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  1. #1

    Unhappy Q. to Gare about font mapping (again!)

    Sorry to bother you, but I'm starting to go crazy here. The things I though would be easy are turning out to be very hard.

    I bought a copy of Type Tool, and my friend and I have been playing with it. We got the free fonts from the website and have been playing with them.

    What do we have to do in order, first, to actually display what is in the font (as opposed to not in it), and also display what would be the Alt+keypad code to be able to reproduce it later?

    I ask because with the free Sans font, for example, if I have it displaying (across the top) 'Decimal', 'Windows 1252' and 'Code pages', then the colours mean, according to the manual, that there are no glyphs in the first 255 code points, but they are part of the code page, but there are glyphs higher than that, but they aren't part of the code page.

    If I now only change the view from 'Code pages' to 'Name' those same glyphs now appear in the first 255 spaces.

    I am utterly baffled!

    What do I have to do so that when I look at a font, the 'Decimal' info in any given cell really is the number I would have to type on the keypad when the font is in use, in order to display that character?

    Do I have to generate the font in a special way?

    It sounds so simple when I say it like that, but I've been tearing my hair out for the last couple of days. All help in easy-to-understand terms appreciated!

    Regards

    Staggers.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Q. to Gare about font mapping (again!)

    Hi Staggers,

    Gary is "out of the online office" for the most part for the next few days or so -- he is trying to wrap up a phyical world project, so he asked me to post this message on his behalf.

    He says that if anyone else out in TGland knows the answer(s) to your question it would be great if they jumped in and helped. Otherwise, write him directly at his email address gary at xaraxone.com about what you are trying to do, include screen caps if necessary. And he'll be in touch in a few days or whenever he comes up for air.

    Once you've worked out the problem with him, he or you or both of you will post the answers here so all can benefit. OK?

    Cheers
    Barbara Bouton
    TalkGraphics Forum Administrator

    The Xara Xone website developer. | TheBoutons.com

  3. #3

    Default Re: Q. to Gare about font mapping (again!)

    Hi Staggers, I would be glad to take a look. Is there a link to the free fonts?

    Mike

  4. #4

    Default Re: Q. to Gare about font mapping (again!)

    Hi Staggers--ah, the VFB file is in the application folder.

    Is this not what you see?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The white squares have a mapped vector (a character / glyph), the gray colored squares are "placeholders" for the appropriate characters, they are bitmaps that if you double click on them you can delete or trace over to provide those characters in the font.

    OK. When you change the first combo box, all that one is really changing, aside from what may or may not show up, are the captions above each character location. The next combo box is for the various code pages--or at least what would be where if you have a font, or design a font, that supports more than one code page.

    If you click on the first button, you will open the font properties dialog box. The last entry in the list on the left is Encoding and Unicode. As you can see, the freebie only supports 1252 Latin 1 code page. You can add more code pages here if desired, and then place characters in their appropriate spots. This basically supports not only various languages, but their respective keyboards to access those characters.

    So set the font view to Decimal, MS Windows 1252 Western (ANSI), and make sure the Names button is depressed. Generate the font and give it a try.

    Take care, Mike

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Q. to Gare about font mapping (again!)

    Does Mike's thorough explanation solve your question, Stygg?

    I hope so, because I'm not certain I understand your question. I know, i know, you're completely new to Type Tool...

    For the most part, my post >>>here<<< can be used with Type Tool. It's a skimpy intro to FontLab, but I think the steps will work for you.

    Apologies in advance,

    Gary

  6. #6

    Default Re: Q. to Gare about font mapping (again!)

    Hi,

    sorry to take so long to get back to you, and thanks for taking the trouble to dive in quickly when you did.

    It was a false alarm, it turns out. I hadn't explained myself well, because I didn't know what was going on, but I do now!

    What happened was that when this new font of ours was created, the wrong code page was used, so stuff wasn't available that I thought would be. That was the first problem, and was spotted and corrected, eventually.

    But the next problem had me going. I wasn't there, so didn't actually see what was happening, and stupidly didn't think to ask the obvious questions. Basically, when my chap was typing in the Alt xxxx codes to display things, he wasn't getting what was expected. That's when I came to you in a panic. It was only later that I found that any leading zeroes were being left off, so instead of, say Alt+0xxx, he would just type Alt+xxx, leaving off the leading zero(s).

    Alt+0192 and Alt+192 give different things. The full 4-digit code gives the required symbol, anything shorter doesn't. I checked in other fonts, and in some that also happens but in others it doesn't. Still, the symbols are mostly created, in rough form at any rate (my friend is young and impatient - it's difficult to get him to RTFM, even though it will help him get better results, faster, in the long run) and more importantly from my point of view, I can at last reliably call them up in code, So I'm further on than I was last week. Hooking it all up to a keyboard is still going to be fun, but we're making steady, if painful progress there too.

    Again, thanks very much for attempting a rescue as fast as you did. Much appreciated.

    Regards


    Staggers.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Q. to Gare about font mapping (again!)

    If you're good now, staggers, then you're good.

    Whenever you press Ctrl+N and start a new set, by default I believe the character set is "default" which is good. But to access extended characters by their value—what you need to type to create them with your font loaded in Xara, for example—you need to switch the mapping from Name to Decimal from the top left drop-down list.

    Here's a chart I made up to provide everyone with the most common extended characters. The PDF is the same, but you can highlight and copy characters from it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    My Best,

    Gary
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Gare; 27 April 2012 at 06:45 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Q. to Gare about font mapping (again!)

    You're a very patient and helpful man, I'll say that for you! And I just ran into another problem....we settled on using Unicode hex values eventually because they could be typed almost directly into Word, and of course Notepad, etc go their own sweet way. So there I was happily, typing hex codes, followed by Alt X, and there were the symbols. Happy bunny. Once I know where the symbols we've created are, and that I can type something and make them appear on a page, I'm happy.

    But I wanted to put these characters into an Excel spreadsheet to make up a table for the use of someone else...and Excel didn't want to know. I couldn't copy and paste, I couldn't type the hex value. I could insert them as a picture. Deep joy. I had called up our modified font in Excel, tried all the above, and nothing happened. Well, nothing I wanted. So I can call this stuff up in Unicode in Word, and it works, but I can't get it to happen in Excel. Anyone know the secret?

    Seriously, is there somewhere I can look that explains the whole relationship between a font, code pages and keyboard drivers. It may keep me sane. And you, if I stop asking you silly questions.

    Regards

    Staggers.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Q. to Gare about font mapping (again!)

    There's something awry in your approach, staggers. This is getting far harder than it reasonably should be.

    First: why Unicode? This is for multi-linual page support and according to what I hear from you, you and your partner have created a set of symbolic glyphs, right?

    If what you want to create now is a character map for others to quickly get the character they need, why not use Xara? You do an alpha-numeric column, copy it, and then assign the column your typeface, easy peasey.

    Our first collaborative effort here is a symbol font, and it has about 60 characters, all of which we mapped to alpha-numberic registers in the typeface.

    You have more than 60 symbols in this set?

    If you'd like, you can PM me, give me a private email address that can accept attachments, and I'll look at what you've created. It's very hard for me to work in a vacuum here—seeing the font would help a great deal.

    -g-

 

 

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