Microsoft Typography | Developer information | Specifications | OpenType font development
Mongolian OpenType Specification


Creating and supporting OpenType fonts for the Mongolian script

This document presents information that will assist font developers in creating fonts for Mongolian script languages covered by the Unicode Standard 3.1.

The Mongolian script is used to write classical Mongolian, with additional letters for Todo, Sibe and Manchu, and extensions for Sanskrit and Tibetan. Mongolian was historically derived from Aramaic, a right to left script but was later transformed to be written vertically from top to bottom, in columns from left to right. Today, Mongolian can be written in horizontal text in a left to right line (normally when mixed with Cyrillic or Latin text). Similar to Arabic, Mongolian is a contextual script where letters are cursively joined and have initial, medial and final presentation forms for the same letter. In addition to these positional forms, many letters also have variant forms used in accordance with spelling and grammatical rules.

Font developers will learn how to encode complex script features in their fonts, choose character sets, organize font information, and use existing tools to produce Mongolian fonts. Registered features of Mongolian scripts are defined and illustrated, encodings are listed, and templates are included for compiling Mongolian layout tables for OpenType fonts.

This document also presents information about the Mongolian OpenType shaping engine of 'Uniscribe', an operating system component responsible for text layout.

In addition to being a primer and specification for the creation and support of Mongolian fonts, this document is intended to more broadly illustrate the OpenType Layout architecture, feature schemes, and operating system support for shaping and positioning text.


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Information in this document is subject to change without notice. Companies, names, and data used in examples herein are fictitious unless otherwise noted. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose, without the express written permission of Microsoft Corporation.

this page was last updated 25 March 2002
2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Mongolian OpenType Specification
Microsoft Typography | Developer information | Specifications | OpenType font development