SECTION 4: Exploring With TTE

The following appears after you have double clicked the font TIMESBD.TTF on the Font Desktop:

Figure 15: Exploring TIMESBD.TTF

The name of the font being explored, TIMESBD.TTF, appears in the title pane. The active pane for this font shows six items, each offering a different view of the font's contents. The following sections describe each of these six views.

(To return to the previous active pane, e.g. the Font Desktop, click the left arrow button in the title bar).

Characters, Unicode Blocks & Code Pages

The Unicode Blocks, Code Pages and Code Page Coverage items let you explore the characters in the font from two different perspectives:

Note: The Unicode Blocks item exposes all characters defined by the font; the code page related items may not.

To see the Unicode blocks supported by the font TIMESBD.TTF, double click the Unicode Blocks item. The Unicode blocks present in the font are listed in the figure below:

Figure 16: Exploring Unicode Blocks

All characters in the font lie in only the Unicode blocks shown in the figure above (the active pane has been switched to List mode, in order to show all Unicode blocks).

To explore the characters that lie in the Cyrillic Unicode block, double click the Cyrillic item. The 94 Unicode Cyrillic characters in the font appear in the figure below:

Figure 17: Exploring the Cyrillic Unicode Block

The active pane, which has been switched to Large Icons mode, now lists all Unicode Cyrillic characters from TIMESBD.TTF. A Unicode code value appears beneath each character and serves as its unique identifier. A code value is displayed as U+XXXX, where XXXX is a 16 bit hexadecimal number. The following table lists some of the more common Unicode blocks and their start and end code values:

Table 2: Start and End Codes for Popular Unicode Blocks
Start End Block Name
U+0000U+007FBasic Latin
U+0080U+00FFLatin-1 Supplement
U+0100U+017FLatin Extended-A
U+0180U+024FLatin Extended-B
U+2070U+209FSuperscripts and Subscripts
U+20A0U+20CFCurrency Symbols
U+2200U+22FFMathematical Operators
U+2440U+245FOptical Character Recognition
U+2500U+257FBox Drawing
U+2580U+259FBlock Elements
U+25A0U+25FFGeometric Shapes
U+2600U+26FFMiscellaneous Symbols
U+2800U+28FFBraille Patterns
U+3000U+303FCJK Symbols and Punctuation
U+4E00U+9FFFCJK Unified Ideographs
U+AC00U+D7A3Hangul Syllables

Explore a Character From a Unicode Block

Double click the character U+0402 CYRILLIC CAPITAL LETTER DJE from the figure above. The one or more outlines that define the characterís shape appear in the active pane, and the character's various metrics are listed in the description pane, and are shown in the figure below:

Figure 18: Exploring a Character from the Cyrillic Unicode Block

Notice that this character is constructed from one long outline, which is defined by an ordered sequence of control points. All control points are numbered, which determines their ordering. Consecutive points that lie on the outline define a line segment and are colored black; points that lie off the outline define a curve and are colored gray.

Side bearings influence intercharacter spacing along a line of text. If present, they appear as dashed gray rectangles that lie to the left and right of a character's outlines.

The x and y axes are labeled in FUnits, a unit of measurement specific to TrueType. There are usually 2048 FUnits to an em-square. (An em-square is roughly equal to the area occupied by the lowercase letter m.)

Right click the active pane to display a floating menu. You can select options to

Explore a Character From a Code Page

In previous sections, the Cyrillic character U+0402 was explored via a Unicode block. In this section, you will explore the same character via a code page. A code page reveals a subset of characters (usually less than 256 characters) of the Unicode character set that are specific to a particular locale (e.g. country, language, etc.) or industry (e.g. scientific, drawing, etc). Most modern operating systems, including Windows ME, Windows 2000, Unix, Linux, etc, use code pages to access characters from a TrueType font.

Code pages are operating system and locale specific, and their interpretation can vary among vendors. For the Windows operating system, the Microsoft interpretation of the Cyrillic characters is provided by code page CP-1251.

