Exporting diacritics

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nicka
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Post by nicka » Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:49 am

Is there a solution for this?
You could persuade them to upgrade...

But it might be worth a bit more investigation. Word 97 on PCs apparently does have Unicode support. http://www.alanwood.net/unicode/utiliti ... tml#word97
So it could be a font problem.

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Post by Tom Gewecke » Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:12 pm

jannuss wrote:Lucida Grande & Times New Roman do not behave like OpenType fonts. For example, the placement of vowel marks in Hebrew is not correct.
Unicode isn't really relevant to the placement of Hebrew vowel marks. This is determined by the additional typographical features which a font may contain. In Mellel, a font needs the right OpenType Layout Tables. Lucida Grande does not have these, but instead has AAT rules, an alternative technology for typographic features used by Apple's own apps, like TextEdit. Times New Roman probably has neither technology.

Fontbook doesn't talk about encodings because OS X uses Unicode just about everywhere. I don't know whether or not it would be possible for Fontbook to extract detailed info from a font about the scripts for which it has OpenType Layout or AAT rule support.

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IN RE text encoding versus font format.

Post by nvalvo » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:48 am

Executive Summary:

Unicode is opposed to Western (ISO Latin 1), Arabic (ISO-8859-6), etc. These are text encoding languages. In Safari, Edit > Text Encodings will display a list of these.

OpenType is neither PostScript nor TrueType. These are Font formats, or page description languages.

Unicode is a style of text encoding. It's a kind of universal alphabet. To get a sense of what that means, try the following (it's fun!). From Mellel, go into Edit > Special Characters. In the character palette, select View: Code Tables from the dropdown menu at the top.

Click around. As you scroll through all the, say, Cherokee glyphs, you can see in on the left the numbers 000013A0, sometimes represented 0x13A0 (in decimal numbers, that represents 5024). Cherokee fills six rows of 16 glyphs in the Unicode table, 0x13A0 through 0x13F0. The Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics start on the next row 0x1400

Basically, Unicode-8 applies an eight digit hexadecimal number (numbers represented not with the ten digits 0-9, but the sixteen "digits" 0123456789ABCDEF) to each glyph used in any human writing system. Since there are 4,294,967,296 eight digit hexadecimal numbers, that's more than enough.

When someone says "Unicode font," it's not really a font format they're talking about. It's simply a font (of any format) that contains glyphs for many or (rarely) all of those different languages. Several of the fonts that ship with OS X are in this category. Lucida Grande is one. It is, as you can imagine, quite an undertaking to put one of these together.

TrueType, the older PostScript, and the newer OpenType are font formats, or more properly "Page Description" languages used to communicate with printers. PostScript, designed by Apple and Adobe in the 80s, pretty much got desktop publishing started as a thing, and is still used by many laser printers and the odd artisanal type foundry. There are three "types" of PostScript fonts, type 1, type 2, and well, type 3, but I don't know the difference off the top of my head. If you want, you can make a PostScript page description file under the PDF button-menu thing in Tiger's standard print dialog box. UNIX users sometimes use PostScript files the way normal people use PDFs (needless jab).

TrueType is a codevelopment of Microsoft and Apple, from the mid-90s, I think, and it modernized PostScript for new kinds of printers, but didn't really improve it typographically speaking. Actually because TrueType allows all kinds of crazy transformations to type (fake small caps, fake bold), the kind of thing people did a lot of on the web in the 90s, type purists regard it with (justifiable) suspicion.

OpenType is the new one, the digital type world's attempt to be everything to everybody. It has a whole slew of features, and a full featured OpenType font in a full featured OpenType application (pretty much only Adobe InDesign) can do amazing things. Beyond the features Mellel makes available, some of the fonts have alternate glyphs for certain letters and numbers. Check this out (Adobe's site).

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Re: IN RE text encoding versus font format.

Post by jannuss » Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:11 am

nvalvo wrote:Executive Summary:
...
[/url]
Great, that does help to make things clearer, but FontBook goes and muddies the water again.

Here's what I get using cmd-i in FontBook:

Lucida Grande -- TrueType
[OK, I now understand that includes many characters on the Unicode table]
Cardo -- TrueType
[but Cardo homepage describes it as "a large Unicode font" which "provides OpenType tables"]
Ezra SIL -- TrueType
[SIL International identifies the font as both OpenType and Unicode]

And more interesting are these
Oregon LDO & Waukegan LDO-- OpenType Post Script
Worstveld Sling-- OpenType Post Script
Wytherness -- OpenType Post Script

My problem is that outside the issue of Hebrew vowel placement [Cardo & Ezra do it correctly, Lucida Grande does not], I see no difference in the behavior of these fonts.
None of them appear to respond to to the options available under Opentype in the character appearance palette of Mellel.

So, either I still don't truly understand [highly likely] or something more is needed to get these "OpenType" fonts to behave like OpenType.

Janet

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Re: IN RE text encoding versus font format.

Post by Tom Gewecke » Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:39 am

jannuss wrote:None of them appear to respond to to the options available under Opentype in the character appearance palette of Mellel.

So, either I still don't truly understand [highly likely] or something more is needed to get these "OpenType" fonts to behave like OpenType.
Unless a font contains the OpenType layout tables required for the specific behavior you want, it just will not happen, regardless of the options available in Mellel menus. And a font being called "OpenType" does not say anything about the layout tables it contains. To find the latter info, you might need to go to the source for the font and if not stated there, ask the author.

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Re: IN RE text encoding versus font format.

Post by Tom Gewecke » Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:45 am

nvalvo wrote: Basically, Unicode-8 applies an eight digit hexadecimal number (numbers represented not with the ten digits 0-9, but the sixteen "digits" 0123456789ABCDEF) to each glyph used in any human writing system.

