Join 3,373 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Quivera, a fairly complete Unicode font
December 10, 2011 7:45 AM   Subscribe

๐‘ฏ๐’†๐’“๐’† ๐’Š๐’” ๐‘ธ๐’–๐’Š๐’—๐’†๐’“๐“ช, ๐“ช ๐’‡๐’“๐’†๐’† ๐‘ป๐’“๐’–๐’†๐‘ป๐’š๐’‘๐’† ๐’‡๐’๐’๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐“ช๐’• ๐’„๐’๐’๐’•๐“ช๐’Š๐’๐’” 10,000 ๐’„๐’‰๐“ช๐’“๐“ช๐’„๐’•๐’†๐’“๐’”. ๐“˜๐“ฏ ๐”‚๐“ธ๐“พ ๐“ฑ๐“ช๐“ฟ๐“ฎ ๐“ฒ๐“ฝ ๐“ฒ๐“ท๐“ผ๐“ฝ๐“ช๐“ต๐“ต๐“ฎ๐“ญ, ๐”‚๐“ธ๐“พ ๐“ฌ๐“ช๐“ท ๐“ป๐“ฎ๐“ช๐“ญ ๐“ฝ๐“ฑ๐“ฒ๐“ผ ๐“ถ๐“ฎ๐“ผ๐“ผ๐“ช๐“ฐ๐“ฎ (๐”ฒ๐”ซ๐”ฉ๐”ข๐”ฐ๐”ฐ ๐”ถ๐”ฌ๐”ฒ'๐”ฏ๐”ข ๐”ฒ๐”ฐ๐”ฆ๐”ซ๐”ค ๐•ฎ๐”ฅ๐”ฏ๐”ฌ๐”ช๐”ข).
"Here is Quivira, a free TrueType font that contains 10,000 characters. If you have it installed, you can read this message (unless you're using Chrome)."

Another font to check for more Unicode characters is GNU Freefont (thanks LogicalDash).

There are lots of fonts with lots of styles of characters, but very few of them bother to define glyphs for much of the vast Unicode range, which contains tens of thousands of characters. Most of these are for language support, but there are a lot of symbols and even some alternate Roman alphabets up in there. Windows and OSX install a few fonts that cover some of that range, and if you install foregin language support or MS Office you get some more. However, none of these match the extent of Quivira. There also exists a "Last Resort" font, supplied by Apple to the Unicode Consortium, that offers placeholder glyphs for many characters.

When a modern web browser displays a Unicode character that the current font has no glyph for, it checks the installed fonts and looks for one that does offer support. If it finds one, it'll substitute the proper glyph; if not, most browsers will display a hollow square or rectangle, like so: โฌœ. Firefox will display instead a gray box that contains the hexadecimal code of the missing glyph. (Exception: this doesn't appear to be true of Chrome as of December 10, 2011. I have tested this behavior on Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari and Opera on Windows, and Firefox and Safari on OSX.)

dunkadunc pointed me to a free utility that Microsoft distributes, the Keyboard Layout Creator, that can not only be used to create alternate keymaps that use these characters, but can even create install programs to distribute them to other users! That was what I used to create the fancy characters in the FPP.

Want to test your browser font support? Here are some special characters to try out. Even Quivira seems to be missing a couple of the cat emoticons:

