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Old 05-19-2012, 11:37 AM   #1
DiapDealer
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ADE Portable Unicode font support

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.
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:55 PM   #2
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I don't have any documentation either, but I created a quick & dirty Unicode 2 test .epub 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.

Last edited by Doitsu; 05-19-2012 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:07 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 05-19-2012, 05:46 PM   #4
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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?
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:54 AM   #5
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I don't know if there's an answer for that, it probably depends on the reader and version. Look here, the second-to-last item, for some hint.
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:14 PM   #6
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Based on my experience, special characters used in German, French, Spanish work fine (ä, à, â, á 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.
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:30 PM   #7
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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.

Last edited by Jim Lester; 05-20-2012 at 02:34 PM. Reason: added ps for Jellby
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Old 05-20-2012, 02:54 PM   #8
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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*
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:06 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:28 PM   #10
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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.

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Old 05-20-2012, 09:11 PM   #11
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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*
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Old 05-21-2012, 06:39 AM   #12
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If you use an embedded font for some characters, use it for all the text.
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:38 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jellby View Post
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.
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
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.
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Lester View Post
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?
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