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You are here: Rendering > Resources > Font FAQ
Short URL: http://scripts.sil.org/DoulosSILfontFAQ

SIL Unicode Roman Fonts – FAQ and Known Issues

(such as Doulos SIL and Charis SIL)

Table of Contents for this web page:

    Frequently Asked Questions
        About the font / Using the font
            Q: Why is there an inversion of names? (eg SIL Doulos -> Doulos SIL and SIL Charis -> Charis SIL)
            Q: Are the SIL Unicode Roman fonts going to stay free?
            Q: Do I still need to use the “SIL Unicode IPA font beta” (SILDoulosUnicodeIPA) font or can I just use “Doulos SIL” or “Charis SIL”?
            Q: How do I type IPA characters using your Roman fonts?
            Q: I need to distinguish between single-storey 'ɑ' and double storey 'a' in italic IPA text, but the font doesn't allow it.
            Q: I would like to bundle one of the SIL Unicode Roman fonts with my application - can I?
            Q: Can I use one of the SIL Unicode Roman fonts on my web site?
        Legacy fonts
            Q: Will documents created with earlier (legacy) fonts such as the SIL IPA and IPA93 fonts be compatible with the new (Unicode) version?
        Linespacing and font metrics
            Q: Why is the line spacing so much looser than other fonts, such as Times New Roman or Gentium?
            Q: Will font and glyph metrics stay the same in future versions?
        Character inventory / Glyph shapes
            Q: Why do the SIL Unicode Roman fonts have some Greek characters, but not all?
            Q: It seems like U+027F  LATIN SMALL LETTER REVERSED R WITH FISHHOOK and U+0285  LATIN SMALL LETTER SQUAT REVERSED ESH are not correct. Why is the shape different than what is in the Unicode book?
        Modifying the font
            Q: I would like to modify one of the SIL Unicode Roman fonts to add a couple of characters I need. Can I?
            Q: So will you add glyphs to one of the SIL Unicode Roman fonts upon request?
            Q: Can I send you work I've done to be incorporated into the SIL Unicode Roman fonts?
        Printing/Acrobat distiller
            Q: I'm having problems making PDFs — why won't my document distill?
        Mac OS X
            Q: Can the SIL Unicode Roman fonts be used with Word 2004 on Mac OS X?
        Rendering: Combining marks/Ligation/PUA
            Q: How do I tell what version of Uniscribe I’m using? I’ve been told I have to have Uniscribe 1.0468.4015.0 (main.030328-1500) or later for accurate diacritic positioning. I put usp10.dll in with notepad.exe in a directory, but I am not sure that it is actually using that Uniscribe.
            Q: I am using Word 2003 and some of the diacritics are not shown, although they are there (as can be proven with the Show Unicode Macro of the UnicodeWordMacros.dot and also when I copy/paste data from Word to Notepad). What is going on?
            Q: I noticed that when I put a cedilla under some characters it renders it as a “comma”. When I do “Show Unicode”, it gives me the same Unicode codepoint for both, so it is just a rendering issue. Is this intentional?
            Q: Why don’t my tonebars ligate?
            Q: When I type data, I get the proper characters, but the stacked diacritics show up on top of one another, rather than stacked, and not properly centered. What am I doing wrong?
            Q: Why don’t my diacritics position properly?
            Q: Why don’t my diacritics positioned above or below characters appear onscreen, but they do show up in print?
            Q: Why don’t the PUA characters work properly (diacritic positioning, tone ligation, etc)?
            Q: In certain combinations, two upper diacritics (e.g., tilde over macron) display in a fixed order (the tilde below the macron), no matter what order they are typed in. Why is that?
            Q: Why don’t the overlaid combining marks render properly in the font?
            Q: Why don’t some of my characters render in Internet Explorer?
            Q: Why are some of my diacritics colliding with nearby letters?
        Using features
            Q: How do I use a feature? For example, I see there are four Eng () variants. How do I choose which variant displays?
            Q: How do I use the Small Caps feature?
    Known Issues
        Performance hit in OpenOffice 3.2
        Firefox 11
        Application crashes when printing
        Line metrics from legacy fonts cannot be imported using TypeTuner
        Small caps feature
        Bridging diacritics feature
        Wrong postscript names in version 4.106
        Small capital substitution in version 4.100
        U+0358 COMBINING DOT ABOVE RIGHT is not positioned correctly
        Left-stemmed tone marks U+A712..U+A716 do not shape in Word 2003.
        Combining marks do not shape properly over Cyrillic characters in Word 2007.
        WordArt
        Some characters do not render properly in Internet Explorer
        The font does not support some combining marks
        Combining mark sequences may be incorrectly rendered
        Combining marks in the U+1DC0..U+1DFF range
        Dotted digraphs with diacritics
        Mac OS X
            Glyphs from version 4.106 are not displaying properly in Mac OS X (10.4 and 10.5)
            Fonts do not appear in the main font menu under Mac OS 10.4+
    Page History
    Support