The Legendary Snowman: โ˜ƒ
Interrobang: โ€ฝ
Upside-down Ampersand: โ…‹
White Right Pointing Index: โ˜ž
Writing Hand: โœ
Pencil: โœ
Some dominoes: ๐Ÿ–๐Ÿ‰๐ŸŽ๐Ÿก๐Ÿ€ฑ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿท๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿฆ
White Telephone: โ˜
White Rectangle: โ–ญ
Asterisks and stars: โœณโœตโˆโ‹โŠโœดโƒโœผโœปโœฏโ‡โœทโ‰โœฝโœขโโ‘โ‚โŠ›
Reference mark: โ€ป
Snowflake: โ„
Tight Trifolate Snowflake: โ…
Wheel of Dharma: โ˜ธ
White Sun with Rays: โ˜ผ
Watch: โŒš
Atom Symbol: โš›
Squares: โ˜โ–กโ‘โŽ•โ—ปโ’โ–ซโ–ขโ–ฃโฌšโ—ณโ—ซโ–ฉโŒ—
Circles: โ—ฏโ—‹โโ—ฆโ˜‰โ—‰โ—”
Triangles: โ–ณโ—ฌโˆ†โ–ตโ—ฎโ–ฝโŸโงโง‹โงŠ
Scissors: โœโœ„โœ‚
Arrows: โžณโ‡ฝโ‡ โ‡œโ†ผโ‡โฌโ‡–โ‡ฐโค‡โ‡บโ‡นโ†‘โฌ‚โฌโ†˜โฌƒโžซโฌˆโ‡ญโ‡ฌโ‡ซโŸฟโŸน
Per Ten Thousand Sign: โ€ฑ
Moons: โ˜พโ˜ฝ
"Sector": โŒ”
Crosses: โœžโ˜ฆโ™ฑ
Mahjong tiles: ๐Ÿ€†๐Ÿ€ฅ๐Ÿ€ข๐Ÿ€ฃ
Draughts Men: โ›‚โ›€
Chess Pieces: โ™”โ™™โ™˜โ™
Unnatural Acts of Punctuation: โ”โ“โ•โ
Crossed Circle ("Not Allowed"): โƒ 
Staff of Hermes: โšš
Gender Signs: โ™‚โ™€โšฆโšขโšฒโšง
Roman Numeral 100,000: โ†ˆ
Die faces: โš€โš
Playing Card Back: ๐Ÿ‚ 
Playing Card Knight of Spades: ๐Ÿ‚ฌ
White hexagon: โฌก
Emotes: ๐Ÿ˜ถ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ท๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿ˜š๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜†โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜“๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ช๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜ฑโ˜น๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜‡
Animal emotes: ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿ˜ฟ๐Ÿ˜ผ๐Ÿ™€๐Ÿ˜บ๐Ÿ˜น๐Ÿ˜ฟ๐Ÿ˜ธ๐Ÿ˜พ
Emphasis symbol: โŽƒ
Helm symbol: โŽˆ
Wheelchair Symbol: โ™ฟ
Recycling Symbols: โ™ฒโ™บ

Thanks to dunkadunc for initially leading me down this rabbit hole a few months ago, and thanks to hattifattener for linking to Quivira in comments a month ago.
posted by JHarris (111 comments total) 67 users marked this as a favorite

 
OK, I'll bite. Chrome user who was never even able to get jessamyn's star displaying. And here, it is 99.5% boxes. Make it work for me? I am good at following instructions.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:49 AM on December 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Oh dang now my eyes itch.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:50 AM on December 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hmm. The intent was not to cause itchy eyes. Sorry about that.
posted by JHarris at 7:54 AM on December 10, 2011


Weird. I can see 95% of those symbols. I'm missing the last three triangles and most of the emotes.

Also the unnatural acts of punctuation, but that could just be a self-defence mechanism.

(Ubuntu, Firefox 8.0)
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 7:56 AM on December 10, 2011


Firefox here, getting everything except dominoes, playing cards, mahjong, and the two emote sets.

And, yes, Countess Elena, some of these look pretty itchy, like something you might remove from your skin with the benefit of a hot match head.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:56 AM on December 10, 2011


So after some screwing around, it seems I can set Quivera as my default font in all cases, and no more boxes. Downside: the Internet is now all Quivera, all the time.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:56 AM on December 10, 2011


Will this start a fresh attack of the dreaded whatsits?
posted by infini at 7:57 AM on December 10, 2011


Meatbomb, you don't have to set your font to Quivera, just have it installed. Firefox, IE, Safari and Opera will all substitute missing characters in the current font with those from another font that does have them, if available.
posted by JHarris at 7:59 AM on December 10, 2011


Ugh.
posted by crunchland at 8:00 AM on December 10, 2011


Understood, JHarris, thing is I am using Chrome. As I read up on it, this seems to be an ongoing wrong thing with this browser - it don't do the smart thing like the others you mention.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:04 AM on December 10, 2011


Oh, I see Meatbomb, you're using Chrome. There isn't anything I can do there unfortunately. You could set your Metafilter font to Quivera in site preferences, which would use it for the whole site but not the rest of the Internet. It's still probably more than you'd want to do.
posted by JHarris at 8:05 AM on December 10, 2011


I could read the message, but I couldn't see ~20% of the symbols until I installed Quivera. Presumably some other fonts can substitute for the Quivera letter characters. Yes?
posted by howfar at 8:05 AM on December 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Firefox/Mac here.
I can see everything in the second set of examples, except the mahjong tiles. But, I don't see ANY characters from the above-the-fold OP. I believe the font I'm using is Arial Unicode.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:06 AM on December 10, 2011


But which of the snowflakes is the special snowflake?

