combining character
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In
digital typography Desktop publishing (DTP) is the creation of documents using page layout Image:Zeitschriften.JPG, 300px, Consumer magazine sponsored advertisements and covers rely heavily on professional page layout skills to compete for visual attention. In g ...
, combining characters are
characters Character(s) may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * Character (novel), ''Character'' (novel), a 1936 Dutch novel by Ferdinand Bordewijk * Characters (Theophrastus), ''Characters'' (Theophrastus), a classical Greek set of char ...
that are intended to modify other characters. The most common combining characters in the Latin script are the combining
diacritical marks A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph added to a letter (alphabet), letter or basic glyph. The term derives from the Ancient Greek (, "distinguishing"), from (, "to distinguish"). The wor ...
(including combining accents).
Unicode Unicode, formally the Unicode Standard, is an information technology standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requireme ...

Unicode
also contains many
precomposed characterA precomposed character (alternatively composite character or decomposable character) is a Unicode Unicode is an information technology Technical standard, standard for the consistent character encoding, encoding, representation, and handling of ...
s, so that in many cases it is possible to use both combining diacritics and precomposed characters, at the user's or application's choice. This leads to a requirement to perform
Unicode normalization Unicode equivalence is the specification by the Unicode Unicode is an information technology Technical standard, standard for the consistent character encoding, encoding, representation, and handling of Character (computing), text expressed in ...
before comparing two Unicode strings and to carefully design encoding converters to correctly map all of the valid ways to represent a character in Unicode to a legacy encoding to avoid data loss. In Unicode, the main block of combining diacritics for European languages and the
International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest seq ...
is U+0300–U+036F. Combining diacritical marks are also present in many other blocks of Unicode characters. In Unicode, diacritics are always added after the main character (in contrast to some older combining character sets such as
ANSEL ANSEL, the American National Standard for Extended Latin Alphabet Coded Character Set for Bibliographic Use, was a character set In computing, Computer data storage, data storage, and data transmission, character encoding is used to represent a r ...
), and it is possible to add several diacritics to the same character, including stacked diacritics above and below, though some systems may not render these well.


Unicode ranges

The following blocks are dedicated specifically to combining characters: *Combining Diacritical Marks (0300–036F), since version 1.0, with modifications in subsequent versions down to 4.1 *Combining Diacritical Marks Extended (1AB0–1AFF), version 7.0 *Combining Diacritical Marks Supplement (1DC0–1DFF), versions 4.1 to 5.2 *Combining Diacritical Marks for Symbols (20D0–20FF), since version 1.0, with modifications in subsequent versions down to 5.1 *Combining Half Marks (FE20–FE2F), versions 1.0, with modifications in subsequent versions down to 8.0 Combining characters are not limited to these blocks; for instance, the combining
dakuten The , colloquially , is a diacritic A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph added to a letter Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) ...
(U+3099) and combining
handakuten The , colloquially , is a diacritic sign most often used in the Japanese language, Japanese kana syllabaries to indicate that the consonant of a syllable should be pronounced Voice (phonetics), voiced, for instance, on sounds that have undergon ...
(U+309A) are in the Hiragana block, the
Devanagari Devanagari ( ; , , Sanskrit pronunciation: ), also called Nagari (),Kathleen Kuiper (2010), The Culture of India, New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, , page 83 is a left-to-right abugida An abugida (, from : አቡጊዳ), sometimes ...
block contains combining vowel signs and other marks for use with that script, and so forth. Combining characters are assigned the Unicode major category "M" ("Mark"). Codepoints U+032A and U+0346–034A are
IPA IPA commonly refers to: * India pale ale, a style of beer * International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin script Latin script, also ...
symbols: * U+032A :
dental Dental may refer to: * Having to do with teeth * Dentistry, a medical profession dealing with teeth * Dental consonant, in linguistics * Dental Records, an independent UK record label * Dental_hygienist, Dental Hygienist, a person who cleans teeth ...

dental
* U+0346 : dentolabial * U+0347 :
alveolar Alveolus (pl. alveoli, adj. alveolar) is a general anatomical term for a concave cavity or pit. Alveolus may refer to: In anatomy and zoology in general * Pulmonary alveolus A pulmonary alveolus (plural: alveoli, from Latin ''alveolus'', "littl ...

alveolar
* U+0348 : strong
articulation
articulation
* U+0349 : weak articulation * U+034A :
denasal In phonetics, denasalization is the loss of nasal airflow in a nasal sound, such as a nasal consonant or a nasal vowel. That may be due to speech pathology but also occurs when the paranasal sinus, sinuses are blocked from a common cold, when it is ...
Codepoints U+034B–034E are IPA diacritics for
disordered speech Speech disorders or speech impairments are a type of communication disorder A communication disorder is any disorder that affects an individual's ability to comprehend, detect, or apply language and speech to engage in discourse effectively with o ...
: * U+034B : nasal escape * U+034C : velopharyngeal friction * U+034D : labial spreading * U+034E : whistled articulation U+034F is the "
combining grapheme joiner The combining grapheme joiner (CGJ), is a Unicode Unicode is an information technology Technical standard, standard for the consistent character encoding, encoding, representation, and handling of Character (computing), text expressed in most ...
" (CGJ) and has no visible glyph. Codepoints U+035C–0362 are
double diacritics
double diacritics
, diacritic signs placed across two letters. Codepoints U+0363–036F are medieval superscript letter diacritics, letters written directly above other letters appearing in medieval Germanic manuscripts, but in some instances in use until as late as the 19th century. For example, U+0364 is an ''e'' written above the preceding letter, to be used for ( Early)
New High German New High German (NHG) is the term used for the most recent period in the history of the German language, starting in the 17th century. It is a loan translation of the German (). The most important characteristic of the period is the development ...
umlaut notation, such as ''uͤ'' for Modern German ''ü''.


OpenType

OpenType OpenType is a format for scalable computer font A computer font (or font) is implemented as a digital data file containing a set of graphically related glyphs, characters, or symbols such as dingbats. Although the term ''font'' first referr ...
has the ''ccmp'' "feature tag" to define glyphs that are compositions or decompositions involving combining characters, the ''mark'' tag to define the positioning of combining characters onto base glyph, and ''mkmk'' for the positionings of combining characters onto each other.


Zalgo text

Combining characters have been used to create
Zalgo text
Zalgo text
, which is text that appears "corrupted" or "creepy" due to an overuse of diacritics. This causes the text to extend vertically, overlapping other text.


See also

*
Dotted circle The dotted circle, in Unicode Unicode, formally the Unicode Standard, is an information technology standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification ...
* Dead key * Spacing Modifier Letters which shouldn't combine (although they do erroneously on some implementations where a developer has confused "combining" with "modifier")


Notes


External links


Combining diacritics chart
(in Adobe Portable Document Format, PDF format)
Combining diacritics supplement chart
(in Adobe Portable Document Format, PDF format)
Combining marks
test page facing combined and precomposed letters


DecodeUnicode.org combining diacritical marks reference
{{Unicode navigation Unicode special code points