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NRSI: Computers & Writing Systems

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You are here: Encoding > Conversion
Short URL: http://scripts.sil.org/UTConvertQ10

When to Convert to Unicode

Are you ready to learn about how to use Unicode?

Sometimes, a conversion to Unicode is almost completely transparent to a user. They’ll be able to continue working almost the same way as they always have. However, it doesn’t always work that way. As you think through when to do a conversion, find out how much you’ll have to learn. This may include

  • Which fonts and keyboard to use with Unicode data.
  • How to type the characters you need.
  • If you need to code diacritics as separate characters, how to work with them in various programs.
  • How to distinguish two characters that look the same but behave differently (and how to train yourself to type them correctly).
  • How to recognize when something is wrong and what to do or who to call to fix it.
  • How to use new Unicode-capable software.

Most everyone can learn these things. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but it will slow you down for a couple weeks or in rare cases a few months. So, don’t do a Unicode conversion when you have pressing deadlines coming up, if you can help it. Plan ahead for a time when the conditions are right for an unhurried change-over.

Back to When to Convert to Unicode.


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