Ned Ludd wrote:I'm almost afraid to ask but; what do I do with alternative glyphs?
This is a happy, friendly forum. Please ask as you feel the need to do so.
Ned Ludd wrote:
Am I right in thinking that these would just go under Stylistic Alternates in an Open Type font but in a True Type font I just need to find somewhere sensible to put them?
Well, I will not comment as regards an OpenType font as I am not 100% sure of the answer myself.
However, I can answer in relation to a TrueType font.
There are in the character map three areas known as Private Use Areas.
One of them, sometimes referred to as "The Private Use Area" is in plane 0 (that is, plane zero). The other two are huge and are in planes 15 and 16.
For most present day uses, using the plane 0 Private Use Area is the one to use.
Anyone can assign anything he or she chooses to any code point in any Private Use Area just by doing it, there is no need to register or anything like that. However, so can everybody else. So the assignments are not unique.
So care is needed. However, with care, using the Private Use Area can be extremely useful.
Sometimes the Private Use Area is used for alternate glyphs for existing regular characters, sometimes for characters that are not in regular Unicode and sometimes for symbols.
A rather nice example of someone using the Private Use Area for characters that are not in regular Unicode arose in a post in the Unicode Mailing List recently. There is a link for obtaining a font.
http://www.unicode.org/mail-arch/unicod ... /0107.html
If one downloads that font and opens it in FontCreator then there are a lot of characters in the Private Use Area. They are within the range from U+E000 through to U+F8FF.
However, there is a bit more to using the Private Use Area.
It is better to use the part from U+E000 through to U+EFFF as this minimizes the chance of clashing with the use by manufacturers of software packages.
Historically there can be a bit of a problem with using some codes ending 00 in WordPad as they were once used for some Oriental characters by Microsoft and there was some time ago a legacy issue that I do not fully understand over needing to press a key twice sometimes.
I find it best to avoid using U+F000 through to U+F0FF as much of this is used by Microsoft Symbol Fonts and I am unsure as to whether some software might make assumptions about any font using those code points. That may be a groundless concern, but as there is plenty of other space to use, I always avoid using that part of the character map, just in case.
Here is a link. There is a section about the Private Use Areas in that document, section 16.5.
There is a lot about what is called "private agreement". That is, I feel a somewhat unfortunate way of explaining the situation. You do not need the agreement of anybody to define your assignments in the Private Use Area. Certainly, if someone then wants to use the font and access an alternate glyph then he or she needs to go along with what you have assigned in order to use the font. To me, that sounds like following the documentation of the font rather than being an agreement.
So, in relation to your alternate glyphs, you could make a list of them and assign to each of them a code point that is somewhere in the range from U+E000 through to U+EFFF.
When I do that with my fonts I tend to try to choose code points such that the decimal equivalent is fairly easily memorable.
For example, suppose that I chose 60000 decimal. That is U+EA60.
So, if you put your glyphs at U+EA61, U+EA62, U+EA63 and so on, then if someone was trying to access the alternate glyphs using WordPad, he or she could use one or more of Alt 60001, Alt 60002, Alt 60003 and so on to access them.
The Alt method is to hold down the Alt key, then key the number using the digit keys that are at the right of the keyboard then release the Alt key.
Ned Ludd wrote:
My learning curve is so steep this week I think I might do a loop-the-loop.
Yes, I have had the feeling of looking at trying to learn something and it seems like a vertical rock face.
So please ask, as often as you wish.
As regards your font, I tried the original before you changed it.
I am very impressed.
A few suggestions if I may please comment.
A hyphen would be a useful addition.
A .notdef glyph that is distinctively different from a question mark would be useful.
An e acute, é, would be useful so that the word Café could be typeset.
I am wondering how that would be designed.
A capital E acute, É, would present an interesting design problem.
18 February 2013