Adding Ligatures in place of Kerning.

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PJMiller
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Adding Ligatures in place of Kerning.

Postby PJMiller » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:53 pm

Many programs don't support Kerning.

Most word processors do but not all of them, when it comes to other programs whose primary purpose is not to accurately render text then the chances of it using the kerning information embedded in the font goes down considerably. Programs like ConnectedText, MyInfo and Ultra Recall do not kern.

Even some programs which really ought to kern don't, Inkscape for example.

For some of these programs it might be possible to put ligatures into the font to correctly render kerned characters, like T e being replaced by composite 'Te' ligature for example.

The only problem is that the sort of program which doesn't kern is also likely not to support ligatures either.

Just a thought.

MikeW
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Re: Adding Ligatures in place of Kerning.

Postby MikeW » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:12 pm

I like thought. I express it all the time ;-)

I do not believe it is our job in general to make up for any application's lack of abilities. I do make exceptions for certain OT features. For instance, InDesign cannot turn on hlig without scripting. So I do the same lookups for hlig in a stylistic set. There are similar other work-arounds I also do, though I try to keep them at a minimum.

Kerning would be one area I would not do so. If one designs a font with careful attention to side bearings there can be a minimum amount of kerning required for at least the lc/lc matching. In your example of the /T and, well, any x-height tall lc, I could care less if certain applications can kern them. It's not my target audience.

Mike

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Re: Adding Ligatures in place of Kerning.

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:27 pm

I add some standard ligatures for ky, tt, tty, tr, ttr, fr, ffr, etc., but not for uppercase-lowercase, Qu and Th are discretionary ligatures.
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PJMiller
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Re: Adding Ligatures in place of Kerning.

Postby PJMiller » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:01 pm

MikeW wrote:I like thought. I express it all the time ;-)

I do not believe it is our job in general to make up for any application's lack of abilities.


Isn't the point to try to make a font which works as well as possible for the maximum number of people ? ... and if that means using Contextual ligatures inappropriately so that they work with Microsoft Word then so be it.

MikeW
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Re: Adding Ligatures in place of Kerning.

Postby MikeW » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:26 am

PJMiller wrote:
MikeW wrote:I like thought. I express it all the time ;-) I do not believe it is our job in general to make up for any application's lack of abilities.

Isn't the point to try to make a font which works as well as possible for the maximum number of people ? ... and if that means using Contextual ligatures inappropriately so that they work with Microsoft Word then so be it.

I did write, in general...and did mention a type of work-around I do, yes?

I may occasionally even mis-use things like init, medi and fina for western connected scripts, even if it can be annoying to users in an application such as Affinity Draw where they follow the tag registry change explicitly (i.e., they are on by default).

What I wrote I wouldn't do is fake kerning by the use of ligatures. And I certainly wouldn't stick non-standard (expected) ligatures into the lig feature just so some off-beat application can appear to utilize kerning. Because what then happens when the fonts are used in proper applications? All these lig subs happen that are unexpected when the lig feature is activated.

I could care less if an application doesn't support the very most basic of font technology: kerning. And like you wrote, if they don't support kerning then likely they don't support ligs anyway. So that makes the examples kinda moot, doesn't it?

There are applications that can make use of TT fonts with kerning tables. But not TT flavor of OTFs with OT kerning nor even if both kerning schemes are included in the same font. If this is more than just theoretical in applications such as those you listed, and if you haven't tried yet, export a pure TTF with kerning tables.

Mike

PJMiller
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Re: Adding Ligatures in place of Kerning.

Postby PJMiller » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:32 am

I'm sorry, my comments were not meant as a criticism.

Yes I experimented with these ligatures and the applications I mentioned above didn't do ligatures either. They didn't even kern with a legacy kern table.

Oh well ...

It was worth a try.


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