Source Han Sans Version 1.002 Update

The Source Han Sans Version 1.002 update was released on 2015-04-20, which involved turning a very large crank on something that has a very large number of moving parts. The updated region-specific subset OTFs are also available on Typekit via desktop sync.

Google’s corresponding Noto Sans CJK fonts, which differ from Source Han Sans only by name, were also updated to Version 1.002 at the same time, and reflect the same changes.

The following are some of the highlights of the Version 1.002 update:

  • The open source license was changed from Apache License, Version 2.0 to SIL Open Font License, Version 1.1, which doesn’t impact those who merely use the fonts as-is.
  • Half-width OTFs and OTC font instances were added—the coverage of half-width glyphs is limited to ASCII plus a small number of additional characters—but only for the Regular and Bold weights, because the use cases for such fonts are narrower than for fonts with proportional glyphs for those characters. Although this added eight font instances to the Super OTC, bringing its total to a record-breaking 36, its footprint increased by only 1MB or so, mainly due to four additional ‘cmap’ tables to accommodate the half-width mappings for all four languages. Two of the seven OTCs now include eight font instances whereas they included only four for Version 1.001.
  • 21 new glyphs were added, to cover U+20AB (₫) which is Vietnam’s currency symbol called the đồng, along with horizontal and vertical dakuten-annotated forms of four hiragana and katakana vowels and the syllable-final n (ん & ン) that are made accessible via the ‘ccmp‘ (Glyph Composition / Decomposition) GSUB feature, which is on by default in most modern applications.
  • The OTFs and OTCs are additionally packaged as ZIP files for easier download of all weights for a single language.
  • The so-called “vertical metrics” were adjusted in a way that should result in more consistent cross-platform line spacing.
  • A small number of glyphs were corrected, tweaked, or otherwise adjusted.

More excruciating details about what was changed or fixed in the Version 1.002 update can be found in the “Changes” section of the 25-page official ReadMe file (the PDF file will download if the link is clicked).

Of course, there are known issues, the latest of which—as of this release—are documented in the “Known Issues” section of the official ReadMe file, which we plan to address in a subsequent update. Some of them were caught too late to be reflected in Version 1.002, and some require new glyphs to be added to the glyph set. But make no mistake, Adobe and Google are fully committed to addressing these issues, and all comments and feedback are welcome and encouraged.

In closing, and as the image at the top of this article suggests, the Super OTC remains my favorite Source Han Sans deployment format, and even more so with the Version 1.002 update as it now include eight additional font instances. That’s a whole lot of functionality being packed into a single font resource. ☺


2 Responses to Source Han Sans Version 1.002 Update

  1. Barrett Hutter says:

    Not so bad. But I still hate Unicode. It’s not worth for 清朝考証学 (Qing dynasty bibliographical study of Chinese classics) and 大蔵経 (the Tripitaka: complete Buddhist canon) still. So I will continue to use 超漢字 of the Tron OS.