View Full Version : ADE Portable Unicode font support


DiapDealer
05-19-2012, 10:37 AM
Not sure where best to ask this ADE-based ePub question, but...

Is there any documentation as to what unicode characters are supported by default on the main (popular) devices that use ADE's portable rendering engine?

I was surprised to find that the desktop version of ADE doesn't support most characters with caron or breve diacritical marks. Is this the case on most eReaders using ADE, as well?

It would be rather silly if I had to embed a font (or create a subset of a font) just to properly display a handful of unicode characters. :(

Doitsu
05-19-2012, 11:55 AM
I don't have any documentation either, but I created a quick & dirty Unicode 2 test .epub (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2017893&postcount=6) some time ago.
BTW, it's kind of ridiculous that Adobe, who could have easily licensed any number of their fonts, picked default fonts with such a poor Unicode coverage.

Jellby
05-19-2012, 01:07 PM
Actually it's ridiculous that you can't change the default font in the desktop ADE. In other devices it's less ridiculous, but it's still possible, as the Bookeen readers have proved.

DiapDealer
05-19-2012, 04:46 PM
I'm just looking for a (relatively) clear idea of what I can expect from a stock setup on popular portable ADE devices. What can I include without embedding fonts?

For instance, with default, new, out-of-box settings, can I expect a Sony device to deal with a document that has a Ū ? Or a Ǒ ? Or am I stuck with only acute and grave diacritics if I don't embed?

Jellby
05-20-2012, 04:54 AM
I don't know if there's an answer for that, it probably depends on the reader and version. Look here (http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/EPub_Reader_Test), the second-to-last item, for some hint.

weatherwax
05-20-2012, 01:14 PM
Based on my experience, special characters used in German, French, Spanish work fine (, , , etc.). There are problems with diacritics used in Eastern languages (e.g. Ū).
The regular greek characters are also Ok, accented greek characters don't work.

Jim Lester
05-20-2012, 01:30 PM
RMSDK (it' not 'portable ADE' btw) will render whatever glyphs are in the font. While Adobe does include Minion and Myriad fonts in RMSDK distro that have a fairly good glyph coverage, the actual font used is up to the device manufacturers, and the name brand manufacturers typically use their own fonts.

While I would expect that most of the fonts used Latin and Latin-1, with occasional misses. Once you get past Latin-1. You would definitely need to do this on a device by device (and version of the firmware) basis.

---

p.s. Jellby - ADE 1.8.x/ADE 2.0 Mac the user style sheet, fonts, and hypenation dictionariers are in the App Bundle (Resources/rmsdk_resources) and is relatively easily editable - letting you use your own fonts (and inject other CSS such as text/bk color) - there is just no UI options for this.

DiapDealer
05-20-2012, 01:54 PM
Thanks for the info. :)

I don't have anything with the RMSDK, so I was wondering how different the general unicode support might be from ADE. There's lots of things from the Latin unicode subrange that it (ADE) strikes out on. Basically anything with a caron, breve, or macron from the Latin Unicode subrange shows up as question marks in the Windows ADE (1.7) version. *shrug*

Doitsu
05-20-2012, 05:06 PM
This may be a stupid question, but why do you spend so much time investigating this? Just assume the worst case scenario and embed a font subset with all the accented characters used in your ePub. It will hardly increase the size of your ePub and you'll have all bases covered.

DiapDealer
05-20-2012, 05:28 PM
This may be a stupid question, but why do you spend so much time investigating this?
Just finicky, I guess. It offends my sensibility to have to embed a font (even a small hand-tailored one) for just a handful of characters. Plus, if I create a custom subset of a font—or even substitute an image—then those few characters won't match the rest of the document's font. Like I said... just finicky. :D

Freeshadow
05-20-2012, 08:11 PM
DD I would call that proper ressource management.
The spoiled youngsters nowdays don't care about small memory footprint or tweaks to keep the data as smass as possible *sigh*

Jellby
05-21-2012, 05:39 AM
If you use an embedded font for some characters, use it for all the text.

DiapDealer
05-21-2012, 06:38 AM
If you use an embedded font for some characters, use it for all the text.
I'm sure that's my only option at this point, but... ugh.

Jim Lester
05-21-2012, 10:27 AM
Thanks for the info. :)
I don't have anything with the RMSDK, so I was wondering how different the general unicode support might be from ADE.

Well since you are using ADE you have something based on RMSDK.

RMSDK (Reader Mobile SDK) is a set of software libraries that Adobe licenses to third parties for creating reading devices and applications.

ADE (Adobe Digital Editions) is a desktop application (Win/Mac), and is created using RMSDK (ADE 1.7.2 uses a fairly old version, ADE 1.8.x uses a recent version).

I'm being a bit pedantic about this - because knowing the right terminology is the key to useful googling - as well as looking up information on the Adobe site :) Which unfortunately will not have an answer to this question.

