textshaping C interface

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textshaping is predominantly intended to be used by other packages implementing graphic devicees and calling it from the C level. As such it exports a set of functions that match the needs of graphic devices. The C API builds upon that of systemfonts and you'll thus need to link to both packages to access it succesfully. This is done with the LinkingTo field in the DESCRIPTION file:


You will further need to make sure that both packages are loaded when you need to use the C API. This is most easily done by importing a function from each package into your namespace.

In your C/C++ code you'll then have #include <textshaping.h> to get access to the functions described below. The functions are available in the textshaping namespace.

The C API expects fonts to be given as FontSettings structs which can be obtained from the systemfonts C API with locate_font_with_features(). This makes it possible to both get access to the font file location along with potential OpenType features registered to the font.

String width

int string_width(
  const char* string, 
  FontSettings font_info, 
  double size, 
  double res, 
  int include_bearing, 
  double* width

This function calculates the width of a string, ignoring any newlines (these are automatically being handled by the graphic engine). It takes a UTF-8 encoded string, along with a FontSettings struct to use for shaping the string before calculating the width. It also take a size in pt and a res in ppi for setting the size. In addition it takes an include_bearing flag to control whether the bearings of the first and last character should be taken into account (this is recommended by the graphic engine). It will write the width in pts to the passed in pointer and return 0 if successful.

String shape

int string_shape(
  const char* string, 
  FontSettings font_info,
  double size, 
  double res, 
  std::vector<Point>& loc,
  std::vector<uint32_t>& id, 
  std::vector<int>& cluster,
  std::vector<unsigned int>& font, 
  std::vector<FontSettings>& fallbacks,
  std::vector<double>& fallback_scaling

This function takes care of all the nitty-gritty of shaping a single line of text. It takes the same font information input as string_width(), that is, a FontSettings struct and size and res. It further accepts a number of vectors where the shaping information will be written. loc will end up containing the location of each glyph in pts starting from a (0, 0) origin. Since the graphic engine only pass single lines to the graphic device at a time then line breaking is not handled and for now all returned y positions are set to 0.0 (this may change in the future depending on the development of the graphic engine). The glyph id in the font file will be written to the id vector You will need to use this to look up the glyph to render instead of relying on the characters in the input string due to the potential substitution and merging of glyphs happening during shaping. The cluster array is currently unused (and will thus not be touched) but may in the future contain identifications of which character in the input string relates to the provided glyphs. The font, fallback, and fallback_scaling vectors will be filled with information about the selected fonts for the shaping. The font vector will map each glyph to a font in the fallback vector. The first element in the fallback vector will be the requested font, and if any additional elements exist it will be due to font fallback occurring. The fallback_scaling vector is holding information about how the shaping of non-scalable fonts has been scaled. It contains one element for each elements in fallback. If the value is negative the font is scalable and no scaling of the metrics have occurred. If it is positive it is the value that has been multiplied to the glyph metrics.

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textshaping documentation built on June 9, 2021, 5:07 p.m.