The Grumpy Troll

Ramblings of a grumpy troll.

Previewing font contents

Those who read “Typing Weird Stuff” or “How long is a piece of string?” may have noticed that I like exploring the non-ASCII parts of the Unicode assignments.

In order to actually view these characters, it's necessary to have fonts which support the necessary characters. Even on an Apple Mac, the default fonts don't have great coverage. So far, the best font I've found is the shareware “Code2000”, costing $5. [website has been down for a couple of weeks and my attempts to contact the author have failed].

The next problem is getting an overview of the font contents; Apple's Font Book does a rather poor job of this: it takes forever to start (if you have many fonts), it gets confused over how much space a character takes (needing nudges to workaround flaws, resizing to convince the software to update its idea of what it's showing are what I expect of other OSes, not MacOS). But Google have released an update to the Google Docs Viewer, so you can use this get a pretty PDF with the contents of a font. Sometimes even I like shiny baubles!

The easiest approach is probably to send mail to yourself, attaching the .ttf file. Then click to View the attachment, which will generate a PDF for you to view, then you can save the PDF. Voilà, summary information, a quick sample and then the code blocks, presented with the codepoints in hex. View in Preview and you can search for "arrows" to see the various areas where arrows are.

In the case of Code2000, this is a 249 page PDF.

-The Grumpy Troll
Categories: Preview code2000 unicode font pdf google