Icon Fun with Segoe MDL2

For my recently completed test program, I wanted arrows to indicate motion along X/Y/Z axis. I also wanted a nice icon to indicate the button for homing operations, plus a few other practical iconography. Thankfully they are easily available to UWP applications via Segoe MDL2.

One of the deepest memories from my early exposure to a graphical desktop environment is the novelty of vector fonts. And more specifically, fonts that are filled with fun decorative elements like dingbat. I remember a time when such vector fonts were intellectual property that need to be purchased like software, so without a business need, I couldn’t justify buying my own novelty font.

The first one I had impression of being freely available and didn’t quickly disappear was Webdings, a font that Microsoft started bundling with Windows sometime around the Windows 98 timeframe. I no longer remember if earlier versions of Windows come bundled with their own novelty fonts, but I have fond memories of spending far too much time scrolling through my Webdings options.

Times have moved on, and so have typefaces and iconography. For their UWP application platform, Microsoft provided an accompanying resource for Fluent Design icons called Segoe MDL2. And again, I had a lot of fun scrolling through that page to see my options.

I was initially surprised to see many battery icons, but in hindsight it made sense as something important for creating UI on portable computing devices. There were several variants for battery styline. Including vertical and horizontal orientations and charging, not charging, or battery saver. And each style had ten levels to indicate battery level 10% apart. Some of the code point layouts were a little odd. For example, Battery0 (0xE850) through Battery9 (0xE859) were adjacent to each other, but a full Battery10 was some distance away at 0xE83F. I don’t know why, but it adds an unnecessary step to convert a battery percentage value to a corresponding icon in Segoe MDL2.

The one that made me laugh out loud? 0xEBE8, a bug.

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