Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New font in Royal Gazette announcements

New font [Source]
Old font [Source]
Starting on last Monday, the PDFs from the Royal Gazette have changed their look a bit, as the font used in the documents has changed to a much more rounded one. This new font is Thai Sarabun PSK, which was created by the National Software Industry Promotion Agency as being the new standard font. It is also supposed to most close with the recommended font outline as defined by the Royal Institute, but also being royalty free open source and thus could be used without any copyright concerns. The previously used font Angsana UPC, one of the standard fonts from Microsoft Windows. The introduction of these fonts was decided by cabinet in September 2010.

The font can be downloaded from SIPA - however use that link with care, as apparently a spammer was already able to insert his malicious links at the top of the article. I cannot confirm if the install wasn't replaced with malware spreading one.

The biggest advantage of this new font is however that the PDFs now contain real Unicode text. With the previous font, it was almost Unicode, but some of the vowels and tone marks were using private Unicode characters, probably to make these characters be positioned correctly on the higher consonants. But then when copying the text to clipboard, or trying to let Google translate such a PDF completely, fails as then many words loose their vowels and the translation turns into glibbersh. But that was already an improvement to the very first full digitally PDFs found in the Royal Gazette website, as those were done with a Mac and had a 8bit codepage instead - making it almost impossible to get the Thai text into someting readable. For a little comparison see the following table:

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