Unicode help?

I am just finishing up a massive font and was wondering if anyone can help me on understanding unicode.
I am trying to assign a PUA code to my alternates and ligatures. My goal is that someone can access the alternates on a windows machine by hitting the alt key and the decimal value assigned to the alternate. Is that even possible? The intentions are for people with outdated software to be able to access all of the alternates. Am I dreaming here, or is that something that is possible?


  • No, the alt+decimal mechanism only works for Win-ANSI character codes. PUA-encoded characters can be entered using the MS Word insert symbol function.
  • Thanks for letting me know! Any recommendations for people without OT software to be able to access the alternates?
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,420
    edited September 2013
    Make separate fonts.

    Even with OT software, they are easier to work with than constantly back-and-forthing between various combinations of stylistic sets deeply buried in the GUI.

    For instance, consider alternate /g and alternate /a : In order to assess which is preferable, a user has to select one, then the other, then deselect one.

    That’s 12 mouse movements in total (InDesign menus).

    However, if they are configured as four fonts, it’s only three mouse movements.
    Plus it’s clear just by looking in the font field, exactly which version is selected.
  • Thanks Nick. Unfortunately I would have to make over 30 versions of my font so that wouldn't be really feasible.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,420
    I would have thought that would make it more practical.
    However, and this relates to a recent post of Stuart’s, what you really need to know is how your customers work—or if indeed any of those who licence such alternate-heavy fonts actually use Word.
  • That is true. I just hope people who buy it do not use word. But I have the PUA thing working so that is good.
  • You could always do a stripped down set of two or three fonts for office users. Chances are they don't want thirty options, they just want to get the job done.
  • I would have to make over 30 versions of my font so that wouldn't be really feasible.
    Or one TTC with 30 name and cmap tables. ;)
  • Charles, Nick has this precisely right. For anyone who does intensive text work in multiple scripts, the number of mouse movements involved in engaging them is the only criterion that counts. I know there's something "romantic" about seeing all those languages together (it's like bringing world peace), but for the user it's nothing but a waste of time. However, I think I speak for more users than myself in saying that keeping a basic Latin set with most other scripts is a practical idea.
  • Wait, languages? I thought we were talking about stylistic alternates and PUA glyphs. Shouldn't multiple script support fonts be pretty much automated, worst case scenario a little opentype localization on the backend?
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