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Indic in Windows Presentation Foundation

One of the main impediment for non usage of Unicode for Indian language is the lack of support for Indic opentype fonts in almost all graphics and DTP packages. The usage Indian languages in computers started from DTP (desktop publishing). Even now, almost 85% Indic usage on computers is in the area of DTP and related fields like graphics, presentations, web-sites, etc. Most of them still use old non-Unicode hacked font based technologies. Take any graphics and page making software in the market like Adobe PageMaker, InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, CorelDraw, Quark, etc. – all of these do not render Indic opentype fonts. And this is the main reason why Indic Unicode is not popular in India.

When Microsoft acquired the company making Acryllic graphic suite, I was happy that at last Indic Unicode will be available in graphic and DTP packages. Microsoft renamed the Acryullic graphic suite and called them as Expression. But my happiness was short-lived. When I downloaded and installed Expression, I found that it still does not render Indic Unicode opentype fonts. I have attached the screenshot below-

Actually, intitially Expression was using Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) that comes with Dotnet Framework version 3.0 which was not rendering Indic opentype fonts. I was discussing the issue of non-rendering of Indic opentype fonts in Expression with Deepak Gulati. He mentioned to me that the Dotnet Framework version 3.5 is actually rendering Indic opentype fonts ande hence Expression which uses that also should be rendering Indic opentype fonts. He sent me the following screenshots from Visual Studio 2008.

Hence the conclusion is that as of now WPF that comes with Dotnet Framework 3.5 is actually