls and which is shipped with Unibook. The font is used at size 22, with the glyph located in the private use area at E017.

Note: If the name on the left is ever different from the name on the right, the actual font (left) does not match the requested font (right), usually because of a missing font or a misspelled font name. In that case, install the missing font, or change its entry in the Combined Font List.


Bidi Demo... Runs the bidi sample code. The code executed is the sample code published with Unicode Standard Annex #9: Unicode Bidirectional Algorithm. This demo uses a pseudo-alphabet as input and displays several sets of internal values used by the algorithm. (Additions to the bidi algorithms post Unicode 6.0.0 have not been reflected).
LineBreak Demo... Runs the line break sample code. The code executed uses the pair table published with Unicode Standard Annex #14: Line Breaking Properties, using the sample driver functions published as sample code. This demo uses a pseudo-alphabet as input and displays several sets of internal values used by the algorithm.
Save Selected Characters... If you highlighted a property (or combination of properties), or loaded an external file, or created a search result, you can save a shorthand list of all character codes affected, by using this command. The result will be a plain-text file, formatted similar to the data files in the Unicode Character Database. You can read the saved file with the Open File... command on the External Property tab of the View / Properties.... dialog.
Print Block Print the current block.

Note: The current block is the last block selected with the Goto / Block... command. There's no visual indication of this selection.

Print All Blocks Prints all blocks (One block per file).

Note: This command always prints to file. Select a PostScript or PDF printer before using this and the next command.

Print highlighted blocks Same as previous, only prints blocks that have highlighted characters in them.


Info Gives a pointer to this file.
About... Brief information about the copyright, version number and the authors. Access to the legal license text.

3.5 Additional Dialogs and Dialog Tabs

Page Setup Tab

Page Setup

Note: The default settings are shown. The page size values can be varied, but the paper size values are fixed. To print on A4 paper, use a printer driver that can center an 8.5 × 11 print image on an A4 page. The default margins are narrow enough so that the resulting image fits on an A4 page.

Margins - sets the margins for character name tables in inches from the top left corner of the page. The character code charts use the same margin setting, but have a fixed height based on their cell size. They are placed so they rest on the bottom margin.

Note: for each cell size, the height of the margin rectangle is effectively constrained, or charts and text will not line up.

Use charts/list combination - print narrow charts that have only a single column of names on the same page as their names.

Page size - change the page size (Only a fixed page size is available, however, the default margin settings are adjusted such that printing to PDF, the output can be centered to either a A4 or US Letter size).

Character Display Tab

CHaractger Display

Notes on the "Characters" settings:

Mark unassigned codes - This draws a diagonal hatch in all unassigned character locations as well as in private use. Disable to view fonts that have glyphs in the private use area, or at as yet unassigned code points.

Show only valid characters - This blanks out any characters for which there are no entries in the nameslist. Disable to view fonts that have glyphs in the private use area or glyphs for characters of a later version of Unicode than the nameslist loaded by the program.

Blank characters not in font - Suppresses the 'default glyph' by the font.

Do not mark private use - don't mark private use area as unassigned - useful for viewing fonts that have glyphs for private use characters. Unlike Mark unassigned codes does not affect non-private use characters.

Proposal style view - replaces part of the character code with X or XX to indicate that code points are tentative. Useful when using Unibook to create proposed code tables.

Adjustable width - reduces the cell width for wide charts to fit 16 columns per page.

Notes on the "Special Characters" settings:

Reserved: the character code for the glyph used to show a reserved character

Not a character: code for the glyph for the not a character symbol

Dotted circle: code for the dotted circle glyph used to show combining characters

ASCII offset: This is needed since there are many characters (e.g. SPACE, NON-BREAKING SPACE and TAB) which are used both as non-printing characters and shown as special printing symbols. Using a non-zero offset and translating a font to the same offset allows the program to switch between these offset and non-offset codes to select between chart (offset) symbols and text (not-offset) characters. This value is ignored when using Unibook to view individual fonts (via Options/Font..) dialog.

Page Headers Tab

Format Page Headers

Margins - sets the header and footer margins in inches from the top left corner of the page

Auto L/R Headers - derive headers from the block and character range

Footer Text - options for formatting the footer

Note: The default settings are shown. The ## in the page number field is a place holder for the page number, "Page ##" would print the word "Page" in front of the page number. For the print date field, enclose any literal string in quotes, as in the example. Use d, M, and y singly, or repeated up to four times, to select different formats for day, month and year. These may be placed in any order.