When someone says "Unicode font," it's not really a font format they're talking about. It's simply a font (of any format) that contains glyphs for many or (rarely) all of those different languages.
This info is erroneous.

"Unicode-8" actually doesn't mean anything, except perhaps as a shorthand for Unicode UTF-8. UTF-8 is one means for encoding text which uses from 1 to 4 bytes per character. For more details see

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UTF-8

A font being Unicode says nothing at all about the languages it covers. It simply means that whatever characters are contained in the font are put at the codepoints specified by the Uncode Standard.

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Post by nicka » Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:48 am

Nvalvo has said it all, almost, and very well explained, too.

One minor point:
It has a whole slew of features, and a full featured OpenType font in a full featured OpenType application (pretty much only Adobe InDesign) can do amazing things. Beyond the features Mellel makes available, some of the fonts have alternate glyphs for certain letters and numbers.
You can get at alternate glyphs in an AAT or OpenType font in applications that use the built-in text engine, since OS X 10.3. If you want to play, open TextEdit, hit Apple-t for the font palette and choose an OpenType font or an AAT one like Zapfino. Expand the palette until you see a gear icon at the bottom. Click on the gear, then in the drop-down choose 'Typography...'.
That should bring up a new palette with options similar to the OpenType options in Mellel -- small caps, lining and old-style figures and so on. (What you see depends on what the font supports.) But there are some features beyond what Mellel offers, notably slashed zeros and -- if they exist and you have a character selected -- alternate glyphs selected manually (via yet another dropdown). There are lots in Zapfino, for example.
Last bit of experimentation: still in TextEdit, open the system-wide character palette (from the menubar script-selection dropdown, as usual). At the top there's a dropdown labelled 'View'. Click it and choose 'Glyph'. Now choose an AAT or OpenType font in the font menu. Now you have access to all the symbols in that font, including ones that you can't get at otherwise.

It would be nice to have support for manually chosen alternate glyphs and the glyph section of the character palette in Mellel (for OpenType fonts), one of these days.

By the way, while you are playing with TextEdit and Zapfino, try typing in the word 'Zapfino' in the font Zapfino and watch as you add each letter. At the end, the whole word is one big ligature.
Last edited by nicka on Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by nicka » Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:57 am

Unless a font contains the OpenType layout tables required for the specific behavior you want, it just will not happen, regardless of the options available in Mellel menus.
Indeed. It would be good if the options which are unavailable were greyed out in the OpenType dropdown menu in Mellel.
Cardo -- TrueType
[but Cardo homepage describes it as "a large Unicode font" which "provides OpenType tables"]
Cardo is OpenType but 'TrueType flavoured', believe it or not. (OpenType fonts can be 'TrueType flavoured' or 'PostScript flavoured'. I don't know when it makes any practical difference.) Hence the file extension .ttf. Anyway, that is neither here nor there. Cardo is an OpenType font and has some OpenType typographical features, including small caps and proportional and lining numbers.

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Post by Tom Gewecke » Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:10 pm

nicka wrote:You can get at alternate glyphs in an AAT or OpenType font in applications that use the built-in text engine, since OS X 10.3.
OS X did not offer support for any OpenType layout tables until 10.4, and unfortunately this still does not include those used for non-Latin scripts as far as I know. Only AAT fonts work for Arabic, Hebrew vowels, Devanagari, Tamil, Tibetan stacks, etc.

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Post by nicka » Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:54 pm

OS X did not offer support for any OpenType layout tables until 10.4
Thanks Tom, I stand corrected. Still, the point stands that you can now get at glyphs in TextEdit (and a lot of other apps) that you can't yet use in Mellel. It's a bit of a shame, especially given Mellel's early lead.
unfortunately this still does not include those used for non-Latin scripts as far as I know. Only AAT fonts work for Arabic, Hebrew vowels, Devanagari, Tamil, Tibetan stacks, etc.
Ok. I wasn't talking about these, just about the alternate glyphs and other typographical features relevant for work in roman scripts.

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Post by Tom Gewecke » Thu Sep 07, 2006 1:07 pm

nicka wrote: Still, the point stands that you can now get at glyphs in TextEdit (and a lot of other apps) that you can't yet use in Mellel. It's a bit of a shame, especially given Mellel's early lead.
Is it true that TextEdit can now use glyphs in an OpenType font that Mellel cannot? I didn't know that. Do you have an example? The ones you mentioned are AAT.

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Post by nicka » Thu Sep 07, 2006 1:23 pm

Is it true that TextEdit can now use glyphs in an OpenType font that Mellel cannot? I didn't know that. Do you have an example? The ones you mentioned are AAT.
I think so. I only gave AAT examples because these fonts come with the operating system (and because Zapfino is fun to play with).

There are glyphs in some Adobe OpenType fonts (Warnock Pro, for example) that you can get at through the character palette glyph mode and insert into TextEdit but which you cannot get into Mellel either this way or by cutting and pasting. The embellished brackets and other ornaments around glyph id 903 to 940, for example.
The Q with a long tail at glyph id 802 in Adobe Garamond Pro is another example.

I hope I am wrong. If there is a way of using these in Mellel I'd love to hear it. But if not, it's not a world-shaking issue, just a slight shame, in my opinion.

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Post by nicka » Thu Sep 07, 2006 1:51 pm

Another example, which I mentioned before, is the slashed zero as an alternate glyph for zero. It's in all Adobe pro fonts that I have looked at. (You can do something similar by putting U+0338 'combining long solidus overlay' after an ordinary zero, but it's not the same.)

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