MacDirectory Magazine

Whyt Manga

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Expand Your Fonts Fonts can have tens of thousands of characters. But sometimes, even with that capacity, the font you're working with may not have the exact character that you need. And some fonts, especially display fonts, are just pretty basic—maybe only the A-Z letters and numbers. So what do you do when you need a Euro symbol (€) and your font doesn't have one? You could just use a Euro symbol from another font. But that would probably look tacky. Why not just expand your font by adding a Euro symbol to it? Font editors can do lots of interesting things to expand your fonts. Three areas where this capability is commonly used are composite characters (characters which have multiple pieces), non-alphabetic characters (like € for the Euro or ¥ for the Yen), and alternate glyphs (multiple variations of the same character). Let's look at some examples. The English language uses the basic Latin alphabet with uppercase letters A-Z and lowercase a-z. But most other Latin-script languages, like French, Czech, Spanish or German, use accented letters like àčñü that use diacritics—small marks that are added to the base letters. Diacritical marks are also intrinsic to many other writing systems: Greek, Arabic, Devanagari or classical Hebrew. Kanji glyphs are composed of strokes, many of which are the same or similar. In all these cases you can make a new character by using parts of other characters or by combining a new part with several characters. For instance, in a European font, you could draw a diaeresis (figure 1) and then combine it with the "a" glyph to make the letter ä (or: the glyph adieresis, figure 2). If the diacritical marks already exist in the font, with just one click in FontLab 7, you can automatically add all composite letters for European and other languages. All letters have codes in the international Unicode standard. € has the code 20AC. You just need to draw the shapes: start with the letter C and the = sign, and modify it to be as wide as the $. But what if you want to add a

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