To explore the same Cyrillic character as before, except via a code page, click the BACK button until you return to the Font Desktop and double click the font TIMESBD.TTF. Then, double click the item Code Pages. Finally, double click the code page CP-1251. The Microsoft Cyrillic characters appear in the figure below:

Figure 19: Exploring Characters from the Cyrillic Code Page

Characters from the Microsoft Cyrillic code page are uniquely identified by a single byte code point (shown in the figure above in hexadecimal). The characters with code point values 0x00 through 0x7f match those from most other code pages, including the ASCII character set. The remaining characters are unique to the Cyrillic locale and have values 0x80 through 0xff.

If you double click the character with the value 0x80, a familiar character emerges. It is familiar because Cyrillic character 0x80 from code page CP-1251 is identical to the Unicode character U+0402, which you explored earlier.

This illustrates that a character image (also known as a glyph) can have more than one name. In the figures above, the character being explored has a Unicode name of U+0402 and a code page CP-1251 name of 0x80. Its Unicode name is universal (the same throughout the world and across all locales) while its code page name is unique only to the locales in which the Microsoft Cyrillic language is used.

TTE fully supports the most recent Unicode and myriad code page standards.

Code Page Coverage

For practical reasons, few--if any--TrueType fonts support all characters from the Unicode standard. Typically, a font will include all ASCII characters, and full or partial coverage for a few other languages.

From the perspective of a code page, a TrueType font will typically contain characters to fully support English-based code pages, and contain characters to fully and/or partially support a few other non English-based code pages.

The Code Page Coverage view lets you explore the degree of completeness a font offers to each code page in a format that clearly highlights which characters are supported and which are missing from the code page.

To explore a fontís code page coverage, double click a font on the Font Desktop. Then, double click the item Code Page Coverage. The following appears:

Figure 20: Exploring Code Page Coverage

Each matrix of cells represents the fontís coverage for one code page. Each cell in the matrix corresponds to one character from the code page. The figure above shows the coverage for code pages CP-1250, CP-1251, CP-1252.

The color of each cell indicates whether or not its corresponding character is present in the font:

Note: A font completely supports a code page only if its code page coverage matrix contains no dark gray cells. It is of little benefit if a font contains characters to only partially support a code page.

To see the character associated with a white cell, just click the cell. The character appears in a small window next to the selected cell (see the uppercase W in the figure above). Use the cursor keys to navigate to other cells in the same matrix. Double click the cell to explore its character further.

The table below lists many of the code pages and their corresponding locales supported by this release of TTE:

Table 3: Common Code Pages
Code Page Supported Locales
cp1250Central and Eastern Europe
cp1251Cyrillic language
cp1252Western Europe
cp1253Greek language
cp1254Turkish language
cp1255Hebrew language
cp1256Arabic language
cp1257Baltic region languages
cp932Japanese language
cp936Chinese language
cp949Korean language
cp950Chinese (Taiwan) language
ISO 8859-1Western Europe, North America, Australia and many areas of Africa
ISO 8859-2Central and Eastern Europe
ISO 8859-3Esperanto and Maltese languages
ISO 8859-4Estonian, Baltic (Latvian, Lithuanian), Greenlandic and Lappish languages
ISO 8859-5Bulgarian, Byelorussian, (Slavic) Macedonian, Russian, Serbian, and Ukrainian (as written up to 1990) languages
ISO 8859-6Arabic language
ISO 8859-7Modern Greek language
ISO 8859-8Hebrew and Yiddish languages
ISO 8859-9Turkish language
ISO 8859-10Nordic languages
ISO 8859-13Baltic Rim languages
ISO 8859-14Celtic languages
ISO 8859-15Many languages that use Latin characters
ISO 8859-16Many languages that use Latin characters

Note: If you need to explore code pages not offered in this release of TTE, please contact Product Support. We can provide you with a tool that you can use to build a code page file from a generic code page/Unicode mapping file.


The style of fonts chosen influence the look and feel of the document. Thus, fonts affect document portability, for the fonts used to compose the document must exist on the computer used to view or print the document. If a font is missing, however, another will be substituted. The problem is how to identify the best substitute. The PANOSE font matching technology offers a solution, and is supported by many software (both application and operating systems) and hardware vendors.

A font is analyzed based on its 10 main visual characteristics. Each characteristic is assigned a small numerical value. These 10 numerical values together form a PANOSE number. PANOSE also defines a way to compare the PANOSE numbers for two fonts; the smaller their numerical difference (also known as PANOSE distance), the closer their visual characteristics, and thus the more suitable one is as a substitute for the other.

A fontís name (e.g. Times New Roman) is a poor way to identify substitute fonts, because two fonts that have identical visual characteristics can have different names. Here are a few examples:

TTE provides the best industry support for PANOSE when both matching fonts and exploring a fontís PANOSE number.

The Font Desktop supports PANOSE font matching. First select and hilight the font to be matched from the Font Desktop, then select Attributes -> PANOSE from the menu bar. Select Newly Selected Match Font from the dialog that appears and press OK. The column PANOSE Distance is added to the active pane, as shown in the figure below (the active pane must be in Details mode to see this column.):

Figure 21: Exploring PANOSE Difference

Click the PANOSE Distance column header to sort the fonts by their visual similarity to the matched font. To help you remember the font you originally selected from which to calculate PANOSE distance, its distance appears as Same font.

In the figure above, the font ARIALBD.TTF was selected to be matched against all other fonts. Relative to ARIALBD.TTF, the fonts ARIAL.TTF, ARIALUNI.TTF and MICROSS.TTF all have a PANOSE distance of 16. A distance of 16 is considered small, and therefore, based on visual similarity, these three fonts can substitute for ARIALBD.TTF. The font TAHOMA.TTF has a much larger PANOSE distance and is therefore is an inferior substitute.

To explore a fontís PANOSE number, double click the font on the Font Desktop, then double click the item PANOSE Classification. The following appears:

Figure 22: Exploring PANOSE Numbers

The title for each characteristic appears in bold, and a description of its value appears below in a shaded box. The titles for nine of the 10 characteristics change based on the value for the first characteristic, Kind of Family.

Name Strings

A TrueType font may contain descriptive multilingual comments, which describe any of the following properties:

Table 4: Name Strings
Name String Description
CopyrightCopyright notice from the font vendor
FamilyFont family name
SubfamilyStyle (italic, oblique, etc.) and weight (light, bold, black, etc.)
Unique font identifierUnique identifier that applications can use to identify the font
Full nameUnique human readable name of the font
VersionRelease and version information from the font vendor
Postscript nameThe name the font will be known by on a PostScript printer
TrademarkTrademark notice
ManufacturerThe company that manufactured the font
DesignerThe person who designed the font
DescriptionRevision information, usage recommendations, history, features, etc
URL VendorURL of font vendor
URL DesignerURL of typeface designer
URL LicenseLicense Info URL
Preferred FamilyPreferred family grouping
Preferred SubfamilyPreferred subfamily grouping

To explore a fontís name strings, double click the font on the Font Desktop, then double click the item Name Strings. The following appears:

Figure 23: Exploring Name Strings

Each name string appears in a shaded box. Its title appears at the top of the box; the string itself appears in a sunken box immediately below.

Kerning Pairs

Each character in a TrueType font is assigned a default horizontal width, which controls its layout when placed on a line of text. These default widths usually provide adequate intercharacter spacing. However, there are certain pairs of characters, that when appear together require an adjustment to either increase or decrease the spacing between them. This adjustment is called kerning and improves the overall look of the line of text.

A TrueType font may contain a kerning table. This table lists left and right character pairs along with an adjustment for each pair to either pull them closer together or push them farther apart.

To explore a fontís kerning pairs, double click the font on the Font Desktop, then double click the item Kerning Pairs. The following appears:

Figure 24: Exploring Kerning Pairs

The kerning table is represented by a tree. The characters immediately to the right of the plus signs are left characters in the kerning pair (the number to its right in parenthesis is its glyph index). To explore the right characters for a particular left character, expand the tree by clicking the box with the plus sign. (When a branch of the tree is expanded, the plus sign changes to a minus.) The right characters are displayed along with their accompanying glyph indices and kern values. A positive kern value pushes the characters apart; a negative value pulls them together.

A space character can appear as either the left or right character from the kern pair. When present, it appears as a blank character. In the figure above, a space character appears at the top of the tree, and has a glyph index of 3.

To explore a particular kern pair, select its right character. A kerning preview window pops up to show the pair in their unkerned form. The following figure shows the kerning preview window for the character pair R,:

Figure 25: The Kerned Pair "R,"

The vertical gray lines between the pair show the their default (i.e. unkerned) spacing. Click the kerning preview window to alternate between unkerned and kerned spacing.