How to convert 3/4 to proper fractions?

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Bad_Wolf
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How to convert 3/4 to proper fractions?

Post by Bad_Wolf » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:13 pm

Hi everyone,

I just bought FontCreator Professional for creating proper fractions for using with the schoolwork of our daughter.

What I want to create is when typing "3/4" or "1 3/4" the font is automatically converted to a proper fraction where the nominator and denominator are vertically aligned with each other with a "dash" in between.

I have to create the numbers 0 to 9 in a smaller size and store them in glyphs locations, which are not directly used. I like to keep the common glyphs like A --> Z, a --> z, 0 --> 1, operators and punctuation glyphs untouched.

I think what I am looking for is an "OpenType" layout feature, where the typed "3/4" fraction is automatically converted to the proper version where nominator and denominator are above each other.

Can you please point me to the right direction how to accomplish this? Also, any tips and suggestions will be very welcome.

Your advice and support will be appreciated and I thank you in advance.

Have a nice day.

Bad_Wolf

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Re: How to convert 3/4 to proper fractions?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:28 pm

How many fractions do you need to support? Only up to 7/8 or 63/64 or more than that?

An Alternative Fractions (afrc) OpenType feature would be one way, with a lookup table like this. You could create all of the precomposed fractions in the Private Use Area, or leave them unmapped (OpenType features use glyphnames).

Code: Select all

lookup AlternativeFractions {
  sub one one slash one six -> elevensixteenths.afrc;
  sub one one slash three two -> eleventhirtyseconds.afrc;
  sub one one slash six four -> elevensixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub one three slash one six -> thirteensixteenths.afrc;
  sub one three slash three two -> thirteenthirtyseconds.afrc;
  sub one three slash six four -> thirteensixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub one five slash one six -> fifteensixteenths.afrc;
  sub one five slash three two -> fifteenthirtyseconds.afrc;
  sub one five slash six four -> fifteensixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub one seven slash six four -> seventeensixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub one nine slash three two -> nineteenthirtyseconds.afrc;
  sub one nine slash six four -> nineteensixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub one slash one six -> onesixteenth.afrc;
  sub one slash three two -> onethirtysecond.afrc;
  sub one slash six four -> onesixtyfourth.afrc;
  sub one slash two -> onehalf.afrc;
  sub one slash three -> onethird.afrc;
  sub one slash four -> onequarter.afrc;
  sub one slash five -> onefifth.afrc;
  sub one slash six -> onesixth.afrc;
  sub one slash eight -> oneeighth.afrc;
  sub two one slash three two -> twentyonethirtyseconds.afrc;
  sub two one slash six four -> twentyonesixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub two three slash three two -> twentythreethirtyseconds.afrc;
  sub two three slash six four -> twentythreesixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub two five slash three two -> twentyfivethirtyseconds.afrc;
  sub two five slash six four -> twentyfivesixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub two seven slash three two -> twentyseventhirtyseconds.afrc;
  sub two seven slash six four -> twentysevensixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub two nine slash three two -> twentyninethirtyseconds.afrc;
  sub two nine slash six four -> twentyninesixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub two slash three -> twothirds.afrc;
  sub two slash five -> twofifths.afrc;
  sub three one slash three two -> thirtyonethirtyseconds.afrc;
  sub three one slash six four -> thirtyonesixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub three three slash six four -> thirtythreesixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub three five slash six four -> thirtyfivesixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub three seven slash six four -> thirtysevensixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub three nine slash six four -> thirtyninesixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub three slash one six -> threesixteenths.afrc;
  sub three slash three two -> threethirtyseconds.afrc;
  sub three slash six four -> seventeenthirtyseconds.afrc;
  sub three slash four -> threequarters.afrc;
  sub three slash five -> threefifths.afrc;
  sub three slash eight -> threeeighths.afrc;
  sub four one slash six four -> fortyonesixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub four three slash six four -> fortythreesixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub four five slash six four -> fortyfivesixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub four seven slash six four -> fortysevensixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub four nine slash six four -> fortyninesixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub four slash five -> fourfifths.afrc;
  sub five one slash six four -> fiftyonesixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub five three slash six four -> fiftythreesixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub five five slash six four -> fiftyfivesixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub five seven slash six four -> fiftysevensixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub five nine slash six four -> fiftyninesixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub five slash one six -> fivesixteenths.afrc;
  sub five slash three two -> fivethirtyseconds.afrc;
  sub five slash six four -> fivesixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub five slash six -> fivesixths.afrc;
  sub five slash eight -> fiveeighths.afrc;
  sub six one slash six four -> sixtyonesixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub six three slash six four -> sixtythreesixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub seven slash one six -> sevensixteenths.afrc;
  sub seven slash three two -> seventhirtyseconds.afrc;
  sub seven slash six four -> sevensixtyfourths.afrc;
  sub seven slash eight -> seveneighths.afrc;
  sub nine slash one six -> ninesixteenths.afrc;
  sub nine slash three two -> ninethirtyseconds.afrc;
  sub nine slash six four -> ninesixtyfourths.afrc;
}
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Bad_Wolf
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Re: How to convert 3/4 to proper fractions?

