79 votes
Accepted

What’s the right character for an apostrophe?

It Started Curved The apostrophe first appeared in the printed universe in Italy, 16th century, as a curved shape to signify elision copied from handwritten classical Italian poetry. The apostrophe ...
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  • 8,108
34 votes
Accepted

Where and/or why is a slanted hyphen used?

It's a feature of that particular font design. There is no distinction between a horizontal and slanted hyphen. Some fonts such as Adobe Garamond, Monotype Goudy, Goudy Old Style (URW), have a ...
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  • 73.5k
29 votes

What’s the right character for an apostrophe?

Did a bit of research to make sure, but in general "proper" typography doesn't use straight quotes, single or double. Here's a handy guide for the commands and HTML entities for single/double curly ...
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  • 409
29 votes

What is the convention to indicate "the same value as above"?

You can often just omit the rows entirely If you take a look at the viral gif sequence (below) you can see that the repetitions are just omitted and it makes a significant visual improvement to the ...
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  • 55.3k
20 votes
Accepted

What is the convention to indicate "the same value as above"?

You're looking for the ditto mark. There's a character specifically for this, U+3003 〃 in the Unicode CJK Symbols and Punctuation block, and you could also use a double prime, U+2033 ″ from the ...
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  • 356
18 votes

What’s the right character for an apostrophe?

The Unicode Standard comments on U+2019 (’): this is the preferred character to use for apostrophe As far as what is right encoding-wise, I cannot think of a higher authority. Also, the ...
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  • 14.3k
15 votes
Accepted

What’s the right character for a minus sign?

If you want a minus sign, use a minus sign. That's what it's for, after all. That being said—unless you are writing for a mathematical publication or in a similar context it probably won't go noticed ...
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  • 39.9k
11 votes
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Why are there so many Unicode symbols for cats?

Unicode Characters are chosen by those that are submitted to the Unicode Technical Committee. Usually the submissions are characters that are already being used. Most of the cat characters that ...
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  • 7,134
11 votes

What is the convention to indicate "the same value as above"?

In English a double quotation mark is often used as the symbol for ditto. I haven't seen two commas used for this. As far as I know, it should be the double quotation mark in English. Not sure about ...
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  • 73.5k
10 votes

What letter is ム?

This is a katakana mu. Katakana is one of three Japanese scripts in use. It is used for loanwords, to convey a similar feel to ALL CAPS, or for onomatopoeia. Wikipedia article on the mu in both ...
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  • 24.3k
9 votes

What’s the right character for an apostrophe?

First, some history. Curly quotes and apostrophes were the original style. They are also called Printer's quotes and apostrophes. Straight quotes and apostrophes came along with the typewriter. ...
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  • 49.8k
9 votes

Unicode superscript numbers 1 to 3 vs. 4 and above

Unicode superscripts one, two and three […] are […] the same "height". Unicode superscripts four and five […] are […] the same "height" but said height seems to be different from the heights of ...
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  • 14.3k
7 votes
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How should I approach designing special characters I am unfamiliar with when designing a typeface?

The following is very general (the last point will explain why), but mostly based on my experience with creating several special characters (most of languages I do not speak) for a blackletter font: ...
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7 votes
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What are some good fonts to use for bullet characters?

If it's staying on your PC, MS's Symbol and Wingdings fonts provide some good choices. If you want something a little more modern with a nice set of icons and a really permissive license, why not use ...
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  • 16.2k
7 votes
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Difference in glyphs of I and l

Many modern fonts to address this problem. Take Adobe's Source Sans Pro and the example they give: This shows you how people will differentiate the characters (1, I, and l) that tend to be confused. ...
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  • 16.2k
7 votes
Accepted

Which slash is correct for ‘Old Money’

In predecimal currency notation in the UK, the symbol should be the solidus symbol, because the word "solidus" comes from the Latin name of a coin. Pounds shillings and pence were also ...
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  • 73.5k
6 votes

What’s the right character for an apostrophe?

There is one item that all the answers so far have not mentioned. On a command line interface or in a programming language, the apostrophe (UTF-8 character 27) is the only valid choice. The use of U+...
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  • 169
6 votes
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What are the origins of the commercial minus sign (⁒)?

Based on an answer in this thread, this minus sign was used in bookkeeping, because the - was already in use. After all the amounts were put in, they were checked twice. When the amount was correct, ...
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  • 4,272
5 votes
Accepted

Why is the numpad on a keyboard not designed to print typographically correct symbols?

Historical reasons only – plus a side dish of "backward compatibility". The original PC keyboards were very much 'typewriter-like'. Also, in the original ASCII set there were no 'fullwidth plus', '...
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  • 4,178
5 votes

Why is an el­lip­sis represented by one single character rather than a sequence of kerned dots?

could also be achieved by appropriate kerning instead? Typesetting conventions have been developed for over 500 years of letterpress printing. Using one character instead of manually kerning 3 metal ...
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  • 508
5 votes
Accepted

Why is an el­lip­sis represented by one single character rather than a sequence of kerned dots?

A Distinct Semantic Meaning The ellipsis (…) is a punctuation mark. It is as distinct as any other punctuation mark and, as does any other punctuation mark, has its own meaning and uses. An ellipsis ...
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  • 39.9k
5 votes

How should I approach designing special characters I am unfamiliar with when designing a typeface?

Are there any official sources that describe how symbols and characters should be designed? And more generally—How do I approach designing characters I am unfamiliar with? A well-know source for ...
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  • 508
5 votes

What are the origins of the commercial minus sign (⁒)?

I did not know about it before, but after some good research, it seems like it is just an quicker/cursive based variant of the division sign in some old german books. These are just speculations based ...
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4 votes

How to use Indian currency symbol in HTML?

You can use decimal or hexadecimal values such as below. Make you your meta charset is correctly set (UTF-8 should do I guess) Decimal: ₹ Hexadecimal: ₹ CSS code: \20B9 ...
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  • 4,553
4 votes

What is the technical term for a replacement character if a font does not have a representation

That would be .notdef, a name that comes from the official PostScript Type 1 specifications. CharStrings [...] This dictionary must have an entry whose key is .notdef. [...] All unused ...
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  • 4,178
3 votes

When and why did spaces around an em dash originally appear?

Here is one reasoning I have read for the use of open em dashes (with spaces) instead of closed ones (without spaces). Some fonts have a very narrow em dash. The em dash was supposed to be used closed ...
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  • 8,108
3 votes

What’s the right character for an apostrophe?

I work in a research centre and we commonly use fairly large French and German corpora (fairly recent ones). In the French corpus the straight apostrophe ' appears at about 4 times the amount of the ...
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3 votes

When should I use the Unicode punctuation space character in French written texts?

It's pretty subjective once you get into different widths of spaces down to such minute details. I don't believe you'll find a specific usage because one does not exist. The main difference among ...
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  • 22.9k
3 votes

How to make a proper character design requisition?

You are looking for illustrators. Specifically, character designers. Find one you like (based on their portfolio, affordability, etc) and then they'll sit down with you and ask you the questions ...
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