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Mapping of Unicode characters

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Mapping of Unicode characters

Unicode’s Universal Character Set (UCS) has a potential capacity to support over 1 million characters. Each UCS character is mapped to a code point, which is an integer between 0 and 1,114,111, used to represent each character within the internal logic of text processing software (1,114,112 = 220 + 216 or 17 × 216, or hexadecimal 110000 code points).

As of Unicode 6.2, released in September 2012, 249,764 (22.4%) of these code points are assigned, including 110,182 (9.9%) encoded characters, 137,468 (12.3%) reserved for private use, 2,048 for surrogates, and 66 designated noncharacters, leaving 864,348 (77.6%) unassigned. The number of encoded characters is made up as follows:

  • 109,976 graphical characters (some of which are invisible, but are still counted as graphical)
  • 206 special purpose characters for control and formatting.

(See the summary table for a more detailed breakdown).

Unicode characters can be categorized in many ways. Every character is assigned a script or a symbol (though many are assigned the common or inherited scripts where they inherit the script from the adjacent character). In Unicode a script is a coherent writing system that includes letters but also may include script-specific punctuation, diacritic and other marks and numerals and symbols. A single script supports one or more languages. Symbols, including control characters, are relevant for their meaning, not their speech.

Characters are assigned in blocks of characters. A block is a single group of code points. Every character is also assigned a general category and subcategory. The general categories are: letter, mark, number, punctuation, symbol, or control (in other words a formatting or non-graphical character).

The blocks of characters are assigned according to various planes. Most characters are currently assigned to the first plane: the Basic Multilingual Plane. This is to help ease the transition for legacy software since the Basic Multilingual Plane is addressable with just two octet bytes. The characters outside the first plane usually have very specialized or rare use.

The first 256 code points correspond with those of ISO 8859-1, the most popular 8-bit character encoding in the Western world. As a result, the first 128 characters are also identical to ASCII. Though Unicode refers to these as a Latin script block, these two blocks contain many characters that are commonly useful outside of the Latin script. In general, not all characters in a given block need be of the same script, and a given script can occur in several different blocks.

Planes

Main article: Unicode plane

All available codepoints are located on 17 Planes, each plane corresponding with the value of the hexadecimal digits (0–9, A–F) preceding the four final ones: hence U+24321 is in Plane 2, U+4321 is in Plane 0 (implicitly read U+04321), and U+10A200 would be in Plane 16 (for Hex 10=decimal 16). Within one plane, the range of code points is hexadecimal 0000–FFFF, yielding a maximum of 65,536 code points. Some planes restrict code points to a subset of that range.

Special-purpose characters

The latest Unicode repertoire codifies over a hundred thousand characters. Most of those represent graphemes for processing as linear text. Some, however, either do not represent graphemes, or, as graphemes, require exceptional treatment. Unlike the ASCII control characters and other characters included for legacy round-trip capabilities, these other special-purpose characters endow plain text with important semantics.

Some special characters can alter the layout of text, such as the zero-width joiner and zero-width non-joiner, while others do not affect text layout at all, but instead affect the way text strings are collated, matched or otherwise processed. Other special-purpose characters, such as the mathematical invisibles, generally have no effect on text rendering, though sophisticated text layout software may choose to subtly adjust spacing around them.

Unicode does not specify the division of labor between font and text layout software (or "engine") when rendering Unicode text. Because the more complex font formats, such as OpenType or Apple Advanced Typography, provide for contextual substitution and positioning of glyphs, a simple text layout engine might rely entirely on the font for all decisions of glyph choice and placement. In the same situation a more complex engine may combine information from the font with its own rules to achieve its own idea of best rendering. To implement all recommendations of the Unicode specification, a text engine must be prepared to work with fonts of any level of sophistication, since contextual substitution and positioning rules do not exist in some font formats and are optional in the rest. The fraction slash is an example: complex fonts may or may not supply positioning rules in the presence of the fraction slash character to create a fraction, while fonts in simple formats cannot.

Control characters

Byte order mark

When appearing at the head of a text file or stream, the byte order mark (BOM) U+FEFF hints at the encoding form and its byte order.

