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Symbol is one of the four standard fonts available on all PostScript-based printers, starting with Apple's original LaserWriter (1985). It contains a complete unaccented Greek alphabet (upper and lower case) and a selection of commonly used mathematical symbols. Insofar as it fits into any standard classification, it is a serif font designed in the style of Times Roman.

Due to its non-standard character set, lack of diacritical characters, and type design inappropriate for continuous text, Symbol cannot easily be used for setting Greek language text, though it has been used for that purpose in the absence of proper Greek fonts. Its primary purpose is to typeset mathematical expressions.

Contents

EncodingEdit

The font was created by Adobe and has its own character encoding, with the Greek letters arranged according to similar Latin letters (Chi = C, etc.). The document describing the mapping to Unicode code points[1] was created before several of the characters were added to Unicode, so the original mapping assigns several of the characters to the Private Use Area (PUA). A later version of the font by Apple[2] uses more recently introduced Unicode code points instead. The table below mostly follows the Apple mapping.

Legend:

Symbol (typeface)
_0 _1 _2 _3 _4 _5 _6 _7 _8 _9 _A _B _C _D _E _F
 
0_
 


0


1


2


3


4


5


6


7


8


9


10


11


12


13


14


15
 
1_
 


16


17


18


19


20


21


22


23


24


25


26


27


28


29


30


31
 
2_
 
SP
0020
32
!
0021
33

2200
34
#
0023
35

2203
36
%
0025
37
&
0026
38

220D
39
(
0028
40
)
0029
41
*
002A
42
+
002B
43
,
002C
44

2212
45
.
002E
46
/
002F
47
 
3_
 
0
0030
48
1
0031
49
2
0032
50
3
0033
51
4
0034
52
5
0035
53
6
0036
54
7
0037
55
8
0038
56
9
0039
57
:
003A
58
;
003B
59
<
003C
60
=
003D
61
>
003E
62
?
003F
63
 
4_
 

2245
64
Α
0391
65
Β
0392
66
Χ
03A7
67
Δ
0394
68
Ε
0395
69
Φ
03A6
70
Γ
0393
71
Η
0397
72
Ι
0399
73
ϑ
03D1
74
Κ
039B
75
Λ
039C
76
Μ
039D
77
Ν
039E
78
Ο
039F
79
 
5_
 
Π
03A0
80
Θ
0398
81
Ρ
03A1
82
Σ
03A3
83
Τ
03A4
84
Υ
03A5
85
ς
03C2
86
Ω
03A9
87
Ξ
039E
88
Ψ
03A8
89
Ζ
0396
90
[
005B
91

2234
92
]
005D
93

22A5
94
_
005F
95
 
6_
 

F8E5
96[a]
α
03B1
97
β
03B2
98
χ
03C7
99
δ
03B4
100
ε
03B5
101
φ
03C6
102
γ
03B3
103
η
03B7
104
ι
03B9
105
ϕ
03D5
106
κ
03BB
107
λ
03BC
108
μ
03BD
109
ν
03BE
110
ο
03BF
111
 
7_
 
π
03C0
112
θ
03B8
113
ρ
03C1
114
σ
03C3
115
τ
03C4
116
υ
03C5
117
ϖ
03D6
118
ω
03C9
119
ξ
03BE
120
ψ
03C8
121
ζ
03B6
122
{
007B
123
|
007C
124
}
007D
125
~
007E
126


127
 
8_
 
 

128
 

129


130


131
 

132


133


134


135


136


137


138


139


140


141


142


143
 
9_
 


144


145


146


147


148


149


150


151


152
 

153


154


155


156


157


158


159
 
A_
 

20AC
160
ϒ
03D2
161
ʹ
2032
162

2264
163

2044
164

221E
165
ƒ
0192
166

2663
167

2665
168

2666
169

2660
170

2194
171

2190
172

2191
173

2192
174

2193
175
 
B_
 
°
00B0
176
±
00B1
177
ʺ
2033
178

2265
179
×
00D7
180

221D
181

2202
182

2022
183
÷
00F7
184

2260
185

2261
186

2248
187

2026
188

23D0
189

23AF
190

21B2
191
 
C_
 

2135
192

2111
193

211C
194

2118
195

2297
196

2295
197

2205
198

2229
199

222A
200

2283
201

2287
202

2284
203

2282
204

2286
205

2208
206

2209
207
 
D_
 

2220
208

2202
209
®
00AE
210[b]
©
00A9
211[b]

2122
212[b]

220F
213

221A
214

22C5
215
¬
00AC
216

2226
217

2227
218

21D4
219

21D0
220

21D1
221

21D2
222

21D3
223
 
E_
 

25CA
224

3008
225
®
00AE
226[b]
©
00A9
227[b]

2122
228[b]

