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Help with Open Type Designer

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:42 am
by Leon Gauthier
I am having a difficult time understanding the Open Type Designer and how it functions. I am creating a modified combining breve and a modified combining macron to illustrate a treatise on poetry. Basically, I am just raising the glyphs up to the Typo Ascender. The Designer shows the glyphs being close to where they belong for the i but the previewer shows them badly displaced to the left and that is how they appear in LibraOffice as well.
Design I 01.png
Design I 01.png (9.31 KiB) Viewed 3799 times
Marked Lines.png
Marked Lines.png (16.25 KiB) Viewed 3799 times
For the macron, the left bearing is -882, the right bearing is 148 and I calculate a width of 734 and put the centerline of the macron @ -515. And on that line I set anchor #1 at -515, 1050 (the original macron has the anchor at -525, 1050).

This is probably where I am going wrong but it seems to me that the whole point of the anchors is to make it possible to calculate new coordinates for the combining glyph such that they fit properly into the plane of the base glyph, a translation if you will. To illustrate, I made screen shots of the glyphs in their edit windows and overlaid the i image onto the macron image, carefully aligning the respective anchors, one upon the other and the result is what I expected, a perfect fit.
Anchors Aligned.png
Anchors Aligned.png (30.71 KiB) Viewed 3799 times
However, the actual results looked more like the two images were aligned by their right bearings instead so I combined the two images again by that criteria and the result looks just as it does in the previewer.
Right Bearings Aligned.png
Right Bearings Aligned.png (228.29 KiB) Viewed 3799 times
As I understand the manual, if I adjusted the coordinates displayed in the Designer, I would either change the position of where every other mark with the same anchor # would land on the that particular base (left coordinate boxes) or change how a particular mark would land on every other base (right coordinate boxes) so adjusting either coordinate pairs seems not to be the solution here.

I know that I am missing something here and I hope someone can straighten me out.

Re: Help with Open Type Designer

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:22 am
by Erwin Denissen
I'm not sure which version of FontCreator you use, but since we've made numerous improvements, and bug fixes, I suggest you send us the font project file to ensure we're not haunting any bugs we already solved.

Re: Help with Open Type Designer

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:19 am
by Erwin Denissen
It works just fine when I enable the mark feature:
activatefeatures.png
activatefeatures.png (11.24 KiB) Viewed 3793 times
Did you forget to enable it?

Re: Help with Open Type Designer

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:15 pm
by Leon Gauthier
Erwin, thanks so much for the rapid and kind response. I apologize for not including the FC version number in my request for help; I was so intent on being as clear as possible that I neglected to inform you that I am using FC version 10.0.0 build 2125 running on Windows 10 Pro release 161004.

No, I did not know that those check boxes actually toggled the features on and off so, yes, I “forgot” to check it. More importantly, these toggles also control what actually gets written to the output font file, right?

Earlier, when I mentioned the “previewer”, it was actually the 'Test current font as TTF/OTF' window that I used for checking my work and not the 'Preview' which you just illustrated. The appearance of the 'Test current font as TTF/OTF' window does not change when the 'mark' feature is checked. Worse yet, these unaligned glyphs persist everywhere outside of this preview window even after re-exporting the font and re-installing it in Windows.
LibreOffice example.png
LibreOffice example.png (1.71 KiB) Viewed 3784 times
Preview 01.png
Preview 01.png (24.83 KiB) Viewed 3784 times
I hope that you are not going to tell me that this feature is not supported in LibreOffice.

Re: Help with Open Type Designer

Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:15 pm
by Alfred
Leon Gauthier wrote:I hope that you are not going to tell me that this feature is not supported in LibreOffice.
Unfortunately, that is precisely why you don't get the desired result. LibreOffice is not "OpenType aware".

Re: Help with Open Type Designer

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:35 am
by Leon Gauthier
Apparently neither is Wordpad or Jutoh . . .So, I've wasted my time here, Great!

Re: Help with Open Type Designer

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:49 am
by Leon Gauthier
Perhaps I could take a different tack here. Instead of relying on open type features to create these accented vowels on the fly I could use the composing abilities of FC via a script to just create the 84 odd characters I need for this project. Hmmm....

Re: Help with Open Type Designer

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:20 am
by PJMiller
Which characters do you need?

There may be codepoints with precomposed accented characters already in Unicode for some or all of them.

Re: Help with Open Type Designer

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:28 am
by Erwin Denissen
Leon Gauthier wrote:No, I did not know that those check boxes actually toggled the features on and off so, yes, I “forgot” to check it. More importantly, these toggles also control what actually gets written to the output font file, right?
It is only related to how things are shown in the preview area, and have no effect on the actual font. All OpenType features will be included on export.
Leon Gauthier wrote:Earlier, when I mentioned the “previewer”, it was actually the 'Test current font as TTF/OTF' window that I used for checking my work and not the 'Preview' which you just illustrated. The appearance of the 'Test current font as TTF/OTF' window does not change when the 'mark' feature is checked. Worse yet, these unaligned glyphs persist everywhere outside of this preview window even after re-exporting the font and re-installing it in Windows.
The Font Test dialog uses default Windows controls, and should have activated the recommended features. We can't control that. The Test WOFF feature will allow you to test your font in your web browser. You can then manually activate OpenType features.

