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experimenting with fonts and characters

Posted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:41 am
by DougMudd
Hi, (first post)

I am experiemtning with using the lyrics cababilty of ABC to create a type of tablature to appear below the music staff.

I'd like to be able to use various characters (such as "up arrow" and "down arrow"). In Irwin Oppenheimer's "ABC Music Standard" draft he gives the example of using \d191; to get an upside down question mark. I cant get this to work using the converter at

Can anyone show me how this is done or, better yet tell me how I might use any TrueType font?



Re: experimenting with fonts and characters

Posted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:32 pm
by Chris P
Hi Doug, I see you've not had any replies! I suggest you ask the question here:-

Re: experimenting with fonts and characters

Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:22 pm
by farvardin
I don't think abc supports unicode, otherwise you could use them directly into your lyrics, so you can't use those unicode symbols into the abc online converter. (and I can't display them into this forum either...)

The other way to go is to use abcm2ps and fontforge to create your extra symbols.
You can see an exemple there: ... =abc_perse (choose "english version" on top of the page). It's quite complicated, but you can customise almost everything in your abc output. (sorry the file definition comments are in French)

You can get a more deep customisation there: ... enaissance

Re: experimenting with fonts and characters

Posted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:58 pm
by PkK
I see the problem. IMO in this time just being able to use any chracter should be the way to go. Even LaTeX these days supports e.g. unicode instead of writing wird constructs like "u for characters.
abc is intended to be a human-readable and -writeable format. Requiring obscure and unnatural notation for characters outside of ASCII is not the way to go forward.
IMO abc-using tools should just use the default locale when reading abc files. For most people these days that will mean UTF-8 and virtually all and any characters they might want to use will just work.