Private Use areas (was: Re: Thoughts on working with the Emoji Subcommittee (was ...))

William_J_G Overington via Unicode unicode at
Mon Aug 20 14:32:20 CDT 2018

Doug Ewell wrote:

> Yes, you run the risk of someone else's PUA implementation colliding with yours. That's why you create a Private Use Agreement, and make sure it's prominently available to people who want to use your solution. It's not like there are hundreds of PUA schemes anyway.

Yes, that is generally true. However, a situation where that does not matter is if one just wishes to include some specially designed glyphs of one's own design in a PDF (Portable Document Format) document and one uses a Private Use Area encoding simply so that the PDF document with a subset of the glyphs of the font embedded in the PDF can be produced using a desktop publishing program. That is, one makes the font, one installs the font, one uses the font within the desktop publishing package.

I have used that technique and the technique worked very well as the Windows operating system treated my font the same way as it did other fonts. With the desktop publishing package that I am using (Serif PagePlus version X7) that is only using the plane zero Private Use Area.

Thus the providing of information to anyone reading the PDF document is as displayed glyphs rather than as code points.

The availability of the Private Use Area allowed me to make such code point assignments for the glyphs that I had designed and then use those code points in a manner entirely compatible with The Unicode Standard.

William Overington

Monday 20 August 2018

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