BETA Unicode 6.3.0
The next version of the Unicode Standard will be Version 6.3.0, planned for release in
September 2013. The major feature of this release is a very substantial
enhancement of the Unicode Bidirectional Algorithm, which potentially affects all text
displayed in the Arabic and Hebrew scripts.
Five new format control characters are added to the standard as part of the changes for the Unicode
Bidirectional Algorithm. The Unicode Collation Algorithm has also been changed in ways that will affect
many string comparisons.
A beta version of the 6.3.0 Unicode Character Database files is available for public review.
We strongly encourage implementers to review the summary description, download the beta 6.3.0 Unicode Character Database files,
and test their programs with the new data, well before the end of the beta period. It is especially important
to review the Notable Issues for Beta Reviewers.
We encourage users to check the code charts carefully
to verify correctness of the new characters added to Unicode 6.3.0 and to ensure that there are no regressions
in glyph shapes for previously encoded characters.
|Unicode character database (UCD)
|Summary of beta charts
|Single-block charts with yellow highlighting for new characters
|Single block charts for all of Unicode 6.3.0
|Code charts - single download (95MB)
Related Unicode Technical Standards
In addition to the Unicode Standard proper, two other Unicode Technical
Standards have significant text and data file updates that are
correlated with the new additions for Unicode 6.3.0. Review of that text
and data is also encouraged during the beta review period.
Review and Feedback
For guidance on how to focus your review, see the section
Notable Issues for Beta Reviewers.
Any feedback should be
reported using the contact form. Comments on the Unicode Standard Version 6.3.0
or the Unicode Character Database data files, should refer to the beta review
Issue #249. Comments on specific Version 6.3.0 UAXes and UTSes
should refer to the respective Public
Review Issue Numbers for each document.
The comment period ends
July 22, 2013.
All substantive technical comments must have been received by that date for
consideration at the August UTC meeting. Editorial comments (typos,
etc.) may be still submitted after that date for consideration in the final
Note: All beta files may be updated, replaced, or
superseded by other files at any time. The beta files will be
discarded once Unicode 6.3.0 is final. It is inappropriate to cite
these files as other than a work in progress. No
products or implementations should be released based on the beta
UCD data files -- use only the final, approved Version 6.3.0 data
files, expected in September 2013.
The Unicode Consortium provides early access to updated versions of the data files
and text to give reviewers and developers as much time as possible to ensure a problem-free adoption of
The assignment of characters for Unicode 6.3.0 is now stable. There will be no further
additions or modifications of code points and no further changes to character names.
Please do not submit feedback requesting changes to code points
or character names for Unicode 6.3.0, as such feedback is not actionable.
One of the main purposes of the beta review period is to verify and
correct the preliminary character property assignments in the Unicode Character
Database. Reviewers should check for property changes to existing Unicode 6.2.0
characters, as well as the property values for the new Unicode 6.3.0 character
To facilitate verification of the property changes and additions, diffable XML versions
of the Unicode Character Database are available. These XML
files are dated, so that people can check the details of changes that occurred
during the beta review period. The XML
files are in the http://www.unicode.org/Public/6.3.0/diffs/ directory. For more information,
The beta review period is a good opportunity to add support for the new
Unicode 6.3.0 characters in internal versions of software, so that software can
be tested to verify that the new characters and property assignments do not cause
problems when upgraded to Version 6.3.0 of Unicode.
Notable Issues for Beta Reviewers
Some of the Unicode Standard Annexes have substantial modifications for
Unicode 6.3.0, often in coordination with changes to character properties.
Most notably for Unicode 6.3.0, UAX #9 has been
modified very extensively
to extend the Unicode Bidirectional Algorithm to handle isolate spans
and to do parenthesis matching. In particular, the parenthesis matching
will change the display of existing text under certain conditions.
Please also check the following specific items carefully:
- The Bidi_Class property has been extended with new values to cover
four new bidirectional format control characters for isolate spans.
- A new implicit bidirectional format control character, U+061C ARABIC
LETTER MARK (ALM), has been added to improve number formatting in an Arabic
- Two new bidi-related properties have been added in a new data file,
BidiBrackets.txt, to support parenthesis matching in the Bidirectional Algorithm.
- There have been substantial additions to BidiTest.txt, and a new conformance
test file, BidiCharacterTest.txt, has been added, in support of testing the
new extensions to the Bidirectional Algorithm.
- The General_Category of U+180E MONGOLIAN VOWEL SEPARATOR has been changed from
Zs to Cf. This may impact implementations of Mongolian.
- There are additional property changes listed in
UAX #44, Unicode
Character Database that may affect some implementations.
- Informative property values in the Unihan database for many CJK unified
ideographs have been changed.
- UCA default data has changed significantly. Check for differences in
decimal numbers and in compatibility characters with casing or with variant
- The UCA primary weights from 0xFFFD to 0xFFFF are now reserved for
special collation elements, so ensure that implementations are handling
these values properly.
For current proposed updates to the particular UAXes, see
Proposed Updates for Standard Annexes
or use the links in the navigation bar on this page.
Particular issues in the UAXes may also be the focus of specific
Public Review Issues.
Each proposed textual change in a UAX is highlighted, so that you can focus
your review on those sections if you have limited time. The changes
are also listed in detail in the Modifications sections (linked from the table
of contents of each document), and are summarized in
so you can check on those areas that might be of most
Some links between beta documents and the proposed
updates for UAXes will not work correctly during the
beta review period. This is a known problem which does
not need to be reported, as such links are links to
the eventual final names or revision numbers for the
Certain character properties for newly assigned characters cannot be
changed after the formal release of each version of the standard, because of the
Character Encoding Stability Policy.
Such character property values need special attention during the beta review process, as they
cannot be corrected after publication. These include:
- Any property affecting Unicode Normalization, including Decomposition_Mapping,
Canonical_Combining_Class, and Composition_Exclusion.
- The determination of whether a character is included in identifiers (XID_Start, XID_Continue).
- Case mappings and case foldings.