Script and Font Support in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2012/03/19 07:01 -04:00, original URI:

With each new version of Windows, there are some bits of the documentatation that are updated.

That is just expected, you know? :-)

But every once in a while, there are pages that are updated even before the new version is officially released.

I'll point to such a page today!

The page in question is the long-standing Script and Font Support in Windows page, which has had sections for

has a new section for the Windows 8 Consumer Preview!

The text for that section, I am going to just quote right here, right now:

The following table lists scripts newly supported in Windows 8, and associated fonts:

New scripts Region where script is from Fonts Comments on language usage
Glagolitic Europe Segoe UI Symbol Historic
Gothic Europe Segoe UI Symbol Historic
Old Hangul East Asia Malgun Gothic Historic, used in historic Korean texts
Old Italic Europe Segoe UI Symbol Historic
Lisu China, Southeast Asia Segoe UI Lisu
Myanmar Southeast Asia Myanmar Text Myanmar, Shan, Karen
N'Ko Africa Ebrima N'Ko and other Manding languages
Orkhon China Segoe UI Symbol Historic

Some significant changes were introduced into Unicode version 5.2 in relation to the encoding of Old Hangul text. These changes enable products that can support Korean Standard KS X 1026-1:2007. In earlier versions of Windows, Uniscribe included support for shaping Old Hangul text, though not in accordance with the KS X 1026-1:2007 standard. In Windows 8, Uniscribe and DirectWrite provide suport for Old Hangul text in accordance with the Korean standard, and font support for Old Hangul text is also now included.

In Windows 7, Unicode variation sequences were supported for certain scenarios only. In Windows 8, Unicode variation sequences are fully supported in GDI and DirectWrite text stacks. In particular, ideographic variation sequences used in Japan are supported, and the Japanese fonts in Windows 8 support a number of ideographic variation sequences.

For certain previously-supported scripts, the fonts used for the Windows user interface were changed in Windows 8. In some cases, support for a scripts was added to an existing font (such as Segoe UI); in other cases, entirely new UI fonts for those scripts were added. The UI font changes are as follows:

Among additional fonts added for previously-supported scripts is the Urdu Typesetting font, which supports Arabic script in Nastaliq style (sometimes referred to as Perso-Arabic script).

In Windows 7, the Segoe UI Symbol font was added to provide support for many symbols encoded in Unicode. This font has been significantly updated in Windows 8 to support many more symbols, including complete support for Emoji characters used in Japan and elsewhere.

Among other significant updates to fonts from Windows 7 is the addition of support for CJK Extension C and Extension D characters in the SimSun-ExtB and MingLiU-ExtB fonts.

In Windows 7, both Uniscribe and DirectWrite provided support for OpenType advanced typographic capabilities, including OpenType features, such as typographic small caps or stylistic sets, and language specific forms. This functionality was not supported in Windows UI frameworks, however. As a result, advanced typographic capabilities were never visible in the Windows shell and were not well supported in applications. These capabilities are better supported in Windows 8, enabling higher quality typography in the Windows Metro style shell and in Metro style apps developed for Windows 8. The CSS3 -ms-font-feature-settings property exposes OpenType capabilities and is supported in the MSHTML rendering engine used by IE10 and Metro style apps built for Windows using HTML and JavaScript. For XAML, advanced OpenType capabilities that were supported in WPF and Silverlight are also supported in the Windows Runtime XAML framework.

There's a lot of information there, only some of which I've talked about previously in other blogs.

Some parts of it, I will discuss further in future blogs.

you can even consider adding requests if there are particular items you want to make sure I talk about....

But in the meantime, enjoy!

xpclient on 20 Mar 2012 6:37 AM:

The improvements in all areas of Windows except the main UI are so nice. It's just that the User Experience team screwed up the main user interface so badly that all of these great improvements are going to go waste as people downgrade to Windows 7 due to lack of a Start Menu and Metro forced on us, not even an option to boot to desktop, and the desktop apps called "legacy". The same thing happened for Windows 7 and Vista. Great systems overall, but the User Experience people screwed up Windows Explorer, search, Media Player etc so badly that you don't feel like the OS. MS still hasn't fixed the screwed up Explorer and third party software like Classic Shell is needed to make it usable. The User Experience team always keeps screwing things up and touching things that worked fine and unnecessarily messing them.

Tom Gewecke on 22 Mar 2012 8:32 AM:

Do you know of an online demo of the new "Urdu Typesetting font, which supports Arabic script in Nastaliq style "?   I can't run Windows myself, but this sounds really interesting.

Matt on 16 Dec 2012 9:20 PM:

What is the name of the new Urdu font? Can it be gotten "retroactively" for Windows 7?

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