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Latin 1- Punctuation Design Standards - continued


  • Commercial at sign
    Unicode: U+0040

    There are three common practices in supplying the commercial at character by font designers.

    • One standard serif design in all font files.

    • Two standard designs, one serif for serif style fonts and one sans serif for sans serif designs.

    • Designed to match the style of the typeface.

    The bottom line: What should I do? It is always best for any character to match the style of the typeface.

    Height alignment : Visually centers on the uppercase height, dependent on the typeface design.

    Spacing : Visually center between uppercase H and O.


Bullets

  • Bullet
    Unicode: U+2022

    Bullets supplied by traditional vendors varied in size but the two most common are the en bullet and the em bullet.


  • En bullet

    This is the more commonly included bullet in most typefaces.

    Advance width rule : Its advance width is generally set to the en space and is a smaller sized bullet than the em bullet.

    Height alignment : Visually centers on the lowercase uppercase height.


  • Em bullet

    This is the large bullet sometimes chosen to be included in place of the en bullet in some typefaces.

    Advance width rule : Its advance width is generally set to the em space value.

    Height alignment : Visually centers on the lowercase uppercase height.

    Spacing : Visually center between uppercase H and O.


Hyphens, horizontal bars and dashes

  • Hyphen - minus
    Unicode: U+002D

    This character is the manually typed, always visible, hard hyphen inserted by an author of text. It is not to be confused with the soft hyphen.


  • Soft hyphen
    Unicode: U+00AD

    This character is an additional hyphen character code. An application or client determines its use and implementation. It is not the same character as a non-breaking hyphen.

    The most common use of the soft hyphen is for hyphenation in an application's page layout. These applications use the soft hyphen for hyphenation when a line break occurs. It is removed by the application when the text is reformatted and the hyphenation is no longer necessary.

    Currently, Web publishing is a less automated use of text layout. HTML authors are the 'typographer' and they are responsible for formatting the text. Web browsers do not automatically provide hyphenation as do page layout applications.

    The W3C has defined the soft hyphen entity and its use by authors and clients of HTML as:

    soft hyphen = discretionary hyphen: ENTITY shy "­"

    "The soft hyphen tells the user agent where a line break can occur."

    In this implementation, the soft hyphen is a hidden hyphen and only displayed when a line break occurs at a soft hyphen position.

    For the full W3C definition of the soft hyphen see the hyphenation section of the HTML 4.0 specification.

    Because of the inconsistent use and implementation of the soft hyphen, most recommendations for manual HTML authoring are currently discouraging the use of the soft hyphen.


  • Hyphen
    Unicode: U+2010

    This character is the same as Hyphen-minus U+002D.


  • Non-breaking hyphen
    Unicode: U+2011

    This character is similar to the character No-Break Space U+00A0.

    The non-breaking hyphen is the same as the hyphen character with the added functionality of providing a way to preventing a hyphenated word from being separated by a line break.

    Advance width rule : All these characters should be of the same design and on the same advance width.

    Spacing : Visually center between lowercase n and o; H and O.


The en and em dash

Design : These characters are commonly straight rules that extend the full length of the advance width. Some type designers have designed these characters to not fill the advance width and have a small left and right sidebearing. The full length version is the preferred design.

The en dash is used in text solely as a replacement for a hyphen and as a replacement for the word through (Jan-Jun) The 2-em dash is used in text setting to indicate missing letters in a word. The 3-em dash is used to indicate an entire word missing. Being doubled and tripled the preferred design is one that fills the advance width and connects.

The em dash is also used in bibliographies to replace the author's name when a repeated series of works is described. The em dash is tripled as a 3-em dash.

Example of the use of the em dash in Bibliographies.

The Pointed Palominos. 1998. I can't stand up for my saddle done let me down again. Albuquerque, New Mexico: South Dusty Lung Records.

———, 1997. Songs of warm women, cold beer and rusty trucks. Albuquerque, New Mexico: South Dusty Lung Records.

