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Old 08-14-2010, 03:54 PM   #1
bobcdy
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greek letters and ADE

I had thought that greek letters were ok with ADE (and Sigil) but apparently some of them are not; for example unicode ύ (small upsilon with oxia) is not. I tried inserting the unicode value and came up with a ?. Does anyone know a work-around for this problem?
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Old 08-14-2010, 04:16 PM   #2
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It's nothing to do with ADE - the fact that it's displayed as a question mark simply indicates that the font you're using to display the book doesn't contain that character.

The safest solution is to embed a font that contains all the required characters into the ePub file.
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Old 08-14-2010, 04:48 PM   #3
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Thanks, HarryT; I not sure which font would have coverage of all the Greek letters but I'll search around for one. The standard one for ADE does pretty well but apparently not for the 7 character unicode characters.
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Old 08-14-2010, 05:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
It's nothing to do with ADE - the fact that it's displayed as a question mark simply indicates that the font you're using to display the book doesn't contain that character.
That statement contradicts itself. ADE default fonts have a ridiculously narrow Unicode glyph coverage and that is why bobcdy is seeing a question mark instead of the correct character.

Users are perfectly within their right to blame ADE for this. It should include fonts with better coverage. Adobe as a company makes and sells fonts, so the least they could do is provide a couple of decent ones in ADE.
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Old 08-14-2010, 05:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Valloric View Post
That statement contradicts itself. ADE default fonts have a ridiculously narrow Unicode glyph coverage and that is why bobcdy is seeing a question mark instead of the correct character.

Users are perfectly within their right to blame ADE for this. It should include fonts with better coverage. Adobe as a company makes and sells fonts, so the least they could do is provide a couple of decent ones in ADE.
I apologise for not making myself clearer.

The ADE file format is not to blame for this problem; the issue lies with the fonts available in the reading software used to view the file. Some viewers allow you to select your own font and, for example, the "Lucida Sans Unicode" font supplied as standard with Windows contains an extremely complete set of characters, including all the accented Greek letters.

Last edited by HarryT; 08-14-2010 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 08-14-2010, 06:28 PM   #6
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bobcdy: you might be interested in the SIL fonts: http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/p...id=SILFontList
as well as the linux libertine font: http://linuxlibertine.sourceforge.net/
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:15 PM   #7
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I really hope ADE decides to do something about it at some point. I suspect that greek ebooks (the few that there are) are sold in pdf format mainly because of this font problem.
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Old 08-14-2010, 10:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
I apologise for not making myself clearer.

The ADE file format is not to blame for this problem; the issue lies with the fonts available in the reading software used to view the file. Some viewers allow you to select your own font and, for example, the "Lucida Sans Unicode" font supplied as standard with Windows contains an extremely complete set of characters, including all the accented Greek letters.


So if I understand you correctly, if I have a reader that is not displaying Greek characters, if that reader allows me to set or choose the font, I can select Lucina Sans Unicode and Greek will display correctly?

I've noticed that on mobileread, I can display Greek characters, but on other forums it turns into question marks. I wonder if I can select a "font" type on those forums and get Greek to display.

Thanks for the tips!

Maria
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:21 AM   #9
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omk3 it doesn't need to go as far as a completely non-latin set of glyphs.
(say greek, hebrew, or cyryllic)
already latin extended are not fully supported
Since full (or even mostly) unicode covering font files are rather NOT small the need of including them into the epubs bloats them as hell.

(Adobe sells a full unicode arial variant: the filesize is ca 24MB)
A tool which:
  • analyzes the epub
  • makes a list of glyphs used from each fontfile
  • deletes the remaining ones from said files inside the epub
would be just great

a PDF embeds only the characters needed;
having such a stripping tool would be great for epub optimizing.

but regardless of that Val is completely right: it's a rather poor behaviour by a company so deeply specialized in typography offering a reader app with such a poor set of glyph coverage, be it even as a fallback solution for not self-typeset epubs.
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Old 08-15-2010, 05:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
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So if I understand you correctly, if I have a reader that is not displaying Greek characters, if that reader allows me to set or choose the font, I can select Lucina Sans Unicode and Greek will display correctly?
That's correct.

Quote:
I've noticed that on mobileread, I can display Greek characters, but on other forums it turns into question marks. I wonder if I can select a "font" type on those forums and get Greek to display.
That's because MobileRead, like ADE, is Unicode based, and hence can display multiple "character sets" correctly. Older sites generally use what's called a "code page", which means that they can only display one set of characters at a time.
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Old 08-15-2010, 05:45 AM   #11
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I don't know if this helps, but a little while ago I uploaded Lorna Doone which has two Greek verbs in the first chapter, and used the HTML codes for Greek letters to transcribe them. I just checked on my Cybook Gen3 (which so far as I know uses the ADE reader) and the words appear correctly with Verdana, Goudita Sans, Georgia, Bitstream Vera Sans, and the default font family - whatever that may be; it's a sans serif font.

I also checked with the desktop ADE reader on my computer, and again the Greek words appeared as they should.

Is it possible that it is not the ADE reader's fault at all, but the way the Greek characters were encoded in original document from which the ebook was made? I do all the ebooks I prepare by hand, starting with valid XHTML files, so I have no experience with other methods.

Regards, Alex
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Old 08-15-2010, 05:58 AM   #12
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I just checked on my Cybook Gen3 (which so far as I know uses the ADE reader) and the words appear correctly with Verdana, Goudita Sans, Georgia, Bitstream Vera Sans, and the default font family - whatever that may be; it's a sans serif font.
Not quite. The Cybooks have an ePUB reader that uses the Adobe engine, but it's not exactly ADE (by which I specifically refer to the desktop reader). Some improvements of the Cybooks are the possibility of setting a default justification and changing the font.

Another free font with good Unicode coverage: GNU FreeFont
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Old 08-15-2010, 06:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexBell View Post
I don't know if this helps, but a little while ago I uploaded Lorna Doone which has two Greek verbs in the first chapter, and used the HTML codes for Greek letters to transcribe them. I just checked on my Cybook Gen3 (which so far as I know uses the ADE reader) and the words appear correctly with Verdana, Goudita Sans, Georgia, Bitstream Vera Sans, and the default font family - whatever that may be; it's a sans serif font.

I also checked with the desktop ADE reader on my computer, and again the Greek words appeared as they should.

Is it possible that it is not the ADE reader's fault at all, but the way the Greek characters were encoded in original document from which the ebook was made? I do all the ebooks I prepare by hand, starting with valid XHTML files, so I have no experience with other methods.

Regards, Alex
Unaccented Greek works in pretty much every font; it's the accents that cause problems.

For fragments of Greek in an English book, I generally insert the Greek as a graphical image. That's guaranteed to always work.
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Old 08-15-2010, 07:32 AM   #14
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Yes it is only the accents that are causing problems. Which really baffles me. If ADE chose to include greek glyphs in their default font, why leave accented vowels out? Accents are absolutely necessary in writing Greek after all. And if they included greek glyphs only as mathematical symbols, why then include all of them? It doesn't seem that well thought-out, does it.

Embedding a font or changing the css to link to an external font (if there's no drm) in every greek ebook is a hassle, and not everyone has the know-how to do it. So back to awkward pdf for the moment...
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