Your customers may speak English, Japanese, or Swahili, but your fonts need to speak one, overarching language — the language of your brand identity. At Monotype, we have the technology and the expertise to make sure your message is consistent, whether it’s relayed in Chinese or Swedish. Different languages, after all, can present a world of challenges.
Monotype supports these multilingual environments with its WorldType® Layout Engine, a modular software library for composing, positioning and rendering text in multiple languages; and WorldType Shaper, which enables intelligent character shaping and bi-directional reordering for non-Latin scripts.
WorldType Layout Engine
WorldType Layout Engine formats text on memory-restrained devices such as mobile phones, cameras, set-top boxes, control panels and HD TVs – regardless of language. It supports a wide variety of layout requirements, such as bidirectional (bidi) text flow, contextual character substitution, ligatures, proper line breaking, paragraph styling, cursor positioning and special effects.
Various modes of operation for optimal performance
To accommodate varying text layout needs, WorldType Layout Engine can run in one of three operational modes. All three modes offer the program's multilingual text composition capabilities, yet they differ in their support for layout capabilities and the quantity of text they anticipate handling.
Container-based mode - This mode provides the most advanced layout capabilities including tab support and the ability to wrap text around objects. This mode is suitable for applications without pre-existing layout capabilities that need to handle large quantities of text.
Line-based mode - this mode allows the application to define specific start and end points for lines of text. It is ideal for clients seeking high levels of customization in their layout, such as the ability to compose text around an irregularly shaped object.
String-based mode - this mode is intended for the efficient composition of short strings of multilingual text and is appropriate for integrating multilingual text composition capabilities into applications with existing layout systems. String-based mode is also ideal for applications where the content predominantly consists of short strings of text, such as the user interface of a consumer electronics device. WorldType Layout Engine now includes the ability to rotate text at an angle while operating in this mode.
In the WorldType Layout Engine, cursor movement functions have been modified to provide enhanced flexibility for bi-directional text and put extra control in the hands of developers.
Memory efficient Thai support
Certain languages require special attention. The Thai language does not incorporate spaces, so layout engines require the use of a dictionary to determine the placement of line breaks. WorldType Layout Engine’s Thai dictionary offers fast performance and efficient memory handling.
WorldType Layout Engine can dynamically substitute icons for commonly used character combinations using a substitution dictionary defined by the implementer. For instance, a colon followed by a parenthesis : ) can be substituted with a smiley face.
Text blocks exceeding the text container can be truncated with an ellipsis (…) or other symbols.
Some characters, such as ligatures, require that a letter take different forms depending on context. For example, an Arabic letter may take an initial, medial, final or isolated form depending on the characters adjacent to it.
WorldType Layout Engine includes the intelligence to control both explicit line breaks (carriage returns, breaks following punctuation), and specialized line breaks such as those with language-specific considerations (such as the aforementioned Thai example). It also provides added flexibility for the handling of white spaces in relation to the line break and support for soft hyphens.
Paragraph styling attributes
These include how text is aligned (left, right, or center) and whether paragraphs are indented from the left or right side.
While your existing embedded font rendering, layout and management technologies may support Latin-based languages, these technologies may not support intelligent shaping requirements for complex non-Latin scripts, such as Arabic, Hindi and Thai. In these complex non-Latin scripts, the process of glyph selection, combining and reordering is known as “shaping” and varies greatly between languages.
WorldType Shaper provides the necessary shaping and bidi support that you will need to accommodate world languages. By utilizing only a small number of APIs, WorldType Shaper easily integrates into existing technologies, eliminating the need to re-architect your current layout and rendering technologies.
Shaping and bidi reordering of characters are highly specific tasks, though they are only part of a complete text rendering solution that includes the composing and positioning of elements provided by both Worldtype Layout Engine and Worldtype Shaper.
The Monotype Spark solution
The Monotype® Spark™ solution is a collection of our popular font rendering technologies that have been re-architected for low-end environments and allow you to take advantage of scalable text, without significant tradeoffs in memory or cost.
The Monotype Spark solution includes the iType® Spark font scaling engine and WorldType® Shaper Spark complex script shaping solution. Give your customers access to more languages, more font sizes, with less complexity.
Monotype’s screen imaging solutions encompass some of the world’s best and most popular typeface designs, as well as advanced type technology for display environments. Our type experts are also available for custom work and consultation. As a celebrated typeface brand for more than 100 years, Monotype today provides the typefaces, technology and expertise needed to enable the best user experiences and ensure brand integrity, regardless of device, platform or language.