Dingbat

Dingbat

[ding-bat]

A dingbat is an ornament or spacer used in typesetting, sometimes more formally known as a "printer's ornament". The term supposedly originated as onomatopoeia in old style metal-type print shops, where extra space around text or illustrations would be filled by dinging an ornament into the space then bating tight to be ready for inking .

The term continued to be used in the computer industry to describe fonts that had symbols and shapes in the positions designated for alphabetical or numeric characters.

An example (something like ITC Zapf dingbats series 100):

 
 

Some web browsers may not render the above correctly, showing instead boxes or question marks.

The advent of Unicode and the universal character set it provides allowed commonly-used dingbats to be given their own character codes, from 2700 to 27BF. Although fonts claiming Unicode coverage will contain glyphs for dingbats in addition to alphabetic characters, fonts that have dingbats in place of alphabetic characters continue to be popular, primarily for ease of input.

Unicode dingbats

Unicode Dingbat Range (2700–27BF)
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
2700

2710

2720

2730

2740

2750

2760

2770

2780

2790

27A0

27B0

Typefaces

For more examples of dingbat typefaces, see Wingdings and Webdings. Another famous dingbat typeface, Zapf Dingbats, was designed by the typographer Hermann Zapf.

See also

External links

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