CFR Support in Mac OS X Version 10.8 (Mountain Lion)

On July 25, 2012, Apple released to the world Mac OS X Version 10.8 (aka Mountain Lion). Among the many new features in this latest iteration of Mac OS X is support for CFR objects. For those who are not aware, CFR objects are based on ISO/IEC 14496-28:2012 (Composite Font Representation), and are used to define both composite fonts and fallback fonts. CFR objects effectively break the 64K glyph barrier. Mac OS X Version 10.8 is thus the first implementation that has broken the 64K glyph barrier.

For those who recall, I provided an “All Of Unicode” CFR object, along with its 17 component fonts, in the May 22, 2012 article. That CFR object had a bug (the ICU UnicodeSet pattern for non-BMP code points should have followed the form \Uxxxxxxxx, and not \uxxxxx), and also requires the “.sfont” filename extension in order to be recognized by Mac OS X Version 10.8 as a valid font resource. I am hereby pleased to report that the updated (and appropriately renamed) UnicodeCFR.sfont CFR object installs and functions in Mac OS X Version 10.8. As shown in the screenshot below, there appears to be an issue with code points in Planes 14 through 16, but code points in the BMP and in Planes 1 through 13 appear to function fine.

It is useful to note that the ISO/IEC 14496-28:2012 DTD (Document Type Definition) file is located in /System/Library/DTDs/SplicedFont.dtd. Previous versions of Mac OS X included this DTD, but Version 10.8 is the first to support CFR objects as user-installable font resources.

Of course, to what extent CFR objects, installed into Mac OS X Version 10.8, behave in other applications, including those made by Adobe, depends on the application. From this point, support for CFR objects is likely to improve, in terms of the number of OSes and applications that provide such support.

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