When working with the Latin script, there is generally a one-to-one
relationship between a character code and a glyph index in a given font. When
working with non-Latin scripts such as Arabic, Bengali, Cambodian (Khmer),
Devanagari, etc., a character may be represented by many different glyphs
(e.g. ligatures, half-forms, joined forms, etc.). The process of selecting
and rendering a glyph is known as “shaping”.
In right-to-left scripts such as Arabic and Hebrew, there is a reordering of
glyphs so that glyphs are rendered in the order expected by native readers.
This is referred to as “bidi” (bidirectional) reordering. Layout of non-Latin
scripts presents additional challenges in terms of line-breaking,
justification, flow around embedded graphics, use of inline images,
substitution dictionaries, etc.
Unlike Latin-based languages where character forms
stay constant, characters from complex scripts may take on different shapes
depending on adjacent characters. The resulting word may have an appearance
that looks nothing like the characters used to
build the word.
Monotype Imaging offers two solutions that provide shaping and bidi
The WorldType Layout Engine provides shaping and bidi
support as well as text layout support so you don’t need to acquire
language-specific layout skills yourself. In addition, the technology lets you
easily port layout functionality across languages and technology platforms.
WorldType Shaper has the integrated intelligence
needed to handle such complex shaping and bidi requirements, and is an ideal
way of integrating complex script support into existing layout and rendering