Post by Bad_Wolf » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:04 pm

Hello Bhikkhu Pesala,

Thank you very much for your fast reply and help.

I have to learn a lot because I am a newbie to Font Creator. However, tomorrow Sunday I will learn Font Creator OpenType features, so I understand what you are saying.

I was hoping for a solution so that any possible fraction in the form of x/x could be converted to the proper fraction. Our daughter of 9 is at this moment 4th grade of the primary school, so fractions are not too big. I will ask her about the biggest fraction she needs. The fractions are used for her homework exercises. She complains about the 3/4 format I use in Atlantis Wordprocessor with which I create her exercises.

Should be nice if the font can automatically be converted to the proper fraction. However, I am fine with adding the necessary fractions manually. Once I have the small nominator and denominator (0 to 9) glyphs, I can use them at will.

I realise I still have to learn a lot. I already came across tutorials from your hand which are very clear and interesting. I have to remember the saying "first walk before running".

Thank you again for helping me.

Have a nice day.

Chris

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Re: How to convert 3/4 to proper fractions?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:47 am

Take a look at one of my free fonts to see how it is done. They have both alternative fractions and regular fractions features. The frac feature supports any numerator/denominator — including things like abc/xyz — but the afrc feature is easier to create.

The transform tool also has a script to help with creating these features. You only need to create glyphs for 0-9 and the divisors. It will compose numerators for 1-63 and denominators for 16ths 32nds and 64ths using composites.
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Re: How to convert 3/4 to proper fractions?

Post by PJMiller » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:27 am

In February 2018 I released a font called Cadman which uses a very neat piece of code for doing arbitrary fractions by Erwin Dennisen the author of Font Creator. It is a bit complex but it works very well.

The original code is given here.

If you don't feel like tackling anything this complex yet you could just download Cadman and substitute your own glyphs into the appropriate character slots but not alter the open type features (you would have to re-name the font, we can't have two different Cadmans out there). Of course there might be some things you would need to adjust but you can always get help with that on this forum.

I hope you realise setting up the font to do fractions is just half the job, you also need to enable the fractions open type feature when using the font in a word processor or DTP program. This can be done for just selected sections of text.

Good Luck! :D

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Re: How to convert 3/4 to proper fractions?

Post by MikeW » Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:55 pm

Chris wants arbitrary stacked (nut) fractions.

There is a sample font for this named nutso & nutso2. It's a bit more involved than arbitrary regular fractions.

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Re: How to convert 3/4 to proper fractions?

Post by Bad_Wolf » Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:31 pm

Hello Bhikkhu Pesala, PJ Miller and Mike W,

Thank you all for your valuable input and advice. I appreciate your help very much.

I took a look at the Sukhumala (regular), Cadman and Nutso2 fonts. They are all well created fonts. However like Mike W said, I am looking for the nominator and denominator above each other with a "-" sign in between.

I am now thinking in the direction of creating the numbers 0 to 9 in normal and smaller versions. I leave the normal alphabetical and numeric together with the operators and punctuation glyphs untouched. Then I replace the symbol glyphs with the fractions our daughter use in her exercises.

Font Creator is a very feature rich and powerful application. I have some basics from long time ago (mid nineties I used Fontographer to create some fonts). However it is clear to me that I first have to learn the basics. Therefore I am gonna read the user manual, take some tutorials and practice with this fraction font in mind.

On this moment I do not need too much fractions, but it will take time to master Font Creator. I did not try but I hope that Font Creator also support my Wacom Intuos 5 touch tablet. I cannot draw with a mouse or touchpad, only with the pen tablet.

I intend to draw the fractions I need with Affinity Designer. I already found in the user manual that I have to draw within a bounding box of 300 x 300 pixels for good results. Our small one also use different numeric characters, so I will create her numbers so I can completely adjust the exercises to the numeric and alphabetical characters she is used to.

I realize I still have to learn a lot. But in the past days I learned a lot with your help. Looking into these fonts also teached me the basic principles.

I appreciate your support and advice very much. Thank you again for your time spent on my request.

Have a very nice day and all the best.

Chris

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Re: How to convert 3/4 to proper fractions?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:00 pm

The Sukhumala font does contain stacking fractions, but only for fractions of inches 1/8 - 63/64ths.
Sukumala Alternative Fractions.png
Sukumala Alternative Fractions.png (21.58 KiB) Viewed 894 times
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Re: How to convert 3/4 to proper fractions?

Post by Erwin Denissen » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:33 pm

I'm glad we were able to get you started in the right direction.
Bad_Wolf wrote:
Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:31 pm
I intend to draw the fractions I need with Affinity Designer. I already found in the user manual that I have to draw within a bounding box of 300 x 300 pixels for good results. Our small one also use different numeric characters, so I will create her numbers so I can completely adjust the exercises to the numeric and alphabetical characters she is used to.
If you are drawing vector based outlines, then size is less important, but it is still wise to experiment.

