[xep-support] Mixed languages in a single PDF

From: Darren Munt <darrenm@ardex.com.au>
Date: Mon Dec 03 2012 - 18:13:59 PST

We have a particular problem with some of our documents, which combine system-generated text with user input. We produce the same report in many different languages and sometimes we have an issue whereby user input is in a different character set to the main document language. For example we produce a report in English but some of the user text has been entered in Chinese. There is no way of telling what language the user text might be in, apart from either asking them when they enter it or doing some sort of language-detection (which is how I understand the web browser does it for example).

When the report is generated in English, we use the Arial font to display text and it does not have character mapping for the Chinese characters, so they do not appear. When we generate the report in Chinese, we use the Sim Sum font, which does display Chinese, but any English text appears in the same font and it's not a great looking font for Latin characters.

Using Sim Sum by default is not an option because of the appearance of the Latin text and also we support many other languages, including Greek and Arabic, so we really need to be able to specify the font based on the language selected for the report. It's quite possible in our system for a report to contain any number of different languages in a multi-national or multicultural scenario.

I've told the client I don't think there is a way of being able to support ad hoc language changes within the document this way, but I thought I would throw it out there in case there's something XEP can do that I don't know about. Any suggestions gratefully accepted.


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Received on Mon Dec 3 18:07:17 2012

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