Does anybody use combining accents?

Are there users for combining accents? They’re out there commercially thanks to the no-effort setup in Glyphs 2. But I wonder if users are catching on.


  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,446
    From a user perspective, combining mark use might be transparent, with combinations of base plus mark(s) input from a single keystroke. In that respect, users might not need to 'catch on'.
  • Paul MillerPaul Miller Posts: 126
    In Microsoft Word there are key combinations which will allow you to apply various accents to characters but I don't know if it uses the precomposed composite characters or applies a combining diacritic to the character.

    Perhaps I ought to do a little experiment!

  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,096
    There are languages with characters that don't even exist as precombined single characters in Unicode. I think combining accents are pretty common for those (although one can also do them as ligature-like combos with the 'ccmp' feature).
  • Katy MawhoodKaty Mawhood Posts: 190
    @James Puckett Yes please…!
  • Michel BoyerMichel Boyer Posts: 107
    edited July 2017
    I searched for the characters in the range U+0300 to U+036F that are output by standard (not extended) Ukulele keyboards (Mac keyboards from SIL International) and got the following counts (open image in new window to see full size);

  • I'm getting an obnoxious trailing whitespace after combined characters on this forum, BTW:

    (MacOS Sierra, Firefox)

  • That's strange. It works properly for me with the same combination (macOS Sierra, Firefox).
  • Apparently I'm using Source Sans Pro as the default typeface. Maybe that's the problem.
  • Looks like Alright Sans to me.
  • On my iPhone and MacBook, I'm not seeing the trailing space though that letter (the one marked "decomposed") is falling back to some similar font that's not quite a match. 
  • Ooh, you're right! I should have looked more closely.
  • I want to like combining marks -- I really do.  But I use precomposed combinations when they exist because the results are much more reliable.  Fonts and apps are gradually getting better, but we still have a ways to go before it all "just works."  Mac users are better off because OS X includes combining marks on one of its system keyboards (the ABC Extended, IIRC; been a while since I checked) and tries to position combining accents properly even if the font doesn't have a <mark> feature.  Neither of these is true on Windows (I'm mostly a Windows user, so no attacks are necessary.)
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