Superscript – missing forms

https://www.quora.com/Why-is-there-no-character-for-superscript-q-in-Unicode

I understand why there is no "q" in Unicode (thanks @Thomas Phinney for your past insight). But, why is the minuscule <q> superscript missing from those fonts that include other the other a–z forms? Equally, why do some fonts only include superscript 1–3, leaving 4–9 and 0?

Thanks!

Comments

  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 625
    Superscript ¹²³-only is a legacy from MacRoman Postscript Type 1 encoding. Older fonts from that period will tend to have only those three. (Sometimes you find a superscript 4, because one drew it anyway to compose the legacy three pre-built fractions from that same encoding: ¼½¾.)

    Similarly, those fonts that include only a partial set of superior letters are often those born in the legacy era of expert fonts, where one typically only bothered with a subset that Adobe (I think) determined to cover the major ordinal designations — adehilmnorst, if I recall correctly.


  • Hi Kent,
    Superscript ¹²³-only is a legacy from MacRoman Postscript Type 1 encoding. ([…] three pre-built fractions from that same encoding: ¼½¾.)
    Windows Latin-1 encoding?
  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 625
    Yeah, right, I suppose Windows 1252 had these also. From the same era. (Sorry, a little Mac centric.)
  • Yeah, right, I suppose Windows 1252 had these also.
    Actually, I think that only the Windows Latin-1 character set contains the three superior figures in question and the aforementioned fractions, and that these characters were never part of the Mac OS Roman encoding.
  • Jeff KellemJeff Kellem Posts: 53
    Kent Lew said:
    Similarly, those fonts that include only a partial set of superior letters are often those born in the legacy era of expert fonts, where one typically only bothered with a subset that Adobe (I think) determined to cover the major ordinal designations — adehilmnorst, if I recall correctly.
    More likely, those superscript (and subscript) miniscule letters were for phonetic alphabets.
  • I think Fontographer is to blame for making people think that fractions were part of Macintosh encoding in PostScript Type 1 fonts.


  • George ThomasGeorge Thomas Posts: 375
    edited June 30
    [.]
  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 625
    and that these characters were never part of the Mac OS Roman encoding

    So much for my recollection. I’ll blame advancing age. ;-)

  • For the superscript q, it’s probably the same answer. Modifier letters a to p and r to z are in a common encoding, in this case Unicode. So some designers add them and use them for the superscript or ordinal features. The superscript q is not in a common encoding, so it’s overlooked.

    In theory every letter could be superscripted, including accented letters or additional letters. One could make an inventory of all the various superscript letters that have been used but authors will always make new cases, so it may make more sense to just assume this is a productive system. Depending on the scope of the font, for example for a scholarly font, it may make sense to support this system and design superscript for every letter.
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