‘I have already downloaded and begun to use these fonts (Charis SIL and Doulos SIL). They are a wonderful achievement, not only because of their comprehensiveness of design but also because of their flexibility of use — this latter aspect immeasurably enhanced by the Open Font License attached to them. To release these products of such excellent quality under SIL’s OFL is an act of generosity for which the world of international verbal communication has reason to be eternally grateful.’


Frequently Asked Questions

About the font / Using the font

Question: Why is there an inversion of names? (eg SIL Doulos -> Doulos SIL and SIL Charis -> Charis SIL)

Answer: If SIL is in front of a font name then that probably means it is a legacy font. If it is after the font name it probably means it is Unicode.

Question: Are the SIL Unicode Roman fonts going to stay free?

Answer: There is no intention to ever charge users for using the SIL Unicode Roman fonts. The current versions are licensed under a free/open license and future versions will be similar.

Question: Do I still need to use the “SIL Unicode IPA font beta” (SILDoulosUnicodeIPA) font or can I just use “Doulos SIL” or “Charis SIL”?

Answer: Everything in the “SIL Unicode IPA font beta” is included in the SIL Unicode Roman fonts so you no longer need the IPA font.

Question: How do I type IPA characters using your Roman fonts?

Answer: To type IPA characters you will need to download and install an IPA keyboard from the IPA keyboards page. Keyboards are available for Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu (Linux) machines.

If you are unfamiliar with the process for installing a keyboard please read these instructions for  Windows and  Mac first.

Question: I need to distinguish between single-storey 'ɑ' and double storey 'a' in italic IPA text, but the font doesn't allow it.

Answer: This can be addressed using font features.

This overview explains what font features are and what each feature does. (The feature that will allow you to display an italic 'a' is number 1053 - Slant Italic Specials.)

This page explains how to activate font features in various applications/operating systems.

Question: I would like to bundle one of the SIL Unicode Roman fonts with my application - can I?

Answer: The SIL Open Font License allows bundling with applications, even commercial ones, with some restrictions.

See the OFL web page.

Question: Can I use one of the SIL Unicode Roman fonts on my web site?

Answer: You can certainly create web pages that request one of the SIL Unicode Roman fonts be used to display them (if that font is available on the user's system). According to the license, you are even allowed to place the font on your site for people to download it. We would strongly recommend, however, that you direct users to our site to download the font. This ensures that they are always using the most recent version with bug fixes, etc.

Legacy fonts

Question: Will documents created with earlier (legacy) fonts such as the SIL IPA and IPA93 fonts be compatible with the new (Unicode) version?

Answer: No, documents which were created (encoded) with legacy fonts are not compatible with Unicode fonts. You will need to convert your data to Unicode. You can use TECkit for this process. We have mapping files (which work with TECkit) for converting documents which used SIL’s IPA fonts to Unicode. For instructions, see SIL IPA93 Data Conversion.

Linespacing and font metrics

Question: Why is the line spacing so much looser than other fonts, such as Times New Roman or Gentium?

Answer: Our SIL Unicode Roman fonts include characters with multiple stacked diacritics that need a much looser line spacing (for example, U+1EA8 ). We cannot make the line spacing tighter without experiencing “clipping” of those characters. You may be able to overcome this by adjusting the line spacing in the application. For example, in Microsoft Word select Format / Paragraph and set the line spacing to use the Exactly setting and a value more suited to your needs. For example, if the font size is 12 pt, select line spacing of Exactly 13 pt. This will give a tighter line spacing. You can adjust the value up or down depending on how many diacritics you need to stack. With HTML you should also be able to change the line spacing; add the line-height property to your tag (“line-height:105%;” or “line-height: 12pt;”) and play around with the value until you get the spacing desired.

