[KS] RE: Unicode / breves

Frank Hoffmann hoffmann at fas.harvard.edu
Mon Feb 14 02:10:02 EST 2000

Dear Charles and others:

Thanks for the detailed info. But please allow me to stress the point I
like to make: Unicode encoded fonts have been around for some time, but as
far as I understand, until very recently there was no operating system that
would understand them -- there are always two key code tables in these
fonts, and systems like Windows 95/98 or Mac OS 8 read the system-specific
encoding table, not the Unicode table. Because of the limited operating
system support there were also no applications that really worked with
Unicode: MS Word 98 (Mac edition), for example, allows me to save a text
file in "Unicode format," but the program itself doesn't use Unicode --
otherwise it could display the characters in positions higher than 255,
available in fonts such as Times, which is not the case without
manipulation of the CMAP source tables in the fonts. Now that both Apple
and Microsoft support Unicode through there operating systems, support in
applications (such as word processors) will follow very soon, and that
means platform-independent use of ALL the characters defined in Unicode. So
in one or two years from now nobody needs to worry if the text one sends
out or publishes via the Web will correctly be encoded on the other end
because the software installed on that other computer is different. ... I
mentioned Apple's OS 9 + new fonts and Windows 2000 + Office 2000 as the
first *major* steps in this direction.

Sorry for the many typos etc. in my last message.


>> In that case, can you tell us if -- with Office 2000, but under
>> Windows '98
>> (or 95) -- there is a way to display the mentioned o- and u-breves and
>> marcons? And in case not (?), do you know if this will be possible under
>> Windows 2000? .... I guess it must.
>Display of macrons and breves has been possible since Win95/Office97 with
>the download of the Internet Explorer International Font packages from the
>Microsoft web site. I have been using them for three years.
>With Office 2000 for Windows, you should be able to use breves, macrons and
>so forth right out of the box.
>But while the Times New Roman and Gothic fonts in Office contain the fonts
>necessary to romanize Japanese, Chinese, and Korean, they do not contain
>fonts for Indic/Tibetan romanization, except in the form of the ugly Arial
>Unicode MS. To use these fonts in something close to TNR, you can use the
>Titus Bitstream Unicode fonts developed at the University of Frankfurt
>With a bit of effort, you can use the AutoCorrect function in Word to input
>your diacritics automatically, by opening up that Autocorrect
>addition/subtraction table (Tools>>Autocorrect), and typing the
>non-diacritical form of the word in the left column, and the diacritical
>form in the right column. Then, when you type out the word in
>non-diacritical form, it will automatically change once you finish typing
>the word.

Frank Hoffmann * 4903 Manitoba Dr.#202 * Alexandria, VA 22312 * USA
E-MAIL: hoffmann at fas.harvard.edu
W W W : http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~hoffmann/


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