On second thought, we probably don't want to start seeing them on askmefi so shouldn't choose one
posted by jeather at 8:07 AM on December 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it's incredibly daring of you to base your post not only on something that apparently only works with one specific browser, but only if you install a plug-in to that browser.
posted by crunchland at 8:08 AM on December 10, 2011


Scrolling through the font information table, I began to imagine the most fiendish character-based game. One that would make Dwarf Fortress look like Tetris.
posted by Casimir at 8:08 AM on December 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Weird, I installed Quivera and still cannot see the first two animal emoticons.
posted by jeather at 8:10 AM on December 10, 2011


Ok. I installed Quivera. Everything displays now. But, holygawdallmighty, that's one seriously fugly typeface for text use. A sans serif version is definitely needed.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:11 AM on December 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it's incredibly daring of you to base your post not only on something that apparently only works with one specific browser, but only if you install a plug-in to that browser.

No, I never would have done that. Instead, this fails to work in two cases: in Firefox, IE, Safari and Opera if there is no font on the system that supplies these glyphs (Quivera does), or you're using Chrome. I'd like for it to have worked in Chrome too, and performed tests to see what I could do about it. I did what I could. If the mods like, I could rewrite the above-the-fold part of the post in a more boring style. It could be changed to: "Here is Quivera, a Unicode font with 10,000 characters." with the same link.

The characters above-the-fold are from the mathematical alphanumeric range.
posted by JHarris at 8:14 AM on December 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it's incredibly daring of you to base your post not only on something that apparently only works with one specific browser, but only if you install a plug-in to that browser.

โ€ฝ
posted by howfar at 8:17 AM on December 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


Thorzdad, it should be clarified that the font itself is a fairly ordinary; it's ugly because I used alphabetic characters from a special symbol range, they aren't ordinary letters.
posted by JHarris at 8:17 AM on December 10, 2011


I'm with Thorzdad. I can see the characters now but that's just plain awful. I think I was happier with the boxes.
posted by JaredSeth at 8:18 AM on December 10, 2011


Oh, that's really useful, thanks! It's handy for Character Map in Windows - open it (charmap.exe) and select Quivera and you can now see more glyphs than with other fonts.
posted by alasdair at 8:19 AM on December 10, 2011


So are they standardized? I.e., if I use a "Cat Emoticon" glyph in Quivira in an email, but the recipient has some other fully-populated font, will he also see "Cat Emoticon," or might the numbered glyph cell be used for something completely different in the other font?
posted by spacewrench at 8:22 AM on December 10, 2011


โ˜ธIt is the nature of fonts to be unsatisfactory.โ˜ธ
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:22 AM on December 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


For people who haven't installed fonts before (this is on WinXP, method might be different for other Windows versions), the fastest way is: posted by ZsigE at 8:23 AM on December 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Quivira, not Quivera.
posted by alasdair at 8:25 AM on December 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


spacewrench: They are standardized, although those particular emoticons are "animal emotions," so it's up to the font supplier, I think, which animal they end up being. I have never seen them be anything other than cats. Some of those are actually in color on mobile Safari.

It is up to the font supplier, in all cases, to determine what glyphs look like, but most of them will probably stick with the standard. So, the recipient will either see the cat face, or the missing glyph square.
posted by JHarris at 8:26 AM on December 10, 2011


I (think) I can see it all. Chrome/Mac.
posted by docgonzo at 8:26 AM on December 10, 2011


To add to ZsigE's instructions, on OSX (as of Snow Leopard at least) you download the font then just double-click it to open it in Font Book, which will then offer to install it.
posted by JHarris at 8:27 AM on December 10, 2011


I have never seen them be anything other than cats. Some of those are actually in color on mobile Safari.


The first two on your list are. But one of them is a mouse.
posted by howfar at 8:29 AM on December 10, 2011


Meatbomb, you don't have to set your font to Quivera, just have it installed. Firefox, IE, Safari and Opera will all substitute missing characters in the current font with those from another font that does have them, if available.

That is very helpful, I never knew that was how it worked.
posted by shothotbot at 8:29 AM on December 10, 2011


Neat. All the above-the-fold text displays as boxes, but I can see nearly all the more-inside on ios safari.
posted by rtha at 8:29 AM on December 10, 2011


They are standardized...

It's weird to think of stuffy ISO bureaucrats sitting around going "OK, we need 472 glyphs for Cyrillic, 217 for Arabic special forms, 92 for mathematical symbols, and ... um ... 33 pictures representing emotions, but with animal faces instead of people."
posted by spacewrench at 8:30 AM on December 10, 2011 [7 favorites]


So, did some committee decide that there should be a section of cat emoticon glyphs in unicode or can you just put whatever you want in there
posted by shothotbot at 8:32 AM on December 10, 2011


This post is like late Christmas morning at my house:

Boxes everywhere and not enough motivation to do anything about it.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:32 AM on December 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Spacewrench: that's what I'm sayin.
posted by shothotbot at 8:33 AM on December 10, 2011