Nameslist Layout Tab

Namelist Layout

The parameters in this tab affect the layout of various elements in the nameslist. Usually these need no modifications. For proposals or private nameslists, the number of columns can be set to a value larger than 2. This will conserve pages if all character entries consist of very short names.

Note: The default settings are shown. The indents and tabs work together in aligning the elements in a character entry, with the indents being relative to the second tab stop value. Some of the values are unused in the current version of Unibook and the corresponding input fields have been disabled.

Installation Options

These installation options are presented only when a new version of Unibook is run for the first time.

Installation options

Files - Checking these boxes allows you to double click on files with extensions *.upr and open them as Unicode project files, or on files with extension *.lst and open them as nameslist files. (Nameslist files that have the extension *.txt can only be opened using the File / Open... command.)

Shortcuts - Checking any boxes in this section creates the corresponding shortcuts for launching Unibook.

Unihan Database - The Unihan database has been split into a number of files, but Unibook requires that the whole database reside in a single file (by default called Unihan.txt). Checking the first button will make sure that Unibook creates a consolidated Unihan Database file. You may be asked to confirm the overwrite of any exisitng Unihan.txt file, as well as the location of the constituent files. The minimally required files inlude the IRG sources and the Radical Stroke Counts. These data are needed to dsiplay the multiple column CJK Idelograph tables. Adding the other information makes the file parsing slower, but allows you to display and search additional fields from the database.

You may manually concatenate any number of Unihan_*.txt files - they may occur in any order in the final file.

4 The Input Files and their Formats

You can create your own character charts. To create a character chart you must supply

a project file
a nameslist file
a formatting configuration file
a combined font list
a combining character layout file
several auxiliary files

These input files are described in more details below. Unibook can read files using little-endian UTF-16, marked with a byte order mark (BOM) or files using UTF-8 and marked with a UTF-8 encoded BOM. Absent such markers, most files using ASCII, ISO-Latin-1 or Windows code page 1252 will work fine. Nameslist files containing a special declaration in the first line, will be parsed as UTF-8 whether or not there is a UTF-8 encoded BOM. Nameslist files lacking any information they will be opened as Windows codepage 1252 (superset of ISO-Latin-1). Files from the Unihan Database will always be opened in UTF-8 format.

4.1 Unibook Project File (*.upr)

A project file is a list of filenames for a consistent set of files. Usually, when you first start a new installation of Unibook, it reads a file called Default.upr, which contains a list of all the other files. You can view the list of files with the File/Project... command. As you load files using the File/Open... commands, this list changes. The current list is kept in the registry, but you can save it to file with the File/Save Project As... command. Especially when working with multiple configurations it is really handy to have dedicated project files. These files can also be edited with a text editor.

4.2 Nameslist File (*.lst)

The names list is a plain text file that contains Unicode character codes, character names, cross references, block headers and many annotations. Normally there is no need to make any changes to this file. However, a detailed syntax description is provided in the Unicode Character Database and in an online documentation file. By following this syntax it is possible to create name lists for proposals for characters not yet encoded.

By default, Unibook loads the file NamesList.lst. Note that Unibook expects that the filename for the nameslist end in an extension ".lst" to distinguish the nameslist file from the data files for character properties. The most up-to-date version of this file always resides on If you want to upgrade to a more up-to-date copy, just save this file to your Unibook directory and rename it so the file name ends with ".lst".

Unibook will complain loudly and insistently if there are syntax errors in a character nameslist. The public beta versions of the nameslist sometimes contain such errors. Usually clicking 'ignore' will safely let Unibook continue (if you know how, you can always fix your copy of the nameslist using a plaintext editor).

If you make edits to the nameslist file, make sure to save it either in one of the supported encodings. These are either UTF-8 or little-ending UTF-16 with a leading Byte Order Mark (BOM), or unmarked UTF-8 with a charset declaration in the first line:

; charset=utf-8

Without either a BOM or a charset declaration, Unibook opens all nameslist files as if encoded in Windows code page 1252 (a superset of the ISO Latin-1 character set). This is independent of the system code page.

Up to and including Unicode, version 6.1, the published Nameslist.txt files are encoded in Windows code page 1252. From Unicode, Version 6.2 this switches to UTF-8 with charset declaration.

4.3 Formatting Configuration File (*.fmt)

A *.fmt file is a simple text file each line of which has the following form

key = value

where the values are either hexadecimal numbers or strings. Empty lines and lines starting with ; are ignored. The keys are defined by the program and correspond to entries made in the formatting dialogs. Once a configuration is loaded, or created by changing options in the program, its information is stored in the Windows registry and directly accessed from there. This file is normally not edited outside the program.

