"Universal" font

New Here ,
Jul 10, 2008 Jul 10, 2008

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Hello everybody !!!!

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 ?

Or maybe a website with fonts and their cover ?

Thanks a lot for any help !!!

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Participant ,
Jul 10, 2008 Jul 10, 2008

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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!)

What app are you using to set the type?

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New Here ,
Jul 10, 2008 Jul 10, 2008

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Hey thanks for the answer !

In fact, the problem with Lucida Grande is that it doesn't support (not cyrillic alphabet but) asiatic alphabets, as japonese or chinese.

It's with fonts as "Hirogina Kaku W3" or also called "ヒラギノ明朝 ProN W3" that my russian words have huge spaces between their letters.

My application is the one I coded within Flex language, and using a style sheet css to embedded the fonts. (embedded fonts created thanks Adobe Flash)

Jeeezzz I would like to find a correct font with latin, japonese, chinese and cyrillic alphabets including the accents !! My problems would be solved !!!

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Explorer ,
Jul 10, 2008 Jul 10, 2008

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Gaelle,

For Japanese and Chinese, you need to use dedicated fonts, due to the number glyphs involved. But I believe these also include basic Roman characters as well.

Neil

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Participant ,
Jul 10, 2008 Jul 10, 2008

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I think the cyrillic characters in the Japanese fonts are meant for setting short word or phases within Japanese test, and spaced to work within that context.

I think you'll probably need to switch fonts, and that you should probably ask for advice in the Flash forums, or the Flex forums.

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New Here ,
Jul 10, 2008 Jul 10, 2008

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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 !

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New Here ,
Jul 10, 2008 Jul 10, 2008

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Okay, since there were some other answers !

Thanks a lot for your "lights" yeah, it appears that I'll have to make more code to handle my problem..

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Participant ,
Jul 10, 2008 Jul 10, 2008

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Your can access the character palette from the input menu in system prefs.

Search on: "Finding characters for different languages on your keyboard" in the Mac help system.

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New Here ,
Jul 11, 2008 Jul 11, 2008

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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.. :(

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Contributor ,
Jul 11, 2008 Jul 11, 2008

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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:

http://unicode.org/faq/han_cjk.html

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.

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New Here ,
Jul 11, 2008 Jul 11, 2008

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Thanks for the answer.. Indeed, that's what I will do I think it's the best solution, use one for all the font except asiatic, then manage the asiatic alphabets with another font !

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Guide ,
Jul 11, 2008 Jul 11, 2008

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You mean Asian, not " Asiatic ".

http://www.tfd.com/asiatic

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Enthusiast ,
Jul 11, 2008 Jul 11, 2008

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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.

Cheers,

T

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Explorer ,
Jul 14, 2008 Jul 14, 2008

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> 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?


Aandi Inston

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Contributor ,
Jul 14, 2008 Jul 14, 2008

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AFAIK Arial Unicode MS uses Chinese glyph styles. It also reports itself as being a Chinese font to certain applications on Windows (not sure where I saw that).

- Michael

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Enthusiast ,
Jul 15, 2008 Jul 15, 2008

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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].

Cheers,

T

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New Here ,
Jul 15, 2008 Jul 15, 2008

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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 !!!!

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Contributor ,
Jul 16, 2008 Jul 16, 2008

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Gaelle,

do you have bold or italic text in your documents?

Make a print of Polish or Cyrillic text with and without bold and/or italic formatting and compare them with standard Arial with bold/italic.

You will see the quality difference.

Also: If you still want to go that way, be warned that different printers handle electronic bold-ing and oblique-ing differently. Up to the point of ignoring it.

In my opinion: A bad decision with many drawbacks.

- Michael

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New Here ,
Jul 16, 2008 Jul 16, 2008

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Pfff ..
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 ?

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Explorer ,
Jul 18, 2008 Jul 18, 2008

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Arial Unicode is one font in one weight. While Arial is four fonts.

And are you not concerned about the Han character issue, which means
it is not really suitable for Japanese, Korean, one Chinese, as
discussed above?

Aandi Inston

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Enthusiast ,
Jul 18, 2008 Jul 18, 2008

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> And it can display correctly all the languages supported by the application (latin, japanese, chinese, korean... <<br />
No, it cannot. See my posts above.

T

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New Here ,
Jul 22, 2008 Jul 22, 2008

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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 !

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Enthusiast ,
Jul 22, 2008 Jul 22, 2008

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Just to be absolutely clear, you'll need a separate font for EACH of: Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese (mainland China) and Traditional Chinese (Taiwan and many expatriate communities).

Cheers,

T

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Explorer ,
Jul 22, 2008 Jul 22, 2008

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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.

Aandi Inston

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New Here ,
Jul 24, 2008 Jul 24, 2008

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Hi,

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

Benoît Favreault

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