If the stream’s first byte is 0xFE and the second 0xFF, then the stream’s text is not likely to be encoded in UTF-8, since those bytes are invalid in UTF-8. It is also not likely to be UTF-16 in little-endian byte order because 0xFE, 0xFF read as a 16-bit little endian word would be U+FFFE, which is meaningless. The sequence also has no meaning in any arrangement of UTF-32 encoding, so, in summary, it serves as a fairly reliable indication that the text stream is encoded as UTF-16 in big-endian byte order. Conversely, if the first two bytes are 0xFF, 0xFE, then the text stream may be assumed to be encoded as UTF-16LE because, read as a 16-bit little-endian value, the bytes yield the expected 0xFEFF byte order mark. This assumption becomes questionable, however, if the next two bytes are both 0x00; either the text begins with a null character (U+0000), or the correct encoding is actually UTF-32LE, in which the full 4-byte sequence FF FE 00 00 is one character, the BOM.

The UTF-8 sequence corresponding to U+FEFF is 0xEF, 0xBB, 0xBF. This sequence has no meaning in other Unicode encoding forms, so it may serve to indicate that that stream is encoded as UTF-8.

The Unicode specification does not require the use of byte order marks in text streams. It further states that they should not be used in situations where some other method of signaling the encoding form is already in use.

Grapheme joiners and non-joiners

The zero-width joiner (U+200D) and zero-width non-joiner (U+200C) control the joining and ligation of glyphs. The joiner does not cause characters that would not otherwise join or ligate to do so, but when paired with the non-joiner these characters can be used to control the joining and ligating properties of the surrounding two joining or ligating characters. The Combining Grapheme Joiner (U+034F) is used to distinguish two base characters as one common base or digraph, mostly for underlying text processing, collation of strings, case folding and so on.

Word joiners and separators

The most common word separator is a space (U+0020). However, there are other word joiners and separators that also indicate a break between words and participate in line-breaking algorithms. The No-Break Space (U+00A0) also produces a baseline advance without a glyph but inhibits rather than enabling a line-break. The Zero Width Space (U+200B) allows a line-break but provides no space: in a sense joining, rather than separating, two words. Finally, the Word Joiner (U+2060) inhibits line breaks and also involves none of the white space produced by a baseline advance.

Baseline Advance No Baseline Advance
Allow Line-break
(Separators)
Space U+0020 Zero Width Space U+200B
Inhibit Line-break
(Joiners)
No-Break Space U+00A0 Word Joiner U+2060

Other Separators

  • Line Separator (U+2028)
  • Paragraph Separator (U+2029)

These provide Unicode with native paragraph and line separators independent of the legacy encoded ASCII control characters such as carriage return (U+000A), linefeed (U+000D), and Next Line (U+0085). Unicode does not provide for other ASCII formatting control characters which presumably then are not part of the Unicode plain text processing model. These legacy formatting control characters include Tab (U+0009), Line Tabulation or Vertical Tab (U+000B), and Form Feed (U+000C) which is also thought of as a page break.

Spaces

The space character (U+0020) typically input by the space bar on a keyboard serves semantically as a word separator in many languages. For legacy reasons, the UCS also includes spaces of varying sizes that are compatibility equivalents for the space character. While these spaces of varying width are important in typography, the Unicode processing model calls for such visual effects to be handled by rich text, markup and other such protocols. They are included in the Unicode repertoire primarily to handle lossless roundtrip transcoding from other character set encodings. These spaces include:

  1. En Quad (U+2000)
  2. Em Quad (U+2001)
  3. En Space (U+2002)
  4. Em Space (U+2003)
  5. Three-Per-Em Space (U+2004)
  6. Four-Per-Em Space (U+2005)
  7. Six-Per-Em Space (U+2006)
  8. Figure Space (U+2007)
  9. Punctuation Space (U+2008)
  10. Thin Space (U+2009)
  11. Hair Space (U+200A)
  12. Mathematical Space (U+205F)

Aside from the original ASCII space, the other spaces are all compatibility characters. In this context this means that they effectively add no semantic content to the text, but instead provide styling control. Within Unicode, this non-semantic styling control is often referred to as rich text and is outside the thrust of Unicode’s goals. Rather than using different spaces in different contexts, this styling should instead be handled through intelligent text layout software.

