Ruby Text Objects

Chinese characters are used to represent syllables and words in a number of East Asian languages. In each language, the characters are pronounced differently and their meanings may differ as well. To help clarify the pronunciation and/or semantics, “ruby text” can be used. In vertical text layout, ruby text is positioned vertically to the right…


Math Symbol Hierarchy

The Unicode Standard 7.0 has 2311 math symbols not including the ASCII letters and the standard combining marks like tilde, which are also used in math zones. Such a large number of symbols can be confusing if not intimidating to people who don’t use mathematics professionally. Even those who use math a lot don’t use…


Smart Lighting

This post involves an old passion of mine, computerizing homes. First some background. I spent the academic year 1975-76 on sabbatical at the Max Planck Institute for Solid-State Physics and the University of Stuttgart in Stuttgart, Germany researching nonlinear laser spectroscopy theory, generally of atomic media. But the Max Planck Institute aroused my curiosity about…


Entering Unicode Characters

As noted in the post Symbols and Emoji we have the ability to input characters in much more powerful ways than possible before the advent of modern computers and smart phones. We can insert symbols chosen from large galleries (Character Map, Office Insert Symbol Dialog, Office math ribbon, soft keyboards) to represent words and ideas….


Symbols and Emoji

The emoji symbols (literally picture characters) introduced by Japanese cell phone carriers have captured the imaginations of computer users around the world. So much so that occasionally many symbols created long before the emoji are now being treated as emoji. This post addresses the history of symbols in general and how emoji symbols fit in…


RichEdit Plain-Text Controls

A Unicode plain-text editor appears to have a single set of character formatting properties for the entire text and a single set of paragraph formatting properties. With NotePad, for example, you can choose a normal, bold, italic, or bold-italic font of any reasonable size and your choice is used consistently throughout the text (at least…


Math Greek Letter Bug Fixed

When Word 2007 and later versions write an RTF file that includes math alphanumeric symbols (see U+1D400..U+1D7FF), they convert the symbols back to ASCII or Greek in the BMP (basic multilingual plane) and then write the characters out using the appropriate charset, namely ANSI_CHARSET for Latin letters like a..z, and GREEK_CHARSET for Greek letters. In…


Crisp Text Display

Kaspar commented on my post Office Adopts New Windows Display Technology “I always wondered why the text in OneNote 2013 looks so much better than Word 2013.” Curious, I typed some math into Word and OneNote on my 3200 x 1800 resolution Samsung ATIV laptop and compared them. The two displays looked pretty similar! For…


OpenType Math Tables

The math tables created for the math facility in Word 2007 and other Microsoft Office applications are now officially part of the OpenType standard ISO/IEC CD 14496-22 3rd edition. See Section 6.3.6 MATH. You can download a copy of the whole standard from here. We always hoped that the tables would become part of the official…


BiDi Hyperlinks

More precisely, this post is about BiDi Internationalized Resource Identifiers (IRIs). These objects are a generalization of Universal Resource Identifiers (URIs) that can contain a large variety of nonASCII characters, such as most alphabetic characters and Chinese characters. Complications occur when BiDi characters such as Arabic and Hebrew are used in IRIs especially when displayed…