Windows 7 and font fallback for missing glyphs

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Branais
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Windows 7 and font fallback for missing glyphs

Post by Branais » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:56 pm

Hi all,
I've been reading this thread at viewtopic.php?f=12&t=3806. I realise it's a bit old, and is now closed.

I'm having a great deal of frustration with this "feature" of Windows 7, because I'd much prefer to know that a font is missing a glyph that I may need than have it implant a glyph that doesn't bear much relationship to the typeface I'm actually using, which Windows' font substitutions tend to be guilty of.

So, can someone please confirm whether the current version of MainType uses Windows font substitutions, or maintains the font's integrity?

As a CorelDraw and WordPerfect user, I have been using Font Navigator for my font management. Perfectly capable of most things i want, but it's prey to Windows' typographical "innovations", which is really very frustrating. I'd be grateful for a solution!

Thanks for any help

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Re: Windows 7 and font fallback for missing glyphs

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:06 am

The closed thread says that the feature was implemented in MainType 4.5 — the current version is 5.1. I am still using Windows XP, so I cannot tell you how it works in Windows 7.
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Erwin Denissen
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Re: Windows 7 and font fallback for missing glyphs

Post by Erwin Denissen » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:28 am

Branais wrote:I'm having a great deal of frustration with this "feature" of Windows 7, because I'd much prefer to know that a font is missing a glyph that I may need than have it implant a glyph that doesn't bear much relationship to the typeface I'm actually using, which Windows' font substitutions tend to be guilty of.
This is feature of Uniscribe is known as font fallback.
Branais wrote:So, can someone please confirm whether the current version of MainType uses Windows font substitutions, or maintains the font's integrity?
Unfortunately MainType can't change the way the operating system works, but it contains a nice feature that might help:
As mentioned in the closed topic, MainType will show a font in red when it detects one or more characters are missing.

If the text is not too long, you could use it as custom preview text in MainType. This way you can immediately see which fonts contain all characters.
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Branais
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Re: Windows 7 and font fallback for missing glyphs

Post by Branais » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:36 am

Erwin, thanks so much for your reply.

This may seem a little off-topic, but let me ask for clarification this way, if I may:
You've soothed my ruffled feathers a little about the issue of where the font fallback comes from. My understanding was that it is generated as part of the Uniscribe routines that Microsoft's Typography division had written into the OS; I said as much in a post on the Windows Seven forum, where I was actually asking if anyone knew how to disable such a facility in the font management (I still struggle to understand why Microsoft thought people would want this) ... anyway, one of the big egos there (sorry, but I'm not sure how else to describe him) chimed in to tell me I didn't know what I was talking about, that all applications generated the fallback independently and according to their own rules, and when I didn't take his word as fact he became extremely derogatory, declared me "arrogant" and banned me for life from the forum for not accepting his "help" without any kind of warning or conversation about it. The internet ... huh.

But I say all that because i want to confirm: I'm not wrong in my understanding, am I?

Why it matters (apart from my feeling aggrieved, and wanting reassurance, however childish that might seem) is that I choose fonts visually, not by name or someone else's classification. In the font manager I'm currently using (and exploring replacements for), I've grouped fonts according to my own subjective understaninding of their style and visual effect — but selecting fonts gets muddied if the I can't immediately tell easily which glyphs are part of a specific typeface, and which are ported in by the OS. I only really want to see the glyphs that wil be accessible in the font from within, say, InDesign (I'm currently using CS5). not glyphs that appear only in my font manager because of the OS.

So: with no criticism implied, am I right in thinking MainType will be essentially the same as Bitstream's Font navigator in that regard? That what it displays of a font face includes the fallback characters interposed?

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Re: Windows 7 and font fallback for missing glyphs

Post by Erwin Denissen » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:05 am

Windows provides an interface to use font fallback, but it is up to the software developers to implement it. To my best knowledge the standard controls like an edit box use the default behavior, and those will all behave the same, but Word processing applications like Word, and InDesign have there own specific implementation.
Branais wrote:So: with no criticism implied, am I right in thinking MainType will be essentially the same as Bitstream's Font navigator in that regard? That what it displays of a font face includes the fallback characters interposed?
Font management software allows you to make fonts available to other software by loading them into the system. A font manager has no control of the way the fonts are used by the external applications.
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Re: Windows 7 and font fallback for missing glyphs

Post by Branais » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:17 am

Mmm, yes I understand font managers only make fonts available. When I mentioned "font managerment" in Windows, I was referring to the way the OS uses fonts to write to the screen.So, to cut to the chase: if Windows writes characters into athe display of a font for glyphs that are natively missing from the font itself, then they'll also be displayed in MainType?

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Re: Windows 7 and font fallback for missing glyphs

Post by Erwin Denissen » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:45 am

Yes, MainType uses a lot of standard controls so it inherits the font fallback mechanism from the Windows.
missingchar.png
missingchar.png (107.58 KiB) Viewed 6191 times
You can clearly see the Sample text uses a fall back font for the 縔 character.
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