———, 1997. If you ever leave the light on I'll find my way home again. Dusty, Washington: Dusty Lung Records.

———, 1962. You're rockin' my baby, so buy me a beer. Dusty, Washington: Dusty Lung Records.


  • En dash
    Unicode: U+2013

    Height alignment : Visually centers on the lowercase x-height.

    Advance width Rule : Placed on the en space of the typeface.


  • Em dash
    Unicode: U+2014

    Height alignment : Visually centers on the lowercase x-height.

    Advance width rule : Placed on the em space of the typeface.


  • Underscore
    Unicode: U+005F

    Height alignment : Placed vertically to underline the uppercase characters. A good distance is 5-10% of the em square below the baseline or ~100-200 units in a 2048 unit em.

    Advance width rule : Placed on the en space of the typeface.

    Spacing : This character extends the length of its advance width and should be connecting in a continuous string of the character in both roman and italic designs.


  • Overscore
    Unicode: U+00AF

    Height alignment : Placed vertically to overstrike the uppercase characters. This is approximately the same position as the placement of the uppercase diacritics. This character is a copy of the underscore, commonly offset the em square value vertically. That value is 2048 in a 2048 unit em font. This is not the same character as the lowercase spacing macron - U+02C9.

    Advance width rule : Placed on the en space of the typeface.

    Spacing : This character extends the length of its advance width and should be connecting in a continuous string of the character.


Slashes

  • Slash
    Unicode: U+002F

    Height alignment : This character's vertical alignment is design dependent. Commonly it aligns either visually to the uppercase flat height and baseline or extends slightly above the uppercase flat height and descends to a value not greater than the lowercase descender.

    Advance width rule : The advance width is proportional to the design of the slash.

    Spacing : Horizontally centered between uppercase H and O.


  • Backslash
    Unicode: U+005C

    In italic fonts the backslash's angle is commonly more upright than in the roman font of the typeface.

    diagramdiagram

    Height alignment : This character's alignment should be the same as Slash - U+007C

    Advance width rule : The advance width is proportional to the design.

    Spacing : Horizontally centered between uppercase H and O.


Vertical rules and bars

These characters were used on computer systems defined as, used to create vertical continuous or dashed lines. Current use is to separate text or as a computer programming operator for 'or'.

if (myFont > yourFont || (yourFont == "Courier New")
{ getNewFont() }

  • Vertical bar
    Unicode: U+007C

  • Broken vertical bar
    Unicode: U+00A6

    Height alignment : There is no general rule in current usage of these characters. Common height alignments are:

    • Vertically aligns with ascender and descender.

    • Vertically aligns with uppercase and the baseline.

    • Vertically aligns so the bar connects vertically when the document is set solid with no leading. For this character to connect when set with no leading the top would have to be equal to the highest character (often the 'Aring') and the bottom equal to the lowest character (often the 'Ccedilla'). These highest and lowest characters are used in TrueType for the WinAscent and WinDescent in the 'OS/2' table. They are also used to calculate the values in the 'VDMX' table. Both these tables in Microsoft Windows define the vertical cell height. See the TrueType Specification for more information about these tables.

    The bottom line: What should I do? Modern usage of vertical rules on personal computers suggests there is no need for this character to be a connecting vertical rule character. Unicode characters U+2500..U+256C are line drawing characters and better suited for this task. Also most page layout programs provide horizontal and vertical rule capability.

    The alignment for this character would be best if it is in the body height of the typeface and be approximately the height of the lowercase ascender and the depth of the lowercase descender.

    Advance width rule : Placed on the en space of the typeface.

    Spacing : Horizontally centered between figure zeros.



this page was last updated 21 January 1999
© 1998 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Terms of use.
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Uc | Lc | Figures | Spaces | Diacritics | Punctuation | Monetary | Math | Symbol
Microsoft Typography | Developer | Character design standards | Overview