Issues with Unicode Fonts
Joined: 08 Sep 2010
Topic: Issues with Unicode Fonts
Posted: 14 Sep 2010 at 4:01pm
Issues With Unicode Fonts
Q. My Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Hungarian, etc. text is not showing up as expected. I am seeing square boxes or incorrect positioning of characters and diacritical marks. What could be happening?
A. First, here is some background on Unicode fonts:
Fonts with a lot of glyph coverage are called Unicode fonts.
Unicode is a standard in which every character from every written language on Earth is given a number.
Δ (The Greek letter Delta) has the number 41799 (0xA347)
A (Capital letter a) has the number 65 (0x41).
Some fonts have a lot of glyphs in them, but currently there isn’t a font that has ALL the characters defined by the Unicode standard. Microsoft’s Times New Roman and the Arial that is included in Windows Vista and later do a pretty good job. The ones from Windows 2003 and earlier do not because they don’t have Chinese or Japanese characters. So you have to be careful what font you use, depending on the language of your documents. Users can use charmap.exe to view which characters are included in a font.
If these fonts do not appear as expected, here are some things to try:
Step 1) Make sure the font you are using is correctly installed. Please see the Forum posting "Fonts Not Showing up as Expected" for more information.
Step 2) If the text/data you are using has been created outside of XF Designer, make sure the text is properly encoded. Sometimes the text is UTF-8, but then the UTF-8 bytes (as you would see them in a binary editor) are encoded again in ANSI. So what you will see in a regular text editor (you can use Notepad++ for this) is the bytes of the UTF-8 representation, not the representation itself. This is probably due to a faulty text editor component. You can use a recent version of XF Designer in XML View to insert these characters correctly (don't
worry if they appear as squares in the XML View, they will look OK in Design View and Print Layout if you format them correctly).
Step 3) Make sure you are using a Unicode font that has support for your glyphs. For example, the Arial font is not a Unicode font. We recommend using Arial Unicode MS instead. For Japanese fonts, we recommend MS Mincho, for Chinese, we recommend PMingLiU or MingLiU.
Note: when converting your Word input files into PDF, it is recommended to always set the fonts explicitly in Word first. Sometimes fonts can look OK in Word but not when converted to PDF. This happens because Word is using a sort of font selection strategy based on the glyphs it encounters. It specifies a default font for regular text, a different font for east Asian languages and a different font for complex script (bidirectional, right-to-left). In docx files, this info is stored in the document "theme" and paragraphs will receive so called "hints" that they're regular, Asian or RTL. In newer releases, the fonts should be picked up correctly, according to the subrange of the glyphs in each paragraph, though it’s always a good idea to set the fonts explicitly. For example, when you first open your document in MS Word, the font name in the font box it might say "PMingLiU (Body Asian)". But if you select your text and choose the font name from the font pull-down list, it will then say just "PMingLiU". This means it's not getting it from the default theme anymore, it's getting it explicitly. So, just select all your text (Ctrl+A), then perform the steps above to assign it to the desired font explicitly.
Edited by sara - 24 Oct 2010 at 7:58pm
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