Plain text custom fraction input

Marcel Schneider charupdate at
Wed Jul 22 02:00:38 CDT 2015

On 21 Jul 2015, at 18;42, Doug Ewell  wrote:

> As explained in TUS 7.0, §6.2 ("General Punctuation"), p. 273, U+2044
> FRACTION SLASH is intended for use with Basic Latin digits, or other
> digits with General Category = Nd. The superscript and subscript
> presentation forms have General Category = No.

That is was bugs me, that this kerning fraction slash is presented to us as to be used with plain digits, that overlap the fraction slash in proportional fonts. That recommendation is inconsistent with plain text encoding. Following TUS, anybody who uses U+2044 must use a fraction formatting feature. I know this from the time I'd got the valid demo version of some Desktop Publishing software. The feature wasn't flagged by the fraction slash, and on the other hand, the feature worked with the common slash U+002F too. It's a formatting command like superscript or underline.

Might anybody explain to us why the font designers of Arial Unicode MS and DejaVu Serif / DejaVu Sans defined the matching glyphs that allow users to compose professionally looking fractions in plain text, without any need of the high-end formatting as specified in TUS? I'm most likely to believe that any proportional font that complies fully to TUS, works the same way. But this fact is hidden in the Standard.

I can't believe that Unicode didn't think about this usage. If really it didn't, the invention of the fully operational fraction slash is wholly the merit of the innovative font designers. Why is this invention not being welcomed?

This is why I suggested completing right this section of the Standard. This is also why I finally decided to bring it to the attention of the Mailing List. I hope that a huge majority will allow Unicode to complete this point.

Thank you for your feedback.

Have a nice day,

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