OpenType fonts can handle thousands of characters using the
Unicode system. Unicode indexing covers hundreds of languages, and is the
modern way to integrate the world’s languages in computer systems.
Several font foundries are already offering multilingual
OpenType versions of their fonts. In addition to the common western European
languages, these also cover Polish, Hungarian, Czech, Turkish, and more.
Fonts are even appearing that cover Cyrillic and Greek too, all in the one
Of course, it was possible to print Arabic, Russian, Greek
and Polish before OpenType. What is the big deal, you might well ask? The
answer lies in the use of unified character codes, or Unicode. This means
that documents are saved with their character codes intact. They will
survive moving from one machine to another, and their text will survive
being copied from one application to another, or even e-mailed.
For example, with old font formats it was not possible to
print a document that included both French and Polish accented characters
without changing fonts. With Unicode and OpenType fonts, all the thousands
of characters in Unicode are available to an author, and changing the font
is something you can do throughout document creation.