REQUEST: RTL in Preview

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Hermes14
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REQUEST: RTL in Preview

Post by Hermes14 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:01 pm

Greetings!

This is my first post to the forums. Have just purchased FC Professional and am enjoying it. FEATURE REQUEST:

The Preview Tool (F8) has bidi support for entering utf-8 in the editing field: Typing an Arabic-script string in the editing field gives a bidi-correct result in the view field (with no character shaping).

But in order to test GSUB/GPOS, what's urgently needed is global RTL (right-to-left) support. For example, if I type a string of glyphs, e.g.,

/Baa.initial/Siin.medial/Miim.final

the result appears in LTR order. Of course, it needs to appear in RTL order. Then I can apply selected OpenType features on this string and test things.

Note that both VOLT and OTMaster have a global RTL mode in their viewing tools. Note that RTL is much easier to implement than bidi: mostly a matter of just inputing things in the opposite direction to LTR.

(It is ironic that right-clicking within the text-entry/edit field gives the option "Right to left Reading order" - a la MS Notepad - but there is no such option in the view field. There is also an RTL checkbox in the OT Designer for GSUB/GPOS, as is to be expected.)

In order for Preview to be useful in my work, a global RTL option is critical; as is, there is no way I can preview Arabic-script OT features in FontCreator. I hope that you will place this on the priority list!

With Respect
Hermes14

Erwin Denissen
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Re: REQUEST: RTL in Preview

Post by Erwin Denissen » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:10 pm

To activate RTL do start the text with a Arabic character with a valid Unicode code point.
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Hermes14
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Re: REQUEST: RTL in Preview

Post by Hermes14 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:31 pm

Thank you very much for the prompt reply. That is a workaround and it works. See the example I gave in the original email:

/Baa.initial/Siin.medial/Miim.final

So I would have to type, e.g.

ب /Baa.initial/Siin.medial/Miim.final

The workaround works, but is a bit inelegant and constitutes at least a bug (since that rtl codepoint is superfluous). There still needs to be a checkbox or right-click option to dictate the reading order in the viewing field. I hope you will consider adding such an option in your next version.

In any case, at least I can test Preview Tool now. Thank you again, Erwin!

With respect
Hermes14

Erwin Denissen
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Re: REQUEST: RTL in Preview

Post by Erwin Denissen » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:01 am

We don't consider this a bug but a feature, as you can mix both LTR and RTL characters in the preview toolbar.
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Hermes14
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Re: REQUEST: RTL in Preview

Post by Hermes14 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:36 am

Erwin Denissen wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:01 am
We don't consider this a bug but a feature, as you can mix both LTR and RTL characters in the preview toolbar.
Fair enough. But often during testing one doesn't need Unicode code points but only glyph names - /Baa.initial etc. Especially for a font with lots of alternates (calt, salt, ss<xx>, <cvxx>, etc.), entering the /<glyphname>'s is more direct and relevant to testing a particular lookup. In the latter case entering a utf-8 code point is doubly superfluous.

Further: Since entering an RTL code point is a necessary condition for correct RTL preview, but entering an LTR code point is not a necessary condition for the latter, that gives LTR a distinct advantage over RTL in FC. Ideally, both the preview field as well as the editing should be global-direction-agnostic. Again, compare with VOLT Preview.

In any case, a simple checkbox for global RTL output in the preview field (including starting a string from the right side of the field) would be a very useful feature to have, so consider it a feature request -)

(And yes, FC is better/has more potential than VOLT in other ways, such the ability to input utf-8 directly.)

With respect and thanks.

Erwin Denissen
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Re: REQUEST: RTL in Preview

Post by Erwin Denissen » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:02 pm

I understand this, but right now I don't see an easy way to implement it.

There are many more improvements related to complex scripts waiting, so I'm sure we will further improve the way we process and display Arabic.
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Hermes14
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Re: REQUEST: RTL in Preview

Post by Hermes14 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:46 pm

Thank you, Erwin. Feel free to let me know if and when I can be of help in anything related to Arabic-script, RTL, etc.

Respect and thanks

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