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 FSW.


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 SignMaker.

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 year.




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