I don't understand why the mark feature isn't working within the Font Test dialog, as Microsoft has information that clearly explains it should work:
https://www.microsoft.com/typography/Op ... /intro.htm

It seems to fail in the WOFF test as well, so this is something we'll need to look into.

Re: Help with Open Type Designer

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:01 am
by Erwin Denissen
If the font contains a precomposed character, for example icircumflex, and you type the combining character sequence i + circumflex, the precomposed character will be displayed. So in that case the mark feature is not processed. It might be best to modify the existing ibreve and imacron to suit your needs. You could also define them and activate them through a substitution lookup. But better first ensure the word processing software supports OpenType features.

Some other issue arises with your custom mark highmacron as it mapped to a character in the private use area. So I suspect the layout engine will not process the Latin character along with this mark in the same sequence. I think the string of characters is broken in parts, so they will never work together.

Here is some more interested food about Characters and Combining Marks.

Re: Help with Open Type Designer

Posted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:08 am
by Bhikkhu Pesala
Leon Gauthier wrote:Apparently neither is Wordpad or Jutoh . . .So, I've wasted my time here, Great!
You could use an OpenType aware application like PagePlus X8.

LibreOffice supports Graphite Font Technology, but that's a whole new learning curve that I have not attempted to climb.

Precomposed glyphs is another solution, but it makes input harder for the users.

Re: Help with Open Type Designer

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:52 am
by Leon Gauthier
PJMiller wrote:Which characters do you need?
There may be codepoints with precomposed accented characters already in Unicode for some or all of them.
Yes I am aware of that, thank you. However, I would have to do an inventory on the existing accented characters in any font I use and I am positive that I would have to add many more to it. As it is, I have to add Sanskrit transliteration characters to the font I use most of the time. BTW, because I am ultimately embedding the fonts in my epubs, I need fonts with an open license and they are either woefully lacking in the character sets or over-abundant. Since the Gentium book basic is limited to Latin (it is fairly small but still has a lot of Vietnamese transliteration characters I'd like to clear out) and it has the Sanskrit transliteration characters, I thought it would be a good one to start with.
In addition, for this work on poetry, I needed to add three Unicode accent glyphs that I had to create on my own and they too need a little position adjusting as well. In total, I need seven accents for each of twelve vowels ... maybe two dozen are already in existence (the long and short accents).
Erwin Denissen wrote:Some other issue arises with your custom mark highmacron as it mapped to a character in the private use area. So I suspect the layout engine will not process the Latin character along with this mark in the same sequence. I think the string of characters is broken in parts, so they will never work together.
What is this, Catch-22? I put all of those non-Unicode glyphs in the private use area because they are not in the Unicode. :lol:
BTW, thanks for the interesting and informative links ... is that Volt GUI as crappy as it looks? I downloaded it but I am not sure that I want to jump down another rabbit hole just now. :roll:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Precomposed glyphs is another solution, but it makes input harder for the users.
It seems that this is the only viable solution because I don't think the eReaders are Open Type capable either. The upside? I expect to be the only "user". Here is an example of some of those private use area glyphs which need no positioning help making their way from ODT to PDF.
Pg 239 sample.png
Pg 239 sample.png (13.7 KiB) Viewed 3753 times

Re: Help with Open Type Designer

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:46 am
by Leon Gauthier
PS FYI, below are examples of glyphs mapped to the PUA passing through Jotoh into an epub as read by ADE:
Jutoh snippit.png
Jutoh snippit.png (10.78 KiB) Viewed 3753 times
ADE snippit.png
ADE snippit.png (6.89 KiB) Viewed 3753 times
So, the hex encoded glyphs (highbreve and highmacron) pass through only because there is no Open Type processing engine? Clearly, these are not perfectly positioned, the accented i (not shown here) is the worse offender, needing the most adjustment.

Re: Help with Open Type Designer

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:42 am
by Leon Gauthier
FYI: the only accented vowel missing from the Unicode is the short (breve) Y and y

Re: Help with Open Type Designer

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:37 am
by PJMiller
Leon Gauthier wrote:BTW, because I am ultimately embedding the fonts in my epubs, I need fonts with an open license and they are either woefully lacking in the character sets or over-abundant. Since the Gentium book basic is limited to Latin (it is fairly small but still has a lot of Vietnamese transliteration characters I'd like to clear out) and it has the Sanskrit transliteration characters, I thought it would be a good one to start with.
I know that .PDF only embeds the characters that are actually used and I think this is true for at least one of the programs which produce .epub format books so the size of the font might not be as big a problem as you think.