Any configuration can be saved to a new file at any time with the File/Save As... command.

4.4 Combined Font List (*.cfl)

No single font can cover all Unicode characters. Because of that, Unibook combines fonts at run-time. Internally it treats such a combined font as if it were a single font covering all characters. Therefore, Unibook behaves like a plain text formatter and does not use style markup to determine the fonts used for different ranges of characters; instead, it determines the font by character code using the information supplied in a combined font list.

A combined font list (*.cfl) file is a plain text file that list the fonts to be used for this combination. Unibook searches the list of fonts in order from top to bottom for each character until it finds a font that contains an glyph image for the given character. Unibook will complain about any font entry that is unused, because earlier fonts cover all the characters provided by that entry. Either change the order, or remove the entry by deletion or by commenting it out.

Because cfl files are plain text files, they can be edited in text editors, such as Notepad. Unibook accepts files both in an active Windows code page, or as little-endian, byte-order marked UTF-16. The latter is handy whenever font family names contain non-ASCII characters. (UTF-8 is not currently supported) The easiest way to create a CFL file that can capitalize on the fonts available on your system is to edit the Default.cfl file and save it under a different name. Note that Unibook complains about redundant (unused) entries in any CFL file, other than Default.cfl. Just remove or comment out any unused lines.

4.4.1 Entries in the *.cfl file

Each entry in a combined font list is a single line that describes the font with name, size and optional style attributes as well as with what character code-ranges they should or should not be used for. A minimal example would be

Arial Unicode MS,22

This entry would cause the Arial Unicode MS font to be used for every character, except those, for which Arial Unicode MS doesn't have a glyph, or those for which another, earlier font already had a glyph. The size in points is required. The value 22 is used by the Unicode code charts.

There are special parameters that can be used to limit the use of the font to specific character code ranges. If a character is outside the ranges set up for a font, Unibook continues to search. For example, the entry

     My Greek Font,22 /X=0000-10FFFF /I=0370-03FF

would enable My Greek Font for the Greek code range, but prevent it to be used for any other characters it might contain. The initial range /X=0000-10FFFF which is effectively an "exclude all" is optional. Unibook will supply it when it encounters an /I command without any preceding /X commands.

Sometimes it's useful to use a glyph from a font where it is not at the correct location, or perhaps treated as glyph for a private use character. Add a set of switches /Q ("quote at") and /R ("range") as in this example

    'Times New Roman',22 /Q=212B /R=00C5-00C5 

which uses the glyph for A with ring at location 00C5 for Angstrom at location 212B. The /Q command defines from which Unicode point forward the glyphs from the font should be used. The /R command defines the range of glyphs to be used (in this case just a single glyph). The parameters for the /R command give the location of the glyphs in the font; in many cases these may be in the private use area. Note that this style of font entry has an implied range restriction, in this example it would be /X=0000-10FFF /I=212B-212B.

4.4.2 Special issues

There are two special character code ranges used by Unibook. The characters in the range 0000-00FF are used only for the text of the character names and comments. They are not used for the character codes in the code charts. By default, the private use range F000-F0FF is used instead. For example, if the font for the text in character comments is supposed to be Myriad Pro Light, as was the case for the Unicode 5.0 book, while the Latin Characters in the code charts are supposed to be in 'Times New Roman', the font configuration list must have two entries such as

    Myriad Pro Light, 22 /I=0020-00FF           ; ASCII/Latin-1 characters in nameslist text
    'Times New Roman', 22 /Q=F020 /R=0020-00FF    ; ASCII/Latin-1 characters in code chart

plus a later entry

    'Times New Roman', 22

which covers the remaining Latin characters for the code charts (as well as Greek, Cyrillic and other characters provided by that font).

The other special range is used for printing the digits of code points in decompositions, comments and cross references. For example, if the use of Arial Narrow is desired for this (as is the case for the default setting) the font configuration list must contain this entry:

    Arial Narrow,20, /O=E200

Some fonts require a CHARSET specifier. The recognized values are:

  • ANSI
  • GB2312
  • MAC
  • OEM
  • THAI

If a font can be viewed with the Options / Font... command, but doesn't show up when added to a *.cfl file assume it's missing a charset and try a likely value from the list above.

For any font entry you can supply an optional style attribute, for example BI for bold italic. For example, you can "fake" a font for the math italics by these entries

    'Times New Roman', 22, I /Q=1D434 /R=0041-005A
    'Times New Roman', 22, I /Q=1D44E /R=0061-007A

4.4.3 Advanced features

These features exist to support production quality charts.

