Which codepages to support in a general purpose font?

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Alex Varanese's picture
Joined: 11 Nov 2007 - 1:20pm
Which codepages to support in a general purpose font?

I'm about 95% done with the glyphs of my current font project. I don't plan on selling the font (it's really just for my own use), but I'm acting as if I will, because I want the experience of creating a polished font that would meet the requirements of a commercially viable font.

Which codepages does everyone think the average, commercially useful font should support? I'm using Fontlab on Windows, and have so far completed the MS Windows 1252 Western codepage. I've also included additional characters, such as L slash, the fi and fl ligatures, and a few additional diacritical marks.

So far, I've been basically shooting for the union of the Windows 1252 and MacOS Roman code pages. Am I leaving anything out this way? I notice that neither codepage includes additional ligatures like ffi and ffl. Is there a more standard list of "usually supported" codepages among the major fonts out there?

Before I move on to metrics and the final round of details, I want to finalize my codepage support and wrap up all the remaining glyphs.


Gary Long's picture
Joined: 27 Jun 2007 - 3:42pm

If by "average, commercially useful font" you mean one adequate for setting "western" languages in an office setting, then the Mac Roman/Windows 1252 would do for a minimum. Whether you need additional ligatures such as ffi and ffl would depend on the font design. And then of course there are old style figures, lining figures, small caps, scientific inferiors and superiors . . . all kinds of additional glyphs that can extand the usefulness of the font, not even considering additional language support.

James Montalbano's picture
Joined: 18 Jun 2003 - 11:00am

Also supporting these codepages would give your font a more complete latin glyph set:

MS Windows 1250 Central European
MS Windows 1254 Turkish
MS Windows 1257 Baltic

These ranges along with 1252 seems to be becoming the default character set for OT fonts.
(at least that is the way we are looking at it)