Can has squamous text?
July 6, 2009 11:31 AM   Subscribe

If I posted AskMes with any great frequency, this could be construed as a waste of a question, but: That Zalgo thread. What do I need to do to see it properly? I'm on xp/ff3.5 and I'm seeing little boxes with numbers in them.
posted by juv3nal to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You don't have all the unicode characters available on your system currently. Here is a step by step guide to installing East Asian Character sets in XP. Some characters will still be missing, most likely, but it takes five seconds and should help. Just follow the instructions under "Add Language Support."

I am sure someone less dumb will be able to help more but that's what got me up to the point where I could post lop bunnies with ear-boners running over tiny unicode snowmen with their unicycles.
posted by Juliet Banana at 11:46 AM on July 6, 2009

Best answer: You need a font with the "combining diacritics" characters, and probably one with support for OpenType (which I gather allows the diacritics to "stack"). I'm not about to start adding and removing fonts to figure out which one the browser is using (it's working on my Vista/FF3.5 system), but Doulos SIL is free and might do the trick.
posted by The Tensor at 11:50 AM on July 6, 2009 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks. That did the trick, The Tensor.
posted by juv3nal at 12:26 PM on July 6, 2009

Can I hijack this and ask how to do this on a mac? I admit that I'm only using FF3.0.11, but I have the same issue.
posted by vernondalhart at 12:38 PM on July 6, 2009

Same here, what do you do in Safari or FF on OSX?
posted by bluefly at 2:06 PM on July 6, 2009

Also, I've updated to FF3.5, and it's no better. Just for the record.
posted by vernondalhart at 2:49 PM on July 6, 2009

Everyone: Your browser has nothing to do with it. It's purely a question of having a font installed on your system that covers the necessary character range.

Mac people: Installing fonts is easy. You download the font. You unzip it if necessary. You drop it into /Library/Fonts/ and you may have to restart (I forget, it's been a while, and I can't go check because my Mac is permanently vegetative). Fonts that have a whole lot of characters in them are typically billed as "Unicode fonts" (although technically any font for, you know, ASCII characters is a Unicode font). There are some decent free ones out there. Happy Googling.
posted by eritain at 3:39 PM on July 6, 2009

Your browser has nothing to do with it

I think the browser's text rendering engine has to support OpenType; otherwise you get all the multiple diacritics rendered on top of each other instead of spreading out across the page. For example, on my machine I see a properly squamous rendering in FF, but Chrome just shows overlapping diacritics.
posted by The Tensor at 4:08 PM on July 6, 2009

Installing Doulos SIL doesn't help on Mac. Either does setting it as the default browser font. Anyone on a Mac actually have it working?
posted by starman at 5:12 PM on July 6, 2009

Actually forcing Firefox to use Doulos SIL even on sans serif got rid of all the boxes, but it still didn't do the Matrix effect.
posted by starman at 5:19 PM on July 6, 2009

I did what The Tensor suggested and I can see all the gobbledygook now.
posted by deborah at 11:02 AM on July 7, 2009

I'm glad someone asked this question since I was å̫̩̯̩̈́f̬̪̠̜̀̓͋̃̓ͅr͕̭͓̻͕̦͕͖͓̂̈ͩ̈ͫ̍ͮâ̻̫̘͇͑̈́̑ͥ̀̒i͙͚̳̤̮̗̳̤͌̈̑d͍̖̹͛͋̾ͭ̚ ̦͓̩̥̥̟̼ͩ͐̍ͨ̅̉ͣt̟̲̱̭̲̭̤̫́͐̑̅ͧ͂̎o̭͍̯͂̂̽̄̇ͭ ̱̫͇̞ͦͪ͗ͥ̿Ż̭̹̙̤̎̊͐A̺̠͙̯̗̟̤͆̉̋L̲̙̟̍͌̄͛ͨG̜̞͚̻͇̭̋̍̋̿ͬͤ̏͒O̥͖̞͇͗̆͑ͦ̉̐ͧͥͨ.̣̹̙̱̾͐ͦ̈̈́͗ but now I'm worry free!
posted by chairface at 11:50 AM on July 7, 2009

I put Doulos (from the link posted earlier) as the default font in Fx for both serif and sans serif fonts and am still getting boxes. (I'm on OS X)
posted by NoraReed at 4:41 PM on July 7, 2009

NoraReed, go to your MetaFilter preferences, and select Doulos as your main body font...
posted by birdsquared at 10:30 PM on July 8, 2009

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