What's the point of those weird fonts such as wingdings

Why go to the trouble of designing fonts like wingdings etc?

People use symbols all the time in documents, on the web, in text messages and so on. There are dozens of them on the page you’re looking at now. Symbol fonts are an efficient way of implementing that. The alternative would be to require someone to include an image file every time they use one, which introduces problems of efficiency, complexity, security, and accessibility.

To confuse you.


I typed out the alphabet in wingdings, this is what I looking at. I don’t see these symbols on this page.

Same idea as the smilies (nee “emoticons,” except I guess we’re supposed to call them “emoji” in some weird pseudo-Japanese now), except that some of them are meant for specialized uses–a lot of business list “bullets” come from there, as do the card symbols for bridge columns, the standard “phone” and “fax” images, checkboxes for forms, etc. The rest are just whimsical.

Slightly different are the mathematical symbol fonts, meant for typesetting scientific and mathematical documents, that include various math symbols, greek letters, and the like.

This was more true before Unicode. These fonts tend to work via the fact that the visual glyph a character is mapped to is arbitrarily controlled by the font. So by putting symbols in a font, you could make “a” look like a symbol.

Now with Unicode, as long as you can get it accepted and enough people to implement it, you can define a code point block without messing around with special fonts. See emoji: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emoji

Thanks, in other words, nothing for me to worry about.

People were easily amused in the olden days.

So you know, the name Wingdings comes from dingbat, the official name for typesetting fonts consisting of miscellaneous symbols instead of letters.

As others have pointed out, Unicode largely obviates the need for dingbat fonts since you no longer have to squeeze every codepoint into seven bits.

I’ll often use a star for map making (to show a destination). Also arrows to indicate one way steets. Some symbol fonts provide the shapes for interstate hwy markers. When designing posters, putting bold symbols at the start and end of a line of text can create an old-timey feel. A symbol font like, like Wingdings, often provides a better selection of bullets and checkboxes than a normal text font.

Smilies are kaomoji, but these are just vertical: :slight_smile:

Emoji are like Wingdings in Unicode (usually): Hail Cthulhu! ������
The name has nothing to do with emotions, or emo. It’s e + moji

Test: ��

From my end, looks like SDMB allowed me to post it, then killed it when I edited? Or my Unicode just broke.

Edit: the latter. Keeps forcing me into Windows-1252

If my scant knowledge of Japanese serves, I’m guessing e means ‘picture’ (as in ukiyo-e) and moji means ‘typographic character’ (as in mojibake).

Well… Unicode is mostly what I was thinking of actually (OP said “fonts like…” and I interpreted that liberally). Those unicode glyphs and emojis all live in a font.

Yep. Ukiyo-e is what I think about first too (mainly Kanagawa and proto-tentacles).

That’s webdings, I believe. If you look at the whole character set, there’s a number of useful symbols in there (I’ve used the play head icons and window icons. Heck, even that eye icon.)

That’s webdings, I believe. If you look at the while character set, there’s a lot if useful symbols in there (I’ve used the play head icons and window icons. Heck, even that eye icon.)

ETA: Also, type NYC in all caps. You should get something like eye heart city. This was intentional after typing the same letters in wingdings produced what some interpreted as an antisemitic message.

Wow! Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of typographers? :slight_smile:

(I’m kidding, of course. Snopes has an excellent piece debunking the idea of a deliberate antisemitic slur.)

Were you ever required to fill out a form document, where they asked you to check boxes? Some people put v or / or a square root symbol. Tip: use Wingdings for a more professional look.

Also, playing card symbols.

Don’t need Wingdings for cards. U+2660, 2663, 2665, 2666. I think there are other variations. Didn’t DOS even have these symbols? I remember from playing Castle Adventure about 25 years ago. Your character, items, monsters, etc. were random symbols.