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The text I am flowing into the document has already been marked (by the author) with a large number of additional acceptable break locations (which I have converted to different types of spaces). The text still breaks randomly in the middle of strings (and also at the space locations -- but not seemingly with any priority).
The "priority" is based off of no rhyme or reason that I can detect. When I process Lao or Cambodian in InDesign (which I don't expect to break correctly, in any circumstance, unlike Thai), I just use a GREP style that applies No Break to characters between any space, zero-width or otherwise. I'm assuming that the Thai author used zero-width space, but it could have been some other marker, I suppose. If you don't have any experience w/GREP, just tell us what the different types of spaces are where breaks are permissible and we can gin up a GREP query for you to use.
Thanks very much for your reply. This was quite helpful. I was able to wrap all runs of Thai script letter characters with no break. I am actually importing InDesign Tagged Text into InDesign. I used the following regular expression to search and replace in the tagged text files.
Using a GREP style in InDesign is an easier solution. Unfortunately there is a chance in the text I am working with that the resulting style will become nested within a piece of text already wrapped with a character style, so the local noBreak instruction is the only reliable way.
The World Ready Composer has added so much needed support for the OpenType font features required for complex script rendering. Much appreciated! I do hope in future versions of InDesign that support for these South Asian languages will continue to improve by adding the necessary text (morphology) analysis needed to implement real support for line breaking. (The characters in Thai belong to the Unicode line breaking class "SA", which indicates that software needs to provide this added support -- such as a dictionary lookup, or other analysis, to indicate which characters should be allowed to break after)
It feels like InDesign (at this point) is just treating all characters in these Thai text runs as an acceptable breaking location, and doing its best to stick close to the prefered justification word and letter spacing values.
Thanks, again for the helpful idea.