Where's the special snowflake character?
posted by whimsicalnymph at 8:33 AM on December 10, 2011


It's missing Unicode range 0xF8D0 -0xF8FF (Klingon). I can't use this.
posted by Stoatfarm at 8:35 AM on December 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


Why would I be able to see every glyph except the first two animal emotes? ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿฑ
posted by knapah at 8:39 AM on December 10, 2011


I wish there were knitting symbols in unicode. I'm serious. There aren't that many symbols (maybe 50?) and it would be so convenient when charting.
posted by wenat at 8:40 AM on December 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, did some committee decide that there should be a section of cat emoticon glyphs in unicode or can you just put whatever you want in there

Both actually. Those are supposed to be animal emoticons, but it's up to the font creator to decide what really goes there. There is also an entire range, the Private Use range, that's specifically made for that purpose.
posted by JHarris at 8:41 AM on December 10, 2011


โˆ€x โˆƒ!y, xโ‰…y yโˆˆโ„ , or something.
posted by Free word order! at 8:41 AM on December 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Another set of mature fonts with good Unicode coverage is DejaVu.
posted by XMLicious at 8:43 AM on December 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wish there were knitting symbols in unicode. I'm serious. There aren't that many symbols (maybe 50?) and it would be so convenient when charting.

There might very well be. I've had a scan through the whole range and didn't notice any, but there's are such a lot of them I could easily have missed them. A timely email to someone in the Unicode Consortium could well get them included in a future revision, perhaps.

Why would I be able to see every glyph except the first two animal emotes?

That is how it looks on my system. I had forgotten, but knapah is right, one of those two is a mouse face. Those two do display on iOS Safari, and in color too.
posted by JHarris at 8:43 AM on December 10, 2011


XMLicious ah dammit, I meant to include a link to that!
posted by JHarris at 8:44 AM on December 10, 2011


I did what I could.

With respect, a post that doesn't work in one of the favorite browsers of this merry bunch of nerds may, in fact, not be the best way to highlight something cool to this userbase on a Saturday morning.
posted by jessamyn at 8:50 AM on December 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey, thanks!
posted by Listener at 8:52 AM on December 10, 2011


Would it be possible to change the text of the post then, to move the funky message below the fold?
posted by JHarris at 8:52 AM on December 10, 2011


Arial Unicode MS supremacy

the only font I'll ever need for my snowmen~
posted by p3on at 8:52 AM on December 10, 2011


Would it be possible to change the text of the post then, to move the funky message below the fold?

After 50 comments many of which specifically refer to the phrasing/format of the post? Not really. There's the translated phrase underneath it and above the fold, people can muddle through with that. But I installed the font and I can see the post in its true brilliance now, so maybe my perspective is skewed.
posted by jessamyn at 8:58 AM on December 10, 2011


I can see the post in its true brilliance now

My God! Its filled with snowflakes!
posted by shothotbot at 9:00 AM on December 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


With respect, a post that doesn't work in one of the favorite browsers of this merry bunch of nerds may, in fact, not be the best way to highlight something cool to this userbase on a Saturday morning.

I dunno. It makes the front page look slightly ugly for them for the next couple of hours, but OTOH that highlights the subject of the post. Other framings would've likely been blander too, which would be a shame.

Either way, as you say, it is how it is, now.
posted by howfar at 9:01 AM on December 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ah, so this is the post that's breaking my Sage.
posted by Doofus Magoo at 9:04 AM on December 10, 2011


Okay, what's the deal with those adorable kitten emoticon characters? What are they, why are they in Unicode, and how can I use them (apart from coming back here and copy-pasting all the time)?

๐Ÿ˜ฟ๐Ÿ˜ผ๐Ÿ™€๐Ÿ˜บ๐Ÿ˜น๐Ÿ˜ฟ๐Ÿ˜ธ๐Ÿ˜พ
posted by moss at 9:09 AM on December 10, 2011


"The aim of this project is a large Unicode font which still looks aesthetically pleasing. This is not, however, the aim of our website."
posted by Brocktoon at 9:13 AM on December 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Are fonts kept in RAM?

Wouldn't a 10,000 character font (that you probably don't have much use for) just be like permanently removing a not-insignificant chunk of your computer's RAM
posted by -harlequin- at 9:14 AM on December 10, 2011


Note: At first I was missing a few of the emoticons. Installing the 3.7 version (the latest) fixes them all.
posted by Splunge at 9:20 AM on December 10, 2011


๏ปฟ> what's the deal with those adorable kitten emoticon characters?

They're Emoji.