DiapDealer
05-21-2012, 12:46 PM
I'm being a bit pedantic about this - because knowing the right terminology is the key to useful googling - as well as looking up information on the Adobe site :) Which unfortunately will not have an answer to this question.
So... "Here's the knowledge you'll need to efficiently search for the details you're not going to find." Have I got that right? :D

Jellby
05-21-2012, 12:49 PM
Exactly, it's like building a spec-compliant ePUB that will be read on ADE (or RMSDK) or iBooks :rolleyes:

Jim Lester
05-25-2012, 12:15 PM
So... "Here's the knowledge you'll need to efficiently search for the details you're not going to find." Have I got that right? :D

Well I could've left the "you're not going to find" part out, but I figured you really wouldn't thank me then. (There's your Haystack, go find the needle, but here's a really powerful magnet. Wow, you've been at this a while... did I mention the needle was ceramic?).

On a more serious side - while there isn't an abundance of information on the Adobe website of how OEMs implement their readers - their are the odd tidbits that may be helpful for future questions.

DaleDe
05-25-2012, 01:50 PM
Barnes and Noble does specify the exact characters they support which is exactly ISO-8859-1 converted to UTF-8. This is a safe bet as the minimum support you will find in ADE. You can read about character sets in our wiki.

Dale

Jim Lester
05-26-2012, 01:42 AM
Dale, this is less about what RMSDK supports, and more about the fonts that ship with a particular reader.

Our (B&N) statement (where was it BTW?) is based upon the fonts we ship with (and even there it's aspirational - there are current versions of some of the fonts that don't completely cover Latin-1 for instance, and some that include Cyrillic glyphs, etc... We've been working on getting this rationalized a bit more).

The fonts that ADE and RMSDK ships with (Myriad Pro and Minion Pro) have a bit wider coverage, but not complete.

I haven't stayed up to date with the glyph coverage for the fonts that Sony, Kobo, and Bluefire ship with, much less the lesser known OEMS.

JSWolf
05-27-2012, 10:50 PM
I don't know what know what the default serif font is for Bluefire, but you can do an override and use Garamond which is a full version font.

DaleDe
05-28-2012, 04:38 PM
Dale, this is less about what RMSDK supports, and more about the fonts that ship with a particular reader.

Our (B&N) statement (where was it BTW?) is based upon the fonts we ship with (and even there it's aspirational - there are current versions of some of the fonts that don't completely cover Latin-1 for instance, and some that include Cyrillic glyphs, etc... We've been working on getting this rationalized a bit more).

The fonts that ADE and RMSDK ships with (Myriad Pro and Minion Pro) have a bit wider coverage, but not complete.

I haven't stayed up to date with the glyph coverage for the fonts that Sony, Kobo, and Bluefire ship with, much less the lesser known OEMS.

Exactly true. What Fonts are part of ADE in the RMSDK is exactly what you get although in some of the early versions Adobe dictated the font you used and the font set was pretty much fixed.

The Barnes and Noble font set is part of the Pubit specifications on how to submit a ePub eBook. https://simg1.imagesbn.com/pimages/pubit/support/pubit_epub_formatting_guide.pdf. It is called the ePub formatting guide. I would assume this is official. The character support is listed in the Appendix.

Dale

Jim Lester
05-29-2012, 01:50 AM
Exactly true. What Fonts are part of ADE in the RMSDK is exactly what you get although in some of the early versions Adobe dictated the font you used and the font set was pretty much fixed.

Adobe never dictated font usage to RMSDK customers - Sony which was the first RMSDK customer shipped with their own fonts on the 500(a) and 505.


The Barnes and Noble font set is part of the Pubit specifications on how to submit a ePub eBook. https://simg1.imagesbn.com/pimages/pubit/support/pubit_epub_formatting_guide.pdf. It is called the ePub formatting guide. I would assume this is official. The character support is listed in the Appendix.

Dale

Thanks for the link - I'll make sure to get it updated appropriately.

DaleDe
05-29-2012, 01:09 PM
Adobe never dictated font usage to RMSDK customers - Sony which was the first RMSDK customer shipped with their own fonts on the 500(a) and 505.



Thanks for the link - I'll make sure to get it updated appropriately.

Good to know. What I saw was the RMSDK didn't permit an easy way to choose from available fonts already on the device and didn't realize that this was unconnected. Newer implementations now offer selecting from a choice of fonts on my Hanlin device. Jinke was also an early adopter. ADE itself on the PC did dictate and not allow switching of fonts either so I must have gotten it mixed up.

Please let us know when the proper document is available.

Dale

wijwij
06-18-2012, 09:56 PM
Sigil FAQ suggests the answer to OP's question may be the glyphs listed in Adobe PDF Reference, Appendix D1 and D3. Not sure what evidence backs this up.

http://code.google.com/p/sigil/wiki/FAQ#Why_do_some_of_my_non-ASCII_characters_appear_correctly_in_Sigil

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/pdf/pdf_reference_archive.html

wijwij