With version 4.106 of our fonts, we have provided for download "compact" versions of our fonts (ie Charis SIL Compact and Doulos SIL Compact). These fonts provide linespacing similar to the linespacing in Times New Roman.

Question: Will font and glyph metrics stay the same in future versions?

Answer: We do not guarantee to keep metrics stable in future versions. The practical result of this means that you should expect to have different line lengths, paragraph length may be different, and line spacing may even be different. You should not expect your document to have the same page layout as you do with the current font.

Character inventory / Glyph shapes

Question: Why do the SIL Unicode Roman fonts have some Greek characters, but not all?

Answer: While it is true that the font includes some Greek characters, it is not intended to provide general support for the Greek language. Those Greek characters that were included were done so in order to support various (primarily linguistic) notational systems. If Greek language support is needed, the Galatia SIL and Gentium fonts are two available options.

Question: It seems like U+027F  LATIN SMALL LETTER REVERSED R WITH FISHHOOK and U+0285  LATIN SMALL LETTER SQUAT REVERSED ESH are not correct. Why is the shape different than what is in the Unicode book?

Answer: In the Unicode book U+027F  LATIN SMALL LETTER REVERSED R WITH FISHHOOK and U+027E  LATIN SMALL LETTER R WITH FISHHOOK are the same height and shape, just mirrored. Our understanding is that the U+027F  LATIN SMALL LETTER REVERSED R WITH FISHHOOK and U+0285  LATIN SMALL LETTER SQUAT REVERSED ESH glyphs in our SIL Unicode Roman fonts are correct and the ones in the Unicode book are wrong. As used in China the stem of U+027F  LATIN SMALL LETTER REVERSED R WITH FISHHOOK and U+0285  LATIN SMALL LETTER SQUAT REVERSED ESH always extend below the baseline. We have brought this to the attention of the Unicode Technical Committee (see: Glyph corrections for U+027F and U+0285 in TUS) and Microsoft and we believe changes will be made in the future.

Modifying the font

Question: I would like to modify one of the SIL Unicode Roman fonts to add a couple of characters I need. Can I?

Answer: Yes - that is allowed as long as you abide by the conditions of the SIL Open Font License.

Question: So will you add glyphs to one of the SIL Unicode Roman fonts upon request?

Answer: If you have a special symbol that you need (say, for a particular transcription system), the best means of doing so will be to ensure that the symbol makes it into the Unicode Standard. It is impossible for us to add every glyph that every person desires, but we do place a high priority on adding pretty much anything that falls in certain Unicode ranges (extended Latin, Cyrillic). You can send us your requests, but please understand that we are unlikely to add symbols where the user base is very small, unless they have been accepted into Unicode.

Question: Can I send you work I've done to be incorporated into the SIL Unicode Roman fonts?

Answer: Yes! See the FONTLOG for information on becoming a contributor.

Printing/Acrobat distiller

Question: I'm having problems making PDFs — why won't my document distill?

Answer: The SIL Unicode Roman fonts are large fonts, with lots of glyphs. As a result, some printers can balk at PDFs that have the complete font embedded. The easiest way to avoid this is to have Acrobat/Distiller subset the font. This is generally a good idea anyway (with any font) and can reduce the size of your files.

Mac OS X

Question: Can the SIL Unicode Roman fonts be used with Word 2004 on Mac OS X?

Answer: Since Word 2004 is Unicode-based, and the SIL Unicode Roman fonts are Unicode fonts, you would expect to be able to use them with Word 2004. And you can — to a point. The SIL Unicode Roman fonts rely on Uniscribe, Graphite and AAT “smart rendering” technologies to position diacritics, contour tone letters, handle ligatures, etc.

Microsoft has not implemented "smart rendering" in Word 2004, and therefore our SIL Unicode Roman fonts will not position diacritics properly, contour tone letters, or handle ligatures.

So, the combination of Word 2004 and our SIL Unicode Roman fonts is not a complete solution. Whether it’s adequate for you depends on whether you need the capabilities that are missing due to the lack of smart rendering in Word 2004. You may wish to use one of the applications listed here (Applications that provide an adequate level of support for SIL Unicode Roman fonts) instead.

