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This page covers the use of numbers (also known as figures) in an eBook.


[edit] Overview

The look of numbers are normally associated with the font selection. Most western languages use the straight ASCII codes to present numbers even when using a different alphabet, however there are additional sets of numbers available in Unicode for other uses. Many eastern languages have their own symbols (glyphs) for numbers. These will normally be Unicoded before their alphabet. Nearly all numbers for all languages use the 0 to 9 place based numbering system that was invented in India in the second or third century and introduced to the west much later by the Arabs. In this case the messenger received the credit as our numbers are sometimes called Arabic numbers.

Font selection can be critical when the glyphs can be confused with similar glyphs used for letters which is the case for many fonts used in western alphabets. Model numbers, for example, can use a mix of numbers and letters and the 1 and 0 look very much like the I and O. In lower case the 1 can also be confused with the lower case l (L). Early typewriters didn't even include a 1 on the keyboard expecting the user to use the lower case l. Even when handwriting there can be confusion which some users avoid by placing a dot in the center of a zero or adding a slash to distinguish it from an upper case O. The French use a flourish on leading edge of their one which can make it look somewhat like a 7 so they often place a slash on the 7.

[edit] Roman numerals

While it is always possible to just place the appropriate letters together to make a Roman number there is also support in Unicode for roman numerals that are much more compact as single characters.

Unicode HTML Character Unicode HTML Character
U+2160 Ⅰ U+2170 ⅰ
U+2161 Ⅱ U+2171 ⅱ
U+2162 Ⅲ U+2172 ⅲ
U+2163 Ⅳ U+2173 ⅳ
U+2164 Ⅴ U+2174 ⅴ
U+2165 Ⅵ U+2175 ⅵ
U+2166 Ⅶ U+2176 ⅶ
U+2167 Ⅷ U+2177 ⅷ
U+2168 Ⅸ U+2178 ⅸ
U+2169 Ⅹ U+2179 ⅹ
U+216A Ⅺ U+217A ⅺ
U+216B Ⅻ U+217B ⅻ
U+216C Ⅼ U+217C ⅼ
U+216D Ⅽ U+217D ⅽ
U+216E Ⅾ U+217E ⅾ
U+216F Ⅿ U+217F ⅿ

[edit] Specialized numbers

  • Numbers with included decimal point begins at U+2488 (#9352) with 1. (⒈) and run to 20. The 0. is located at U+1F100 (🄀)
  • Numbers with included comma begins at U+1F101 (#12733) with 0, (🄁) and end with 9,
  • Full width numbers begin with 0, U+FF10 and end with 9, U+FF19. They are followed by some symbols and full width Latin alphabet. (forced courier)
  • Superscripts: 0, U+2070 (#8304); 1, U+00B9 (#185); 2, U+00B2 (#178); 3, U+00B3 (#179); 4-9 U+2074 - U+2079 (#8308 - #8313)
  • Subscripts: 0 - 9, U+2080 - U+2089 (#8320 - #8329)

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