2211
229

239B
230

239C
231

239D
232

23A1
233

23A2
234

23A3
235

23A7
236

23A8
237

23A9
238

23AA
239
 
F_
 


240

3009
241

222B
242

2320
243

23AE
244

2321
245

239E
246

239F
247

23A0
248

23A4
249

23A5
250

23A6
251

23AA
252

23AB
253

23AC
254


255
_0 _1 _2 _3 _4 _5 _6 _7 _8 _9 _A _B _C _D _E _F

Beyond the use of Private Use Area code points, Adobe and Apple have a few other minor differences in code point assignments. Character 0x27 (called "suchthat" in the Adobe document) is assigned by Adobe to U+220B (∋, CONTAINS AS MEMBER) but by Apple to U+220D (∍, SMALL CONTAINS AS MEMBER), which more closely resembles the symbol usually used for such that. Characters 0xE1 and 0xF1 are assigned to different sets of angle brackets: by Adobe to U+2329 and U+232A (〈 and 〉), by Apple to U+3008 and U+3009 (〈 and 〉). Apple also introduces the Apple logo as PUA code point U+F8FF for character 0xF0, a position not used in the original Adobe font (and not assigned in the table above).

Lowercase Greek letters appear in italics in many older versions of Symbol. While both Adobe and Apple agree on assigning characters 0x66 and 0x6A respectively to Unicode code points U+03C6 (φ, GREEK SMALL LETTER PHI) and U+03D5 (ϕ, GREEK PHI SYMBOL), some versions of the font interchange these two symbols.

Font comparisonEdit

Uppercase
Default Α Β Γ Δ Ε Ζ Η Θ Ι Κ Λ Μ Ν Ξ Ο Π Ρ Σ Τ Υ Φ Χ Ψ Ω
Times Α Β Γ Δ Ε Ζ Η Θ Ι Κ Λ Μ Ν Ξ Ο Π Ρ Σ Τ Υ Φ Χ Ψ Ω
Symbol Α Β Γ Δ Ε Ζ Η Θ Ι Κ Λ Μ Ν Ξ Ο Π Ρ Σ Τ Υ Φ Χ Ψ Ω
Symbol* A B G D E Z H Q I K L M N X O P R S T U F C Y W
Lowercase
Default α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ λ μ ν ξ ο π ρ ς σ τ υ φ χ ψ ω
Times α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ λ μ ν ξ ο π ρ ς σ τ υ φ χ ψ ω
Symbol α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ λ μ ν ξ ο π ρ ς σ τ υ φ χ ψ ω
Symbol* a b g d e z h q i k l m n x o p r V s t u f c y w

*encoded as ASCII for older versions of the font

HTMLEdit

The use of the Symbol font in mathematical expressions was part of a W3C recommendation for HTML 4. [3] At the time of that original recommendation (December 1997), the only native way to display many mathematical symbols in HTML was a direct use of the "Symbol" font. Such explicit references are now strongly discouraged for new documents, but they survive in many existing pages on the Internet. Also, the Symbol font provides graphics that are specifically intended as components in the two-dimensional layout of mathematical expressions. Examples include upper and lower parts of brackets or integral signs and a square-root sign without a vinculum.

Until 2010 or so, the Unicode glyph U+221A corresponding to the square-root sign (the HTML entity is named radic and has decimal code 8730) was usually rendered with a short built-in vinculum. That made it an inadequate graphical replacement for the original character from the Symbol font (itself designed around a slanted line extending all the way to the upper-right corner of the character box, without any spacing). The more recent renditions of the HTML radic entity (U+221A) no longer feature any vinculum and are thus more compatible with the standard graphical representation introduced in the Symbol font. Both styles of the square-root glyph (with or without a short vinculum) have the same disembodied meaning, so the integrity of the Unicode repertoire is not compromised by this adjustment.

Full legacy support of the Symbol font is provided by major modern web browsers like Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. That support involves a specific handling of Adobe's special encoding, which is not properly implemented in at least some versions of other browsers, including Opera, Safari and Firefox. Such browsers do not correctly render legacy HTML documents that make explicit use of the Symbol font.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The character at 0x60 does not appear in Unicode. It is described in the Adobe map as "RADICAL EXTENDER", with the Adobe glyph name "radicalex", and is mapped to the PUA code point U+F8E5. It is an over-bar for extending the radical sign over the operands of the radical operator. Some versions of the font implement this as a non-spacing character so that it can be combined (like non-spacing diacritical marks) with the operands it covers.
  2. ^ a b c d e f The characters ®, ©, and ™ are encoded twice: one version has serifs, the other is sans-serif. The Adobe mapping uses PUA for all six characters to ensure that the presence or absence of serifs is observed, while the Apple font maps the serif versions to the standard Unicode code points and the sans-serif versions to PUA code points (but not the same ones Adobe used).

ReferencesEdit