Where is the character?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/01/31 03:31 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2007/01/31/1563080.aspx


A common question I get relates to "how do I find a font for U+####[##]?" where the character code is whatever Unicode code unit they need to show.

Like just the other day, the question I got:

Hi Michael, when browsing for how to write the reversed C I found your post on the matter.

http://blogs.msdn.com/michkap/archive/2006/08/10/694191.aspx

I need to reproduce a funerary monument in my thesis and though I found the Unicode values, 2183, 2184 I can't seem to find a font that actually prints them. Do you have an idea of what I could use? Word on PC or MAC, use both.

Preferably in the public domain = free... :) Sorry for bothering you. BTW. The gravestone reads like this:

MEMORIÆ
JOANN. DAVID ACKERBLAD
SVECI
QUI
OBIIT ROMAE A. D. VI.KAL. FEBR.
CI <REVERSED C> I<REVERSED C> CCCXIX
NE VIRI INTER EXTEROS
VARIA DOCTRINA ILLUSTRIS
SEPULCRUM SUORUM INCURIA
TITULO CARERET
POSITUM MDCCCXXIV

I have found in recent years that http://www.fileformat.info/ is a great place to easily look. If you go the page for either U+2183 or U+2184, for example, you will see a link near the top that talks about the fonts that support the character. And by the looks of things there is at least Code2000 from James Kass that is a very inexpensive shareware font....

On that page, there is also a link to the Custom Font Report tool which will give you the list of characters supported by a font on your machine (you can also use a program like Character Map to look for anything on the BMP or the Word Insert Symbol dialog in Word 2003 or later to find anything on or off the BMP in a font.

There is also Alan Wood's Unicode Resources, which can be very helpful here in such cases....

 

This post brought to you by â†„ (U+2184, a.k.a. LATIN SMALL LETTER REVERSED C)


# Tom Gewecke on 31 Jan 2007 10:43 AM:

I'm surprised the fileformat page doesn't mention some other very common free fonts for this character:  Doulos SIL, New Athena Unicode, and Gandhari Unicode.

# Tom Gewecke on 31 Jan 2007 10:47 AM:

PS On a standard Mac, Lucida Grande has U+2183.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 31 Jan 2007 10:49 AM:

You can always tell him via that link on the page!

# Yaytay on 18 Jun 2008 5:01 AM:

Comment to an old post, so I hope you see it.

I've just knocked up a simple .net utility for solving this problem (I was looking for the sound copyright, circle P, symbol).

The utility converts a regex into a list of unicode characters (based on their name) and then when you select one of those characters it displays that character in all installed fonts that support the character.

It is based on the GetGlyphIndices function.

Unfortunately some fonts return a non-zero value for a given character, but don't actually support it (displaying the default rectangle when used).

Is there a more reliable way to determine support for a code-point in a font?

When I've got this utility working more reliably I'll make it available if anyone wants it.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 18 Jun 2008 11:05 AM:

You probably want to put this in the Suggestion Box? :-)


referenced by

2008/07/01 Is that character in the font or isn't it?

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