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UnicodeChecker 1.11

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UnicodeChecker Icon Hooray, we got another update to UnicodeChecker! While not visibly revolutionary, this updates brings a number of sweet changes with it.

UnicodeChecker displaying that it's using Unicode 5 data First and foremost, it now includes the new Unicode 5 data files which were released a few weeks ago. Of course cutting edge Unicode enthusiasts could have manually downloaded the files and handed them to UnicodeChecker by putting them in the UnicodeChecker folder inside an Application Support folder before, but it’s more convenient this way I guess. Feel free to browse around and try to spot the 1369 newly assigned characters…

If you had manually downloaded and used the optional (and huge) Unihan data file before, you may want to grab a current version of that one as well to match the other files. Things will work just fine with the old file, though, and UnicodeChecker will even remind you that you are using an inconsistent data set in that situation. If you are using UnicodeChecker’s Spotlight integration which makes Unicode code points (including the Unihan definitions if available) available via Spotlight searches, it is advisable to let UnicodeChecker re-create the index files, so the index is based on Unicode 5 as well.

Unicode support has also been improved otherwise, in that UnicodeChecker now also uses data included in the NamesList file. They will be displayed in the ‘Misc’ tab and give further information on the character such as related characters, the relevant languages or other information that might be interesting:

Misc tab with NamesList information on the ß letter displayed (= Eszett; German; uppercase is 'SS', in origin a ligature of ſ and s, also see greek small letter beta

The “Information in the ‘Misc’ Tab section” of UnicodeChecker’s help book gives more details on what information the NamesList field can contain an explains the symbols used with that information.

The other new feature is an option which we had a few requests for over the years and which Steffen finally implemented: UnicodeChecker can now display the font metrics with the character it displays. this isn’t really a Unicode feature but it seems that people digging around Unicode sometimes need to figure out information about fonts and their metrics as well. Thus the window menu now has a new Show Font Metrics menu item, which will add the relevant lines to the main character display:

Font metrics displayed in UnicodeChecker for Zapfino

While this looks spectacularly huge for Zapfino, it’s less exciting for other typefaces. And the information can unfortunately be a bit hard to read when the different lines are very close together. Some fonts, like Code 2000 for example, even seem to have very strange metrics where most of the lines are simply the same.

September 7, 2006, 11:35

Tagged as earthlingsoft, UnicodeChecker, zapfino.

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