Let us know your results, so we can further assist you. Some hurdles are easily taken with some guidance.
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Re: How to convert 3/4 to proper fractions?

Post by Bad_Wolf » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:21 pm

Thank you Bhikkhu Pesala and Erwin Denissen for your kind help.

Last night I wrote down what I needed (for the font I want to create) to help our small one with her maths and fractions.

This is what I came up with :

1. Because she is in primary school in Botswana, she write numbers a little bit differently that we are used too. The differences are mainly with the numbers "1" and "7". So I will make the numbers in this font exactly the same as she write them for homework.

2. I will also change the alpha numeric characters like she write them in school. This mean that I both do the lower and upper case characters.

4. Especially the division operator which for her is a "-" with a dot below and up, I will also change.

5. I have to convert the normal sized numbers to smaller sizes so I can but them above and below the "-" sign without any problem.

6. I am gonna create fractions like 1/2, 3/4, ... and store them each in the stacked format at glyph locations not occupied by the normal range. When there are new fractions necessary, I will create them from the characters drawed in Affinity Designer.

In Affinity Designer I already created artboards with a size of 300 x 300 pixels. Each will contain a single glyph. I already did this for the A to Z and a to z and some punctuation symbols. I named each artboard with the glyph it represents. In this way the objects belonging to a particular glyph are grouped with the artboard.

This will be a good exercise to learn Font Creator. Because I am a complete beginner, scripting is on this moment out of my reach. I also learn a lot to look at the Sukhumala font created by Bhikkhu Pesala. This is also a very good start.

Thank you all again for your help. This is a very friendly and helpfull forum.

Wish you a very nice day.

Chris

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Re: How to convert 3/4 to proper fractions?

Post by Alfred » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:14 pm

Bad_Wolf wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:21 pm
1. Because she is in primary school in Botswana, she write numbers a little bit differently that we are used too. The differences are mainly with the numbers "1" and "7". So I will make the numbers in this font exactly the same as she write them for homework.

2. I will also change the alpha numeric characters like she write them in school. This mean that I both do the lower and upper case characters.

4. Especially the division operator which for her is a "-" with a dot below and up, I will also change.
The obelus (“÷”) is a standard Unicode character (U+00F7).
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Re: How to convert 3/4 to proper fractions?

Post by Bad_Wolf » Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:35 pm

Thank you Alfred for your information. I had no idea this was a standard character because here I always used "/" for division. When she started homework I came accross that obulus division sign.

Maybe you can help me with another problem I have with Font Creator. When I type a letter, lets say for example "A". I like in the main overview window (where you see all the present glyphs) that the corresponding "A" glyph will be highlighted. I tried everything but could not find it. Can you tell me how this is accomplished? Thank you very much in advance for your help.

Chris

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Re: How to convert 3/4 to proper fractions?

Post by Alfred » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:16 pm

Bad_Wolf wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:35 pm
When I type a letter, lets say for example "A". I like in the main overview window (where you see all the present glyphs) that the corresponding "A" glyph will be highlighted. I tried everything but could not find it. Can you tell me how this is accomplished?
If you press Ctrl+F (for 'Find') and type A* into the box, pressing the 'Find' button will show you the next glyph matching that search criterion (name beginning with A). Pressing the 'List in search category' button will show you all of the matching glyphs.
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Re: How to convert 3/4 to proper fractions?

Post by Bad_Wolf » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:57 am

Thank you again Alfred for your help. This is a very useful feature and exactly what I was looking for.

I do appreciate yours and other people here their support and guidance very much. So many experienced people helping and guiding newbies like I am in a friendly and very professional way. This is something you all can be proud of.

I am glad our small daughter of nine was so persistent, she demanded the proper format of the fractions. Without her persistence, I would never found out about creating fonts myself. I like FontCreator very much. I try to avoid the complex sections for now and just draw the glyphs in Affinity Designer. When I have a few fractions drawed, I will import them into FontCreator. I never could imagine, I would do this. Despite the fact I am a rookie, I really do like to do this. I try to learn as fast as possible. Without the help I am receiving here, that would not be possible.

Wish you a very nice day and all the best.

Chris

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Re: How to convert 3/4 to proper fractions?

Post by Erwin Denissen » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:34 am

Bad_Wolf wrote:
Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:04 pm
I was hoping for a solution so that any possible fraction in the form of x/x could be converted to the proper fraction. Our daughter of 9 is at this moment 4th grade of the primary school, so fractions are not too big. I will ask her about the biggest fraction she needs. The fractions are used for her homework exercises. She complains about the 3/4 format I use in Atlantis Wordprocessor with which I create her exercises.
I don't want to discourage you, but I'm not sure if Atlantis Word Processor supports OpenType layout features. If it doesn't support OTLF then you might need another word processor like Microsoft Word which supports several features like kern, liga, and calt.
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