Hi SignWriting List,

The SignMaker 2017 update is available on

We reached an important milestone in 2017 with the SignWriting in 
Unicode (SWU) specification.Β  We are building upon the 2012 standard of 
Formal SignWriting in ASCII (FSW).Β  FSW is a small and robust data 
format, but it is data that will always look like data.Β  To visualize 
the FSW string, the data must be converted into either a PNG (raster) or 
SVG (vector) images.Β  Here is "SignWriting" written in SignWriting using 


The new SWU characters are equivalent to the FSW characters, with an 
easy bidirectional conversion. The SWU characters can be used in a wide 
variety of applications and operating systems.

Here is "SignWriting" written in SWU.
𝠀ρ€€’ρ€€šρ‹Ÿ…ρ‹ ‰ρ…‘ρ‚‡‹ρ‰¨¬π ƒπ€π₯ρ€€šπ£°π£‡ρ€€’π€ˆπ’Ύρ‹Ÿ…𝀍𝣒ρ‹ ‰π£·π£ͺρ‰¨¬π£Ήπ€¬ρ‚‡‹π£Ίπ€ρ…‘π€ƒπ€ 

If you have the Sutton SignWriting One-D font installed, you should see 
the following string.

Once I have created the Sutton SignWriting Two-D font, the SWU 
characters will look like the following sign.

SWU has two possible visualizations: a one-dimensional string or a 
two-dimensional cluster.Β  Both are useful and while the one-dimensional 
string still looks like data, it looks like SignWriting while FSW does 
not.Β  Until the Two-D font is ready, we will still need to use SVG with 
the SWU strings.

To help cement the SWU specification, I have updated the SignMaker 
project and Sutton SignWriting project.

The Sutton SignWriting project is a toolkit for developers with 
documentation and tools.

SignMaker is built using the Sutton SignWriting project (fonts, SVG, and 
JavaScript).Β  In SignMaker 2017, the SWU characters can be edited or 
copied.Β  For example, you can paste an SWU string 
(𝠀ρ€€’ρ€€šρ‹Ÿ…ρ‹ ‰ρ…‘ρ‚‡‹ρ‰¨¬π ƒπ€π₯ρ€€šπ£°π£‡ρ€€’π€ˆπ’Ύρ‹Ÿ…𝀍𝣒ρ‹ ‰π£·π£ͺρ‰¨¬π£Ήπ€¬ρ‚‡‹π£Ίπ€ρ…‘π€ƒπ€ ) into 
the SWU input field on the dictionary tab.Β  The sign will be loaded into 

You can view all of the SignPuddle Online dictionaries in SignMaker 2017.

You can create and edit your own set of signs.

The SignMaker source is available on GitHub.

For the SignWriting Symposium 2017, I am preparing a video with slides 
and software demonstrations to help explain the 2017 update and the 2018 
road map.

While the SignWriting in Unicode (SWU) characters are experimental and 
not part of the Unicode standard, these characters have the full support 
of Valerie Sutton and myself.Β  We believe this specification will be an 
enduring standard that our international community can use and share.Β  
As our tools improve, the technical details can be hidden from the 
writer.Β  It is only a matter of time and 2018 is going to be an amazing 




Valerie Sutton
SignWriting List moderator
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