Could you really call it a symbolic gesture from MS Typography?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/05/21 23:38 -04:00, original URI:

The other day Alex asked me:

Are there any plans for including support for U+267F (the international wheelchair symbol) in any of the fonts that ship with Windows? I'm interested in its inclusion, and I thought you might know something about it.


I went and talked to some folks down the hall in Microsoft Typography to find out, and the word I got was that there is some real interest in picking up many of the various symbols in Unicode like this one in a future version of Windows. So one may well see them some day! :-)

It does of course lead to some interesting questions when one determines how they are included, though.

After all, one of the bad things about Wingdings and Webdings is that you are forced to select the font explicitly. But wouldn't the same requirement be here too?

Well, unless that special sixth condition for being considered a complex script I mentioned last year were to be extended to these symbols, I mean....

Now as I asked in the title, I do wonder whether it would be inappropriate to call the efforts on the part of the Typography team in this space to be merely symbolic.


This post brought to you by (U+267f, a.k.a. WHEELCHAIR SYMBOL)

Günther on 24 May 2007 12:31 PM:

Mozilla and Pango have no problem to substitute a different font just for one character. Sometimes, that character will look out of place because of that, but at least it's readable. Well, most of the time, if I copy that wheelchair into a texteditor using a small monospaced font, it's barely decipherable.

Michael S. Kaplan on 24 May 2007 2:15 PM:

Individual large apps never do -- I am talking about the system-wide, "you don't have to do anything" kind of behavior that Windows provides for other scripts. :-)

Günther on 25 May 2007 3:17 PM:

Pango ( is system-wide. It's a library, and it is used by all GUI apps on my computer running Debian GNU/Linux.

Michael S. Kaplan on 25 May 2007 9:21 PM:

Hmmm....ok. I am guessing that you are not saying that you pick up font updates from Windows for this library to use, right?

Günther on 26 May 2007 6:46 PM:

Microsoft has released some fonts which everybody is allowed to use. For example Verdana and others which are commonly used on websites, and which I use for this reason. I cannot predict wether that would be useful or possible with future font updates. :-)

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