Three other writing-system-specific word separators are:

  • Mongolian Vowel Separator U+180E
  • Ideographic Space (U+3000): behaves as an ideographic separator and generally rendered as white space of the same width as an ideograph.
  • Ogham Space Mark (  U+1680): this character is sometimes displayed with a glyph and other times as only white space.

Line-break control characters

Several characters are designed to help control line-breaks either by discouraging them (no-break characters) or suggesting line breaks such as the soft hyphen (U+00AD) (sometimes called the "shy hyphen"). Such characters, though designed for styling, are probably indispensable for the intricate types of line-breaking they make possible.

Break Inhibiting

  1. Non-breaking hyphen (U+2011)
  2. No-break space (U+00A0)
  3. Tibetan Mark Delimiter Tsheg Bstar (U+0F0C)
  4. Narrow no-break space (U+202F)

The break inhibiting characters are meant to be equivalent to a character sequence wrapped in the Word Joiner U+2060. However, the Word Joiner may be appended before or after any character that would allow a line-break to inhibit such line-breaking.

Break Enabling

  1. Soft hyphen (U+00AD)
  2. Tibetan Mark Intersyllabic Tsheg (U+0F0B)
  3. Zero-width space (U+200B)

Both the break inhibiting and break enabling characters participate with other punctuation and whitespace characters to enable text imaging systems to determine line breaks within the Unicode Line Breaking Algorithm.[1]

Mathematical invisibles

Primarily for mathematics, the Invisible Separator (U+2063) provides a separator between characters where punctuation or space may be omitted such as in a two-dimensional index like i⁣j. Invisible Times (U+2062) and Function Application (U+2061) are useful in mathematics text where the multiplication of terms or the application of a function is implied without any glyph indicating the operation. Unicode 5.1 introduces the Mathematical Invisible Plus character as well (U+2064).

Fraction slash


The fraction slash character (U+2044) has special behavior in the Unicode Standard:[2] (section 6.2, Other Punctuation)

The standard form of a fraction built using the fraction slash is defined as follows: any sequence of one or more decimal digits (General Category = Nd), followed by the fraction slash, followed by any sequence of one or more decimal digits. Such a fraction should be displayed as a unit, such as ¾. If the displaying software is incapable of mapping the fraction to a unit, then it can also be displayed as a simple linear sequence as a fallback (for example, 3/4). If the fraction is to be separated from a previous number, then a space can be used, choosing the appropriate width (normal, thin, zero width, and so on). For example, 1 + ZERO WIDTH SPACE + 3 + FRACTION SLASH + 4 is displayed as 1¾.

By following this Unicode recommendation, text processing systems yield sophisticated symbols from plain text alone. Here the presence of the fraction slash character instructs the layout engine to synthesize a fraction from all consecutive digits preceding and following the slash. In practice, results vary because of the complicated interplay between fonts and layout engines. Simple text layout engines tend not to synthesize fractions at all, and instead draw the glyphs as a linear sequence as described in the Unicode fallback scheme.

More sophisticated layout engines face two practical choices: they can follow Unicode’s recommendation, or they can rely on the font’s own instructions for synthesizing fractions. By ignoring the font’s instructions, the layout engine can guarantee Unicode’s recommended behavior. By following the font’s instructions, the layout engine can achieve better typography because placement and shaping of the digits will be tuned to that particular font at that particular size.

The problem with following the font’s instructions is that the simpler font formats have no way to specify fraction synthesis behavior. Meanwhile the more complex formats do not require the font to specify fraction synthesis behavior and therefore many do not. Most fonts of complex formats can instruct the layout engine to replace a plain text sequence such as "1⁄2" with the precomposed "½" glyph. But because many of them will not issue instructions to synthesize fractions, a plain text string such as "221⁄225" may well render as 22½25 (with the ½ being the substituted precomposed fraction, rather than synthesized). In the face of problems like this, those who wish to rely on the recommended Unicode behavior should choose fonts known to synthesize fractions or text layout software known to produce Unicode’s recommended behavior regardless of font.

Bidirectional Neutral Formatting

Writing direction is the direction glyphs are placed on the page in relation to forward progression of characters in the Unicode string. English and other languages of Latin script have left-to-right writing direction. Several major writing scripts, such as Arabic and Hebrew, have right-to-left writing direction. The Unicode specification assigns a directional type to each character to inform text processors how sequences of characters should be ordered on the page.

