bingley wrote:If it comes to that, is there any way of knowing whether the software on any particular computer is unicode-enabled or not without actually downloading something and seeing what happens?
Quite understandably there is much confusion about the meaning of 'unicode-enabled'. It helps to think of the term 'character' as meaning a numeric value. For the appearance
of that value, use the word 'glyph'.
I suspect that for most of us it means something like 'will I be able to see the proper glyphs?'. There is also the secondary question 'if I enter Unicode characters into an application will they be properly handled by the application?'.
The first question is largely determined by the fonts you have on your system. A 'unicode font' is one that 'knows' what glyph to display for every character in the unicode character set. With such a font you will not see the 'box character'. When I look at unicode greek on Perseus I don't see any boxes. This is because I have told my web browser to use a unicode font. Both 'arial unicode ms' and 'palatino linotype' are unicode fonts.
BTW: the 'box character' is a sure sign that the font you're using is not able to relate a certain character to its glyph.
The second question is harder because it depends more on the application. Programs like Keyman, Unipad, etc. allow you to generate unicode characters. But some applications mangle these data.
If this is at all unclear, please fire back and I will try to explain further.