One of the more useful features of UniView is its ability to list the characters in a string with names and codepoints. This is particularly useful when you can’t tell what a string of characters contains because you don’t have a font, or because the script is too complex, etc.
For example, I was recently sent an email where my name was written in Persian as ایشیدا. The image shows how it looks in a nastaliq font.
To see the component characters, drop the string into UniView’s Copy & Paste field and click on the icon. Here is the result:
Note how you can now see that there’s an invisible control character in the string. Note also that you see a graphic image for each character, which is a big help if the string you are investigating is just a sequence of boxes on your system.
Not only can you discover characters in this way, but you can create lists of characters which can be pasted into another document, and customise the format of those lists.
Pasting the list elsewhere
If you select this list and paste it into a document, you’ll see something like this:
0627 ARABIC LETTER ALEF 06CC ARABIC LETTER FARSI YEH 0634 ARABIC LETTER SHEEN 06CC ARABIC LETTER FARSI YEH 200C ZERO WIDTH NON-JOINER 062F ARABIC LETTER DAL 0627 ARABIC LETTER ALEF
You can make the characters appear by deselecting Use graphics on the Look up tab. (Of course, you need an arabic font to see the list as intended.)
ا 0627 ARABIC LETTER ALEF ی 06CC ARABIC LETTER FARSI YEH ش 0634 ARABIC LETTER SHEEN ی 06CC ARABIC LETTER FARSI YEH 200C ZERO WIDTH NON-JOINER د 062F ARABIC LETTER DAL ا 0627 ARABIC LETTER ALEF
Customising the list format
What may be less obvious is that you can also customise the format of this list using the settings under the Options tab. For example, using the List format settings, I can produce a list that moves the character column between the number and the name, like this:
0627 ا ARABIC LETTER ALEF 06CC ی ARABIC LETTER FARSI YEH 0634 ش ARABIC LETTER SHEEN 06CC ی ARABIC LETTER FARSI YEH 200C ZERO WIDTH NON-JOINER 062F د ARABIC LETTER DAL 0627 ا ARABIC LETTER ALEF
Or I can remove one or more columns from the list, such as:
ا ARABIC LETTER ALEF ی ARABIC LETTER FARSI YEH ش ARABIC LETTER SHEEN ی ARABIC LETTER FARSI YEH ZERO WIDTH NON-JOINER د ARABIC LETTER DAL ا ARABIC LETTER ALEF
With the option Show U+ in lists I can also add or remove the U+ before the codepoint value. For example, this lets me produce the following list:
U+0627 ARABIC LETTER ALEF U+06CC ARABIC LETTER FARSI YEH U+0634 ARABIC LETTER SHEEN U+06CC ARABIC LETTER FARSI YEH U+200C ZERO WIDTH NON-JOINER U+062F ARABIC LETTER DAL U+0627 ARABIC LETTER ALEF
Other lists in UniView
We’ve shown how you can make a list of characters in the Cut & Paste box, but don’t forget that you can create lists for a Unicode block, custom range of characters, search list results, or list of codepoint values, etc. And not only that, but you can filter lists in various ways.
Here is just one quick example of how you can obtain a list of numbers for the Devanagari script.
- On the Look up tab, select Devanagari from the Unicode block pull down list.
- Select Show range as list and deselect (optional) Use graphics.
- Under the Filter tab, select Number from the Show properties pull down list.
- Click on Make list from highlights
You end up with the following list, that you can paste into your document.
० 0966 DEVANAGARI DIGIT ZERO १ 0967 DEVANAGARI DIGIT ONE २ 0968 DEVANAGARI DIGIT TWO ३ 0969 DEVANAGARI DIGIT THREE ४ 096A DEVANAGARI DIGIT FOUR ५ 096B DEVANAGARI DIGIT FIVE ६ 096C DEVANAGARI DIGIT SIX ७ 096D DEVANAGARI DIGIT SEVEN ८ 096E DEVANAGARI DIGIT EIGHT ९ 096F DEVANAGARI DIGIT NINE
(Of course, you can also customise the layout of this list as described in the previous section.)
Reversing the process: from list to string
To complete the circle, you can also cut & paste any of the lists in the blog text above into UniView, to explore each character’s properties or recreate the string.
Select one of the lists above and paste it into the Characters input field on the Look up tab. Hit the icon alongside, and UniView will recreate the list for you. Click on each character to view detailed information about it.
If you want to recreate the string from the list, simply click on the icon below the Copy & paste box, and the list of characters will be reconstituted in the box as a string.