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Philippe Caquant wrote:

> I'm on Windows XP Home.
>
> I noticed that on the Web, you can find "ranges" of
> Unicode characters to download, as single fonts. I
> first thought I just had to load one single Unicode
> font and than all glyphs would be at hand when using
> the function "Insert / Special Characters" in Word, be
> it Tibetan, Amerindian or Braille. It seems like it
> doesn't work this way.

There are a few fonts that attempt to cover the entire Unicode range.
I'm not sure if any have succeeded (Code2001 may have). Most systems,

> So I don't know exactly what I
> should do. At the moment, the Insert function just
> proposes me some Latin, Cyrillic, Arabic, Hebraic,
> Symbol codes (does this mean that other codes weren't
> at hand in release 2.1, or just that the font
> currently used is a subset of Unicode 2.1 ?)

The font uses a subset. Unicode 2.1 has *way* more than just Latin,
Cyrillic, Arabic, Hebrew, and Symbol. CJKV was in from the beginning, AIUI.

> and
> that's about all. So I suppose I should load all
> range-fonts one by one (how many are they ?), and
> before doing an Insert / Special character, changing
> to the font I would like to use.

Yeah, but chances are you won't be changing ranges that often in a document.

> In that case, of
> course the macros would be much more complicated to
> write, because you had to add such tests as (for
> decoding):
>
> - if the code is in the range[x,y], than first change
> to font F, supposing font Z is at hand
> - if it's in the range[x',y'], then tell the user, one
> way or another, that he forgot to install font F'
> - etc.

That's pretty much how most Unicode-supporting display systems work.
When they come across a character not in the current font, will
substitute from other fonts. So you can have a font that covers the
Latin-1 range, the Arabic range, and CJK, and you'll be able to view
text that combines French, Arabic, and Japanese without problems. IF it
comes across a character that it can't find in a font, it gives you an
"unknown character" glyph (like an empty rectangle).

> Then probably the different fonts wouldn't belong to
> the same release, etc.

A font in an old release will simply be missing some characters. In
other words, they'll cover smaller ranges.