Hi. I would like to ask if there is a list of characters that should be used in a typeface for also scientific publications? I would like to add to a typeface with only the most commonly used characters in such publications. Are there perhaps any other characters I should add if the typeface will also have Greek and Cyrillic?
The STIX Two Math font that we developed for the Scientific, Technical and Information Publishing consortium (STI Pub) contains a huge number of symbols, but some are rare, some are technical rather than scientific, and some are miscellaneous inclusions from providing complete coverage of Unicode blocks.
But even for one foundry, it would be useful to provide a font with a generic set of science/maths symbols that would extend the functionality of fonts with basic character sets. Like in the old days. That would give the foundry some control over appropriate style, weight and proportion of the auxiliary glyphs.
It would certainly be easier to link fonts than copy and paste science/math characters.
That was how fractions, for instance, were supplied in metal fonts.
Paging @Dave Crossland—maybe Google could commission a math and symbol font that covers weight, width, and contrast axes.
A number of aspects of this were covered by two patents, filed in 1999, which should therefore have expired in 2019, if I follow these things correctly.
A more sophisticated version of this approach was introduced by https://www.fauxfoundry.com/ to add virtual Greek support, that is much better than generic fallbacks, to existing fonts.
Botany uses botanical symbols which come from the alchemistic symbols for the planets but also invented additional ones. Botany uses accented Latin for scientific names, zoology plain a-z. Both use '×' U+00D7 MULTIPLICATION SIGN (Math_Symbol) for hybrids. They also use the fullwidth variants of mathematical operators for inline formulas, e. g. for measurements.
Linguists use IPA (no surprise).
Superscript, subscript, smallcaps, bold, italic.
Mathematics, informations sciences and technical reports use a large set of math symbols. Which serious scientific text has no mathematical part? They also have often pseudocode which needs a fixed width font.
There are a few maths / symbol fonts under TeX / LaTeX - and they are gradually being converted to type 1, truetype etc. Seeing what glyphs they have may be a good start. E.g. The maths and etc symbols in the Computer Modern Roman font.
I don't know what's the current authoritative web site for TeX / LaTeX matters - it comes with Linux as optional installs. "Comprehensive TeX Archive Network" (ctan) - at www.ctan.org . And perhaps "TeXLive" (the most popular bundle these days) is another.
(Do you mean to say a scientific font should be in MathFont format so as to be usable in LaTeX?)
Just my 2 pc.
- For linguistics you are likely to require phonetic characters, but which set? There are several beyond basic IPA. Also several transliteration standards may have to be taken into account.
- For medieaval studies you need special char. sets, may it be Latin abbreviations or special Norse characters, Anglo-Saxon, Welsh, Runic, Ogham, Old High-German, whatsoever.
- For historic economic works one may be in need of special historic currency and measurement characters, only some of them having an official Unicode.
- In botany you need a peculiar char. set as well as in genealogy or alchemy- or astrology-related matters. All very special.
- In antiquity studies the most peculiar ancient (dead) script systems may become relevant, far beyond Greek or Hebrew.
- Pray you never face the need to cater for early music notation studies.
- For chemistry you need decent superscript and subscript character sets of course; what else?
- A solid support for mathematical notation is a universe of its own, I guess you’ll have to dive very deeply into the higher insights of a community specialised in that subject.
Maybe I have assumed certain associations are common knowledge: Donald Knuth - TeX - MetaFont - Computer Modern Roman font (which is the main font he designed with MetaFont and used in TeX)
It's very normal to typeset the math and specialist symbols in another typeface, which can limit the commonly used char requirements to linear text needs. Which then reverts to the question: what makes a good typeface for academic typesetting?
Separately, type variants for blocks of code are frequently needed and rarely harmonised with the text typeface (for better or worse). By way of example: