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Subject: Re: [office] Defining Alternative Glyphs

This is a specific feature in OpenType called "Alternative Glyphs" where a single font can contain alternative glyphs for the same unicode character.

See, for example:  http://allthingsdesigned.com/alternativeglyphs


Patrick Durusau <patrick@durusau.net> wrote on 07/07/2008 04:50:40 PM:

> Greetings!
> I think there may be two separate cases that are being covered by the
> term "alternative" glyphs.
> Properly speaking, Unicode points represent characters and not glyphs,
> so any glyph associated with a character is a matter of the font you
> choose and not an "alternative glyph." To say "alternative" glyph
> implies there is some default glyph, which is not true. The glyphs shown
> in the Unicode standard are illustrative only.
> The first case for "alternative" glyphs is where I wish to specify a
> particular glyph for a character but other that perhaps being
> unattractive display, the information content of the text is the same.
> Choosing any of the Latin fonts would be a good example.
> The second case and I am not sure how often it would come up, would be
> where I use a particular code point, say for Middle Egyptian, but I want
> a particular glyph, which was used for that character in a particular
> historic period or type of text, and not some other glyph for that
> character. While it is true that it is the "same" character, the meaning
> on of the text would be changed if another glyph were substituted for
> the one I specify. Typically that sort of additional information is left
> by Unicode to the markup layer.
> Rather than saying "alternative" glyphs I think it would be more
> accurate to speak of specifying a particular glyph or set of glyphs for
> some portion of text.
> Considered that way, how it that different from specifying a specific
> font be used with some particular span of text?
> Hope everyone is having a great day!
> Patrick
> --
> Patrick Durusau
> patrick@durusau.net
> Chair, V1 - US TAG to JTC 1/SC 34
> Convener, JTC 1/SC 34/WG 3 (Topic Maps)
> Editor, OpenDocument Format TC (OASIS), Project Editor ISO/IEC 26300
> Co-Editor, ISO/IEC 13250-1, 13250-5 (Topic Maps)
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