Notes/help

Updated 05-Aug-2017 • tags apps, pickers, syriac

This Unicode character picker allows you to produce or analyse runs of text using the Syriac script. Character pickers are especially useful for people who don't know a script well, as characters are displayed in ways that aid identification.

If something is broken or missing raise an issue. For version information see the Github commit list.

Basic use

To produce characters in the text area, click on character shapes, or use your keyboard for Latin characters, delete, etc. Then cut & paste the result to your document, or use the controls to get further information about the characters. You must have JavaScript enabled.

The controls just above the text area allow you to interactive with the text in various ways. They nearly all work on highlighted text within the text area, or if there is no highlight, on all the text. Controls near the bottom of the picker allow you to change font, font size, line-height, text direction, etc.

Sample text If you want to add some sample text to the text area, click on the plus sign icon.

Fonts To properly display the text you will need to choose a font that is loaded on your system or device, or use the web fonts downloaded with the page (Noto Sans Syriac Eastern, Noto Sans Syriac Estrangelo, and Noto Sans Syriac Western). The font list contains fonts for all three Syriac styles, East, West, and Estrangela, and lists fonts that are standard for Windows. See more information about standard OS fonts in Mac and Windows.

Mobile devices 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 Syriac block, and several from the Arabic and Latin blocks.

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.

Select the thing you want help with:

Help selector.

Text area

This is where you see characters appearing as you select them from the panels lower down or where you paste text into the picker. Once you have some text here, you can perform various operations on it, or simply copy it to the clipboard for use elsewhere.

Selection area

Click on characters or buttons in this area to add them to the text area above.

Syriac characters are arranged so as to help people find the character they need. Expandable areas contain code points for transliteration, and less commonly used characters.

It is possible to flip the direction of the selection area by selecting more options > Table direction (near the bottom of the picker).

Given the fact that Syriac comes in 3 significantly different styles, it is also worth noting that you can set the font for the glyphs in this area to Eastern, Estrangela or Western styles by opening More controls and using the Change table font control.

Controls above the text area

Controls above the input box allow you to run various operations on the text in the box. Most of them work on what you have selected within the box, or the whole box if nothing is selected.

Copy, select, delete, etc. (). The icons on the left above the input box allow you (listing them from left to right) to copy the text to the clipboard, select the text, delete it, generate a URL to share with others that will reproduce for them what you see in the text box, add some sample text to the text area, and open this help file.

Show codepoints. Produces a list of the Unicode code points in the input box. You can usually follow a link from a code point item to more detailed information about that character.

Convert to escapes. Opens a new window for the converter app, which shows various different ways of representing the text in the input box using escapes.

Make example. This may be useful to speed up the creation of examples. You can create an example with four parts, delimited by /, in the following order: [1] Syriac text, [2] IPA transcription, [3] other transcription, [4] meaning. You don't need to add all four elements, but if you want to skip one in the middle of the sequence, use nothing between the slashes.

For example, the following (which is displayed here more as you'd type it than see it):

ܒܝܬ/beθ/bēṯ/B

will produce:

<span class="charExample"><span class="ex" lang="aii-Syrc" dir="rtl">ܒܝܬ</span> <span class="ipa">beθ</span> <span class="trans">bēṯ</span> <span class="meaning">B</span></span>

To get just the syriac and the meaning you would use:

ܒܝܬ///B

Note that you may need to change the lang attribute value, either for a an appropriate language, or to one of the script variants Syrn, Syre, or Syrj.

Character markup. This may be useful to speed up the creation of markup for a specific character or set of characters. Select one or more characters in the text area, then click this button. It will return something like the following for each of the characters:

<span class="codepoint"><span lang="aii-Syrc" dir="rtl">&#x071E;</span> [<span class="uname">U+071E SYRIAC LETTER YUDH HE</span>]</span>

When you add it to your document, it will look like this. (Again, you may want to alter the lang attribute.)

ܞ [U+071E SYRIAC LETTER YUDH HE] 

Secondary text area

This area receives the output of various tools. Note that the text is editable.

The icons to the right ( ) allow you to copy the contents of this area to the clipboard, insert the contents into the main text area, or close this subwindow, respectively. When you insert the contents of this subwindow into the main text area, the text will overwrite any highlighted text, otherwise it will just be inserted at the current cursor position.

Some conversions produce ambiguous output. In this case, you will be offered two alternatives on a yellow background, eg. presents you with the alternatives 'h' or 't'. Simply click on the alternative you want, and the picker will discard the rest.

Character names

As you mouse over characters in the selection areas of the picker, you will see the code point and character name appear here.

Autofocus & base direction

When working on an iPad or similar device, you should set this to Off. This prevents the keyboard popping up after you input every character.

The characters ︎ → ↔︎ ←︎ allow you to set the base direction of the text area to LTR, auto, and RTL, respectively.

Input aids

The vertical grey bar to the left allows you to turn on/off a number of panels that can help create the text you want.

Default. Turns off all input aids and closes all panels.

Show cursive forms. This helps locate a particular shape in cursive script. Once this is turned on you'll see a gap open below the text area. As you mouse over the characters in the selection area, that gap will show what those characters look like using each of the three webfonts that come with the picker, ie. in East, Estrangela, and Western Syriac. If the character is one that joins with a character next to it, you'll see the various joining forms.

Latin characters. Displays a panel of lowercase Latin characters you are likely to need for transcription.

Transcript to IPA. Displays a panel of Latin characters representing the transcriptions used for examples in my documents. As you click on those characters the picker inserts the equivalent IPA sound into the text area. Note that this produces only very approximate phonological transcriptions! It's mainly meant to be a way to interpret the intended sound of the transcription characters.

Controls on the yellow background

Left-hand controls. These controls at the bottom of the page allow you to modify fonts used, the font size, line height, and the height of the text area.

Add codepoint. You can add characters to the text area by typing codepoints and escapes in the Add codepoint field and hitting return. This will accept HTML numeric character references, javascript and other programming escapes, U+ Unicode notation, or just simple codepoint numbers separated by spaces. All codepoint numbers (including those in escapes) must be hexadecimal.

Search for. 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, :ha:).

More controls

Click on more controls to reveal the less commonly used controls described here.

Normalise. All text is added to the main text area 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.

Change table font. Allows you to change the font and size of the characters you click on in the main selection areas.

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.

Table direction. Allows you to flip the direction of the selection area.

Copyright r12a@w3.org. Licence CC-By.