While lexical characters (that is, letters) are normally specific to a single writing script, some symbols and punctuation marks are used across many writing scripts. Unicode could have created duplicate symbols in the repertoire that differ only by directional type, but chose instead to unify them and assign them a neutral directional type. They acquire direction at render time from adjacent characters. Some of these characters also have a bidi-mirrored property indicating the glyph should be rendered in mirror-image when used in right-to-left text.

The render-time directional type of a neutral character can remain ambiguous when the mark is placed on the boundary between directional changes. To address this, Unicode includes two characters that have strong directionality, have no glyph associated with them, and are ignorable by systems that do not process bidirectional text:

  • Left-to-right mark (U+200E)
  • Right-to-left mark (U+200F)

Surrounding a bidirectionally neutral character by the left-to-right mark will force the character to behave as a left-to-right character while surrounding it by the right-to-left mark will force it to behave as a right-to-left character. The behavior of these characters is detailed in Unicode’s Bidirectional Algorithm.

Bidirectional General Formatting

While Unicode is designed to handle multiple languages, multiple writing systems and even text that flows either left-to-right or right-to-left with minimal author intervention, there are special circumstances where the mix of bidirectional text can become intricate—requiring more author control. For these circumstances, Unicode includes five other characters to control the complex embedding of left-to-right text within right-to-left text and vice versa:

  • Left-to-right embedding (U+202A)
  • Right-to-left embedding (U+202B)
  • Pop directional formatting (U+202C)
  • Left-to-right override (U+202D)
  • Right-to-left override (U+202E)

Interlinear annotation characters

  • Interlinear Annotation Anchor (U+FFF9)
  • Interlinear Annotation Separator (U+FFFA)
  • Interlinear Annotation Terminator (U+FFFB)

Script-specific

  • Prefixed format control
    • Arabic Number Sign (U+0600)
    • Arabic Sign Sanah (U+0601)
    • Arabic Footnote Marker (U+0602)
    • Arabic Sign Safha (U+0603)
    • Arabic End of Ayah (U+06DD)
    • Syriac Abbreviation Mark (U+070F)
  • Brahmi-derived script dead-character formation
    • Devanagari Sign Virama (U+094D)
    • Bengali Sign Virama (U+09CD)
    • Gurmukhi Sign Virama (U+0A4D)
    • Gujarati Sign Virama (U+0ACD)
    • Oriya Sign Virama (U+0B4D)
    • Tamil Sign Virama (U+0BCD)
    • Telugu Sign Virama (U+0C4D)
    • Kannada Sign Virama (U+0CCD)
    • Malayalam Sign Virama (U+0D4D)
    • Sinhala Sign Al-Lakuna (U+0DCA)
    • Thai Character Phinthu (U+0E3A)
    • Myanmar Sign Virama (U+1039)
    • Tagalog Sign Virama (U+1714)
    • Hanunoo Sign Pamudpod (U+1734)
    • Khmer Sign Coeng (U+17D2)
    • Balinese Adeg Adeg (U+1B44)
    • Syloti Nagri Sign Hasanta (U+A806)
    • Kharoshthi Virama (U+10A3F)
  • Historical Viramas with other functions
    • Tibetan Mark Halanta (U+0F84)
    • Limbu Sign SA-1 (U+193B)
  • Mongolian Variation Selectors
    • Mongolian Free Variation Selector One (U+180B)
    • Mongolian Free Variation Selector Two (U+180C)
    • Mongolian Free Variation Selector Three (U+180D)
    • Mongolian Vowel Separator (U+180E)
  • Ogham
    • Ogham Space Mark (  U+1680)
  • Ideographic
    • Ideographic variation indicator (U+303E)
    • Ideographic Description (U+2FF0..U+2FFB)
  • Musical Format Control
    • Musical Symbol Begin Beam (U+1D173)
    • Musical Symbol End Beam (U+1D174)
    • Musical Symbol Begin Tie (U+1D175)
    • Musical Symbol End Tie (U+1D176)
    • Musical Symbol Begin Slur (U+1D177)
    • Musical Symbol End Slur (U+1D178)
    • Musical Symbol Begin Phrase (U+1D179)
    • Musical Symbol End Phrase (U+1D17A)

