Unicode support in operating systems and web browsers varies widely. For a particular choice of OS and browser, there is sometimes something you can do to help it along. If you can't see Unicode characters as well as you would like, perhaps a new font or a change of browser is all you'll need.

For testing within E2, go to any of the pages off of code block to see what your browser does with them. I also have a test page at http://home.cinci.rr.com/dancers/utf8test.html which is a UTF-8 document that displays all the characters U+0000 to U+FFFF in a nice tidy fashion. All the browsers I can find fail differently.

At the moment, I only have access to Mac OS X machines. I hope to get some time on some others sometime soon. In the meantime, please /msg or email me with your own observations, or add you own write-up for other platforms.

Mac OS X 10.2

Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.2.1 does a lousy job of Unicode display, and hangs a lot. It displays a question mark for characters it doesn't understand.

iCab 2.8.2 does the same lousy job that Explorer does, but doesn't hang as much. It displays ፩ or whatever, for characters it doesn't understand. iCab does not seem to handle UTF-8 very well.

Mozilla 1.1 does quite a good job at displaying Unicode characters. If you use the Code2001 font available at http://home.att.net/~jameskass/code2001.htm it is simply stunning. It displays a question mark for characters it doesn't understand, except for those with numerical values, for which it displays normal digits within square brackets.

OmniWeb 4.1.1 performs similarly to Mozilla. It does not do the fancy thing with numbers, but instead of a question mark, it displays a tiny icon representative of the code block for characters it doesn't understand. It also makes good use of the Code2001 font mentioned above, and somehow found it without my having to tell it anything. OmniWeb does NOT seem to have any way to specify the character encoding of a page that it guessed wrong, making some Unicode pages unreadable.

Nothing I did would let me see characters above U+FFFF, i.e. outside of the Basic Multilingual Plane (BMP). OmniWeb was the only browser that thought it could display those characters, but instead displayed other characters; the other browsers correctly displayed question marks.


See also http://unicode.org/help/display_problems.html

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