Customising Unicode Data

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Customising Unicode Data

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:52 am

The file called UnicodeData.txt found in your \Program Files\High-Logic\FontCreator\Unicode\ directory is used by Font Creator to display the names of glyphs in the Glyph Properties window and Insert Character dialogue.

The Unicode Standard is updated periodically to add new glyphs. If you make use of the Private Use Area for your own purposes you may like to assign your own glyph names to some code-points.

FontCreator uses the Private Use Area for stacking diacritics needed for Vietnamese fonts. Each pair of diacritics was assigned a code-point to be used by the Complete Composites and Insert Characters features found in the Professional Edition of Font Creator.

I added some lines to the UnicodeData.txt file to give names to these codepoints. The result is that the new glyph names now display in FontCreator dialogues.

I have now added a lot more definitions in the Private Use Area for Petite Capitals,¹ Non-lining Figures (Old Style Figures), and Stacking Fractions (Nut Fractions). When you use the Insert Characters Dialogue you can see the names of the characters that you are about to insert.
Insert Petite Capitals.png
Insert Petite Capitals.png (64.47 KiB) Viewed 4289 times
However, you won't see the glyph outlines as shown in the dialogue above unless your template font already contains the glyphs. They are not part of any Unicode standard. The font used for empty glyphs and for the Insert Characters dialogue can be changed from, Tools, Options, Overview, "Font Used by Samples." The Block Names in the drop list for "Go to Unicode Block" are defined in Blocks.txt in the same \Unicode\ Program folder.

The names can also be seen when you go to select a new character mapping from Format, Mappings, Select. The Blocks defined in Blocks.txt are also used by this dialogue.
Select Character A Macron.png
Select Character A Macron.png (31.15 KiB) Viewed 4289 times
Let me know what you think about my arrangement of the Private Use Area. Some such arrangement is essential if you wish to add Open Type features like Small Capitals and Old Style Figures to Truetype fonts.

Extract UnicodeData.zip this post, later in the thread to C:\Users\<Your User Name>AppData\Roaming\FontCreator\Unicode\ to modify FontCreator's dialogues.

¹ Petite Capitals are designed on the x-height for use with lowercase, while Small Capitals are usually about 70-80% of the Caps Height, and are designed for use in Subheadings. They share the same code-points.
Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:22 am, edited 9 times in total.
Reason: Updated for FontCreator 7.5
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Customising Unicode Data

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed May 08, 2013 6:52 pm

I have updated Blocks.txt and UnicodeData.txt for FontCreator 7.0, adding some more definitions for Stacking Fractions in the Private Use Area.
Select Characters Alternative Fractions.png
Select Characters Alternative Fractions.png (44.13 KiB) Viewed 4299 times


Image Select Character dialogue can be displayed from the Glyph Properties toolbar in FontCreator 7, and the modified data is also used by the Insert Characters dialogue.

Blocks.txt was edited to remove many Asian character set blocks, and to add blocks in the Private Use Area used by Complete Composites and Transform scripts.

As the name implies, the Private Use Area can be used for any additional glyphs, and there is no standard mapping of code-points. However, for the Complete Composite and any Transform scripts that make use of CompositeData.xml to work, code-points in the Private Use Area had to be assigned.

The changes will also show in the Overview's side panel, making it easier to filter large fonts by glyph sets used by OpenType features.
Overview Discretionary Ligatures.png
Overview Discretionary Ligatures.png (128.12 KiB) Viewed 4299 times
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Customising Unicode Data

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:09 pm

I have updated Blocks.txt and UnicodeData.txt for Unicode Standard 10.0. The task was made easier with a freeware text file comparison tool called ExamDiff

To avoid modifying the default Unicode data files installed with the program, create a folder named "Unicode" in your Application Data Folder. Tools, Options, Advanced, Copy Data Files will do this for you.

C:\Users\<Your User Name>AppData\Roaming\FontCreator\Unicode

Extract the contents of the attached Unicode.zip to that folder and restart FontCreator to see the changes. Extracting the files to %AppData% leaves the original data files in the installation folder untouched, and changes are not lost on updating FontCreator. Keep a backup on an external drive too if you make any changes. UnicodeData.txt and Blocks.txt can be edited in Notepad.

Caveat: As always, this is something to try at your own risk.
Attachments
UnicodeData.zip
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Customising Unicode Data

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:59 am

Updated the attachment UnicodeData.zip to the earlier post for Unicode 10.0.

To restore Unicode Blocks that you need, exit FontCreator, edit Blocks.txt and delete the # comment code before any lines for blocks that you need.
Hidden Blocks.png
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Erwin Denissen
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Re: Customising Unicode Data

Post by Erwin Denissen » Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:05 pm

As Bhikkhu Pesala pointed out earlier, you can use the Copy Data Files to User Data Folder available through Options dialog -> Advanced tab.

This way you keep the original files. On updating FontCreator it is possible new data files will be installed, but remain unused as FontCreator will always look for the files in the user data folder.

With the update we released earlier today, FontCreator includes data files for Unicode 10. If you did copy the data files with a prior release, then you still use files for Unicode 9 or older.

Do delete (or rename) files within the user data folder if you want FontCreator to use the original files.
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