Recommended Glyphs

<< Click to Display Table of Contents >>

Navigation:  Editing Fonts > Editing Fonts >

Recommended Glyphs

In addition to script and language specific punctuation and native numbers, the following glyphs are highly recommended for inclusion in fonts.

.notdef - the very first glyph!

All fonts must include a .notdef (missing character) glyph as first glyph (glyph index 0). The .notdef glyph is very important for providing the user feedback that a glyph is not found in the font. For example, if your font doesn't contain a question mark, the user will see the .notdef glyph to warn the user about the fact the actual character is missing.

 

This glyph should not be left without an outline as the user will only see what looks like a space if a glyph is missing and will not be aware of the active font's limitation. It is recommended that the shape of the .notdef glyph be either an empty rectangle, a rectangle with a question mark inside of it, or a rectangle with an "X". Creative shapes, like swirls or other symbols, may not be recognized by users as indicating that a glyph is missing from the font and is not being displayed at that location.

 

 

Note: sometimes an operating system, a word processor, web browser, etc will use a fallback font, so the user will still see characters that are not included in the actual font.

Obsolete glyphs - .null and nonmarkingreturn

The .null and nonmarkingreturn glyphs used to be required, but they no longer need to be included in your fonts. If you include them, it is best to follow these guidelines:

.null -> glyph index 1; no contours; zero advance width.

nonmarkingreturn -> glyph index 2; no contours; advance width equals the advance width of the space glyph.

Space

Obviously a very important character is the space. It usually comes right after the above mentioned glyphs, but its position is no longer relevant. The space glyph is often mapped to both space and no-break space; it has no contours and positive advance width.

General punctuation and 'Latin' numbers

Glyph Name

Descriptive Name

Sample

Unicode

space

space

 

$0020

exclam

exclamation mark

!

$0021

quotedbl

quotation mark

"

$0022

numbersign

number sign

#

$0023

dollar

dollar sign

$

$0024

percent

percentsign

%

$0025

ampersand

ampersand

&

$0026

quotesingle

apostrophe

'

$0027

parenleft

left parenthesis

(

$0028

parenright

right parenthesis

)

$0029

asterisk

asterisk

*

$002A

plus

plus sign

+

$002B

comma

comma

,

$002C

hyphen

hyphen-minus

-

$002D

period

period

.

$002E

slash

slash

/

$002F

zero

digit zero

0

$0030

one

digit one

1

$0031

two

digit two

2

$0032

three

digit three

3

$0033

four

digit four

4

$0034

five

digit five

5

$0035

six

digit six

6

$0036

seven

digit seven

7

$0037

eight

digit eight

8

$0038

nine

digit nine

9

$0039

colon

colon

:

$003A

semicolon

semicolon

;

$003B

less

less-than sign

<

$003C

Quotes and Ellipsis

Smart quotes (also known as curly quotes) are fancy characters which make text look better compared to the straight apostrophe (') and straight quote or inches character ("). Microsoft Word also automatically changes 3 periods to an ellipsis.

 

If your font does not support these characters, you can either turn the "Smart Quotes" and "Ellipsis" features off in the application (In Microsoft Word it's under Tools -> AutoCorrect) or make sure these glyphs and their mappings are available in the font.

 

Glyph Name

Descriptive Name

Sample

Unicode

quoteleft

left single quotation mark

$2018

quoteright

right single quotation mark

$2019

quotedblleft

left double quotation mark

$201C

quotedblright

right double quotation mark

$201D

ellipsis

horizontal ellipsis

$2026

Other suggested glyphs

Glyph Name

Descriptive Name

Sample

Unicode

nbspace *

no-break space

 

$00A0

currency

currency sign

¤

$00A4

section

section sign

§

$00A7

logicalnot

not sign

¬

$00AC

degree

degree sign

°

$00B0

paragraph

paragraph sign

$00B6

periodcentered

middle dot

$00B7

endash

en dash

$2013

emdash

em dash

$2014

bullet

bullet

$2022

euro

euro currency symbol

$20AC

 

* nbspace is usually mapped to the space glyph