Dochula Pass, Bhutan

Picture of the page in action.

About the tool: Pickers allow you to quickly create phrases in a script by clicking on Unicode characters arranged in a way that aids their identification. Pickers are likely to be most useful if you don’t know a script well enough to use the native keyboard. The arrangement of characters also makes it much more useable than a regular character map utility

Latest changes: Over the Christmas break I’ve applied version 10 upgrades to the following pickers: Bengali, Hebrew, Khmer, Lao, Malayalam, Myanmar, Thai and Tifinagh. In the case of Hebrew and Tifinagh, this came down to completely rewriting the pickers.

Key changes in version 10 include the following:

  • The visible layout of the shape view has been reduced in the vertical direction by showing a group of characters only when you mouse over the orange keys at the top. This makes it easier and faster to locate characters, and also improves use on screens with restricted space. The way similar characters in other groups is handled has been reinvented to fit the new approach better, and enable faster creation of pickers in the future.
  • The visible layout of the transcription view has been adapted in a similar way to the shape view.
  • The button to dump the phonetic buffer has been moved to just below the output area.
  • The Detail button is now called the Analyse button, and both this and the Codepoints commands now bring up the new String Analyser utility, which provides much better results than the old pages.
  • A keyboard view has been added to the Tifinagh picker. This new view may pop up in other pickers in the future.

There were a number of other changes to the code, and not least to the instructions for use on the main picker page and each set of notes below the pickers themselves.

>> Use it

Picture of the page in action.

About the tool: This tool shows you what characters are in a string of Unicode characters, and gives you informaiton about each one. Either type/paste the string into the box on the right of the page, or send it in the URL. It’s especially useful if you have no font for the text, or you are trying to unravel a sequence of characters in a complex script, but also allows you to just dig out information about one or more characters.

Here’s an example

By default you see a large graphic image of each character, the Unicode code point number and name, the Unicode script block in which it occurs, any annotations in the Unicode Standard, and any notes for that character in my character database (which I also updated today with information about Hebrew, Malayalam, Lisu and other scripts).

However, the result can be tailored in terms of the level of information and various aspects of the presentation. Simply click on the options to the right of the page, or (again) include the relevant info in the URI.

For example, you can remove any of these items of information individually (except the codepoint and name), or add a text version of the character. You can also choose a smaller graphic.

In addition, notes from my character database contain examples (coloured red). By clicking on these examples you can list the characters in the example text without leaving the page. The list of characters shows up in the right margin.

Oh, and you can click on links to see a character in UniView (to explore its Unicode properties) or to show the whole block in which the character lives.

You’ll shortly see my other applications such as pickers, UniView, etc, linking to this app.

Hope it’s useful.

>> Use it