Some fonts have an unusually placed baseline. Using the baseline shift parameter, Unibook will shift the font up or down. Try the effect with small values (<10) and observe the effect.

Combining marks are displayed above a dotted circle. The Unicode character 25CC DOTTED CIRCLE is usually too large for this purpose, so a special (private use) code point can be selected in Unibook, see the Display Characters tab in the Options / Format.. command. Make sure that you supply an entry in the *.cfl file that covers this character code. (Default.cfl uses the specials.ttf font for that purpose).

Some fonts have their own dotted circle at a special location, which is designed to work best with the glyphs in that font. The /C command selects the character code to use for that font only.

Some fonts need a point size smaller than 22 or they will overrun the sides of the character cell in the code chart grid. When the font is scaled for the nameslist, the point size may be too small. As there is proportionally more room available in the nameslist, you can use the /M command to give a minimum size value for that font and select the value for good fit in the nameslist.

4.4.4 CJK Fonts

Fonts for Chinese ideographs for use in China, Japan, Korea and other countries use slightly different glyphs for the same ideograph, with somewhat systematic variation based on the typographic traditions of the particular country. Because there are more ideographs than the maximum number of glyphs allowed in the TrueType font format, multiple font files may be needed to show all the glyphs in used for a particular country. For the standard display, a single CJK Font style is defined by providing entries in the main Combined Font List. The multi-column Han format (see View/Show As...) shows each ideograph with the multiple glyphs for each country. For use with this format, a special *.cfl file is defined, which contains multiple sections. Each section defines the glyphs to be used in one of the columns. At startup, Unibook loads the file CJKDefault.cfl, which selects suitable fonts that are expected to be widely available.

You can modify this file in a text editor and save it to a different name. You can then modify your project file to refer to the same name and reload the project via the File/Open... command.

4.4.5 Syntax

The following summarizes the syntax for a font entry:

 <Facename>, <point size>{, <baselineshift>}{, <charset>}{, {B}{I}{U}} {<params>} {<switches>}


<Facename> name for a windows font, max 32 characters
<point size> positive decimal number in pt, 22 is the default
<baselineshift> signed decimal number, in points, positive shifts down, +-5 is a typical value
<charset> one of SYMBOL, ANSI, SHIFTJIS, etc from table above
<params> {/M=ddd }{/A=ddd} {/C=xxxx}
B I U single capital letter indicates bold, italic, underline respectively
<switches> {/S=xxxx | /O=xxxx} <limits>
{/Q=xxxx /R=<range>} <limits>
{/U=xxxx /E=xxxx} <limits>
<limits> {{/X=<range>}* | {/I=<range>}*}

(any combination of /X=<range> and /I=<range>)

<range> xxxx-xxxx
/S=xxxx first character code in font for a "chart font"
/O=xxxx offset to add to character to access glyph in font
/X=<range> exclude the following range, i.e. don't use this font for this range
/I=<range> include the following range, i.e. override any /X for this range
/Q=xxxx allows arbitrary selection of a <range> of glyphs /R=<range> from a font starting at character xxxx
/U=xxxx UTF-16 coded font (not offset), starting at xxxx
/E=xxxx gives ending code location for UTF-16 coded font
/M=ddd smallest effective point size, if the value is 0, this parameter is ignored
/A=ddd horizontal adjustment when laying out combining marks for chart glyphs, in points, positive adjusts to the right  
/C=xxxx use this glyph for base character (for this font)
{ } contents in braces are optional
 | alternative
 * 0 or more
<name> named subexpression
 , literal comma, may be followed by white space
 / literal slash
 = literal equals
ddd decimal number
xxxx 4-6 digit UPPER CASE Hex number

4.4.6 Additional notes, restrictions and requirements:

4.4.7 Font File Sections

Lines starting with $ contain a section identifier. Currently sections are supported for the combined font file for the multicolumn view for CJK ideographs. The supported section values are of the form "$GSOURCE", etc. including one value "$RADICAL" for the font used to display the image of the radical that is part of the radical-stroke information. (Compare the file CJKDefault.cfl.) Unrecognized section values are ignored, and information in such sections is skipped. Multiple instances of the same section identifier are permitted and continue a given section.