Rendering: Combining marks/Ligation/PUA

Question: How do I tell what version of Uniscribe I’m using? I’ve been told I have to have Uniscribe 1.0468.4015.0 (main.030328-1500) or later for accurate diacritic positioning. I put usp10.dll in with notepad.exe in a directory, but I am not sure that it is actually using that Uniscribe.

Answer: The key is a program called msinfo32.exe. It certainly will be on your machine if you have MS Office, but may be provided in other configurations. On some machines it is in C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedMSInfomsinfo32.exe. (This is the app that is launched if you click the System Info button on an Office application’s  About  button.)

First, launch msinfo32.exe. Under Software Environment, select Loaded Modules. It will take a bit to load the list. Then scroll down looking for usp10.dll. You may see it loaded several times, from several different directories. But if you haven’t yet launched your special copy of Notepad.exe, then you probably won’t see that directory mentioned. Now launch your Notepad and then refresh the System Info display — you should see a usp10.dll loaded from your directory — a sure sign that Notepad is using the local copy.

Question: I am using Word 2003 and some of the diacritics are not shown, although they are there (as can be proven with the Show Unicode Macro of the UnicodeWordMacros.dot and also when I copy/paste data from Word to Notepad). What is going on?

Answer: Check to see if Tools / Options / Complex Scripts / Show Diacritics is set. If you do not have a Complex Scripts tab under Tools / Options, you should:

  • Close down all Office applications
  • If you do not have the Microsoft Office 2003 Language Settings applet available (typically in Start / Programs / Microsoft Office 2003 / Microsoft Office Tools), use Add/Remove programs to add the this component to your Microsoft Office 2003 configuration (under Office Tools category, it is the Language Settings Tool)
  • Fire up Microsoft Office 2003 Language Settings applet and enable a language like Arabic or Hebrew. After clicking  OK , you should find the Complex Scripts tab is available under Tools / Options.
  • Once you have ticked the box and confirmed this fixes the problem, you may remove those languages (from Microsoft Office 2003 Language Settings applet) if you want.

Question: I noticed that when I put a cedilla under some characters it renders it as a “comma”. When I do “Show Unicode”, it gives me the same Unicode codepoint for both, so it is just a rendering issue. Is this intentional?

Answer: A careful study of the Unicode repertoire shows that, for example, character U+0157 LATIN SMALL LETTER R WITH CEDILLA (which decomposes to <0072 + 0327> typically is drawn with the comma-shape rather than cedilla shape. This happens for a number of characters, including g/G, k/K, l/L, n/N, and r/R. (Interesting aside: notice that for lower case g the cedilla, drawn as a comma mark, is actually rendered above the g)

Additionally, s/S and t/T with cedilla are sometimes rendered with the comma shape — thus we have a feature in the Graphite code (Romanian Style) and language-specific behavior in the OpenType code (attached to language “Romanian”) that cause these combinations to be rendered with the comma style. (This alternate rendering predates the introduction into Unicode 3.0 of s/S and t/T with comma below [U+0218, U+0219, U+021A and U+021B] which are now the preferred way to distinguish these characters).

Question: Why don’t my tonebars ligate?

Question: When I type data, I get the proper characters, but the stacked diacritics show up on top of one another, rather than stacked, and not properly centered. What am I doing wrong?

Question: Why don’t my diacritics position properly?

Answer: Cause 1: The application you are using is neither Graphite-aware nor OpenType-aware, or your Uniscribe needs to be updated, or you are using characters from the Private Use Area (PUA) in a Uniscribe-based application.

More info:

In order for complex behaviors such as diacritic positioning and ligatures to work, the application must be able to use the Graphite or OpenType tables in the font. For example, until Microsoft Office 2003 was released there were no versions of Microsoft Office and of the system component Uniscribe that had the ability to use either of these for Latin script. Unfortunately, even the latest versions of Uniscribe ignore OpenType information for characters from the PUA area, so neither diacritic positioning nor ligation occur. Microsoft says this is by design.

Cause 2: If you are using Word 2000 or Word XP with an updated version of Uniscribe, some kinds of display problems can be fixed by saving and reopening the file.

Cause 3: While some of these problems are font errors (that we want to know about), another common cause is formatting issues within the application. In order for diacritic positioning or ligatures to work correctly, the application must render the complete character sequence in one operation. The most common reason for this condition to fail is if some characters in the sequence have different formatting than the others. If there is any difference at all in the formatting (e.g., in character spacing or color, font names or sizes, etc.) the application may have to break the sequence into separate runs.

Solution: In order to rule out formatting problems, make absolutely sure that the characters in the sequence are formatted identically. Some applications let you copy the affected text to the clipboard and then use Edit / Paste Special to paste unformatted text back into the document. Another approach, available in Microsoft Word, is to select the text and press  Ctrl  space  to reset all character formatting to the paragraph default. (This assumes your default paragraph style is formatted with one of our SIL Unicode Roman fonts).

Note

In Word, even formatting such as Complex Scripts font and Asian Text font settings must match exactly for the entire sequence, even though these settings aren’t actually used to render Latin text.

Cause 4: Adobe applications (and thus InDesign) do not yet handle dynamic diacritic placement.

Question: Why don’t my diacritics positioned above or below characters appear onscreen, but they do show up in print?

Answer: Solution: The vertical metrics for this font have been set to accomodate the majority of situations, but in some scenarios, especially with stacking diacritics, you may get clipping onscreen. You may be able to overcome this by adjusting the line spacing in the application. For example, in Microsoft Word select Format / Paragraph and set the line spacing to use the Exactly setting and a value approximately twice the font size. For example, if the font size is 12 pt, select line spacing of Exactly 24 pt. You can adjust the value up or down depending on how many diacritics you need to stack.

Question: Why don’t the PUA characters work properly (diacritic positioning, tone ligation, etc)?

Answer: Uniscribe ignores complex behaviors that have been provided in fonts for PUA characters, and thus in Uniscribe-based applications such as Paratext 6 and Microsoft Word the PUA characters will not display correctly.

Question: In certain combinations, two upper diacritics (e.g., tilde over macron) display in a fixed order (the tilde below the macron), no matter what order they are typed in. Why is that?

Question: Why don’t the overlaid combining marks render properly in the font?

Question: Why don’t some of my characters render in Internet Explorer?

Question: Why are some of my diacritics colliding with nearby letters?

Answer: When combined with some narrow glyphs (such as ’i’), wide diacritics (such as the tilde) may collide with adjacent glyphs. In many cases this is not a problem (it is sometimes OK for glyphs to collide). If this causes difficulty with the legibility of the text, then manually space those letters apart in your text using manual kerning or character spacing settings in your application. We do not have a generally feasible solution for this problem, but will continue to look for one.

Using features

Question: How do I use a feature? For example, I see there are four Eng () variants. How do I choose which variant displays?

Answer: The answer depends on the application in question:

  • Graphite-enabled apps: Assuming they support features, then you can select the desired Eng variant from the Format / Font / Feature menu (or however the interface is arranged).
  • OpenOffice with Graphite: In OpenOffice 3.2 the font features can be turned on by choosing the font (ie Charis SIL), followed by a colon, followed by the feature ID, and then followed by the feature setting. So, for example, if the Uppercase eng alternate “Capital N with tail” is desired, the font selection would be “Charis SIL:1024=2”. If you wish to apply two (or more) features, you can separate them with an “&”. Thus, “Charis SIL:1024=2&1058=2” would apply “Capital N with tail” plus the “Small capitals” feature.
  • InDesign and similar Adobe apps: Select an Eng in your text and then use the glyph palette (select Type / Glyphs / Access All Alternates to pick an alternate. (The available features will depend on the font selected.)
  • Word and other Uniscribe-based apps: Sorry, but at this time there is no mechanism to select features or alternate glyphs.
  • TextEdit and other AAT-enabled applications on Mac OS X: Open the Typography palette, available from the tools (gear icon) menu in the Font panel (enlarge the window if necessary to make this visible). Using the Typography palette you can choose different settings for a variety of features, including Uppercase Eng shape in our SIL Unicode Roman fonts. (The available features will depend on the font selected.)
  • With the XeTeX typesetting system: Include “feature=setting” pairs in the font specification within the source document or stylesheet; e.g., fontbodytext="Doulos SIL/AAT:Uppercase Eng alternates=Large eng with short stem" at 12pt

For more information and examples, see XeTeX documentation and sample files.

