What's new in DirectWrite
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What's new in DirectWrite

Here are some of the new additions to DirectWrite for Windows 8.1.

What's new in Windows 8.1

Rendering color fonts

Starting in Windows Windows 8.1, DirectWrite provides support for color fonts. Direct2D, which uses DirectWrite for text rendering, has added the enum value D2D1_DRAW_TEXT_OPTIONS_ENABLE_COLOR_FONT to enable this feature when drawing text. For more information, see the following topics:

What's new in Windows 8

A new factory interface, IDWriteFactory1, for creating additional interfaces that are available.

Additional font properties, such as: super/subscript, caret slope, PANOSE, and Unicode ranges.

Spacing improvements, such as: control character spacing, legacy kerning pairs, and justification. See the Justification, Kerning, and Spacing topic for more info.

Improved render targets and parameters.

Text complexity analysis improvements.

New script properties, new script support (Unicode 6), font fallback additions, paired parentheses, and bidi augmentation.

Font cache performance enhancements. Starting with Windows 8 the font cache is global and starts when your computer boots.

New rendering modes.

Starting with Windows 8, DirectWrite supports a number of features that help you make apps for the world market.

Here are several areas that help you implement rich text apps that can be tailored to customers across the globe.

Chinese, Japanese, and Korean extensions C & D

Every few years, the Unicode Consortium releases a standardized list of additions to Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Unified Ideograph block. With the Unicode 6.0 revision, they have released extension blocks C and D. These blocks of ideographs can be found on the Unicode website Extension C and Extension D.

Starting with Windows 8, DirectWrite supports the Unicode codepoints for these new blocks of standardized CJK Ideographs, so you can use them in DirectWrite apps.

Indian rupee symbol

In March of 2005, the Indian government announced a competition to choose a symbol for the Indian rupee currency. After much competition, on the 15th of July, 2010, the Indian government chose the design created by D. Udaya Kumar, and DirectWrite includes support for the Unicode codepoint tied to the symbol. So, DirectWrite apps now support this currency symbol.


DirectWrite now supports the use of emoji in apps. Previous versions of DirectWrite, presented with a missing glyph box if you tried to render an emoji ideograph. Starting with Windows 8, DirectWrite supports the Unicode codeblock associated with emoji, so if your app uses the Unicode standard codepoints for emoji it displays the appropriate glyphs.

Myanmar, Tiffinagh, and Old Hangul kanguages

Starting in Windows 8, DirectWrite supports the block of Unicode codepoints that correspond to the glyphs in the Myanmar, Tiffinagh, and Old Hangul languages, so you can create apps that include text from these three languages. In addition to supporting these characters, DirectWrite supports the unique way that Old Hangul handles line breaking.

New scripts

Starting in Windows 8, the GetScriptProperties method returns info for a number of new scripts. Here is the list of scripts that DirectWrite supports in Windows 8 and after.

  • Avestan
  • Bamum
  • Batak
  • Brahmi
  • Egyptian hieroglyphics
  • Imperial Aramaic
  • Inscriptional Pahlavi
  • Inscriptional Parthian
  • Javanese
  • Kaithi
  • Lisu (Fraser)
  • Mandaic
  • Meetei Mayek
  • Old South Arabian
  • Old Turkish (Orkhon)
  • Samaritan
  • Tai Tham (Lanna)
  • Tai Viet



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