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NRSI: Computers & Writing Systems

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Short URL: http://scripts.sil.org/Complex_AdLvSup

Applications that provide an adequate level of support for SIL Unicode Roman fonts

(such as Andika, Charis SIL, Doulos SIL and Gentium Plus)

Users who do not require dynamically positioned diacritics, ligatures, or alternate glyphs can use almost any application with the font, but otherwise there are four basic categories of font usage:

Uniscribe

Uniscribe users should be aware that base+diacritic combinations that exist in Unicode (and the font) as precomposed chars are handled differently than those that are not (Uniscribe favors the use of the precomposed). (Note however: PUA characters needing special handling, e.g., diacritics, will not work properly in Uniscribe-based apps. Nor do the double-wide diacritics).

Non-Uniscribe OpenType

  •  InDesign CS2 or greater — Available on Mac and Windows. InDesign CS3+ can handle dynamic diacritic placement. One thing Adobe products permit that Uniscribe-based apps do not is selection of alternate glyphs.
  •  Mellel — Available on MacOS X. Supports ligatures and diacritic placement via OpenType.
  •  OpenOffice (MacOS X and Linux)
  • XeTeX — Available on MacOS X, Linux and Windows. Supports ligatures and diacritic placement via OpenType.

Graphite

Graphite handles the double-diacritics and PUA chars correctly.

  •  FieldWorks applications: WorldPad 2.0+,  Translation Editor,  Language Explorer, and  Data Notebook — FieldWorks applications include a menu for changing font features.
  •  LibreOffice 3.4.1+ — With version 3.4.1 LibreOffice supports Graphite rendering. Font features are also available! Look at the samples document to see how to access them.
  • Graphite in OpenOffice.org — Now in the official released version 3.2 of OpenOffice. Font features are now available! Look at the samples document to see how to access them.
  • XeTeX — Available on MacOS X, Linux and Windows. Supports font features, ligatures and diacritic placement via Graphite.
  • Graphite-enabled versions of  Firefox and Thunderbird are available for Windows and Linux. However, we do not really recommend the Windows version as they are quite out-of-date and have significant security concerns for Windows users.

AAT

AAT (Apple Advanced Typography) handles limited diacritic placement (not all arbitrary combinations will work well), and offers user-selectable features for choosing alternate glyph shapes.


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