Extend the weight names

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MikeW
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Extend the weight names

Postby MikeW » Wed Sep 09, 2015 5:47 am

I propose that the weight names be extended to include:

Hairline
Thin
Ultra-light
Extra-light
Light
Book
Normal / regular
Medium
Demi-bold / semi-bold
Bold
Extra-bold / extra
Heavy
Black
Extra-black
Ultra-black / ultra

Mike

Erwin Denissen
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Re: Extend the weight names

Postby Erwin Denissen » Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:04 am

The weights are defined in the OpenType font specification, so this is not something we can change. You can always propose enhancements. Easiest is to join the MPEG(SC29/WG11) Open Font Format group.
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MikeW
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Re: Extend the weight names

Postby MikeW » Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:10 pm

Can you point me to where in the actual specification the weights as used in FC are the only valid weight names? I ask because I can find nothing to support that in the specifications. I do find recommendations but that is really for legacy applications reasons and I can now break legacy applications in FC already.

Many top name foundries, from Bigelow & Holmes, Linotype, Adobe, etc, make use of a larger variety of weight names for a reason. Which is why most all font editors allow access to these names--and weight numbers (which may be a good idea to add this too). For instance, Bigelow & Holmes has fonts using the following weights (Lucida family for instance):

Name (Number)
UltraThin (100)
ExtraThin (150)
Thin (200)
ExtraLite (250)
Lite (300)
Book (350)
Text (375)
Normal (400)
Thick (425)
ExtraThick (450)
Dark (500)
ExtraDark (550)
Bold (600)
ExtraBold (650)
UltraBold (700)
Black (800)
ExtraBlack (900)
UltraBlack (999)

I can go ahead and open the font in FF and change the weight names. FL allows this--heck even TypeTool does (but it would strip out features I believe). Every font editor I have used allows this.

Thank you, Mike

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Re: Extend the weight names

Postby Erwin Denissen » Wed Sep 09, 2015 5:20 pm

I see. Yes you are absolutely right about the fact you can set the internal value for weight to any number between 0 and 65535, but it would make things more complex and might even result in an invalid or malfunctioning font. That is why FontCreator allows for a limited set of weights.

We use the OpenType Specification - OS/2 and Windows Metrics as a source as well as the Font selection model used by Windows Presentation Foundation.

The last one also mentions ExtraBlack / UltraBlack with weight value 950.
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MikeW
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Re: Extend the weight names

Postby MikeW » Wed Sep 09, 2015 5:28 pm

Well, as per the example I gave, and flowing Adam T's recommendation, I wouldn't go above 1000, but they all write to use 100 or 50 as steps for families with a larger numbers of weight classes than MS' table you linked to. Adobe breaks this table as well.

I hope you reconsider. I think MS has its own reasons for those names and numbers and it doesn't have to do with what is valid but rather so Word and Publisher can synthetic bold (for example).

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Re: Extend the weight names

Postby Erwin Denissen » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:08 am

MikeW wrote:Well, as per the example I gave, and flowing Adam T's recommendation, I wouldn't go above 1000, but they all write to use 100 or 50 as steps for families with a larger numbers of weight classes than MS' table you linked to. Adobe breaks this table as well.

As also explained in the PDF mentioned earlier, fonts with a weight of 0 or above 999 are considered invalid by Windows, so indeed always stay in the 1..999 range. Also be aware Windows Presentation Foundation assumes weights between 1..9 to be 100, 200, etc, so better avoid those too. So to be safe use 10..999 and if you really want to be super safe, use FontCreator :wink:

MikeW wrote:I hope you reconsider. I think MS has its own reasons for those names and numbers and it doesn't have to do with what is valid but rather so Word and Publisher can synthetic bold (for example).

We are open for this, especially if other people also like to see this implemented in a future version; so do let us know!
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Extend the weight names

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:16 am

I think it would be useful. Although I am never likely to add that many weights to any of my fonts, it's good to have a predefined list from which to choose to ensure consistency.

I have some fonts from Encore Fonts where the Demi Bold is heavier than Bold.
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MikeW
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Re: Extend the weight names

Postby MikeW » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:23 pm

Yes, a default list is great.

And, like the subfamily dropdown, the ability to override it would be ideal (for me anyway).

Mike

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Re: Extend the weight names

Postby Alfred » Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:25 pm

I can see that this could be useful. Perhaps the default list should keep to steps of 50, so that you would have something like

...
Lite (300)
Book (350)
Normal (400)
ExtraThick (450)
...

with the user being left to add 'Text (375)' and 'Thick (425)' if required.
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MikeW
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Re: Extend the weight names

Postby MikeW » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:15 pm

The numbers are used by some applications and on the Web as a shortcut to specifying the font style specifically.

Personally I would like exposed numbers as well. But I would settle for the weights being editable ;)

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Re: Extend the weight names

Postby Erwin Denissen » Tue Sep 29, 2015 6:22 pm

Custom weights (10..999) will be supported with the next upcoming update.
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MikeW
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Re: Extend the weight names

Postby MikeW » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:21 pm

Most awesome! Thank you, Erwin.


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