I've not discovered much on the web about chromatic proofreading possibly because chromatic fonts are relatively new and not as well supported in software as might be expected. For instance macOS contained very limited polychromatic font support until the 10.13 "High Sierra" release last month. Windows Notepad still lacks polychromatic font support (as of the Windows 10 "Fall Creators Update" released today) although Window 10 in general has excellent polychromatic support. Chrome on Android 7.1 appears to be still missing polychromatic support and I've not had the opportunity to try Android 8.0.
The basic principles of chromatic proofreading are obvious. In the case of Egyptian Hieroglyphs, some signs are predominantly used as phonograms, others as ideograms. Some signs could be easily confused with others. Some hieroglyph forms exist but are rarely encountered in historical documents. And so forth. Use of colour to highlight certain of these characteristics can aid identification of patterns and possible transcription errors. I've found use of a chromatic font a more practical tool than using markup for chromatic highlighting for proofreading purposes.
I've used up to 18 colours in experiments with polychromatic proofreading of hieroglyphic. I've also experimented with context-specific colours in fonts and alternate colour palettes. The key issue is usability and I've found some techniques that work well in specialist software can be over-complex when used in plain text editor software or work processors.
The simplest system I've found useful uses a font with four colours as follows:
- Hieroglyphs predominantly encountered as phonograms remain black, as normal text.
- Numeric hieroglyphs are displayed as red.
- Ideograms commonly used as generic determinatives are displayed as green.
- Other ideograms/determinatives are displayed as blue.
Even the novice will be aware that some hieroglyphs fulfil more than one role so its important that knowledge is applied when interpreting this simplified scheme.
An example of the technique applied to a Unicode-encoded text is available at Tale of the Eloquent Peasant encoded in UMdC. This example uses a webfont version of my experimental Aaron UMdC Phonetic Alpha font. An installable version of the font is available for download at Hieroglyphs Everywhere Fonts Project for anyone who'd like to try out the method. I've not got around to document how to use polychromatic fonts yet so less technical readers may want to wait until some tutorial information is available.