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Derek Read

Reply to: Special characters not displayed correctly

Your customization needs to be configured to use a font that contains glyphs for these characters (and all the other characters you need to render in your document). This is done using the CSS property called font-family for all the elements that will contain these characters in your XML document. If you have a nicely designed CSS file that might just mean setting font-family on the root element so all other child elements will inherit that setting (as per the standard CSS cascading rules).

To find a font containing glyphs for those characters do one of these things:

1. Paste your text into Windows Notepad. Select Format > Font to open the Font dialog and cycle through all the fonts on your machine until all the characters are rendered as you like.

2. Find a font containing glyphs for your characters at this website:

Enter the proper Unicode name (or portion of it) or the hex value, such as 21b5

Example: http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/21b5/index.htm

3. Repeatedly modify the CSS file(s) being used in your XMetaL customization to change the font-family value and then refresh the XML document.

Here's an example (DITA document) that uses “Arial Unicode MS” as the preferred font. I have this font installed and so XMetaL uses it to render the text in these


“Arial Unicode MS” is sort of the Holy Grail for fonts for me as it contains the vast majority of glyphs required to render most characters defined in the Unicode Base Multilingual Plane (first 65,536 characters of Unicode).

PlainText view is not controlled using CSS. The font used to render this view is set in the main Options dialog: Tools > Options > Plain Text View (tab)