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Unicode Typing in Some Languages Not Supported


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I just downloaded the full suite of Affinity software on my Mac today after reading all the reviews, and I really like what I see. There is a major problem however, which I encountered in Photoshop before, and now Affinity as well - and that is the support for proper unicode typing in Burmese and other sino-tibetan languages. As it stands right now, Photoshop and Affinity both are displaying Myanmar (Burmese) language in a literal progression, instead of how unicode is supposed to be displayed. I don't know if I can explain this very well for non burmese speakers, but I will try:

For example: If I want to write the word "cat" (Jaung) in Burmese, I need to write it according to unicode typing standard, which would be ကြောင် (က+ြ+ေ+ာ+င+်). However, Affinity will not display that correctly. So if I want to type it in affinity, I have to type ေြကာင် (ေ+ြ+က+ာ+င+်), which is completely senseless, and doesn't meet the new unicode standard, making Affinity completely unusable for a number of languages that I speak and design in. You might be wondering, "well, why not just change the order you type in?" Glad you asked. Why? Well, because it's not that simple. Beings that Burmese unicode is dynamic (certain characters change size or shift right, left, up, or down automatically depending on proper typed order, which as I just tested it, due to Affinity not supporting the proper typing order, makes the text unreadable as it is not shifting properly due to that incorrect typing order) it requires all software to fully support the Unicode table and typing order. I have yet to test some other languages that I daily use, but I'm afraid it will be the same problem. So is there some way to fix this? Or am I out in the cold having spent $120 on software I can't use for 90% of my projects? Would you guys be able to update it and make it work properly for non English languages?

Just to clarify, in case you can not see the above characters rendered properly on your device, this is the unicode order for the word "cat" in Burmese (Jaung) as it should be typed:


The above however does not display properly in Affinity. To display semi-properly I have to use the below order, which is incorrect and still has a a major error:


The above is not entirely correct, as ြ (Ya Pínt) displays only half the width of က (Ka gyi) when it should display the full width. This is a serious issue, as it makes this software completely unusable for 80+ million people. So please do fix this asap so this app can be used properly. If there is some way I can contribute to the devs any linguistic info I'm also happy to do that if needed, but this needs to be fixed quick. I am attaching a screenshot below which will hopefully help clear up my poor explanation.

Looking forward to a solution.


Affinity MM Unicode Display.png

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Sorry, but this is a known issue.
Many more complicated non-Latin scripts are not yet working.
Perhaps Affinity may want to more clearly describe the currently supported languages.
That would prevent some potential ill-will like this situation.

BUT, in testing I did discover something which may help you.
This is not just a "Unicode issue."
It is a combination of Unicode, plus how the OpenType features are constructed in the font, plus the program logic in the text rendering engine. All three interact to create the text.

First I tested in LibreOffice.
The fonts Myanmar Square, Padauk, and Noto Sans Myanmar displayed the text correctly.
Zawgyi-One was very different.
Then I moved it to APub to test there.
The fonts Myanmar Square, and Noto Sans Myanmar were incorrect like your tests.
BUT, the Padauk font displayed the text correctly, in APub!
Zawgyi-One was very different, again.
Oddly this text is the same as Google Translate displays the translation of "cat."
Even more odd is the Google Translate text is rendered with Noto Sans Myanmar.
Maybe you understand how that is happening. I don't.

This is my test results in APub:

Note that the Padauk text is rendered correctly.
My guess is how they are handling the OpenType part is perhaps working in APub now.
So give it a try.
Home page: Padauk - SIL International  
Direct download: https://software.sil.org/downloads/r/padauk/padauk-3.003.zip

Please come back and post the results of your tests with Padauk.
Unicode Tech Note #11 - Rendering Myanmar in Unicode shows some really complicated logic required that I know cannot be done in only the OpenType features in the font. So I am curious about how much of it works for you in more complete testing.
Take a look at the PDF and see if that does not make your head spin.
That is what the Affinity guys have to program, for one language.

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  • 1 year later...

Has there been any movement on this?

I'm currently working on a publication in Burmese. The translation sent to me looks fine in Word, also fine if pasted into Notepad or similar but get's corrupted when pasted into Publisher (same with InDesign CS6).

The corruptions only seem to be on words with that rounded corner square surround shape.

While many of the words are displayed correctly, a good few aren't and it's enough to make it an impossible task to correct. (I've found I can correct some of the mistakes by randomly experimenting with the Glyph palette and character order.)

I'm using the SIL Padauk 4 font.

Currently, it would seem to only way to handle these fonts is with the latest version of InDesign.

Any help would be appreciated (I've been moving away from Adobe ever since they introduced the subscription model).

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  • Staff


Welcome (back) to the Serif Affinity forums :) 

AFAIK there has not been any significant movement on this, but small improvements are being made with each release. The Latest Beta can be found linked from this thread

Patrick Connor
Serif Europe Ltd

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True nobility lies in being superior to your previous self."  W. L. Sheldon


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  • 1 month later...

Hope this changes.

I am from Sri Lanka. Many use pirated software but personally as a software developer my self if I can't afford I go OpenSource. I loved the idea of Affinity. I first got Affinity Designer for my iPad and in a few days time I purchased the whole suite. I was advising my friends to move to Affinity. Immagine my surprise when one said Affinity doesn't support unicode / Sinhala. I was shocked when I tested it my self.

I personally work in English. Except few times, this hasn't bothered me. But that is because I cater my Rails web development to US and European markets. But creatives in countries like Sri Lanka can't use it.

Affinity has a real chance in changing the tide and being a leader and giving Adobe a run for its money. You should implement full language support. I mean guys OpenSource free stuff have been doing great for over 10 years in such support. 

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  • 2 months later...

I cannot believe this is the case. Wow, Affinity cannot handle even Noto Sans Myanmar. I mean It is a UNICODE and what's the problem ? look like need to move to another app. Anyway Burmese people is very minority for Affinity and no one will care and fix the issue. Sadly.

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