Automatic font substitution for Emoji, CJK characters, and other Unicode Glyphs

Community Beginner ,
Aug 31, 2021 Aug 31, 2021

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Often the text I set contain unicode characters that are not available in the font I’ve set for a Paragraph Style. These special characters include:

 

- Emoji

- CJK Characters

- Arabic / Hebrew Characters

- Special Unicode glyphs

 

What I’ve been doing is to create Character styles for all of them and then manually select the character range to apply them.

 

But I can’t help but wonder if there is an automatic way to do this. For example, my OS can perform these automatic font substitutions on the fly for my text editors / spreadsheet editors. So surely something as powerful as InDesign ought to be able to do the same?

 

I have the same question about this for Photoshop as well. It is actually very tedious whenever I receive a list of names / texts that contain a mix of CJK and emoji. Having to go through these manually is challenging.

 

IDEALLY, I’d be able to select a unicode range and automatically apply these characters styles to them. 

 

If something like this already exists, please let me know how to do it!

// SML @seeminglee
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Adobe Community Professional , Aug 31, 2021 Aug 31, 2021
What could help: A script that finds missing glyphs and could assign a character style to a found missing one. Look into this one: Manage missing glyphs (CS4 and later) Peter Kahrel & Peter Baumgartner https://creativepro.com/files/kahrel/indesign/missing_glyphs.html Regards, Uwe Laubender ( ACP )

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 31, 2021 Aug 31, 2021

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Well, I thought that this is what Missing Glyph Protection was for. I always turn it off, as I simply don't trust it when working with languages like Burmese or Tibetan or Persian or whatever, which is most of what I do with InDesign. My understanding is that it automagically substitutes an  appropriate font when your font doesn't have a glyph. I prefer to use a carefully groomed preflight profile so I can find any instance of any missing glyph and fix it manually, which is what I think you're saying you don't want.

 

Look for it in Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced Type -> Missing Glyph Protection. 

 

However, you don't get any control of what you're doing, as you're suggesting when you mention selecting a Unicode range.  Perhaps what you want instead is a GREP Style, which you will find in your Paragraph Style. You can use a regex to specify a Unicode range, and then automagically apply a Character Style to that text. Here's a useful discussion on stackexchange about how to set up those regexes.

 

(And also: you will find a brief discussion as to why it's not a great idea to use this technique if you have e.g. Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese and/or Japanese in the same document. Seriously, I wouldn't trust my OS, nor my layout app, with these kinds of decisions.)

 

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 31, 2021 Aug 31, 2021

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Thank you.

 

I do manually do it right now but I was hoping that there’s some missing features inside Paragraph Style that can do conditional character style application by unicode range. So it would be semi-manual — I try to match the style of Emoji and CJK to the English text design so I also don’t want fully automated methods. For example, when I set a bold sans serif text in English, I would try to match a CJK font that’s also sans-serif and with a font-weight in that family that’s close to the body text in English. 

 

To me, it seems that a feature like this could be added to a panel inside style similar to how Nested Styles are designed (UX wise).

 

I know that I can do GREP. I suppose I should look into writing a custom script since routinly running multiple F+Rs every time is not very efficient. 

 

All of my Missing Glyph Protection options are unchecked — which I assume means that it will auto-substitute, but it does not.

 

Thanks for replying though — it gives me comfort knowing that there isn’t in fact a feature that I didn’t know about beyond the other workaround methods!

// SML @seeminglee

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 01, 2021 Sep 01, 2021

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To me, it seems that a feature like this could be added to a panel inside style similar to how Nested Styles are designed (UX wise).

 

I know that I can do GREP. I suppose I should look into writing a custom script since routinly running multiple F+Rs every time is not very efficient. 

 

Yep, that is exactly what GREP Styles are. You go into your Paragraph Style, click on GREP Styles directly below Nested Styles, click "Create GREP Style," then specify the Character Style you want applied, and the Unicode range to which you want to apply it. It then essentially runs that F+R constantly on everything marked with that paragraph style. 

 

All of my Missing Glyph Protection options are unchecked — which I assume means that it will auto-substitute, but it does not.

 

Nope, that means that it's turned off. If you turn it on, it will auto-substitute any missing glyph with Whatever Font Happens to Work. I keep it off, because I'd rather pick my own substitutes instead of finding Myriad scattered everywhere throughout my document. You sound to me like someone who would also rather manually select a good replacement font, so you probably do want to leave it off - but perhaps a few minutes experimenting with it might be useful. 

 

Likewise, Uwe's suggestion that you look into the Missing Glyphs script is also very useful. It is a little heavy-handed; you can't tell it to e.g. only replace dropped glyphs in one given face or weight with another font in a specified face or weight, but it certainly could be modified to do so. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 31, 2021 Aug 31, 2021

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What could help:

A script that finds missing glyphs and could assign a character style to a found missing one.

Look into this one:

 

Manage missing glyphs (CS4 and later)

Peter Kahrel & Peter Baumgartner

https://creativepro.com/files/kahrel/indesign/missing_glyphs.html

 

Regards,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 01, 2021 Sep 01, 2021

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Wow pretty cool — I’ll check definitely check it out when I get the chance!

// SML @seeminglee

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