So, anticipating your (or someone’s) next question: What do I do if I’m using Word or other Uniscribe-based apps?

  • In the long run, we hope that future versions of the Windows OS and application software will provide an architecture and user interface that supports some form of user-selectable font feature mechanism. We’ll see.
  • In the meantime, the only alternative is to create derivative fonts that have the desired behaviors (e.g., alternate glyphs) “turned on” by default. So one could imagine a font such as “Doulos SIL Eng4” that is just like Doulos SIL except it renders Eng using the 4th alternate. We have created a tool called SIL TypeTuner which you can use to create derivative fonts.

Question: How do I use the Small Caps feature?

Answer: The Small Caps feature is an OpenType and a Graphite feature that can be turned on within the font. How to use it will vary from one application to the next.

  • Adobe InDesign will use the OpenType Small Caps feature. Select your text, then select the character palette, then click on the little down arrow wedge in the top right corner and select Opentype / All Small Caps.
  • FieldWorks applications - small capitals can be selected by selecting Format / Font / Font Features / Small Caps.
  • Graphite OpenOffice 3.2 can use small capitals by selecting the text, choosing "Charis SIL" and then after Charis SIL, type in ":1058=1". Thus, your font entry would be "Charis SIL:1058=1" If you want to use more than one feature, you can type a "&" in between. Thus, "Charis SIL:1058=1&1024=1" would give you an alternate eng plus small capitals.
  • XeTeX can use the Small capitals feature. When you define the font you can just add "+smcp=1" afterward. So, you might have Doulos SIL: +smcp=1. If you use XeLaTeX you can use the textsc{small caps text goes here} command where everything within textsc becomes small caps.
  • Other apps - Microsoft Word and Publisher do not use the OpenType or Graphite Small Caps feature. They make small caps on-the-fly. Other applications, such as RenderX, require the use of a separate font for the small capitals. For both these situations, if you want to use the true small capitals, then you will need to create a separate font with SIL TypeTuner. Instructions are on the TypeTuner page. Basically, after installing TypeTuner, you extract the features information. Then edit the feat_set.xml file - just change the Small Caps setting to "True" and save the file. Then run TypeTuner again with the edited file. That will give you a small capitals font and you would apply that font when you need it.

Known Issues

Performance hit in OpenOffice 3.2

There is a Known Issue with regard to using Graphite-enabled fonts in OpenOffice 3.2. See Graphite in OpenOffice.org for a solution.

Firefox 11

The Graphite features in these fonts are not currently handled by the CSS support in Firefox 11.

Application crashes when printing

People have been experiencing problems when printing documents using our fonts (also failed using Word 2007 SP2's ability to save as pdf). This is apparently a print spooler problem. Microsoft has resolved this issue as of 13 January 2010 through Windows Update. If you do a Windows Update you should make sure you install KB972270. Read about it here  http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/MS10-001.mspx. If you "hid" the previous update (KB961371), you do not need to "unhide" it. KB972270 completely replaces KB961371.

Old answer (2009-08-19): There are two solutions. One is to disable the print spooler and print directly to your printer. This may not be possible on a network printer. The other solution is to uninstall Microsoft Update KB961371 (see  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/961371). Do this at your own security risk! You will need to go to Control Panel / Add or Remove Programs. Make sure Show Updates is selected. Scroll almost to the bottom where you see "Windows XP - Software Updates" and choose "Security Update for Windows XP (KB96137)" (it should be dated around the middle of July 2009, but this will depend on when you installed the update). Click on Remove. You may have to reboot. In order to prevent installation of this update you will need to go through Windows Update again, select  Custom  and "hide" this update. We will continue to research this issue to find a better solution.

Line metrics from legacy fonts cannot be imported using TypeTuner

This was a problem with version 4.106. We updated the fonts (without changing the version) and the current download (as of May 5, 2009) corrects the problem. Please download the fonts again if you had this problem.

Small caps feature

In the Graphite version of OpenOffice the Vietnamese feature PLUS Small Caps and the Ogonek feature PLUS Small Caps do not work properly (the base character is turned into a small cap, but the diacritics do not follow the other feature). The combination of features work properly in FieldWorks applications, including WorldPad. This is because FieldWorks uses NFD and OpenOffice uses NFC. These features do work properly with OpenType and with TypeTuned fonts.

