Arial Unicode MS effectively [bites|sucks|blows]

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/07/16 01:14 -04:00, original URI:

MVP Omi Azad likes to send people from Microsoft email when he runs into bugs.

Usually they are our bugs, so it all works out.

Though this last mail was a bit different....

First he sent a screenshot of some Bengali text:

The bits in green were the problem. His words:

Don't go through the content of the image I attached. :-)

Just have a look at the green marked characters. They are not same as the other one. Green ones are not bottom aligned with the other ones, also not top aligned.

Is that a font conflict? I have more than one font installed in the system. This doesn't happen with IE7 but it happens with Firefox.

If face is not declared in the html, one screen should bring all the characters from the same default font. So why they are not rendering correctly in Vista? This doesn't happen on XP/2000.

But same problem happens with most of the Non-MS products. That is why I'm concern about it.

Just now I removed Arial Unicode MS font and things become perfect once again. What's is wrong?

Do you have any idea?

Well, I do have some ideas.

First, uninstall Arial Unicode MS!

I mean, really.

There are way too many applications that are using it as a default font, since they figure that will get them coverage of things.

And that is just a really bad idea, given the coverage of this font in terms of both characters and features will seldom be identical to the OS since it is not an OS font (it's an Office font).

Even Omi noticed that removing Arial Unicode MS made the problem go away in those various non-MS applications.

When you get down to it, you need to try and trust what Uniscribe is doing rather than trying to start with a font that may not be able to get it all done....

As a last resort font, it is okay. But as a first resort font? It bites. It sucks. It blows. For a whole lot of other reasons in addition to this one that ISVs are forcing on everyone....

And if you are an ISV, please consider not using it. Your users may really thank you for it!


This post brought to you by 𒁁 (U+12041, a.k.a. CUNEIFORM SIGN BAD)

# Rosyna on 16 Jul 2007 7:17 AM:

Have I asked this before? But have you considered changing the basename for new posts to the title of the blog post? That is, "3890144.aspx" isn't very descriptive when I copy the url and paste it into some text box to share your good advice with the world.

But I know nothing of community server or if it has a feature like MovableType where new posts can use a different default base name without changing older posts.

# ΤΖΩΤΖΙΟΥ on 21 Jun 2009 6:26 PM:

Hm. A little insight into what you mean by "not an OS font (it's an Office font)" would be very welcome. The most obvious possible meaning is about packaging: ArialUni comes with MS Office, not with MS windows, right? Since I am not you, I prefer to avoid guessing and ask directly :)

Cheers from an old acquaintance from c.d.m-a

# Michael S. Kaplan on 21 Jun 2009 8:55 PM:

the text is pretty clear, I think:

"...will seldom be identical to the OS since it is not an OS font (it's an Office font)."

The fact that you guessed right proves it was clear enough. :-)

W on 12 Oct 2010 8:56 AM:

If I shouldn't set the font to "Arial Unicode MS" what should I do instead?

For example I want to display some Japanese Characters. The default font displays black boxes. And requiring the user to enable East-Asian font support in the control panel isn't nice either.

Michael S. Kaplan on 12 Oct 2010 9:07 AM:

If you don't have East Asian support then you don't have fonts anyway. But Arial Unicode MS is a bad solution for Kanji -- which kind of proves the point of this blog. :-)

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referenced by

2010/09/27 Megasupport of multiple ways to display text is the new "megafont"

2009/07/28 Every character has a story #32: U+1e9e (CAPITAL SHARP S, Microsoft edition - Part 1)

2009/06/08 Text can sometimes just look wrong when it seems like it shouldn't. Why?

2008/09/14 Johab to be kidding me!

2007/07/16 SIAO is still underwhelmed by search engines (all of them)

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