RE: Unicode Fonts

From: Hart, Edwin F. (
Date: Fri Mar 31 2000 - 08:39:54 EST

You will find that Courier New, Times New Roman and Arial also have Hebrew
and Arabic characters, and several Arabic presentation forms. I'd guess
that the Arabic glyphs are the same in Arial and Times New Roman.

Ed Hart

Edwin F. Hart
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
11100 Johns Hopkins Road
Laurel, MD 20723-6099
+1-443-778-6926 (Baltimore)
+1-240-228-6926 (DC Area)
+1-443-778-1093 (fax, Baltimore)
+1-240-228-1093 (fax, DC area)

-----Original Message-----
From: Christopher John Fynn []
Sent: Friday, March 31, 2000 00:28
To: Unicode List
Cc: Suzanne Topping
Subject: Re: Unicode Fonts

Suzanne Topping <>

> This comes from a question Joon posed recently. His exact question (off
> list) was: "...I am trying to figure out how many and which Unicode
> characters do not have a glyph on a Standard Unicode TrueType font."
> Pronunciation symbols seemed to be a particular problem.


I don't think there is such a thing as a "Standard" Unicode TrueType font.

Fonts which have glyphs for all, or nearly all, the characters in Unicode
to consume enormous resources, not properly support complex scripts, not
e.g. Chinese and Japanese variant glyphs for CJK characters, and generally
fairly crude glyph outlines for some scripts.

Much better to have a series of individual fonts specifically designed for
scripts and languages covered by Unicode. For complex scripts fonts really
to contain the proper OpenType (on Windows) or ATSUI (on Mac) tables and
quite a
large number of ligature and variant glyphs which are accessed by the
system via these tables depending on context etc.

A font which simply has one glyph corresponding to each Devanagri, Urdu,
Tibetan, etc. character in Unicode is useless for properly displaying these

Microsoft Windows "WGL4" fonts, including Times New Roman and Arial have
cover a sub-set of Unicode characters to support Microsoft's code pages
1251, 1252, 1253, and 1254. They cover Latin, Latin Extended A, basic
and basic Greek and some symbols and additional Latin characters (see

For a list of TT fonts which "support Unicode" (and the Unicode ranges they
cover) see:

- Chris

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