Bridging diacritics feature

The "Bridging diacritics" feature may have some unexpected behaviors when the feature is turned on with SIL TypeTuner. This feature is documented as Graphite-only and should not be expected to work properly in uniscribe applications. The feature works fine in Graphite applications although it does not work properly in conjunction with the Small capitals feature.

Wrong postscript names in version 4.106

Some characters were accidentally added to the fonts. Unfortunately they have the wrong postscript name and so if you choose to use them, there will be problems if you create a pdf. We anticipate removing these characters from future font builds. These are:

  • U+03A0  GREEK CAPITAL LETTER PI
  • U+03A8  GREEK CAPITAL LETTER PSI
  • U+03C1  GREEK SMALL LETTER RHO
  • U+2225  PARALLEL TO

Small capital substitution in version 4.100

In InDesign and XeTeX (and probably any other application which uses true small capitals) the OpenType small capitals feature will not work properly, nor will any application-specific fallback mechanism. There are now new versions of Doulos SIL and Charis SIL which address this bug. Version 4.106 adds support for true small capitals.

U+0358 COMBINING DOT ABOVE RIGHT is not positioned correctly

This issue has been addressed in version 4.106.

Left-stemmed tone marks U+A712..U+A716 do not shape in Word 2003.

This is an issue with Word 2003. It has been reported to Microsoft. Even with a very new version of Uniscribe, Left-stem tone bars (U+A712..U+A716) may not ligate properly in Word 2003. We have found that if you type a Right-stem tone bar (U+02E5..U+02E9) immediately preceding the Left-stem tone bars they sometimes ligate. (However, that might not be desired in your document!) They do ligate properly in Notepad and OpenOffice if you have an appropriate version of Uniscribe (version 1.420.2600.2180 or later).

Combining marks do not shape properly over Cyrillic characters in Word 2007.

This issue was fixed in version 4.106 of our fonts.

WordArt

WordArt has struggles with Unicode. Font linking may be going on, but the problem has not been clarified.

Some characters do not render properly in Internet Explorer

This is a problem in Internet Explorer for the following characters:

  • U+02C8  MODIFIER LETTER VERTICAL LINE
  • U+02C9  MODIFIER LETTER MACRON
  • U+02CA  MODIFIER LETTER ACUTE ACCENT
  • U+02CB  MODIFIER LETTER GRAVE ACCENT
  • U+02CC  MODIFIER LETTER LOW VERTICAL LINE
  • U+F198  MODIFIER LETTER DOT VERTICAL BAR
  • U+F199  MODIFIER LETTER DOT SLASH

Microsoft has been alerted but we do not know a solution as yet.

The font does not support some combining marks

The following overlaid combining marks are present in the font but do not have attachment points and so will not render properly:

  • U+0334  COMBINING TILDE OVERLAY
  • U+0335  COMBINING SHORT STROKE OVERLAY
  • U+0336  COMBINING LONG STROKE OVERLAY
  • U+0337  COMBINING SHORT SOLIDUS OVERLAY
  • U+0338  COMBINING LONG SOLIDUS OVERLAY
  • U+20E5  COMBINING REVERSE SOLIDUS OVERLAY

Cause: This is by design. For various technical reasons it is best to avoid using overlay combining marks. That is why, for instance, Unicode does not define a decomposition of U+026B  LATIN SMALL LETTER L WITH MIDDLE TILDE to U+006C  LATIN SMALL LETTER L + U+0334  COMBINING TILDE OVERLAY.

The following combining marks are not present in the font:

  • U+0321  COMBINING PALATALIZED HOOK BELOW
  • U+0322  COMBINING RETROFLEX HOOK BELOW
  • U+0340  COMBINING GRAVE TONE MARK
  • U+0341  COMBINING ACUTE TONE MARK
  • U+0342  COMBINING GREEK PERISPOMENI
  • U+0343  COMBINING GREEK KORONIS
  • U+0344  COMBINING GREEK DIALYTIKA TONOS
  • U+0345  COMBINING GREEK YPOGEGRAMMENI

For reasons similar to the overlay diacritics, U+0321  COMBINING PALATALIZED HOOK BELOW and U+0322  COMBINING RETROFLEX HOOK BELOW are absent from the font ... by design. In this and the overlay diacritic case, Unicode provides for most uses of these marks through precomposed characters.