Not sure I like the design of Quivera's โ€œPILE OF POOโ€; it's a, well, pile of poo. Maybe I've been spoiled by Apple's version, which looks more like a smiling soft-serve chocolate ice cream cone. ๐Ÿ’ฉ ๐Ÿ’ฉ ๐Ÿ’ฉ
posted by scruss at 9:21 AM on December 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Edit: except for the first two animal emotes for some strange reason.
posted by Splunge at 9:21 AM on December 10, 2011


I can see everything except the abuse of punctuation. My curiosity is piqued...
posted by pharm at 9:29 AM on December 10, 2011


I don't have Quiverra installed, but I can read the first line of the post ("๐’„๐’‰๐“ช๐’“๐“ช๐’„๐’•๐’†๐’“๐’” ๐“ฒ๐“ท๐“ผ๐“ฝ๐“ช๐“ต๐“ต๐“ฎ๐“ญ ๐”ฒ๐”ฐ๐”ฆ๐”ซ๐”ค") and all of the Unicode example symbols just fine. (Ubuntu 11.10, XFCE-flavoured not Gnome nor Unity, Firefox 8.0). I can still read it after dropping all style sheets. Tried Midori (WebKit) and Chrome, first line is just "no such character" boxes.

Tried it in a text window using /usr/bin/lynx .... and holy frejoles, I CAN read that first line!

This is one of those weird cases where things are going right and I want to find out why.
posted by Mozai at 9:30 AM on December 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't a 10,000 character font (that you probably don't have much use for) just be like permanently removing a not-insignificant chunk of your computer's RAM

Installing a lot of fonts back the days of Windows 95 did consume a bit of memory. I don't know if that's still true, but compared to the number of fonts that are installed even on a clean install of Windows 7 it can't be all that much relatively speaking. Office really piles on the extra fonts. If Microsoft isn't worried about it then I guess I'm not.
posted by JHarris at 9:31 AM on December 10, 2011


Tried it in a text window using /usr/bin/lynx .... and holy frejoles, I CAN read that first line!

This is one of those weird cases where things are going right and I want to find out why.


If you have fonts available that include those glyphs, then they're available to any app. Firefox outputting code point U+1D4F6 is no different than lynx outputting code point U+1D4F6. Styles have absolutely nothing to do with it, because this is not some feature of HTML or CSS. It's all just plain text (in UTF-8). You could achieve the same effect with a plain text editor, as long as it supported unicode.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:45 AM on December 10, 2011


moss, I'm looking into ways to access those symbols quickly for you, but it's unexpectedly difficult. They're in the higher reaches of the Unicode range, beyond the limits of charmap and the A+numpad entry trick. Try copying those emoticons into Notepad (be sure to save as Unicode text) and then copy from there?
posted by JHarris at 9:45 AM on December 10, 2011


Wait, what? Just go here, click on the appropriate range, then one of the listing options, and then you can copy and paste any character.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:50 AM on December 10, 2011


I saw 95% of the glyphs. Then I installed LastResort. Now I can't see most of them!
posted by Obscure Reference at 10:15 AM on December 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


No Aresti Catalog?
posted by Confess, Fletch at 10:20 AM on December 10, 2011


The emoji (emoticon) symbols were apparently proposed by Google in an attempt to create interoperability between GMail and the Japanese cell phone carriers, who pioneered their use.
posted by Hither at 10:27 AM on December 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Obscure Reference, I read of that happening in the research for this post. What's happening is, the current font doesn't contain the glyph requested but multiple other fonts on the system supply that glyph, so the browser has to choose one of them to display the glyph. Last Resort is truly intended to be a last resort, displayed when nothing else is available, but with Quivira installed it just gives the browser the opportunity to guess wrong when choosing a glyph. The solution is to either uninstall Last Resort, or specify a font tag in the page that refers to a font that exists on the system and has the glyph (which of course we can't do in a Metafilter post).
posted by JHarris at 10:35 AM on December 10, 2011


Some time in the last century, I remember downloading and installing Bitstream Cyberbit on my Sun workstation, restarting X11 โ€” and waiting about 10 minutes as it groaned through generating a font cache. Wow, I thought; I've see the future, and it''s gonna be slow ...
posted by scruss at 10:40 AM on December 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know if I can see the squares or not. If I can't see them they are squares, but if I can see them they are squares!? Ahh! And the same for the cat emoticons....or is the cat in the box? And if so, is it alive?
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 10:47 AM on December 10, 2011


Why is "Sector" alone quoted?
posted by stebulus at 10:52 AM on December 10, 2011


The line above the fold is all boxes, except for "10,000". I can see all of the glyphs in the list.

