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Old 03-25-2012, 10:31 PM   #1
teh603
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Non-Roman Unicode Characters

Anyone know which non-Roman unicode characters are supported by their readers?

For example, I can type a variety of special characters and stay within a basic font, even though Times New Roman only supports about a third of the full set. But if I'm writing for an e-reader, how much of that is actually available for use?

I wouldn't mind having a character that speaks in Mah Jongg tiles, y'know...
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:54 PM   #2
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Give Charis SIL a try. It's a free font you can embed that should support all of what you need. You can embed it in ePub which would mean you'd be covered for ePub. It comes in all four styles you might need.
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:20 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teh603 View Post
Anyone know which non-Roman unicode characters are supported by their readers?

For example, I can type a variety of special characters and stay within a basic font, even though Times New Roman only supports about a third of the full set. But if I'm writing for an e-reader, how much of that is actually available for use?

I wouldn't mind having a character that speaks in Mah Jongg tiles, y'know...
I can see the story now.

And so it was that Pung and Chow perched upon the red and green dragons rode the four winds to the land of Kong.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Give Charis SIL a try. It's a free font you can embed that should support all of what you need. You can embed it in ePub which would mean you'd be covered for ePub. It comes in all four styles you might need.
You can't embed fonts with Smashwords or BookieJar, as far as I can tell. Prolly need to do some more research on that. Either way, I'm talking about the Unicode set which includes the equivalent of five bajillion old- style fonts anyway.

Edit: And if I was embedding one, I'd probably embed FreeSerif or Liberation Serif anyway, as well as one of the display fonts I use on my covers. They're also FOSS.

Quote:
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I can see the story now.

And so it was that Pung and Chow perched upon the red and green dragons rode the four winds to the land of Kong.
I was actually thinking about using them for some Dark Elves. The FMC doesn't speak Elvish (she only speaks two languages- Common and Bad Common), and I didn't want to run the risk of someone trying to decode it and make a language guide.
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:46 AM   #5
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I was thinking of creating a test "book" with every character in it, to see which ones work and which ones don't. (Has anyone done that already?)

I have a handful of books that use inline graphics for some foreign characters. You can see it in the click to view sample of The City & the City by China Mieville on Amazon - it's the accented Z in Beszel. That's not an ideal solution, since the graphics can only be one size, and the surrounding text can be whatever size I want.

I'm not really sure whether the accented graphics are conversion artifacts (the other book I had this with was converted by me from an epub), lowest-common-denominator (I believe the original Kindle had an inferior character set), or if the readers or ebook formats really can't do them.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by DrNefario View Post
I was thinking of creating a test "book" with every character in it, to see which ones work and which ones don't. (Has anyone done that already?)
I just did. I simply added this Unicode 2.0 test page twice to an ePub and embedded a Unicode compatible font with a good (but not perfect) Unicode 2 coverage.
If you click on the first entry in the TOC, you'll see examples of Unicode ranges that your reader supports natively.
You can use the second page to test whether your reader supports embedded fonts. If it does, you'll most likely see more characters.
Attached Files
File Type: epub Unicode_Test.epub (403.8 KB, 93 views)
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doitsu View Post
I just did. I simply added this Unicode 2.0 test page twice to an ePub and embedded a Unicode compatible font with a good (but not perfect) Unicode 2 coverage.
If you click on the first entry in the TOC, you'll see examples of Unicode ranges that your reader supports natively.
You can use the second page to test whether your reader supports embedded fonts. If it does, you'll most likely see more characters.
Got one for Unicode 6.0 or later? The Mah Jongg tiles weren't added until 5.1 or so.
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by teh603 View Post
Got one for Unicode 6.0 or later? The Mah Jongg tiles weren't added until 5.1 or so.
Since very few readers support Unicode 2.0, it's not very likely that even the latest models support Unicode 6.0. And even if they did, it would be pointless since there is so much detail on each tile that it'd be difficult to tell them apart at normal font sizes.
Since many readers have CJK support, it might easier to find out the Hanzi characters(s) depicted on a specific tile and use them instead of tiles.

Last edited by Doitsu; 03-26-2012 at 01:34 PM.
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