1. The GIMP and Inkscape

1.1. The GIMP

To enter text directly into The GIMP's text entry window:


where the CTRL and SHIFT keys are held down while the hex digits XXXXXX are being typed. Type as many digits as necessary. They will be printed as digits temporarily, and then will compose themselves into the character when the CTRL-SHIFT are released.

The GIMP seems to pick up installed TrueType fonts which use the Supplemental Multilingual Plane (e.g., for the Cypriot Syllabary).

Alternatively, cutting and pasting from another application, such as vi, works.

Versions change, and bugs abound, so "your mileage may vary," but I've noticed that in The GIMP 2.2.8 on SuSE Linux 10.0 typing U+025B (epsilon) in a font that doesn't seem to support it simply causes The GIMP to switch to a different font where it is supported. The only thing that puzzles me is that this happens for fonts which, I'm pretty sure, do have an epsilon.

1.2. Inkscape

The same technique works for Inkscape (tested at least as of 0.43):


Leading 0 hex digits apparently are not allowed (they show up as 0 characters).

In contrast to the behavior of The GIMP, Inkscape (0.43, on SuSE 10.0) seems to get U+025B (epsilon) in various fonts which I'm guessing have it (e.g., Bitstream Vera Sans, Adobe Helvetica), but only in "Regular"; in (say) "Bold" the character switches inexplicably to phi, while in Oblique to gamma. Curious. Some fonts as installed do seem to work through at least Greek and the IPA, however, including IPAGothic/IPAMincho (perhaps not a surprise).

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