Siliconchips Services Ltd.

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Fonts are “the clothes that words wear,” said early 20th-century editor Beatrice Warde.

And just like our clothing, the font you choose says much about your personality.

Many writers use the default options. For a long time this was Times New Roman, later switching to Calibri and Cambria. Some authors prefer to write in Courier New for its ‘typewritery’ feel. But what about typesetters and E-Book creators?

When designing printed material, there are a myriad of typefaces out there to play with. Each one gives your book, leaflet or magazine a different feel.

The problem comes when the typeface you’ve selected is incomplete. Meaning it doesn’t have a full and comprehensive character set.

Let’s say you’ve chosen a font called Spectral. Unbeknownst to you, it doesn’t have an apostrophe or a diacritical like ą or ø. For printed materials, this isn’t a problem as the designer or typesetter can manually set a substitute typeface for that particular character.

But what happens when that same material gets digitised into an E-Book or for the web? The webpage, or eReader has nothing to work with, so it goes to a default and produces a character that’s not part of the font package. Sometimes it just renders a square.

If you’re lucky, this default will be similar enough to pass, but if you’re not – say your text is in a serifed font like Suranna and your device’s default is Arial – you’ll get a mismatched, mis-sized character in the middle of your text. Disaster!

3 ways to fix a missing character in your chosen typeface.

  1. We know it’s obvious, but try and ensure that you’re using a font package that has all the characters you need. This will save you hassle.
  2. Substitute the font out for as near identical one as you can find that does have all the needed characters; fonts like Times New Roman, Georgia, Calibri and Arial have a pretty comprehensive list.
  3. Your typesetter can add a simple extra command to the CSS.

Instead of:

font-family: “Suranna”;

What our clients love about us

"I have been working with Siliconchips for six years now as the editor of a scholarly journal that publishes 140 articles per yer. Our articles demand careful attention to the detail of graphs, tables, typefaces, and symbols. I am very satisfied with the high level of quality that Siliconchips brings to the typographical challenges posed by our articles. Their copy-editing and typesetting services are first-rate. The team is fast, diligent and resilient. All queries are answered within 24h, and accurately incorporated into the final proofs. The team is patient, courteous and precise with even the most demanding tasks. It is a real pleasure to be able to work with such professionals."

PROF. DO. JOHN ROORYCK Editor-in-Chief, Glossa: a journal of general linguistics

"We have been working with Shahid Chowdhary for a number of years and the service has been exemplary. Over that time we have had numerous books typeset, with content ranging from simple to complex and that includes recreating engineering books from old files are a data loss. We also put all our eBook conversions to Shahid. In all they do, under the emanating from Shahid's leadership, Siliconchips is totally professional, timely and observant – all the qualities a publisher needs! Whatever your size and requirement, don't hesitate to make that call or send that e-mail to Siliconchips."

KEITH WHITTLE MD Whittles Publishing

"I am delighted to have Shahid as a friend and mentor. He is a superb professional in the digital publishing space. He helped me transform my two ebooks for digital selling. Highly recommend for any such projects. You will find him available and always humble to help you."


"Oneworld Publications have used Siliconchips as one of our main typesetters (both for print and ebooks) for a number of years, and we have always found their service to be excellent, professional, accurate and fast."


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