The Unicode standard deprecates U+0340 and U+0341, so we omitted those. The marks U+0342..U+0345 are primarily for Greek usage and, as mentioned above, the font is not intended to provide general support for Greek.

Combining mark sequences may be incorrectly rendered

This is not a bug in the font, but it is a Uniscribe bug which has been reported to Microsoft (update:it is reportedly fixed in Uniscribe version 1.0606.5078.0). It will only be a problem in applications using OpenType, not applications using Graphite. Failure depends on surrounding text. The following table lays out which character sequences will be a problem.

First combining mark Second combining mark
    0301 0302 0303 0304 0306 0307 0308 030A 030C
    Acute Circumflex Tilde Macron Breve Dot Diaeresis Ring Caron
0300 Grave AaEeOo EeOo Aa Uu
0301 Acute AaEeOo OoUu EeOo Aa IiUu Aa
0303 Tilde AaEeOo Aa
0304 Macron Oo AaOo AaOo
0307 Dot Ss Ss
0308 Diaeresis Oo
0309 Hook AaEeOo Aa
030C Caron Uu

Base characters for which the indicated combining mark sequence may be incorrectly rendered.

Also, with versions of Uniscribe prior to Windows XP SP2 and Office 2003, the sequence U+006E  LATIN SMALL LETTER N + U+0329  COMBINING VERTICAL LINE BELOW is incorrectly rendered as U+019E  LATIN SMALL LETTER N WITH LONG RIGHT LEG

Combining marks in the U+1DC0..U+1DFF range

Combining marks in the U+1DC0..U+1DFF range may not position correctly unless you have an appropriate version of Uniscribe (version 1.626.6001.18000 seems to work). Even then, they may not position properly in Word 2003, Word 2007 or Word 2010. They position nicely in Notepad and OpenOffice.

Dotted digraphs with diacritics

Unicode specifies that, unlike i or j, etc., these characters do not lose their dots:

  • U+0133  LATIN SMALL LIGATURE IJ
  • U+01C8  LATIN CAPITAL LETTER L WITH SMALL LETTER J
  • U+01C9  LATIN SMALL LETTER LJ
  • U+01CB  LATIN CAPITAL LETTER N WITH SMALL LETTER J
  • U+01CC  LATIN SMALL LETTER NJ

Mac OS X

Glyphs from version 4.106 are not displaying properly in Mac OS X (10.4 and 10.5)

This is a problem with version 4.106. We are investigating the cause of this issue. Currently the only solution is to revert back to version 4.104 (Charis SIL 4.104 and Doulos SIL 4.104) where they appear properly. Version 4.104 has an installation error, but it is safe to ignore that error.

Fonts do not appear in the main font menu under Mac OS 10.4+

In some applications the fonts do not appear in the main font list, they appear in the part of the font menu grouped with large fonts or non-Latin fonts. Under Word it may cause a switch to the Russian Phonetic keyboard and Cyrillic characters are inserted unless Word’s preferences are used to disable “match font with keyboard”. At the moment we do not know what is causing this behavior, but it is a known issue.

Page History

2012-03-21 SC: added KI about Firefox 11 and Graphite features
2010-01-14 LP: updated KI for print spooler
2009-08-19 LP: added KI for print spooler
2009-06-26 LP: added KI for MacOSX
2009-04-24 LP: updated FAQ and KI related to version 4.106 of our fonts
2008-03-04 LP: added KI about Cyrillic and combining marks

Support

As this font is distributed at no cost, we are unable to provide a commercial level of personal technical support. We will, however, try to resolve problems that are reported to us.

Please note that this font is intended for use by experienced computer users. Installing and using this font is not a trivial matter. The most effective technical support is usually provided by an experienced computer user who can personally sit down with you at your computer to troubleshoot the problem.

Before requesting technical support, please:

  • Carefully read all the documentation provided with the font.
  • Check out all the links on this and the other SIL Unicode Roman fonts web pages, and read all the information and instructions the web pages contain.
  • Review the list of Frequently Asked Questions above and on the general Font FAQ page to see if your question has already been answered.

If that fails to answer your question, or for more information, contact:

User Support
SIL International
Non-Roman Script Initiative
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd.
Dallas, TX 75236
USA
Email:


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