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Fonts & Encodings

Fonts & Encodings, 9780596102425 (0596102429), O'Reilly, 2007

This reference is a fascinating and complete guide to using fonts and typography on the Web and across a variety of operating systems and application software. Fonts & Encodings shows you how to take full advantage of the incredible number of typographic options available, with advanced material that covers everything from designing glyphs to developing software that creates and processes fonts.

The era of ASCII characters on green screens is long gone, and industry leaders such as Apple, HP, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle have adopted the Unicode Worldwide Character Standard. Yet, many software applications and web sites still use a host of standards, including PostScript, TrueType, TeX/Omega, SVG, Fontlab, FontForge, Metafont, Panose, and OpenType. This book explores each option in depth, and provides background behind the processes that comprise today's "digital space for writing":

  • Part I introduces Unicode, with a brief history of codes and encodings including ASCII. Learn about the morass of the data that accompanies each Unicode character, and how Unicode deals with normalization, the bidirectional algorithm, and the handling of East Asian characters.
  • Part II discusses font management, including installation, tools for activation/deactivation, and font choices for three different systems: Windows, the Mac OS, and the X Window System (Unix).
  • Part III deals with the technical use of fonts in two specific cases: the TeX typesetting system (and its successor, W, which the author co-developed) and web pages.
  • Part IV describes methods for classifying fonts: Vox, Alessandrini, and Panose-1, which is used by Windows and the CSS standard. Learn about existing tools for creating (or modifying) fonts, including FontLab and FontForge, and become familiar with OpenType properties and AAT fonts.

Nowhere else will you find the valuable technical information on fonts and typography that software developers, web developers, and graphic artists need to know to get typography and fonts to work properly.

About the Author

In addition to being a translator, P. Scott Horne is also a typographer, and fluent in the LaTeX system used for the original layout of this book. He translates from multiple languages into English including Chinese, French, Japanese, and Latin. His web site address is http://hornetranslations.com.

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