Others

  • Object Replacement Character (U+FFFC)
  • Replacement Character (U+FFFD)

Whitespace characters

Main article: Whitespace character

Unicode provides a list of characters it deems whitespace characters for interoperability support. Software Implementations and other standards may use the term to denote a slightly different set of characters. For example, Java does not consider U+00A0   no-break space or U+0085 (NEXT LINE) to be whitespace, even though Unicode does. Whitespace characters are characters typically designated for programming environments. Often they have no syntactic meaning in such programming environments and are ignored by the machine interpreters. Unicode designates the legacy control characters U+0009 through U+000D and U+0085 as whitespace characters, as well as all characters whose General Category property value is Separator. There are 26 total whitespace characters as of Unicode 6.0.0.

Private use characters

Main article: Private Use (Unicode)

The UCS includes 137,468 code points for private use in three different ranges, each called a Private Use Area (PUA). The Unicode standard recognizes code points within PUAs as legitimate Unicode character codes, but does not assign them any (abstract) character. Instead, individuals, organizations and software vendors are free to use them as they see fit. Within closed systems, characters in the PUA can operate unambiguously, allowing such systems to represent characters or glyphs not defined in Unicode. In public systems their use is more problematic, since there is no registry and no way to prevent several organizations from adopting the same code points for different purposes. One example of such a conflict is Apple’s use of U+F8FF for the Apple logo, versus the ConScript Unicode Registry’s use of U+F8FF as klingon mummification glyph in the Klingon script.[3]

The Basic Multilingual Plane includes a PUA in the range from U+E000 to U+F8FF (6,400 code locations). Plane Fifteen and Plane Sixteen have a PUAs that consist of all but their final two code locations, which are designated non-characters. The PUA in Plane Fifteen is the range from U+F0000 to U+FFFFD (65,534 code locations). The PUA in Plane Sixteen is the range from U+100000 to U+10FFFD (65,534 code locations).

PUAs are a concept inherited from certain Asian encoding systems. These systems had private use areas to encode what the Japanese call gaiji (rare characters not normally found in fonts) in application-specific ways.

Schemes and initiatives that use the PUA include:

Standardization initiative uses

  • The ConScript Unicode Registry (unofficial and not related to the Unicode Consortium) aims to coordinate the mapping of scripts not yet encoded in or rejected by Unicode in the PUAs.
  • Emoji is an encoding for picture characters or emoticons used in Japanese wireless messages and webpages.
  • GB/T 20542-2006 ("Tibetan Coded Character Set Extension A") and GB/T 22238-2008 ("Tibetan Coded Character Set Extension B") are Chinese national standards that use the PUA to encode precomposed Tibetan ligatures.
  • The Institute of the Estonian Language uses the PUA to encode Latin and Cyrillic precomposed characters[4] that have no Unicode encoding.
  • The ConScript Unicode Registry that largely follows Michael Everson’s 2001-03-07 Tengwar discussion paper, but diverges in some details.
  • The MARC 21 standard uses the PUA to encode East Asian characters present in MARC-8[5] that have no Unicode encoding.
  • The Medieval Unicode Font Initiative uses the PUA to encode various ligatures, precomposed characters, and symbols found in medieval texts.
  • The SIL Corporate PUA uses the PUA to encode characters used in minority languages that have not yet been accepted into Unicode.
  • The STIX Fonts project uses the PUA to provide a comprehensive font set of mathematical symbols and alphabets.
  • The Tamil Unicode New Encoding (TUNE)[6] is a proposed scheme for encoding Tamil that overcomes perceived deficiencies in the current Unicode encoding.

Vendor use

  • The Adobe Glyph List uses the PUA for some of its glyphs.
  • Apple lists a range of 1,280 characters in its developer documentation[7] of U+F400–U+F8FF within the PUA for Apple’s use. Of those, only 311 are used in the range U+F700–U+F8FF.[8]
  • WGL4 uses the PUA (U+F001 and U+F002) to encode two characters which are duplicates of the ligatures fi (U+FB01) fl (U+FB02).[9]
  • In old versions of its RichEdit component, Microsoft mapped U+F020–U+F0FF within the PUA to symbol fonts. For any character in this range, RichEdit would show a character from a symbol font instead of the end-user-defined character (EUDC)[10][11]
  • AutoCAD uses U+F8FC–U+F8FE for ⌀ (diameter sign), ± (plus-minus sign) and ° (degree sign) respectively.