4.5 Font Table (*.ftb)

The combining font list defines the fonts used for all characters in the code charts. The fonts and font styles for all other text are defined in the Font Table. The font table is a simple file that shows which actual fonts correspond to a particular, internal, font identifier. Each line consists of the following pattern:

<font identifier> "=" <font description>

where the font description is a subset of the font description used in the combined font list. The font name that is part of this description can refer to an installed Windows font, or to the file name for a combined font. In the latter case it is expressed as

"*(" <filename> {"$" <section>} ")"

4.6 TrueType Font File (*.ttf)

In addition to viewing fonts already installed in the Windows font folder, you can use Unibook to load any TrueType or TrueType-based OpenType font contained in a file with the *.ttf extension. After loading the file, Unibook will open the Choose Font.. dialog, just as if you had used the Options / Font... command. However, the list of font will now contain the fonts from the font file that has been loaded. Loading additional fonts, unloads previously loaded fonts. All fonts are unloaded when Unibook exits. Font files for viewing are not part of the current project, and can't be saved.

4.7 Combining Character Layout File (*.cmb)

The combining character layout file determines whether a character is shown with a dotted circle and how it is positioned relative to the dotted circle. The first column of the file contains a character code or character code range using upper case hex numbers. The second column is optional. Where it occurs, it is separated by a semicolon from the first column and consists of one of the mark layout instructions from the following table. Whitespace around and between fields is ignored.

Mark Layout Instruction


FONTMETRICS 1 combining mark layout uses font metrics
CENTER 2 center ink on ink
LEFTOVERHANG 3 center mark ink on left shoulder of base
RIGHTOVERHANG 4 center mark ink on right shoulder of base
REORDRANT 5 display mark ink left of base with a fixed gap
RIGHTSPACING 6 display mark ink right of base with a fixed gap
LEFTKERN 7 1/4 of mark ink will overlap the base, otherwise like reordrant
RIGHTKERN 8 1/4 of mark ink will overlap the base, otherwise like spacing
CENTERLEFT 9 right edge of mark ink is centered on base ink
CENTERRIGHT A left edge of mark ink is centered on base ink
CENTERLEFTKERN B right edge of ink is positioned 1/4 right of base ink center
CENTERRIGHTKERN C left edge of ink is positioned 1/4 left of base ink center
OFFCENTERLEFT D like CENTER, but mark is nudged left 1/4 of base width
OFFCENTERRIGHT E like CENTER, but mark is nudged right 1/4 of base width

The following illustrates the mark placement in the order of the entries for the table above. The index numbers in the table refer to the illustration below and have no other meaning. Case 1 illustrates the placement based on font metrics - in this case, the glyph is a spacing glyph in the font. In all other cases, the font metrics are completely ignored except that the vertical placement is as determined by the font.

mark positioning

Cases 9 and D and cases A and E happen to look nearly the same with the sample mark, because the mark is nearly 1/2 the width of the base. The difference is that in the former cases one of the edges of the mark is aligned at the center of the dotted circle and in the latter cases, the center of the mark is aligned at two different points which are 1/2 the width of the base apart. For very wide or very narrow marks, these layout options will produce different results. In particular, no part of a mark will cross the center of the base in cases 9 and A, no matter how wide the mark, and conversely, for a narrow mark, the edge of the mark will not reach the center in cases D and E.

To enable the use of Mark Layout Instructions the file must use the format and commenting conventions for a UCD property data file, where '#' is the comment character and ';' is the field separator. Unlike a UCD property data file, the second column in a cmb file is optional; it may be entirely absent, or present on some lines only. A missing field is equivalent to a field with the FONTMETRICS instruction. The file should have an explicit default declaration of the form

# @missing: 0000..10FFFF; FONTMETRICS

somewhere in the comment section in the file header.

Older style combining character layout files use ';' as the comment character and have no recognized field separators. For these older files, only the first column (containing a character code or code range) is interpreted and used to determine whether a combining mark is to be shown with a dotted circle. The old format for cmb files matches that described under Other Files.

4.8. Other Files (*.txt, *.rtl)

All other files are simple lists of character codes, or character code ranges, one code or one range per line. Comments are allowed, and all text following the code on the line is ignored. Character codes must be 4-6 hex digits long and may not use lower case.


; this is an example comment
10AB	;this text gets ignored

The meaning of the file depends on the extension or on the command used to open it.

A *.rtl file is used to list all the combining characters that overhang to the right instead of to the left. Whether or not this information is needed depends on your fonts.

A *.txt file can be used to list all the characters that should be highlighted, via the View / Properties command. This is very useful for quickly verifying lists of characters. Transfer the list into the format given above and load it with the View / Properties / External Property command, select the highlight colors, and you can view the list by paging through the list of characters, easily spotting missing or extra characters in your file.

