It takes special capabilities to format text appropriately on mobile phone displays. Character positioning, line breaks, character substitution, text flow direction, the placement of embedded text objects – and a myriad of other factors – all impact text display and therefore the user experience.
Monotype Imaging’s WorldType Layout Engine is a modular software library for composing, positioning and rendering text in multiple languages. The technology formats text on memory-restrained devices such as mobile phones, cameras, set-top boxes, control panels and HD TVs – regardless of language. The program offers a host of features including text wrapping and layout controls, various modes of operation for performance optimization, cursor positioning, character substitution, truncation support, line breaking support, paragraph styling, and support for a wide range of languages and scripts.
Text Wrapping and Layout Capabilities
WorldType Layout Engine supports tabs, inline graphic objects, and text flow around anchored objects or images among other page layout features.
Various modes of operation for optimal performance
WorldType Layout Engine can be used in many ways. While some applications may call on the technology’s advanced layout capabilities, others may require the program to compose only a single string of multilingual text. To cater to these varying needs, WorldType Layout Engine can run in one of three operational modes. All three modes offer the program's multilingual text composition capabilities, yet they differ in their support for layout capabilities and the quantity of text they are intended to handle. Developers can ensure optimal performance by selecting the operational mode that most closely matches their requirements.
WorldType Layout Engine's container-based mode provides the most advanced layout capabilities including tab support and the ability to wrap text around objects. This mode is suitable for applications without pre-existing layout capabilities that need to handle large quantities of text. Line-based mode allows the application to define specific start and end points for lines of text and is ideal for clients seeking high levels of customization in their layout, such as the ability to compose text around an irregularly shaped object. String-based mode is intended for the efficient composition of short strings of multilingual text. This mode is appropriate for integrating multilingual text composition capabilities into applications with existing layout systems. String-based mode is also ideal for applications where the content predominantly consists of short strings of text, such as the user interface of a consumer electronics device. WorldType Layout Engine now includes the ability to rotate text at an angle while operating in this mode.
Whether the cursor moves right or left to go forward depends on whether text flows left or right. Cursor movement functions have been modified to provide enhanced flexibility and put extra control in the hands of developers.
Memory efficient Thai support
Because the Thai language does not incorporate spaces, layout engines require the use of a dictionary to determine the placement of line breaks. WorldType Layout Engine’s Thai dictionary offers fast performance and efficient memory handling.
WorldType Layout Engine can dynamically substitute icons for commonly entered character combinations using a substitution dictionary defined by the implementer. For instance, a colon followed by a parenthesis : ) can be substituted with a smiley face.
Text blocks exceeding the text container can be truncated with an ellipsis (…) or other symbols.
In addition to ligatures, some scripts require that a letter take different forms depending on context. For example, an Arabic letter may take an initial, medial, final or isolated form depending on the characters adjacent to it.
Line breaks may be explicit (such as a carriage return) or may be determined by rules regarding word boundaries and punctuation (such as a line break after a close parenthesis or before an open parenthesis) and other language-specific considerations. Thai words, for example, do not have spaces between them. WorldType Layout Engine provides added flexibility for the handling of white spaces in relation to the line break and support for soft hyphens.
Paragraph styling attributes
These include how text is aligned (left, right, or center) and whether paragraphs are indented from the left or right side.
For a firsthand look at the capabilities of the WorldType Layout engine, try Monotype Imaging's Font Technology Demo. See how the WorldType Layout Engine interacts with the iType font renderer and a catalog of multilingual fonts to display high-quality text.