Special code points

At the simplest level, each character in the UCS represents a code point and a particular semantic function: For graphical characters, the semantic function is often implied by its name, and the script or block it is included within. A graphical character may also have a recommended glyph that helps define the meaning of the character. Han characters, used in China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and their respective diaspora, include many other rich properties that participate in defining the semantic role for a character.

However, the UCS and Unicode designate other code points for other purposes. Those code points may have no or few character properties associated with them.

Surrogates

The 2,048 surrogates are not characters, but are reserved for use in UTF-16 to specify code points outside the Basic Multilingual Plane. They are divided into leading or "high surrogates" (D800–DBFF) and trailing or "low surrogates" (DC00–DFFF). In UTF-16, they must always appear in pairs, as a high surrogate followed by a low surrogate, thus using 32 bits to denote one code point.

A surrogate pair denotes the code point

1000016 + (H − D80016) × 40016 + (L − DC0016)

where H and L are the numeric values of the high and low surrogates respectively.

Since high surrogate values in the range DB80–DBFF always produce values in the Private Use planes, the high surrogate range can be further divided into (normal) high surrogates (D800–DB7F) and "high private use surrogates" (DB80–DBFF).

Noncharacters

Unicode defines sixty-six code points as non-characters (labeled ), never to change. In these 66, the last two code points of each plane are included. So, noncharacters are: U+FFFE and U+FFFF on the BMP, U+1FFFE and U+1FFFF on Plane 1, and so on, up to U+10FFFE and U+10FFFF on Plane 16, for a total of 34 code points. In addition, there is a contiguous range of another 32 noncharacter code points in the BMP: U+FDD0..U+FDEF. Software implementations are therefore free to use these code points for internal use. However, these noncharacters should never be included in text interchange between implementations. One particularly useful example of a noncharacter is the code point U+FFFE. This code point has the reverse binary sequence of the byte order mark (U+FEFF). If a stream of text contains this noncharacter, this is a good indication the text has been interpreted with the incorrect endianness.

Character properties

Every character in Unicode is defined by a large and growing set of properties. The properties facilitate text processing including collation or sorting of text, identifying words, sentences and graphemes, rendering or imaging text and so on. Below is a list of some of the core properties. There are many others documented in the Unicode Character Database.[12]

General Category

[13]

  • Letter (L)
  • Mark (M)
    • Spacing combining (Mc)
    • Enclosing (Me)
    • Nonspacing (Mn)
    • Other (Mo)
  • Number (N)
  • Punctuation (P)
    • Connector (Pc) — Includes the underscore.
    • Dash (Pd) — Also includes several hyphen characters.
    • Open (Ps) — Opening bracket characters.
    • Close (Pe) — Closing bracket characters.
    • Initial quote (Pi) — Opening quotation mark. Does not include the ASCII "neutral" quotation mark.
    • Final quote (Pf) — Closing quotation mark.
    • Other (Po)
  • Symbol (S)
  • Separator (Z)
    • Space (Zs) — Includes the ASCII space, but not TAB, CR, or LF, which are under Cc.
    • Line (Zl) — The single character U+2028 LINE SEPARATOR.
    • Paragraph (Zp) — The single character U+2029 PARAGRAPH SEPARATOR.
  • Other (C)
Property Example Details
Name LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A This is a permanent name assigned by the joint cooperation of Unicode and the ISO UCS
Code Point U+0041 The Unicode code point is a number also permanently assigned along with the "Name" property and included in the companion UCS. The usual custom is to represent the code point as hexadecimal number with the prefix "U+" in front.
Representative Glyph The representative glyphs are provided in code charts.[15]
General Category Uppercase_Letter The general category[16] is expressed as a two-letter sequence such as "Lu" for uppercase letter or "Nd", for decimal digit number.
Combining Class Not_Reordered (0) Since diacritics and other combining marks can be expressed with multiple characters in Unicode the "Combining Class" property allows characters to be differentiated by the type of combining character it represents. The combining class can be expressed as an integer between 0 and 255 or as a named value. The integer values allow the combining marks to be reordered into a canonical order to make string comparison of identical strings possible.
Bidirectional Category Left_To_Right Indicates the type of character for applying the Unicode bidirectional algorithm.
Bidirectional Mirrored no Indicates the character’s glyph must be reversed or mirrored within the bidirectional algorithm. Mirrored glyphs can be provided by font makers, extracted from other characters related through the “Bidirectional Mirroring Glyph” property or synthesized by the text rendering system.
Bidirectional Mirroring Glyph N/A This property indicates the code point of another character whose glyph can serve as the mirrored glyph for the present character when mirroring within the bidirectional algorithm.
Decimal Digit Value NaN For numerals, this property indicates the numeric value of the character. Decimal digits have all three values set to the same value, presentational rich text compatibility characters and other Arabic-Indic non-decimal digits typically have only the latter two properties set to the numeric value of the character while numerals unrelated to Arabic Indic digits such as Roman Numerals or Hanzhou/Suzhou numerals typically have only the "Numeric Value" indicated.
Digit Value NaN
Numeric Value NaN
Ideographic False Indicates the character is an ideograph.
Default Ignorable False Indicates the character is ignorable for implementations and that no glyph, last resort glyph, or replacement character need be displayed.
Deprecated False Unicode never removes characters from the repertoire, but on occasion Unicode has deprecated a small number of characters.