Chromium 15.0.874.106 (Developer Build 107270 Linux) on Kubuntu 11.10 with Liberation Sans as set in Metafilter preferences.
posted by double block and bleed at 10:59 AM on December 10, 2011


Chromium is the open source version of Chrome, and so will likely have the same problems that Chrome does, which have already been discussed above.

As for "sector," I thought it was a little abstract.
posted by JHarris at 11:02 AM on December 10, 2011


I installed Quivira and set it as the display font on MeFi. I can see everything in Chromium now.

It's not staying long because I hate the look of serif fonts in general and especially this one in particular.

(Hint: In Linux, sudo fc-cache -fv is your friend after installing a font.)
posted by double block and bleed at 11:19 AM on December 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not staying long on MeFi, that is. I'll keep the font installed for use in other applications where I didn't previously have a glyph. Ugly โ‰  Not Useful
posted by double block and bleed at 11:27 AM on December 10, 2011


Chromium user here (17.0.950.0 (Developer Build 111574 Linux) Ubuntu 11.04) above the fold is fine and about 90% of the sample text is fine. Don't think I installed any extra fonts. Missing most of the emotes and unnatural punctuation's. Don't have any kittens either but want them bad.
posted by jackmakrl at 11:36 AM on December 10, 2011


Yay for this!

However, most of the special characters are too detailed. They just look like mush. Had to zoom in five times before they were legible.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:07 PM on December 10, 2011


I agree with Sys Rq that the special characters are just way too small.

jeather: "Weird, I installed Quivera and still cannot see the first two animal emoticons."

This is mentioned in the OP. "Even Quivira seems to be missing a couple of the cat emoticons."

jackmakrl: "Don't have any kittens either but want them bad."

Have you tried installing the font?
posted by IndigoRain at 12:12 PM on December 10, 2011


I don't have Quivira installed, I'm running Firefox 3.6 on XP, and I can see the entire post and most of the emoticons.

I must be a โŠ (No, that's a snowflake, damn it! Ignore my profile pic.)
posted by maudlin at 12:19 PM on December 10, 2011


This works for me in the beta build of Chrome for Mac (16.0.912.63 beta). And I don't even have Quivera installed. All I'm missing is the dominoes, mahjong and playing cards.

So (1) awesome, and (2) why is this working for me?
posted by jhc at 12:23 PM on December 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have installed the font now and pretty much everything shows up including the cats.
posted by jackmakrl at 12:41 PM on December 10, 2011


Here's a slightly-roundabout way to see the text in thepost in Chrome, after you have installed the font:
Hit Ctrl-Shift-J, to get the Developer Console.
Under "Styles", hit the "+" button.
Enter the following style:
.copy {
font-family: Quivira;
}



Voila! No more boxes.
(Of course you have to do this every single time you view the page, so it's not incredibly useful)
posted by jozxyqk at 12:50 PM on December 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


catbeef!

now more moist
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 1:10 PM on December 10, 2011


Gotta catch 'em all, pokeglyphs!

I see them all without Quivira, probably most from Symbola605.ttf which is from the Fonts link here among other places. It used to be a separate download but the creator seems to have dropped maintaining the site and bundled up all of his ancient script and other symbol fonts into one Zip download. If you're looking for Mayan, Anatolian, Akkadian or anything else weird that's the place. Between Symbola and the default fonts of Debian sid, I don't think I've seen a grey box in ages.
posted by zengargoyle at 1:21 PM on December 10, 2011


I don't have Quivira installed. A strange usage note (webdev perspective): the area taken up by the selection area of the typeface stretched as far as the "posted by" line of the post above. Select the text with your mouse and you'll see what I mean: it's huge.
posted by dhartung at 1:26 PM on December 10, 2011


StickyCarpet: "Firefox here, getting everything except dominoes, playing cards, mahjong, and the two emote sets."

I was in the same situation, so I assumed I had Quivira installed. Turns out that, no, it was just able to supply most of the characters from some other font. After installing Quivira, the post is much more legible, and I get everything but the first two "Animal emotes".
posted by team lowkey at 1:38 PM on December 10, 2011


For posts like this, a few screenshots would go a long way to bringing in people who don't want to install strange fonts or run different browsers.

