Lively discussions on the graphic arts and publishing — in print or on the web

Go Back   Desktop Publishing Forum > General Discussions > Fonts & Typography

Thread Tools Display Modes
Prev Previous Post   Next Post Next
Old 11-24-2007, 12:25 PM   #1
Steve Rindsberg
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,714
Default Interesting font oddity (Windows)

A fellow posted a problem in another forum that turned out to be interesting.

He's a linguist and was including examples of several different writing systems in a PowerPoint presentation. Among others, he had samples of Sanskrit/Devanagari and Ethiopic, both in one text box. In order to enter the Ethiopic, he had installed an Ethiopic IME which came with its own fonts. He used these at first.

But prior to moving the presentation to a different computer that wouldn't have the Ethiopic IME or fonts installed, he sensibly decided to select the text in this multilingual text box and convert it to Arial Unicode MS, which would likely be installed on other computers, and if not, he could embed the font in the PowerPoint file.

After selecting all the text and converting it to ArialUniMS, everything looked fine. The glyphs changed a bit in appearance but were all correct.

On another computer, though, the Sanskrit and several other unusual fonts appeared as expected, but the Ethiopic font turned into Windows' standard "What the hell is THIS" empty square boxes.

So why, when Ethiopic apparently rendered correctly on his system, did it go walkabout elsewhere, even though the Arial Unicode MS font was available (we did check on this)?

I did some poking at the file and found that all the text in question WAS Arial UniMS, as far as PowerPoint was concerned, but the character numbers for the Ethiopic glyphs were in a range that wasn't included in Arial UniMS.

But as soon as I downloaded and installed an Ethiopic Unicode font, bingo, all was well in the presentation file. I didn't even have to restart PowerPoint or close and reopen the file.

My best guess, then, is that somewhere under the hood, Windows was getting a request for Arial Unicode MS, Unicode Character Number 4707 (to give one example) and coming up empty handed; so it went rooting around, found a font that had characters in the requested range and displayed them instead.

On the one hand, you have to give Windows points for going to these lengths to make the right glyphs appear. On the other hand, it can sure lead to confusion when you're trying to figure out why it works one place and not another.

Since the real problem was making sure that it worked on other computers w/o extreme measures, I explained how to convert the text to a bitmap. In theory, he could embed the needed font but any attempt to do that with the font I'd downloaded just crashed PPT.

The road goes on forever,
The party never ends

Steve Rindsberg
and stuff
Steve Rindsberg is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
[PR]: New version of font editor (Windows) allanm1 Fonts & Typography 2 07-08-2006 02:06 PM
Windows Font Management dthomsen8 Fonts & Typography 8 10-06-2005 10:51 AM
Firefox (Mac) scrollbar oddity ktinkel The Corner Pub 2 09-10-2005 01:27 PM

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:42 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Contents copyright 2004–2019 Desktop Publishing Forum and its members.