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Combining Diacritical Marks in FrameMaker 11

Community Beginner ,
Mar 08, 2016

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Hey gang,

I've got a document that requires me to place mathematical symbols in text.  Some of these symbols don't have a Unicode component, e.g., the letter "V" with a vector arrow (→) over it. In Word, for example, you would type a letter, add the four-character Unicode and press ALT+X, or use the "Insert Symbol" dialog box.  This doesn't seem to exist in Frame.  Am I overlooking something?

TL;DR: Is there a way to combine diacritical marks in Frame to replicate this, or am I stuck using the Equation Editor?

Regards,

-terry-

FrameMaker 11

Windows 7 (64-bit)

Most Valuable Participant
Correct answer by Arnis_Gubins | Most Valuable Participant

You can try using FM's micro-positioning with the two glyphs. Select the character, hold the Alt key and then press the arrow keys to move the glyph in the desired direction.

Note: the amount of movement is sensitive to your current zoom level. The higher the zoom level, the less movement (i.e. more finesse).

Tip: if you need to use these characters a lot, create a text frame on (one of) your Reference pages and then create the combined characters. You can then copy&paste as needed.

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Combining Diacritical Marks in FrameMaker 11

Community Beginner ,
Mar 08, 2016

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Hey gang,

I've got a document that requires me to place mathematical symbols in text.  Some of these symbols don't have a Unicode component, e.g., the letter "V" with a vector arrow (→) over it. In Word, for example, you would type a letter, add the four-character Unicode and press ALT+X, or use the "Insert Symbol" dialog box.  This doesn't seem to exist in Frame.  Am I overlooking something?

TL;DR: Is there a way to combine diacritical marks in Frame to replicate this, or am I stuck using the Equation Editor?

Regards,

-terry-

FrameMaker 11

Windows 7 (64-bit)

Most Valuable Participant
Correct answer by Arnis_Gubins | Most Valuable Participant

You can try using FM's micro-positioning with the two glyphs. Select the character, hold the Alt key and then press the arrow keys to move the glyph in the desired direction.

Note: the amount of movement is sensitive to your current zoom level. The higher the zoom level, the less movement (i.e. more finesse).

Tip: if you need to use these characters a lot, create a text frame on (one of) your Reference pages and then create the combined characters. You can then copy&paste as needed.

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Mar 08, 2016 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 08, 2016

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You can try using FM's micro-positioning with the two glyphs. Select the character, hold the Alt key and then press the arrow keys to move the glyph in the desired direction.

Note: the amount of movement is sensitive to your current zoom level. The higher the zoom level, the less movement (i.e. more finesse).

Tip: if you need to use these characters a lot, create a text frame on (one of) your Reference pages and then create the combined characters. You can then copy&paste as needed.

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Mar 08, 2016 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 08, 2016

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re: You can try using FM's micro-positioning...

Does that translate to:
FM'15 still doesn't support Unicode combining diacritics?

Have there been any major enhancements to Unicode support since FM8?

If an FM release, later than the FM11 at issue here, does support Unicode's combining diacritics, that might break existing documents that worked around the lack of support for these retreating glyphs. That suggests that anyone using the micro-positioning technique might want to use standard (non-combining) characters as the diacritics, where available. Their behavior might be expected to not change later.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 14, 2020

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Just to re-revisit this for FM2019 (15.0.5.838), FM support for Unicode combining character is still some ways from optimal (and that's in addition to FM not yet rendering Unicode SMP at all; code points above U+FFFF).

FM is more or less elegantly handling cases where a decomposed base character plus a combining character can be collapsed into a single precomposed Unicode code point. An example might be:
U+0061 LATIN SMALL LETTER A
followed by
U+0300 COMBINING GRAVE ACCENT
entered as body text or even as a\u0300 in dialogs, it is collapsed to a
U+00E0 LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH GRAVE

Where there is no composition pathway, the base+combined get rendered on top of each other, but usually inelegantly, and that includes the case in this thread: V plus U+20D7 COMBINING RIGHT ARROW ABOVE

Until the FM Unicode engine gets enhanced for this, perhaps doing it as a Rubi might be worth a look.

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Jul 14, 2020 0
Contributor ,
Mar 09, 2016

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You can also create a Character Format to position a diacritical, but you have to use MIF to do so, because no GUI is provided:

    1. Open a new empty document.
    2. Type the character that you want to combine with the diacritical, the diacritical, and a following character
    3. Use micropositioning to adjust the position of the diacritical so it correctly combines:
      • select the diacritical
      • hold down the Alt key, and use the arrow keys to position the diacritical
    4. Change the Spread to adjust the position of the following character:
      • select the diacritical
      • adjust the value of the Spread in the Character Designer, typically to a negative amount
    5. Save the file as MIF.
    6. Find the text. It will usually be near the end of the file, and look something like this:

      <Para

        <Unique 999266>

        <PgfTag `Body'>

        <ParaLine

         <String `B'>

         <Font

          <FTag `'>

          <FDX  -41.66%>

          <FDY  -27.77%>

          <FDW  -20.0%>

          <FLocked No>

         > # end of Font

         <String `’'>

         <Font

          <FTag `'>

          <FLocked No>

         > # end of Font

         <String `C'>

        > # end of ParaLine

      > # end of Para

    7. Use a text editor to create a small MIF file. This MIF file defines a single character format that sets the same <FDX> and <FDY> micropositioning values and the <FDW> Spread value. Chaneg the FTag to an appropriate name. No other content is needed:

      <MIFFile 12.0>

      <FontCatalog

      <Font

        <FTag `my_character_format_name'>

        <FDX  -41.66%>

        <FDY  -27.77%>

        <FDW  -20.0%>

        <FLocked No>

      > # end of Font

      > # end of FontCatalog

      # End of MIFFile

    8. Open the MIF file using FrameMaker.
    9. Import the Character Format from the newly opened MIF file into your templates.

You can then use the Character Format to position the diacritical, and any others of similar size. Because the values are percentages, and so relative to the fnt size, you can use it in different contexts.

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Mar 09, 2016 1
Community Beginner ,
Mar 09, 2016

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Arnis and Mike,

Thanks for your help.  Arnis' solution works in the short term, and I'm working on Mike's solution for the long term.  As for you, Adobe...little help here?  I can't be the only person worrying about this.

Thanks again, guys!

-terry-

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