16 Replies Latest reply on Jun 28, 2012 5:51 AM by Frustrated in AZ

    Unicode support

    honyk Level 1
      It seems there is no way to display UTF-8 encoded ePub files in DE 1.5 correctly. If uncompressed, HTML content looks fine in a browser. In DE all common accented characters are substituted with ? character.

      There are two similar topics on this forum:

      My ePub file was generated via DocBook XSL Stylesheets and there is no problem to display it in FBReader.

      I suppose it is caused by default font, which contains probably very limited range of characters. Unfortunately there is no way to select the better one (as it is possible in FBReader).
      Something about changing the default font was "discussed" here: http://www.adobeforums.com/webx/.59b5e8b7

      If I met this issue 10 years ago, I would understand. If anybody in these days offer software for reading text with no support for non-roman languages, it is hard to believe.

      What I would suggest is to deliver DE with any very complete font, for example MinionPro (latin, cyrillic, CE, greek etc.). If this is impossible, please add a feature for selecting the default font.

      If I am totally wrong, clarification of this issue is welcomed.

      OS - Win XP Pro SP2
      Browser - Firefox 3.0.1
        • 1. Re: Unicode support
          honyk Level 1
          Unfortunately, version 1.7 doesn't help in this, although there is mentioned somewhere on product pages: "Digital Editions ... can display content in a wide range of languages."
          • 2. Re: Unicode support
            Jim Lester Level 4
            For glyphs not supported by our current faux fonts, to ensure that the user can view them regardless of system settings (ie desktop with and without the system fonts there, and devices that may not have the system fonts at all), you will want to embed the fonts in the ePub file.

            • 3. Re: Unicode support
              honyk Level 1
              Hi Jim,

              I didn't know there is possible such mechanism. Thanks for your clarification. I'll look at it.

              • 4. Re: Unicode support
                thisby Level 1

                Hi Jim--


                Thanks very much for the explanation on this...


                You know, Adobe could save us all a lot of time if the default faux fonts would include more unicode support....


                (I've spent probably a day overall trying to figure out what the issue is, and now I will spend the rest of the day learning/testing embedding a custom font in an epub, just for Digital Editions...)


                Even Mobipocket and Kindle are getting these entities right in the three books I'm working on, with their default fonts. (We're not talking about super-obscure characters. Try "Milosevic" with the proper characters, and you get a ? in DE.)


                Is there any chance Adobe can get the default fonts smarter in 1.8..?


                Thanks for any help/thoughts on this front...I'm sure I don't understand all the issues...it just seems like such an obvious straightforward thing to fix.



                • 5. Re: Unicode support
                  Jim Lester Level 4

                  Full Unicode font support for all glyphs would bloat the Digital Editions download from ~6Mb to around 32 to 40 Mb.  This is not something we are anxious to do.  We are looking at other mechanisms to download the fonts on demand, but this is fairly low in priority compared to long laundry list of other features we want to do.



                  Jim Lester

                  Adobe Systems

                  • 6. Re: Unicode support



                    I actually did not understand how can I view the cyrillic text from a ePub file. Now I'm seeing "?" or other chars, but not the actual cyrillic letters. The authors say the file was written using Cyrillic Windows 1251 chars set.



                    • 7. Re: Unicode support
                      honyk Level 1

                      I think none of us is requesting full Unicode. For example Tahoma supports many languages and it has 660 kB only.

                      • 8. Re: Unicode support

                        Is there any chance of better Unicode Support anytime soon in Digital Editions?

                        I'm looking for Latin Extended Additional, Latin Extended A, etc

                        Even within Latin Extended A, there seems to be support for some characters but not others.

                        Is there a list somewhere for what EXACTLY is supported as of now?

                        • 9. Re: Unicode support
                          tkirke Level 1

                          Seems like no one at Adobe cares about this issue?

                          • 10. Re: Unicode support

                            Well, I also think it is a serious problem. I am from the Czech Republic and it is an issue for many people wanting to read on ebook devices. There are several ways how to overcome the limitation (using built in font, change the font in CSS) but all these are typically for technology savvy people, the outcome is dependent on the reading device or the epub is quite large (with all fonts included - also for Times New Roman).


                            And the number of potential consumers in countries with non-English characters is quite big so I do not understand the priority setting.


                            Best regards,



                            • 11. Re: Unicode support
                              Will Thackara

                              As manager of a small university press, which has many books containing high-range (non-Western) diacriticals and nonroman characters, I too vote for ADE support of unicode for epub format.  I've tried to embed specially-made fonts using standard unicode positions for accented characters with macrons, etc., via InDesign CS5 without success.


                              As epub is fast becoming the defacto standard for ebooks/ereaders, when will ADE provide support for scholarly texts?

                              • 12. Re: Unicode support
                                Will Thackara Level 1

                                Just a further note regarding Unicode (in particular, the Latin Extended-A and Latin Extended Additional characters): The Amazon Kindle implements these in its character set. I would hope that ADE will soon follow suit by adding appropriate fonts (serif preferably as these are more readable).


                                Will Thackara

                                • 13. Re: Unicode support

                                  The software is a f**king joke. It's unable to handle even basic HTML or CSS features, and it renders many horribly wrong. Now you tell us that Unicode support that was requested would take around 26-34 Mb of space? Are you f***ing serious? Did you notice that Adobe is selling fonts separately and in packages like CS (supporting more than was asked for) in a fraction of the same?


                                  You do not even support all Unicode dashes or spaces. I just previewed some of my content in Adobe Digital Editions; DE sucks you guys. Get some programmers.


                                  By the way, this stuff matters. Any decently typeset book requires more than you offer.

                                  • 14. Re: Unicode support



                                    There are two problems with font embedding in epub:


                                    1) Many fonts are over 300K, the file size limit to pass ePub Check (and therefore work on most ePub reading systems).

                                    2) As far as I know, licensing is still unclear. If I want to distribute an ePub commercially, am I restricted by the licenses of the fonts I want to embed? I have seen no definitive answer here.



                                    • 15. Re: Unicode support
                                      tkirke Level 1

                                      From Jim Lester

                                      "We are looking at other mechanisms to download the fonts on demand, but this is fairly low in priority compared to long laundry list of other features we want to do."


                                      It's been 3 years. Fairly low in priority means not at all?

                                      Will we ever see better unicode support?

                                      • 16. Re: Unicode support
                                        Level 4

                                        Unfortunately, Jim is no longer with Adobe.