PUA encoding and pro users

Has anybody received complaints from professional users about fonts with PUA encoded glyphs causing problems when switching fonts?


  • SiDanielsSiDaniels Posts: 277
    Yes. A recent Mac Office update broke fallback to the PUA Apple logo and people did complain.  
  • I haven't had any issues with that yet, but then again, all of my fonts are for display and used in short word and/or phrase settings... 
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,095
    edited March 2018
    Back in the day, Adobe used to ship fonts with all the alternates also PUA-encoded, and I never saw such a complaint. But at the same time, very few people used that mechanism to access those glyphs.

    The more educated users are the most likely to make use of PUA (but only when other access mechanisms are unavailable), and also the most likely to understand why they might hit problems when changing fonts.

    I have heard from other designers besides Laura, who shared her experience.

    I am sure there would be *some* complaints some times, but it seems to not be a major problem. Of course, if you ship docs with your fonts or have an FAQ online, you should cover/explain this issue. Must keep up the educational effort!
  • Yes, I wholeheartedly agree with you on this, Thomas, and I'm glad you mentioned it. I think it's absolutely critical to provide documentation, instructions and resources about PUA encoded fonts. I have developed materials on all of this and would be happy to provide them to any type designers who are interested as well to be shared with customers, et al.
  • Some products of mine have plenty of PUA characters, mainly according to the MUFI spec. They are heavily used in many editions (mostly print, but also online) and I have not received any complaints about them.
  • A key thing is that the likely users should understand what to expect in the way of interoperability. For a specialized audience, such as app developers using icon fonts or medievalists using special medievalist fonts, there's a better chance that you can document the situation and that it will be understood. For typographers and graphics professionals using fonts with "expert-set" alternated encoded as PUA characters, there's a fair chance of getting that understanding.

    But for widespread, non-specialized/non-expert cases, like the case Si mentions — an Apple logo that any Mac user can easily enter in a doc without any idea what limitations exist — that seems like a setup for trouble.

    So, evaluate the target audience and anticipated usage, and weigh the risks accordingly.
  • @SiDaniels

    Do you have a link to a site that describes this MS Office behaviour in more detail? I'm not sure I follow exactly what you're saying.

  • SiDanielsSiDaniels Posts: 277
    edited March 2018
    @André G. Isaak I don't have a page. But it's pretty easy to explain. Regardless of font, if a user entered the Apple logo (PUA mapped) we'd fall back to an Apple supplied font that included the logo. The Office update didn't fallback, so for a font like Calibri the user would get a square box. 
  • @SiDaniels,

    Thanks, that clarifies things.
  • Paul MillerPaul Miller Posts: 272
    SiDaniels said:
    Yes. A recent Mac Office update broke fallback to the PUA Apple logo and people did complain.  
    I tend to have a little fun with the Apple Logo (uniF000) character in my fonts.  How come one company got their logo embedded in Unicode and no other company has a logo allocated to them.

    So in the roman font the logo is done straight as it should be but that may not be true for the italic, bold or the bold italic version.

    An easter egg perhaps, depends on how Apple centric you are.  :D
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,095
    U+F000 is a private use codepoint. Apple or anybody else can do with it as they will—it is not standardized by Unicode.
  • AFAIK the Apple Logo is most commonly encoded at 0xF8FF, not 0xF000 (though both would fall in the private use area).
  • On an unrelated note, the oldstyle figures which this forum uses don't look very good when citing codepoints.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,095
    Awww. I like them because the zeros look like little o's. So fooo.... (Thread drift alert!)
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