The Unicode Character Database and Additional Properties Tab load specific files from the Unicode Character Database, such as UnicodeData.txt. These files have a multi-column format requiring additional parsing support. This support is not enabled if these files are loaded using the External Properties tab. In the latter case, all Unibook reads is the first column, which usually contains the list of which character codes have a property value assignment in the file, but not what that assignment is. However, coverage information can be useful by itself. For example, using an external tool like grep allows to extract only those lines in a file that contain certain property values, and those lines can then be viewed in Unibook.

5. Troubleshooting

The following sections contain some brief troubleshooting tips.

5.1 Won't Run

5.1.1 Program won't run

Unibook 5.0 and later have only been tested on Windows XP and may not work in earlier versions of Windows. Some testing on Windows Vista and pre-release versions of Windows 7 has been done for version 5.2.0 of Unibook. Unibook 5.1.0 has been used on Windows 2000 and Wine(Linux) - BMP characters only, but so far, it is not known whether 5.2.0 or later run on these platforms as well. Unibook 6.1.1 has been tested on XP and Windows 7.

To verify that Unibook uses the correct set of files, try starting Unibook.exe manually as follows "Unibook Default.upr".

For standard installations, it is recommended to keep all files together and to start Unibook from within its directory.

5.1.2 Won't run after an update

Before trying anything else, go to the Windows control panel section for adding programs and select Repair for the Unibook installation. If this option is not available, you can run Unibook with the /Install parameter from the Windows desktop Start / Run... command or the command line. The second option requires that all the original files from the Unibook installation are still in the Unibook folder.

If these steps fail, you can try to manually clear out the registry from a previous version. On the desktop click on Start / Run... In the edit field type REGEDIT or REGEDT32. Click OK. In the Registry editor go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER / Software. Select ASMUS-Inc then select Unibook. Delete this key, then start Unibook. (This allows Unibook to start with a clean slate).

Editing the Windows registry can cause Windows to malfunction. Be sure only to edit the parts of the registry specific to Unibook.

Before deleting the registry key, consider exporting a copy of it with the File / Export command in RegEdit. If you forward a copy of the exported *.reg file to, it would aid in providing an eventual fix for this problem.

5.1.3 Pages appear to be missing

This is caused by the program detecting that there are no glyphs in the font for the given chart. Try repaginating using the step in 5.1.1 and make sure to set the ASCII offset field to the correct value. In addition, the Index view can be set to show empty pages. See the View/Show As... command.

5.1.4 Navigation with F7/F8 does not work

Make sure the highlighting is enabled. If necessary, click on the Property icon. If highlighting is enabled, but there are missing pages due to limitations in the font, navigation via F7/F8 may not work correctly. Select View/Show As... and select Index View and make sure Show Empty pages is selected.

5.1.5 Highlighting properties or search terms isn't working

Make sure that your foreground and background colors for highlighting are not inadvertently set to black on white.

If a property applies to Surrogate Code points, Private Use code points, noncharacters or unassigned characters (including those labeled <reserved> in the code charts), Unibook cannot show a highlight for these ranges. F7 and F8 may still jump to the page, but no cells will be colored with the highlight color. By default, Unibook displays hatched cells for private use characters. If Do not mark private use is checked on the Character Display tab in the Options/Format... dialog, then the hatching is disabled and Unibook can highlight properties for private use characters.

5.1.6 Unibook complains about a missing printer

When laying out the document, Unibook references the default printer installed on your system. If the printer is not available or not configured correctly, Unibook will base the layout on the current screen device. You will be able to use Unibook normally on-screen, but not be able to print. However, in some instances, printer drivers have been known to fail when queried about their availability. In such a case, you may need to define a different default printer before being able to use Unibook.

5.2 Displaying Characters

5.2.1 Blank cells

If cells appear blank, make sure the Mark Unassigned button is pressed. If this doesn't fix the problem. your selected fonts do not cover the scripts or character ranges you are viewing. If the only blank cells are for characters between 0000 and 00FF, the setting of the ASCII offset in the Options/ Format/ Character Display tab does not match your font or combined font list. In that case only, try setting this value to zero or F000. (See also Special Issues in 3.2 Combining Font List (*.cfl))

If Ctrl+Shift+click on the character shows <default>, your combining font list (*.cfl) file does not contain a font definition for the character, or you have temporarily selected a font with the View Font button that does not cover the character.

5.2.2 Glyphs are too large to fit into the cell

Duplicate the entry for the font in the CFL file, exclude the glyph range in question on the first entry using the /X switch, and select a smaller font size on the second entry.

5.2.3 Combining marks don't overlay right

If your font already contains the little dotted circle, remove the character entry from the *.cmb file. If your font requires a RTL convention for combining marks preceding the base character, add an entry to the *.rtl file (the same entity must also be entered in the *.cmb file).

