Inspection and Copy&Paste for unencoded glyphs (MacOS)

ralf h.'s picture

Over at our German type forum people have been complaining about the missing support of unencoded glyphs in the character palette of OS X Lion.
From what I could gather:

In Mac OS 10.6 you can select certain typefaces and the character palette would show you all glyphs of that font, even the ones without a Unicode value. From there you could do copy&paste for these unencoded glyphs, at least to most Apple and Adobe apps.
In Mac OS 10.7 this option seems to be gone. (Couldn't check it myself, since I still wait for the FontLab Studio 5.1 update)

In Linotype’s old FontExplorer version 1.2.3 unencoded glyphs were also shown …

… but they are also missing in the recent version of FEX under the recent version of Mac OS.

So I am wondering:
Are there any good reasons for companies like Apple and Linotype to drop the support for unencoded glyphs? Sure, the GlyphIDs are not as reliable as a Unicode value, but if you know what you are doing and the apps you use support it, that’s a very helpful feature.
Even if it could just be used for inspecting the character set of modern OpenType fonts with all their alternate characters.

And what I am most interested in: Are there alternative character palette tools for Mac OS that support unencoded glyphs?
Of course the Glyph Palettes in InDesign and Illustrator are good at that, but I can't really recommend people to purchase InDesign just to check the glyph support of their fonts)

Tom Gewecke's picture

Yes, for some reason in Lion Apple deleted the View=Glyph function which has been part of Character Viewer for years now, and that is inconvenient for a lot of people. I have not seen any explanation for it and have recommended everyone file feedback requests to have it put back.

Another previous feature left out is the ability to identify a character selected in a text.

As an alternative you could try PopChar. I have not done so myself and am not sure whether it will show everything in a given font or not.

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