Monday, December 17, 2012

タイガーで絵文字を楽しみましょう!Taigaa de emoji o tanoshimimashô! Let's enjoy emoji on Tiger!

Hora, hora! Mochiron, Taigaa de, emoji o shiyô suru koto ga dekimasu ... oh wait, sorry! Let's try that again in English.

Emoji are hot (possibly even, ATSUI? ha ha!) on iOS and Apple introduced an emoji font, complete with little colour smilies, for 10.7. Firefox even supports this font, sort of (there are some bugs in this support and in fact I had to back this out partially because of the secret flawed CoreText in 10.4 which interferes with Mozilla's Cairo-based emoji rendering).

Naturally the good versions of OS X, which is everything before Lion, don't have direct emoji support, let alone those fun little colour icons. However, if you're willing to accept a monochrome non-animated substitute, you can get emoji on your Power Mac, because emoji are really just Unicode characters at their most basic and if you could find a font that had the emoji in the right place in the character map, it would "just work."

Fortunately, there is such a font, and that font is Symbola. It works just fine with OS X, and with TTConverter will probably even work for OS 9 and Classilla. Warning before you install: when you try to do so, Font Book will freak out (correctly), saying the font is missing OpenType information. While it appears to work fine without it on 10.4, installing this font is of course at your own risk. Just unzip the file you get, double click to open it in Font Book for installation, and after installing it (and saying "yes, I don't care if my computer blows up") quit and restart TenFourFox to ensure it recognizes the new font.

Now you can see my cat, instead of a "no character here" box: 😺

Issues 194 and 195 are now fixed, though I'm thinking of even faster ways to enumerate fonts, but this still should cut down on lag with people who have a lot of fonts even in this state. And, since we've just added another font, that should help that much more. Yatta!


  1. Out of curiosity downloaded and installed Symbola in OS X 10.5 . It installed without any warning and can actually be used like any other font but Aurora doesn't use it to display the character in your blog post.

    1. On the same character 0x01F63a is rendered just fine...

    2. Now I do see the cat in both Aurora and WebKit/Safari, after rebooting.

  2. I don't have 19 up on this iMac, but everything looked good AFAIR. I wonder if Leopard treats it differently (but Chris doesn't seem to have any problems).

  3. Cameron's cat renders fine here on 10.5 in both Aurorafox 19.0a2_5 and TFF 17.0.1.

  4. When I read this, I had to laugh:
    "as color fonts gain traction, we’ll look back to 2011 as the year it all began"

    I used to make colour fonts on my 1987 Amiga 500 - and used them in Workbench GUI programs. Some fonts had little 16-colour icons - almost exactly like they describe in the Apple Color Emoji article. Everybody else can look back to 2011 as the year it all began, but I'll look back to 1987. ;)


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