You can bundle up the font and make it downloadable from your site, or you
can embed the fonts with the site...
I'm not sure what level of detail you are looking for, and I'm assuming that
you need a technical answer, but here is an overview of various font
handling methods for web sites. (This information is extracted from an
article I wrote for MultiLingual magazine).
The information does not directly address how to deal with glyphs which are
not included in Unicode fonts, but I hope it will still be useful.
The third piece in the character display puzzle is fonts. If you define
fonts that don't exist on your users systems, it won't matter if the
encoding method you choose is supported by their browser or not. They still
will not be able to view the text.
There are a variety of potential solutions to this problem, as described
Distributing Fontsâ€•One way to make sure users have the required fonts is to
distribute a full set once, so that they can be installed on user systems.
The downside to this approach is file size (most Unicode fonts are several
megabytes in size.)
Glyph Serversâ€•These proxy servers substitute inline bitmaps for non-ASCII
characters in the current page. The glyph server retrieves a document, and
then parses the HTML to replace non-displayable characters with an <IMG>
element. Each <IMG> element points to a bitmap image of the glyph. The
client eventually receives the edited HTML along with all the new images.
The resulting display is fairly accurate, but retrieval time is long, and
the text can no longer be treated as text since it is now stored
Embedding Fontsâ€•This approach allows you to send fonts with individual web
pages. Unfortunately different browsers supply varying levels of support for
embedded fonts. Some browsers control font display themselves, while others
rely more heavily on the operating system's font display handling.
Microsoft provides embedding information and also provides a font embedding
SDK for downloading at http://www.microsoft.com/typography/web/default.htm.
Font Acquisitionâ€•The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has developed an
approach for dealing with fonts through Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). Their
solution gives user agents four ways to select fonts for HTML elements:
Â· Fonts listed in style sheets can be matched exactly to fonts in-stalled on
Â· Fonts can be matched to a similar font if the specified font does not
exist on the system.
Â· Fonts can be downloaded if a match can't be made, and if a URL for
downloading is included.
Â· Fonts can be created or synthesized as needed, based on the font's
description in the style sheet.
The CSS Level 2 Specification (http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-CSS2/fonts.html)
describes this font matching process in detail.
Apologies if this is too basic, and if the links are not helpful.
----- Original Message -----
From: Joon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Unicode List <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 21, 2000 8:30 PM
Subject: Displaying non-exist Unicode Glyph on Browser
> Does anyone know how to display a Unicode character on Browser if the
> character wasn't defined on any Unicode Font?
> I mean if a character does not have a glyph on Font, what is the best way
> deal with?
> Is there any possible/easiest way to supply a custom font to Browser?
> Thank you!
> -Joon 1-650-856-1296
(Globalization Process Improvement Consulting and Training)
In association with BizWonk (TM)
(Send me an email to join the North East Localization Special Interest
Group, an email distribution list which acts as a discussion forum for
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:21:00 EDT