Utilizing extended characters/special characters/symbols

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toma

Utilizing extended characters/special characters/symbols

Post by toma » Fri Dec 20, 2002 10:19 pm

I was finally able to map some ligatures for Arabic, but the trouble is, when i type the key combo, the new ligature doesn't show up. So, in MS Word, i went to "insert symbol" and sure enough there was my new ligature under Arabic Presentation forms A--which is accurately mapped. Question is, how does one access these extended characters/ presentation characters? Must I really have to assign short cuts and/or Insert, click, find font, click, scroll down to ligature, click? Irritating. Shouldn't the keycombination automatically invoke my ligature be it that it is mapped correctly and all?

toma

Bhikkhu Pesala
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Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Dec 21, 2002 9:23 am

:? If I understand your question correctly, you expect Word to compose a ligature automatically when you type certain key combinations, just as with the International Keyboard enabled it automatically composes à when one types ' followed by a.

:?: But what effect would this have on users typing in English? Every time they type TM they don't want to get ™

You must assign shortcut keys to your ligature. I don't use Word, but I recall that it is possible to assign shortcut combinations like ~n to type ñ etc.

Otherwise, you should use a program that was designed for writing Arabic. I am sure that would be much more powerful.

I have some experience in typing Burmese, which uses syllables composed of as many as four or five separate elements. The approach used in Burmese fonts is to define characters with zero advance width and negative left side-bearings. The typist must learn to use different forms of some letters to combine with narrow or wide consonants. It is very difficult to define a Burmese font that looks good with all possible combinations, and one must define quite a lot of custom key combinations in one's word-processor to accommodate all the variant forms.
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Post by Erwin Denissen » Sat Dec 21, 2002 12:17 pm

It sounds like you want to include some OpenType features.

GSUB (an OpenType Layout table) contains information about glyph substitutions to handle single glyph substitution, one-to-many substitution (ligature decomposition), aesthetic alternatives, multiple glyph substitution (ligatures), and contextual glyph substitution.

The Font Creator Program doesn't support OpenType tables but won't remove them, so you could work in parallel with other software like VOLT (Visual OpenType Layout tool) to add OpenType layout tables to fonts with TrueType outlines to convert it to OpenType.

Check out the Microsoft Typography web site for information on making OpenType fonts.
http://www.microsoft.com/typography/developers/volt/

A document from Microsoft about Creating and supporting OpenType fonts for the Arabic script:
http://www.microsoft.com/typography/otf ... efault.htm
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toma

Post by toma » Sat Dec 21, 2002 10:37 pm

Bhikkhu,

Thank you for the reply. I should've mentioned that I am using an Arabic version instead of the cheesey faux-mapped English-Arabic-backwards typing Arabic fonts available on the web. I'm not so much after "inserting" a special character based on a key stroke (such as the ~+n, but rather while using a different enabled language the key stroke combinations invoke the appropritately mapped ligature. Most likely due to my ignorace, I was unclear, since I didn't really know how to posit the right question. Thankfully, Erwin caught my drift.


Erwin,

Thank you for interpreting my groanings. The links you provided seem to address the very issues I'm encountering with Arabic.

Thanks to you both!

Bhikkhu Pesala
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Open Type Features

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Dec 22, 2002 9:12 pm

:oops: I had forgotten about VOLT and Open Type features. It seems a bit too technical for me. One day, however, I may have to get to grips with it if I need to design a professional Burmese or Sinhalese fonts.

My previous experience with using Burmese was in Windows 3.1 when we had only the ANSI character set to play with. I hade to write WordPerfect macros to implement what you are trying to do with Open Type. I have to admit that that approach is a kludge, and far from ideal.

Please post the results of your efforts. I will watch this space.

By the way, we need to mix English and Burmese, which requires a point-size change, but at least Burmese is written from left to right.
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