It took me awhile to figure out the adorable cat characters ๐Ÿ˜ฟ๐Ÿ˜ผ๐Ÿ™€๐Ÿ˜บ๐Ÿ˜น๐Ÿ˜ฟ๐Ÿ˜ธ๐Ÿ˜พ. They are U+1F63F, U+1F63C, U+1F640, etc, defined in the Unicode 6.0 Emoticons codepage, with names like CRYING CAT FACE. There's a lot of technical work in defining these kinds of characters correctly: you can see some of the proposal documents.
posted by Nelson at 1:43 PM on December 10, 2011


Damn, this is an ugly typeface. There's lots of relatively complete Unicode typefaces you could have chosen that are much better.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:50 PM on December 10, 2011


Here's my question: how if you have more then one font installed that's complete, what determines the priority? The text at the top was legible for me but it looked pretty bad. With this font installed it looks better, but the kerning(?) on those script characters looks pretty bad

What's up with Chrome anyway? After 14 they seem to be doing their own font rendering. Since Chrome 14 they also completely screwed up the way they handle text shadows and the result basically made drop-shadowed text that previously looked great look awe full.
posted by delmoi at 1:56 PM on December 10, 2011


Alan Woodโ€™s Unicode Resources
Unicode Consortium, Unicode Resources: Fonts

These days, you can count on most everyone having the most important glyphs in their Unicode typefaces, such as printer-style punctuation like em- and en-dashes, proper quote marks, and the like. And you can count on pretty much all web sites to support Unicode (it's about damn time!), mostly because of the necessity of internationalization. But when you go far into the wilds of, especially, whimsical Unicode codepoints, then you can't really count on the overwhelming majority of users to be able to render them. As we can see from this post.

For Windows users who have Office installed, the Arial Unicode MS typeface is a relatively complete Unicode font, and you can use the Character Map (Start-->Accessories-->System Tools) to access the various glyphs. It's also useful to get an idea of what you can expect most people to be able to render.

I've used MS's keyboard layout creator for a number of years. It's important to me to use em-dashes, especially, and also some other similar glyphs. You can redefine keys for characters you never or rarely use to something more convenient. For example, in the past I've changed the curly brackets to L/R double-quotes and the square brackets to L/R single quotes. But you can define characters for many key combinations that are unused, such as alt-shift versions of keys, and similar. So you can get pretty much all of your favorite Unicode characters available from your keyboard without having to enter a code. (Though I have the Windows alt+numpad0151 for em-dash long memorized in muscle memory.)
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:13 PM on December 10, 2011


๏ฃฆ๏ฃ๏ฃฆ๏ฃ™๏ฃ—๏ฃฉ ๏ฃŸ๏ฃฅ๏ฃฆ ๏ฃข๏ฃ๏ฃจ๏ฃฉ๏ฃš๏ฃ๏ฃ–๏ฃš๏ฃ”๏ฃ– ๏ฃ›๏ฃฅ๏ฃ˜ ๏ฃ‘๏ฃ—๏ฃ  ๏ฃฆ๏ฃ—๏ฃ™๏ฃ๏ฃฉ๏ฃ’๏ฃฅ๏ฃ•๏ฃฝ ๏ฃ›๏ฃฅ๏ฃ˜ ๏ฃ‘๏ฃ—๏ฃ  ๏ฃฆ๏ฃ—๏ฃ™๏ฃ๏ฃš๏ฃš๏ฃ๏ฃ–๏ฃพ
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:24 PM on December 10, 2011


In Quivira's defense, I put the various characters in the "secret message" to uses they were not intended for. They're mathematical symbols not intended for use in words.
posted by JHarris at 2:56 PM on December 10, 2011


Here's my question: how if you have more then one font installed that's complete, what determines the priority?

It's all the whims of the font gods. (Or "fods.") I'd guess it has to do with the order the fonts are detected by the browser. Since the behavior is uncertain, it can result in scenarios like Obscure Reference's above with the Last Resort font, where installing a new font can break some webpages.
posted by JHarris at 3:06 PM on December 10, 2011


Also, just understand that the way JHarris chose to use the font in the post is not the usual way you'd use a specific font on the web.
Normally you'd use font CSS (and entity codes instead of direct cut/pastes of obscure characters), or Flash, or in worst case, images.
So "I can't see it on my browser" is kind of secondary to his post's original point :)

Mods have put a thread in Comic Sans before, so maybe they would be so kind as to force the font of this thread with CSS as well? :)
posted by jozxyqk at 3:33 PM on December 10, 2011


Installed Quivera and it made no difference to the (pretty close apart from the cards and some emotes) rendering on OS X 10.7. Both Safari and Chrome were mostly fine.
posted by fightorflight at 4:52 PM on December 10, 2011


Before installing Quivera, I can see everything in the special character list except dominos, mahjong, and playing cards. After installing Quivera, I can see everything in the special character list except dominos, mahjong, and playing cards. I'd assumed installing the font would provide these and with 10,000 characters I'm surprised it didn't. Still, nice font to have.
posted by esome at 5:01 PM on December 10, 2011


> Not sure I like the design of Quivera's โ€œPILE OF POOโ€; it's a, well, pile of poo.

http://๐Ÿ’ฉ.la! (panic!)
posted by ardgedee at 5:24 PM on December 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


esome: are you using chrome? Everything works for me except two of the animal emotes.
posted by delmoi at 5:45 PM on December 10, 2011


"Also, just understand that the way JHarris chose to use the font in the post is not the usual way you'd use a specific font on the web."