5.2.4 Seeing boxes instead of dotted circles

You can set the character code used for showing the dotted circle in Options/ Format/ Character Display. A single value is used for the whole file. Select a value that matches a dotted circle character in one of the fonts loaded. Character U+25CC DOTTED CIRCLE is used by many fonts for this purpose, even though, the size and position of the character relative to its baseline is different from the glyph used to indicate combining characters in the code charts. There is a dotted circle character at E000 in Specials.ttf that matches the glyph used in the code charts. When using default.cfl, the offset to use is E000.

If you are viewing a single font, that font may not have a dotted circle glyph available.

5.2.6 Not seeing dotted circles characters for some combining characters

You must load a *.cmb file to tell Unibook which characters are combining and should be imaged with a dotted circle. To create such a file, press Next Property and select "General Category" from the UCD properties tab. In the listbox select the lines with Mn, Mc, Me and press OK. Then select Tools / Save Selected Characters.. to save the list. Rename this file so that is has a *.cmb extension, delete the line for U+034F COMBINING GRAPHEME JOINER (because the Specials.ttf font has the dotted circle already built-in for that glyph) and finally open the file via File / Open.. .

5.2.7 Seeing multiple dotted circles

Unibook adds dotted circles on the fly in order to display combining marks. If you are using a special purpose font that is intended for code chart viewing, as opposed to real text usage, it may have dotted circles built in. In this case, just remove the corresponding entries in your *.cmb file (If the File/Project.. command doesn't show a *.cmb file loaded, Unibook is using information from the operating system or from the Unicode property files, and you need to provide an explicit *.cmb file instead to enable this override).

5.2.8 Seeing Wingdings instead of characters

Most likely one of the fonts contained in the *.cfl file is not installed on your system. Fonts used with the /S command, or with a SYMBOL setting for the charset field will be opened as symbol fonts. If no matching font is installed on your system, Wingdings (or some other Symbol font on your system) will be used instead by Windows. Ctrl+Shift+click on the affected character to identify the missing font (the required font is on the right side of the "=" sign).

5.2.9 Use of /O vs. /S in the combined font list

Both the /O and the /S command implement offsetting for a range of 128 characters. Use the /O for non-symbol fonts, and the /S for symbol fonts. Use the /Q switch to access a range of characters in a non-symbol font, transposed by some amount.

5.2.10 Error message "3,1 Subtable not found"

This is usually caused by a font with an unusual internal cmap table format. Try using the font with an entry in the *.cfl file that uses the /S command.

5.2.11 Clusters of 4 boxes in the character name list

Add a one line statement like this to the top of your *.cfl file:
Arial Narrow,22, /O=E200

5.2.12 Error messages when reading *.cfl files

Unibook checks each *.cfl file for consistency and redundant entries. The file Default.cfl is an exception, since it must contain the names of many fonts that may not be available on some machines. If you rename the Default.cfl file, Unibook will loudly complain about any redundant entries (fonts that are listed but not used). Just remove or comment out these entries to get rid of the warnings.

5.2.13 Supplementary character problems

Unibook fully supports supplementary characters (non-BMP characters that with code points beyond U+FFFF). If you have trouble displaying supplementary characters, even though you are using a font that has glyphs for these characters, add the following setting to your registry. 

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\LanguagePack]

This setting enables Windows 2000 and later to use the internal Uniscribe module to display supplementary characters. If you have installed any of the language packs that cause Uniscribe to be loaded, the install should have made the appropriate changes already and you should not need to apply this setting manually. (Recent versions of Unibook attempt to set this registry value if missing, but this may not always succeed.)

Using the /Q command in a *.cfl file, you can also use a font with e.g. private use area assignment of glyphs for supplementary characters to image these at the correct location in the code charts. To show a glyph for the character at 1D400 from a font where it is located at E000, follow this example:

Font Name,22 /Q=1D400 /R=E000-E000

Fonts with complex script support that also contain characters in the supplementary planes need to be listed multiple times in the *.cfl file otherwise Unibook's attempt at disabling the complex script support for the code chart glyphs also disables the support for supplementary characters.

Font Name,22 /X=10000-10FFFF ; for BMP characters
Font Name,22 /X=0000-FFFF  ; for supplementary characters

Alternatively, the /I (include) command can be used instead of the /X (exclude) command, but the ranges are reversed in that case:

Font Name,22 /I=0000-FFFF  ; for BMP characters
Font Name,22 /I=10000-10FFFF ; for supplementary characters

If you are using a /Q command, make sure that the range specified with /R does not cross a plane boundary.

5.3 Installing Additional Fonts

5.3.1 How to install multilingual fonts for Microsoft Office, or Microsoft Windows

The website is regularly updated with instructions on how to install additional fonts for Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows.

5.3.2 How to install Everson Mono Unicode

Everson Mono Unicode is a large monospaced font created by Michael Everson of Everson Typography. It is distributed as shareware. See for details. After downloading the font and extracting the TTF file into a folder on your disk, open the Windows fonts folder with the Start/Control Panel/Fonts command. From the menu, select Install... and in the Install dialog select your folder and double click on Everson Mono Unicode when it appears in the window.

5.3.3 How to install Code2000

Code2000 is a large proportionally spaced font created by James Kass It is distributed as shareware. See for details. After downloading the font and extracting the TTF file into a folder on your disk, open the Windows fonts folder with the Start/Control Panel/Fonts command. From the menu, select Install... and in the Install dialog select your folder and double click on Code2000 when it appears in the window.

There have been indications that some accounts asscociated with the creator of this font have been hacked. The font may no longer be avaialable from the source or the site may contain malware. Use appropriate caution.

5.3.4 Designating a large font as a default or last resort font

If you want a large font, such as Arial Unicode MS, Code2000, or Everson Mono Unicode to be your default font, edit the Default.cfl file to move the line containing it near the beginning, but after the entries for the special characters. That way, it will always be used for any character it supports. If instead you want the font to be your font of last resort, move it to the end of the file; that way, it will be used anytime no other font has a glyph for a given character.

You should rename the file after you have edited it. It will then complain about unused entries. Comment these out and reload the file.

5.4 Files

5.4.1 The last character or line in a file is ignored

Add an empty line. Unibook generally requires files to have a terminal line feed.

5.4.2 Unicode in files

Unibook can read Unicode-encoded plain text files, as long as they are prefixed with a BOM (U+FEFF) and are in little-endian byte order. This is useful for creating *.cfl files that use fonts which only have localized names. Using little-endian UTF-16 for name lists works, but characters outside the range 0000..00FF will usually be in a different font from the remaining text. UTF-8 is not supported.

5.4.3 Error messages when reading the nameslist (*.lst) files

These should happen only when opening nameslists that have been edited by the user, occasionally for beta versions of this file. Usually, simply hitting ignore will be sufficient to allow the file to open. For a permanent fix, edit the offending line(s) in the file to fix the errors. (See the section describing the Nameslist File.) Unibook maintains an internal database of "known issues" with prior public versions of the official Unicode nameslist files, some of which contain minor syntax errors. If one of those files is detected, any known errors for that file are ignored permanently.

5.4.4 Can't open files by double clicking

Unibook sets the necessary registry keys to inform the Windows Shell that it can handle the *.lst and *.upr file types and installs itself as the default handler for these file types during installation (at the time you accept the Unibook license). If another program has modified the shell, you can right click on a file name in the shell and use the Open With... command to override the settings. However, that sometimes fails to 'stick'. In that case, you can force re-installation by restarting Unibook after deleting just the Registration subkey under Unibook in the registry. Do so by appropriately modifying the steps in 5.1.2. Note, re-installation loads the Default.upr file, which restores many settings to their default value.

5.5 Other Tips

5.5.1 Forcing repagination

Simply select Options/Format/Nameslist Layout and click OK. This will force a re-layout, even when no changes were made. Changing a setting in the View / Show As dialog, or opening the *.lst file via File/Open.. will also cause a re-layout.

5.5.2 Return to factory defaults

Follow the steps in 5.1.2. This resets all stored user information and configurations. The next time the program starts, you will be asked to sign in again.

5.5.3 Reloading a file

Use the list of recent files in the File menu to reload a project, nameslist, font configuration or format file. If the list is empty, try opening the file default.upr with the File/ Open.. command.

5.5.4 ISO or Unicode margins and tabs look odd

Both the Unicode and the ISO format need specific margin and tab settings to look good. While it is possible to switch between the views with a button, the margins and tab setting remain. The default.fmt that comes with Unibook uses a set of margins and tabs that give somewhat acceptable results for both, but do not match the actual margin or tab settings for either publication. If you create margin and tab settings that are specific to either view, save your preferred settings into one or more *.fmt files with the File/Save As.. command and load these files to switch views.

5.5.5 Viewing the private use area

Unibook normally suppresses all unassigned blocks or private use areas. By default, it also suppresses the display of any character code not defined in the nameslist. See the section on viewing fonts for instructions on how to view fonts with characters in the private use area.