Additional examples

Bidirectional Numeric Value
Name Code
Point
Repre-
sentative
Glyph
[14]
General
Category
Combining
Class
Category Mirrored Mirroring Glyph Decimal Digit Numeric
DIGIT FOUR U+0034 4 Decimal_Number_Digit (Nd) Not_Reordered (0) European_Number no n/a 4 4 4
DEVANAGARI DIGIT FOUR U+096A Decimal_Number_Digit (Nd) Not_Reordered (0) Left_To_Right no n/a 4 4 4
CIRCLED DIGIT FOUR U+2463 Other_Number (No) Not_Reordered (0) Other_Neutral no n/a n/a 4 4
ROMAN NUMERAL FOUR U+2163 Letter_Number (Nl) Not_Reordered (0) Left_To_Right no n/a n/a n/a 4
LEFT CURLY BRACKET U+007B { Open_Punctuation (Ps) Not_Reordered (0) Other_Neutral (On) yes “}” U+007D NaN NaN NaN
COMBINING CIRCUMFLEX ACCENT U+0302   ̂ Nonspacing_Mark (Mn) Above (230) Nonspacing_Mark (NSM) no n/a NaN NaN NaN
COMBINING GRAVE ACCENT BELOW U+0316  ̖ Nonspacing_Mark (Mn) Below (220) Nonspacing_Mark (NSM) no n/a NaN NaN NaN
ARABIC LETTER BEH U+0628 ب Other_Letter (Lo) Not_Reordered (0) Arabic_Letter (AL) no n/a n/a n/a n/a
HEBREW LETTER BET U+05D1 ב Other_Letter (Lo) Not_Reordered (0) Right_To_Left (R) no n/a n/a n/a n/a
CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-4E0F (kDefinition = parapet; invisible) U+4E0F Other_Letter (Lo) Not_Reordered (0) Left_To_Right (L) no n/a n/a n/a n/a

Characters include many other properties. Some properties are strings, some are booleans, some are relations to other characters. For example cased letters include properties that map those characters to their upper case, lower case and title case equivalents (title case is only used for ligatures). Some characters (canonical and compatibility decomposable characters) include mappings to canonical and compatibility equivalents. Characters have many boolean properties to indicate whether they are included as white space, or used as pattern syntax within programming languages and more. Many of these properties are exposed through regular expressions to perform complex queries on text. These properties are also used in the many Unicode text processing algorithms and also might be used by text imaging and font technologies to display text (like the bidirectional algorithm).

Unicode provides an online database[17] to interactively query the entire Unicode character repertoire by the various properties.

See also

References

  • The Unicode Standard

External links

  • Unicode Consortium
  • glyphindor.com Glyphindor - a searchable, taggable compendium of all Unicode characters.
  • decodeunicode.org Unicode Wiki with all 98,884 graphic characters of Unicode 5.0 as gifs, full text search
  • Unicode Characters by Property
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