About Unicode Font Descriptions
A single Unicode font, due to its large character set, is capable of supporting all languages and platforms. Unicode shape definition files are virtually identical in format and syntax to regular shape definition files.
The main difference is in the syntax of the font header as shown in the following code:
Font encoding. Uses one of the following integer values. 0 Unicode 1 Packed multibyte 1 2 Shape file
Font embedding information. Specifies whether the font is licensed. Licensed fonts must not be modified or exchanged. Bitcoded values can be added. 0 Font can be embedded 1 Font cannot be embedded 2 Embedding is read-only
Another important difference is the handling of the code 7 subshape reference. If a shape description includes a code 7 subshape reference, the data following the code 7 is interpreted as a two-byte value. This affects the total number of data bytes ( defbytes ) in the shape description header. For example, the following shape description is found in the romans.shp file:
The second field in the header represents the total number of bytes in the shape description. If you are not used to working with Unicode font descriptions, you may be inclined to use three bytes rather than four, but this would cause an error during the compiling of the SHP file. This is true even if the shape number you are referencing is not in the two-byte range (below 255); the compiler always uses two bytes for this value, so you must account for that in the header. The only other difference between Unifont shape definitions and regular shape definitions is the shape numbers. The Unifont shape definitions that the program provides use hexadecimal shape numbers as opposed to decimal values. Although hexadecimal numbers are not required, their use makes it easier to cross-reference the shape numbers with the U+ control character values.
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