No, that's not quite right.

First of all, he didn't specify a typeface. He used characters that he knew a specific Unicode font included as a means of demonstrating its completeness. So specifying a font in CSS has nothing to do with this.

Second of all, when you write "instead of direct cut/pastes of obscure characters" that's a bit off-base, too.

There aren't HTML entities defined except for the core, most important Unicode codepoints, so that's not possible in many cases, anyway. And, that aside, now that we're at the point when everything absolutely should be internationalized, then everyone should support Unicode natively, all the way through the pipelineโ€”from the database, through the CMS, the web server and application server, to the browser. And whatever else. People should be able to type whatever they want. You know why? Because most of the world doesn't use ANSI keyboards and characters. What is "obscure" to you isn't obscure to most everyone else and if people can enter glyphs from their native language and expect it to just work, as they should, then there's no reason people can't enter other Unicode glyphs, as well.

Now, that said, as I wrote earlier, it's not the case that everyone has comprehensive Unicode fonts installed. The further you go into rarity, such as with very recently defined codepoints of emoticons and other whimsical things, the more likely end users aren't going to be able to see them in their browser. But there's nothing the content author can do about that. Excepting your suggestion of images or Flash, which, frankly, is a horrible suggestion that deserves punishment involving flogging, in my opinion.

Just kidding. Mostly.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:53 PM on December 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


> There also exists a "Last Resort" font, supplied by Apple to the Unicode Consortium, that offers placeholder glyphs for many characters.

Last Resort is a hidden system font on the Mac. If you attempt to install it in FontBook you'll be told there's a conflict. You won't break anything if you opt to ignore the conflict, but the already-installed version is probably newer so you're not improving anything either.
posted by ardgedee at 6:02 PM on December 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here is an image of those elusive emoticons in Quivira, including the cats. (From the PDF of all the characters, on the Quivira page.)
posted by exphysicist345 at 6:03 PM on December 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry Ivan.
I take back what I said about the Unicode characters.
But I stand by the fact that, typically, if you want to showcase a specific font, you'll use CSS to specify the font (either getting users to download it first, or using some CSS3 @font-face shenanigans) instead of relying on some fallback that doesn't work in Chrome, and the limitation here is in what kind of HTML is allowed in a Metafilter post.

I'm done with my tangent. Really. :)
posted by jozxyqk at 7:48 PM on December 10, 2011


Damn, this is an ugly typeface. There's lots of relatively complete Unicode typefaces you could have chosen that are much better.

I had a fair look around and didn't find any others that had this degree of completeness. You're welcome to link to these typefaces. I offer Quivira only for its completeness. not for its worth as a general use font.
posted by JHarris at 8:51 PM on December 10, 2011


Firefox here. I could read the funky text in the post; then I installed Quivera and it all turned into hex boxes. I'm confused...
posted by NMcCoy at 12:02 AM on December 11, 2011


Really? That is odd NMcCoy. What OS are you using?

1. Try restarting Firefox. (Assuming you are using Firefox. The hex boxes are something that only Firefox does I believe.)
2. Some noted above that, if you're on Linux, you'll want to manually update your font cache. The command was given in the comment.
3. Try re-downloading and reinstalling Quivira. If the file is corrupt it might cause problems. This is really grasping at straws, but it wouldn't be the first time I've seen an incompletely downloaded file causing mysterious problems.
4. Try removing Quivira and see if the fonts return. It might the result of a case where your browser is giving priority to it to glyphs in pre-existing fonts. That doesn't explain why Quivira is causing the boxes, but the randomness of font priority does provide a mechanism that gives the problem a way to occur.
posted by JHarris at 1:15 AM on December 11, 2011


a post that doesn't work in one of the favorite browsers of this merry bunch of nerds

Ignore the Google-Borgs!!

*Ducks*
posted by Twang at 4:00 AM on December 11, 2011


Yep, I had the same issue as NMcCoy, and restarting Firefox fixed it.

The snowman is still the best.
posted by beandip at 11:01 AM on December 11, 2011


I choose not to challenge the argument regarding the bestness of โ˜ƒ.
posted by JHarris at 2:32 PM on December 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, and my favorite thing about the cat emoticons is that they remind me of Trady Blix.
posted by JHarris at 2:37 PM on December 11, 2011


« Older Try one of over 600 courses available through the ...  |  In 2007, an Israeli cable stat... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments