I'm looking for a font that can handles every type of characters, from the latin alphabet till the cyrillic alphabet via the asiatic alphabets (japanese, chinese, ..). I though that Lucida Grande would do it, but apparently not (when I embed this font on my appli, it doens't display correctly the characters..). With a japanese character I though that I would have manage to find it, but unfortunately the russian is craply displayed (with a huge letter-spacing)
So do you know if this magic font exist or how to find it ?
In other case, do you know how to find the character palette on the mac that would list me all the font available on my mac and which alphabet these fonts handle ?
CharViewer should be in your Application folder. It allows you to browse characters in installed fonts by language and category.
I don't think you'll be able to find a font that supports _every_ type of character, but Lucida Grande does support a lot. I don't know why the Cyrillic spacing is off, but I suspect you're not seeing the spacing built into the font. I just pasted some text from the Pravda site into Textedit and applied Lucida Grande to it, and it looked okay to me. (Mind you I don't know any Russian!)
of course the japonese characters don't work here that why precedently my font name is really crappy !
Anyway, I forgot to tell you that I don't have any CharViewer on my mac, I'll try find a free download on internet !
Hey !!! Yep Ifound this part, but in fact, that was not what I was expected.. When I said "character palette" I was thinking something where you can see which alphabets each fonts is managing. But I still haven't found it.. :(
Many folks wanted to have a single font for all purposes and "Arial Unicode MS" is the one many people use. But it is basically a bad idea, not only because this font has no bold or italic variants, it also has no kerning pairs. The result are ugly documents with bolded and obliqued characters.
Unicode is a standard that assigns a number to each character, but does not take into account differing typographic traditions. Please read the answer to question 3 "Does the unified Han encoding..." at this page:
I would say you better look for a font that contains all Latin/Cyrillic/Greek glyphs, and a specialized font for Chinese, Japanese and Korean. This approach will give you far greater quality.
You'll need multiple fonts for East Asian languages. Specifically, separate fonts for each of simplified and traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
As I wrote just the other day on Typophile, the particularly thorny problem is dealing with the Han unification characters. Basically, for certain East Asian characters, There are slightly (or sometimes very) different designs for certain characters for all these different languages. Currently, the only functional way to distinguish them is to build an OpenType font with the locl (locale) feature, and use apps/OSes that process that feature correctly for those languages.
Im not sure how widespread such app/OS support is for the locl feature with those languages, outside of InDesign CS3, but I know that such fonts are pretty much non-existent in the wild. AFAIK, thus far such fonts have only been built by mad scientists in labs (pace Adobe's own Dr Lunde & Mr Meyer).
Because of the potential for great efficiency (space savings), I imagine we will see such fonts in the wild in the future.
> the particularly thorny problem is dealing with the Han unification characters.
I read about that in CJKV Information Processing. It has long seemed
to me that this has killed the idea of a universal Unicode font.
However... do you happen to know what Arial Unicode did with these
code points? Did it pick one regional variant and hope it would do?
I believe Michael is correct. Whichever forms they picked, they did pick one set. So like any other font currently available, Arial Unicode isn't good for more than one of [Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean].
Hello everybody !
Well, in fact, I managed to do what I wanted using Arial Unicode MS. And it can display correctly all the languages supported by the application (latin, japanese, chinese, korean, polish, cyrillic alphabets) so I believe it was the "universal font" I was looking for. Awesome ! Thanks a lot for your help !!!!
Yeah I just tryed what you asked me, the italic is correctly displayed, but for the bold I have a problem.. In fact, the difference between a bold and a non bold is quite invisible. I'm going to do more work on this.. Maybe another font can handle the bold ?
well, okay, according to all the problem Arial seems to provok : incorrect handle of the asian characters (even if from my point of view, it seemed to be okay), moreover the fact that the bold can not be displayed. We choose for the moment to keep the Lucida Grande, and only with latin and cyrillic alphabets. When I'll have to manage the asian characters, I think I'll choose one for japan and chinese alphabets, and one for korean.
Many thanks for your help that permits me seeing more clearly in typography !
When you come to that point, may I mention the book "CJKV Information
Processing", just in case you don't have it. At around 1000 pages it
isn't lightweight but it does contain a lot of information to explain
the special needs of working with Far Eastern fonts.
Sorry to answer so lately, I'm just coming back home.
The closer you can get to a universal font is the DejaVu font project. DejaVu font family is an OpenType (and open source) flavour of the Bitstream Vera fonts. The aim of the project is to improve typographic quality and language coverage. It actually supports a wide portion of the Unicode Latin blocs, and many more. Arabic is partially covered as for Hebrew and many supplements. Few Chinese characters are included for now and there's no Japanese. CJK is on the roadmap.
The project site: http://dejavu.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
and, for the language coverage: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DejaVu_fonts