This Unicode character picker allows you to produce or analyse runs of text using the Ethiopic script. Character pickers are especially useful for people who don't know a script well, as characters are displayed in ways that aid identification.
To properly display the text you will need to choose a font that is loaded on your system or device or use one of the web fonts downloaded with the page. The font list indicates which fonts are standard for Mac (Snow Leopard/Lion) and Windows7, as well as which are the web fonts. Note that fonts aren't guarranteed to work on every system/device, because the font often relies on rendering algorithms provided by the operating system. See more information about standard OS fonts in Mac and Windows.
You can also add codepoints and escapes via the "Add codepoint" field (hit return to add to the output field). You can also paste text into the output field to get information about it. Use the yellow boxes to set preferences or search. Regular expressions are allowed when searching – for example, to find characters with the word KA in their name, enter \bka\b, or the short form :ka:.
When working on an iPad or similar device, you should turn off more controls/Autofocus. This prevents the keyboard popping up after you input every character. You may also need to select a character twice to add it to the output field.
About the chart
Includes all the characters in the Unicode Ethiopic block.
All text is output in Unicode normalisation form NFC by default. You can change to NFD or no normalisation by clicking on the buttons in the yellow area. Note that normalization only takes place when you click on a character - text pasted into the box won't be normalised until you click on another character above, or click on a button in the yellow area.
The default option requires a two-stage look-up for the syllabic characters. First click on the row of orange pictures that represent basic shapes associated with the Ethiopic syllabic characters. This will then display second row of characters. Click on one of these to add the character to the output area.
Notes on controls
Controls at the bottom of the page allow you to modify fonts used, the font size, and the height of the output box.
Searching by character name or codepoint. If you are searching for a particular character and know (at least part of) the name or the codepoint, type that in the search box and hit return. All characters with matching text in the name or codepoint number will be highlighted. The highlighting is only removed when you click on the X next to the search input field. You can also use regular expression syntax to improve your search results. For example, to find the letter 'ha', but not 'gha' etc, you can use '\bha\b' (or the shortcut, ':b:').
CC base. You would normally expect combining characters, such as accents and vowel signs, when displayed alone to be associated with a dotted circle, however these font glyphs are handled inconsistently from one browser/font to the next. The picker is set up for a given web font initially, but if you change the table font you may need to do something to ensure that combining characters display in a way that helps you click on them. The CC base control allows you to specify a base character that will be used before each combining character (or no base character). This should hopefully help for most font and browser combinations.