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Anyone wants Unicode in Canvas?

As this topic clarified it, Canvas does not support Unicode text even today. There must be a really deep problem in implementation. Yet, we need Unicode support, don't we?

Leave a comment below if you are also interested in Unicode support. Use this thread as a petition!


Canvas is the primary design tool used daily in running my design business. More and more I'm having to resort to a competing product to support projects requiring Unicode text to satisfy my client's needs

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Canvas without Unicode support is useless for Europian, non-English languages ... practically only Great Britan is supported ... 

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Support for Unicode is a deep issue for Canvas X that can be understood through the history of the software. Canvas started out as a dual-purpose graphics application from Deneba Systems for the Macintosh in 1987. Canvas offered the ability to perform vector illustration and bitmap image editing—photo editing was a long way off at this point in the history of desktop publishing—in a single interface. Back then, Canvas was not unique or even a trend-setter in this arena, as SuperPaint, which was released in 1986, was also  dual-purpose graphics software. Where Canvas came to set itself apart from the competition was the ability to perform vector illustration or bitmap editing on the same level in either Canvas 2 or Canvas 3. SuperPaint, and Canvas 1.0 had a dedicated illustration layer for vector-based objects and a second dedicated layer for bitmap images and painting.

During this time, the Macintosh used Apple’s Mac Roman character set. Like most computers at that time, the first 127 characters was the  ASCII character set standardized by ANSI, but characters 128 through 255 were not standardized, so each platform implemented their own extended-ASCII character set.

Expanding Canvas to be a cross-platform application started with Canvas 3.5 (1992). Deneba completely re-wrote the code base for the following release, Canvas 5 (1996), and stated that the difference was so significant that they skipped version 4. At the point of the introduction Canvas 3.5 Apple’s Macintosh still used the Mac Roman character set and Windows 9x used the Code Page 1252. The IBM PC platform used a number of character code pages to define the upper half of the character set based on locale; CP 1252 was the extended ASCII set for the US.

While the enterprise-targeted Windows NT supported Unicode early on in its development, the consumer-grade Windows 9x family (Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me) continued the use of CP 1252. In 2001, Windows 9x was folded into Windows NT; this all-purpose Windows was Windows XP. The release of Windows XP meant Unicode was the standard character for anyone from the casual home user up to the IT staff managing large-scale enterprise systems. Similarly, Apple began its transition to Mac OS X with the 10.0 release in 2001. With its Unix underpinnings, Mac OS X (macOS today) had de facto Unicode support.

While Unicode became a universal character set for both Mac OS X and Windows XP, Canvas was already five years deep into its existing code base. Add to that the need to Carbonize the Mac version of Canvas, as Mac OS X was a very different beast from the Classic Mac OS that it replaced; in most cases software for Windows 9x ran without issue in Windows XP. After Macs moved from the PowerPC platform to Intel, ACDSee dropped support for Mac OS X, while the Windows version continued to be developed.

Fast forward to today and Canvas X has a code base tracing back 23 years. For macOS, the very vocal Mac customer base spent 8 years—from the the first Windows-only version Canvas 11 (2007)—lamenting the absence of a Mac version of Canvas. In 2015, the first new version of Canvas for macOS (Canvas Draw) in 10 years was released. Initially, Canvas Draw also lacked Unicode support, but after much complaint on the Canvas Draw forum, the Canvas Draw 3 text engine was upgraded to be Unicode-based.

Therefore, adding Unicode to Canvas X would likely require resetting the code base, as was done for the macOS version.

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> Therefore, adding Unicode to Canvas X would likely require resetting the code base, as was done for the macOS version.

Thanks, Michael. Then, I'd like to say to them, "Do it!!!"

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