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Font Embedding FAQ For Telugu



Disclaimer: None of the information presented here is claimed to be 100% accurate. This page is just a collection of the author's experiences. Please bear in mind that you should not trample on the copyrights of  font authors. Doing otherwise is at your own peril.
Please report any errors to chprasad@hotmail.com


Section 1: Quick Primer

1.0 What are embedded fonts?
1.1 How do I embed a font for viewing in Netscape Communicator?
1.2 How do I embed a font for viewing in Internet Explorer?
1.3 Can I embed a font in to work on both Netscape and IE at the same time?
1.4 Are all fonts embeddable?
1.5 My font TTO Font is not embeddable. What can I do?
1.6 Can I just link my web page to a PFR/EOT on a different site?
 

Section 2: Known problems, Platform and Browser dependencies

2.0 Does font embedding work on all platforms?
2.1 What versions of Netscape support font embedding? On what platforms?
2.2 What versions of IE support font embedding? On what platforms?

Section 3: Trouble-shooting

3.0 I am having trouble with PFRs on Netscape. Where can I find help?
3.1 I am having trouble with EOTs on IE. Where can I find help?

Section 4: Preparation Tools

4.0 Are there any tools that auto convert from RTS to a font?

Section 5: Dos and Don'ts

5.0 Why should I still use RTS? With key board drivers and font embedding, isn't it obsolete?

Section 6: Miscellaneous

6.0  Is font embedding a panacea? Does this make scripts like telugu first class citizens on the net?


1.0 What are embedded fonts?

Historically, web pages have been rendered using the fonts available on the end user's machine. This hampered the use of any font other than the most common ones. This problem has lately been solved by embedding fonts into the web pages. When a page is downloaded over the net, any embedded fonts are also downloaded without any conscious intervention by the user. e.g. look at NJ laghu SatAvadhAnaM, 1998 transcripts.

1.1 How do I embed a font for viewing in Netscape Communicator?

Netscape Communicator 4.01 (all platforms) and later comes bundled with a Character Shape Player (CSP). This allows the use of Portable Font Resources (PFR) in web pages that are viewed with NS Communicator. Making a web page with PFRs involves three steps:

1.2 How do I embed a font for viewing in Internet Explorer?

Internet Explorer 4.0 (on Win 9?/NT and Mac) and later allows Embedded Open Type (EOT) Fonts to be used in web pages. Here is how to do it.

1.3 Can I embed a font in to work on both Netscape and IE at the same time?

Because NS and IE have gone different ways, we need a workaround to make the same document viewable on both browsers. This is relatively straight forward with 4.0? versions as IE ignores the <LINK REL=FONTDEF ...> tag while NS ignores the @font-face { ... src: url(...)} tag. This hack may be broken in future versions but for now, the following works.
 

Also, an  Active X Control  that enables PFRs for IE on Windows 9?/NT  is available from truedoc.com

1.4 Are all fonts embeddable?
Not all fonts may be embeddable as EOTs (i do not have any info regarding PFRs). EOTs are made from True Type Open Fonts. The latter allows the font developers to disallow embedding of their fonts. See http://www.microsoft.com/typography/web/embedding/weft/weft2.htm
for more details

1.5 My TTO Font is not embeddable. What can I do?

If you have the rights to modify the font (otherwise it will constitute a copyright violation), you can do the following with Fontographer.
 

Go to the Element> Font Info> OS/2 Data dialog box and set the fsType embedding field to one of
the following four values.
 

$0002
Restricted License embedding: Fonts that have this bit set must not be modified, embedded or
exchanged in any manner without first obtaining permission of the legal owner.

$0004

Preview & Print embedding: Fonts with this bit set indicate that they may be embedded within
documents but must only be installed temporarily on the remote system. Any document which
includes a Preview & Print embedded font must be opened "read-only;" the application must not
allow the user to edit the document; it can only be viewed and/or printed.

$0008

Editable embedding: Fonts with this bit set indicate that they may be embedded in documents, but
must only be installed temporarily on the remote system. In contrast to Preview & Print fonts,
documents containing Editable fonts may be opened "read-write;" editing is permitted, and changes
may be saved.

$0000

Installable embedding: Fonts with this setting indicate that they may be embedded and permanently
installed on the remote system by an application. The user of the remote system acquires the
identical rights, obligations and licenses for that font as the original purchaser of the font, and is
subject to the same end-user license agreement, copyright, design patent, and/or trademark as was
the original purchaser.

1.6 Can I just link my web page to a PFR/EOT on a different site?

Not always. Both PFRs and EOTs are limted to use in particular domains enlisted at creation time by the developer. They cannot be used in web pages not originating from one of the listed domains. Mostt of the time, you would be forced to make a PFR/EOT yourself :-(


2.0 Does font embedding work on all platforms?
PFRs are supposed to work in NS Communicator on all platforms. EOTs work in IE on all platforms except Unix (this may change in future).

2.1 What versions of Netscape support font embedding? On what platforms?
4.01 and later, all platforms.

2.2 What versions of IE support font embedding? On what platforms?
4.0 and later, except on Unix



3.0 I am having trouble with PFRs on Netscape. Where can I find help?
See http://www.truedoc.com/webpages/FAQs/viewing_faq.html

3.1 I am having trouble with EOTs on IE. Where can I find help?

See http://www.microsoft.com/typography/web/default.htm


4.0 Are there any tools that auto convert from RTS to a font?

Yes. raMgavalli, telugu lipi , sa.ra.dA.lO raMgavalli and RTS2ISCII help you do so, directly or indirectly.



5.0 Why should I still use RTS? With key board drivers and font embedding, isn't it obsolete?

Unfortunately no font encoding standard exists for telugu and other indic scripts. This reduces the processability (e.g. searching , spell correction) of information stored in a particular font's format. To avoid encoding translation headaches in future, you should use RTS to store your information and use one of the converters mentioned in faq 4.0 to convert that text into a particular font's encoding.



6.0  Is font embedding a panacea? Does this make scripts like telugu first class citizens on the net?

No. Because our font encodings are not standardized, font embedding technology doesn't really make telugu a first class citizen on the net. It only helps skirt the issues of standardization. A better solution (certainly not the best) is emerging with the advent of OpenType (also called TrueType Open) font specification. It helps transfer the unicode->font code conversion logic from applications to font tables (which is where it should belong). Work arounds such generic converters are also possible and are being looked at by several developers.


Prepared by Prasad A. Chodavarapu

Last updated on Oct 27, 1998.