Format 14 cmap subtable

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PJMiller
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Re: Format 14 cmap subtable

Post by PJMiller » Fri Mar 18, 2016 7:04 pm

Why would I even need a Format 14 cmap subtable?

What could I do with it which I can't do now?

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Re: Format 14 cmap subtable

Post by BabelStone » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:38 am

Erwin Denissen wrote:I'm not really familiar with this, so I wonder if you could suggest how the user interface should look?
I'm afraid that I don't have any suggestions as to how you would implement it -- perhaps you could check and see how it is implemented in other font editors.

I just know that this is an essential feature for me and anyone working on fonts for scripts or symbol sets that use variation sequences. Maths, Myanmar, Phags-pa, Manichaean, Mongolian, Emoji and CJK fonts may all require support for variation sequences (http://unicode.org/Public/UNIDATA/Stand ... riants.txt), and for Windows 7 and later variation sequences are only supported as a cmap Format 14 subtable (see bottom of https://www.microsoft.com/typography/otspec/cmap.htm for details of the subtable format).

I just upgraded to FontCreator 10, and am disappointed that not only is the Format 14 subtable not supported, but it is silently deleted from the font if it does already exist. At present I have three different fonts that use variation sequences, and every time I make a change to the fonts in FontCreator I have to reinsert the Format 14 subtable using the TTX font tool, which is extremely tiresome.

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Re: Format 14 cmap subtable

Post by BabelStone » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:43 am

PJMiller wrote:Why would I even need a Format 14 cmap subtable?

What could I do with it which I can't do now?
A Format 14 cmap subtable is the recommended way of implementing variation sequences, and is the only way of supporting variation sequences in a font under Windows 7 and later (see https://www.microsoft.com/typography/otspec/cmap.htm for details of this table). If you want to create Maths, Myanmar, Phags-pa, Manichaean, Mongolian, Emoji or CJK fonts that support Unicode variation sequences (http://unicode.org/Public/UNIDATA/Stand ... riants.txt) then you need to use a Format 14 cmap subtable. Without this table you cannot support variation sequences on Windows.

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Re: Format 14 cmap subtable

Post by Erwin Denissen » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:36 am

I understand your needs for this, and we really intend to add support for Unicode Variation Sequences. However currently other features have priority, so even though this is on the to-do list, it will take some time.

If more people want this functionality, or can provide more information about how this should be included in our font editor, do let us know!
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Re: Format 14 cmap subtable

Post by BabelStone » Tue Dec 06, 2016 2:07 pm

Erwin Denissen wrote:I'm not really familiar with this, so I wonder if you could suggest how the user interface should look?
I think that it would not be too difficult to add support for the Format 14 cmap subtable. I think it could be done in a similar way to which OpenType features are supported in FontCreator. I envisage that there would be a new Format 14 subtable item under the Font menu, which when selected would open an editing window similar to (but much simpler than) the OpenType features editing window. This would allow the user to define variation sequences (sequences of one base character and one Unicode variation selector character), and map them to glyphs in the font. There would be preview facility (as for OpenType features), and a button that opens up a text editor that enables the user to manually edit the variation sequences (this is essential as many thousands of variation sequences may be defined for CJK fonts). When the font is generated by FontCreator then if the number of defined variation sequences is greater than zero an addition Format 14 cmap table is added.

Do you think that you could implement this for the next major release? I have been waiting for 7 years, and I am getting desperate. I love FontCreator, but without support for Format 14 cmap subtable and vhea/vmtx tables I will have look for other solutions.

Andrew

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Re: Format 14 cmap subtable

Post by Erwin Denissen » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:10 pm

We have limited resources and right now it seems you are the only customer who needs it. Don't get me wrong; we would really like to implement this, but even basic support for it would take weeks.
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Re: Format 14 cmap subtable

Post by BabelStone » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:47 pm

As a software developer myself I can understand that it may not seem like a priority for you. Nevertheless, Format 14 cmap subtable is supported by other font editors, and Unicode variation sequences are getting more and more widely implemented, especially for CJK fonts as the Ideographic Variation Database defines many thousands of ideographic variation sequences. Variation sequences are now also used for emoji, to specify whether a character should be rendered in text style or emoji style, and as you may be aware emoji are extremely hot at present, and implemented as a priority on all platforms. By not supporting the Format 14 cmap subtable you are severely restricting the market for FontCreator among developers of CJK and emoji fonts. It may take several weeks' development time, but I think the benefits to you will make it worthwhile in the long run, and so I urge you to reconsider your decision.

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Re: Format 14 cmap subtable

Post by Erwin Denissen » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:02 am

We will add support for it, but don't expect some advanced way of editing such variation sequences yet. Maybe just a dialog to see all variation sequences, and a way to import and export them. Nothing fancy as we're going to invest a week in something that is requested by a single person :?
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Re: Format 14 cmap subtable

Post by BabelStone » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:06 pm

Dear Erwin,

Thank you very much! Having a way to import and export the sequences in text format is all I need.

Best wishes,

Andrew

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Re: Format 14 cmap subtable

Post by BabelStone » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:27 pm

Hi Erwin,

I tried out the test version you sent me, and it looks great. I loaded a few fonts with Unicode variation sequences for various scripts, and the dialog lists them all correctly. With the addition of import/export functionality it will be all I need.

Thanks,

Andrew

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Re: Format 14 cmap subtable

Post by William » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:50 am

I have only just noticed this thread.

Erwin wrote:

> Nothing fancy as we're going to invest a week in something that is requested by a single person :?

Ah, but you also receive my admiration for being responsive to customer need.

There are also second order effects to consider. There may be people looking for a font editor that will do that and when they find that FontCreator will do it, they may choose to buy a licence. I wonder how many people that will be. Maybe the investment in programming time will prove to be finacially of benefit as well.

High-Logic was a leader in implementing colour font technology. Now High-Logic is implementing this facility.

Is this feature necessary for implementing the use of variation sequences in explicitly choosing between a monochrome emoji glyph and a colourful emoji glyph to display?

William

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Re: Format 14 cmap subtable

Post by BabelStone » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:35 am

Is this feature necessary for implementing the use of variation sequences in explicitly choosing between a monochrome emoji glyph and a colourful emoji glyph to display?
Yes, it is. Support for Unicode variation sequences is required by font developers working on emoji fonts, as well as those working on CJK fonts. I agree with you that adding this feature to FontCreator may result in more font developers choosing FontCreator.

Andrew

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Re: Format 14 cmap subtable

Post by Erwin Denissen » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:58 pm

Although not available through the regular download page, here is a first public release which includes support for both cmap format 13 and 14.

FontCreator 11.0.0.2416 (64 bit edition)
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