control characters in name table

What control characters are allowed or considered so in the name table.

e.g. The description and license field might contain line breaks and tabs. Should that be windows or Mac line line endings?


  • The name table can contain seperate entries for Mac and Windows.
  • Georg SeifertGeorg Seifert Posts: 669
    edited October 2013
    Of cause you are right. The line endings should be converted.

    But that leaves the question with the other control chars. Are there other chars then tabs and line breaks that someone would use?
  • Grzegorz RolekGrzegorz Rolek Posts: 22
    edited October 2013
    Technically, the name table entries are just raw strings of characters in a specified encoding, so any character that’s considered valid in any given encoding should be allowed to be used. This, of course, doesn’t apply for critical entries like family name and the like, which have to meet certain assumptions for the font to work properly in various environments, but for a free form entries like license text I think it’s entirely up to a font producer.

    Unless you’re a font authoring app developer and you want to enforce on your users whatever you think is the most reasonable thing to do…
  • ClintGossClintGoss Posts: 66
    I just started running fontbakery with various profiles (-check-universal, for example) and it issues a FAIL for any name table entry with line breaks. (code The complaints are the same for Unicode, Macintosh, or Windows platforms.

    I can't track down the source of / rationale for this restriction. Might anyone know?? 
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,746
    That's pretty weird. I would think line breaks would be highly expected in certain fields, such as license info.
  • ClintGossClintGoss Posts: 66
    That's pretty weird. ...
    I've tried various profiles, including check-adobefonts, and they all complain at line-breaks in any name table field.

    I've seen the Google Fonts rationale for things like not using Reserved Font Names, but cannot track down the rationale for the no line-break restriction.

    I've seen the ugliness of OFL text embedded without newlines, and I shudder at the prospect ...
  • ClintGossClintGoss Posts: 66
    I've submitted ... hope this is appropriate ...
  • ClintGossClintGoss Posts: 66
    This check was erroneously in the OpenType and Universal profiles of fontbakery. It has been relocated to the GoogleFonts-only profile. See: and

Sign In or Register to comment.