Multiple marks

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hassan
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Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:43 pm

Multiple marks

Post by hassan » Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:50 pm

Hi:
I am a new Fontceator user and trying to design my own Arabic font.

Some Arabic letters can have three marks at the same time to show that this letter can be read in three different pronunciations.

So is there any way that we can assign three different marks for the same letter using Fontcreator 11.5?

Appreciate your kind help

Hassan

PJMiller
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Re: Multiple marks

Post by PJMiller » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:59 am

Sounds like a job for Stacking Diacritics.

They don't have to stack vertically, by changing the position of the anchors on the diacritic mark you can change the position where subsequent marks are added.

You need to learn about the open type designer and open type features.

hassan
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Re: Multiple marks

Post by hassan » Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:36 am

PJMiller wrote:
Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:59 am
Sounds like a job for Stacking Diacritics.

They don't have to stack vertically, by changing the position of the anchors on the diacritic mark you can change the position where subsequent marks are added.

You need to learn about the open type designer and open type features.
Dear PJMiller:

Thanks for your help.

I read your links but that didn't help.

I created a new composite glyph that is consisted of two marks, then I made a ligature substitution to replace the two marks when used together with the new glyph, but it is not working, it's showing the second mark on .notdef symbol. Not sure why.

The marks have to be stacked on top of each other otherwise it will affect the next glyph.

Thanks

PJMiller
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Re: Multiple marks

Post by PJMiller » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:44 am

You probably need to look at some examples. Open type designer is difficult to comprehend at first, there is just so much going on there but look at some existing fonts with open type features and experiment with them. Then with your own font start off with a blank slate and add some simple things and again try a few experiments to see how they work.

You could use some free fonts which already have open type features like any of Bhikkhu Pesala's fonts or even some of mine. Bhikkhu Pesala's fonts all have open type features but I'm not sure if they all use anchors for diacritic positioning. Of my fonts probably the best ones to look at are either Cadman or Munson which both use diacritic mark positioning.

I have only ever done Latin and Cyrillic fonts but it should work the same in Arabic.

When designing a character you can place an 'Anchor' somewhere around the character and give it a name (the one on the character has to be a 'Base' anchor). When designing a combining diacritic mark to be used with that character you need to place another anchor with the same name but this time it has to be a 'Mark' anchor.

When the font is used in a text editor or other program which supports open type features and the character is typed and the following character is the diacritic mark then the diacritic mark will be re-positioned so that it's mark anchor is in the same place as the preceeding characters base anchor.

As an example when designing the character 'g' I would place a base anchor above it called 'Top'. When designing the combining tilde character I would adjust the barings so that it had no advance width and place a mark anchor below it called 'Top'. When this is used in a program if someone types 'g' followed by a 'combining tilde' then the tilde will be moved so that it's mark anchor is in the same place as the base anchor of the 'g' character.

In practice this is extended so that all necessary upper and lower case characters have a base anchor point called 'Top' and all necessary combining diacritics have a mark anchor point called 'Top' and there can be as many different named sets of anchor points as you need.

If done this way then any combining diacritic can be used with any character and they will position themselves correctly.

Stacking diacritics takes this to a whole new level (pun intended). The combining diacritics themselves can have base anchor marks so that if the diacritic mark is followed by another diacritic mark then instead of using the base anchor of the character it will use the base anchor of the preceeding diacritic mark.

So in the previous example if the combining tilde character had a base anchor called 'Overstack' (for example) and if all the combining diacritics had both base and mark anchors called 'Overstack' with the mark anchors below the mark and the base anchors above then if the combining tilde was followed by another combining diacritic then it would position itself so that it's 'Overstack' mark anchor was in the same position as the preceeding diacritic's 'Overstack' base anchor so it would sit in the correct place relative to the tilde.

In an upright font the default is for the diacritics to stack vertically. In an itallic font they need to stack at an angle, I find that it is better to get them to stack at an angle a little less than the italic angle so that they look correct. Diacritics which stack below the base character need their anchors reversed (mark above, base below).

I know this is a lot to take in, it is a complex subject and it took me a long time to learn. The best way to learn is to break things and work out how to fix them. But always keep backups of previous versions so you can go back to them if things get really screwed up.

I hope this helps.

hassan
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Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:43 pm

Re: Multiple marks

Post by hassan » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:59 pm

Dear Mr: PJMiller:

Highly appreciate your effort trying to help me.

As far as my very limited knowledge anchors are meant to manage position of marks.

When placing a mark after an existing one the word engine recognize it as a different glyph and it adds the mark on a .notdef symbol as:
Image

but it should look like this:
Image

I think there should be a special feature (s) to do this, but not sure what is it.

The problem of open type designer in Fontcreator that it has no or very limited tutorial for a few of them only, also, some features require multiple features and lookups in a special oreder to work correctly :(

Here is an Arabic font that can have more the one mark for the same letter, but it works only on office 2010:
https://drive.google.com/uc?authuser=0& ... t=download

I was not able to know what they done to achieve that, maybe a more experienced designer can figure it out.

Thank in advance


Erwin Denissen
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Re: Multiple marks

Post by Erwin Denissen » Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:32 pm

First of all, you should really use the latest version of FontCreator, as it comes with many improvements related to OpenType layout features and improved friendly glyph name conventions.

I don't think the font "B Lotus" represents how a complex script font for Arabic should be made. It lacks anchors for one thing.

Do read Developing OpenType Fonts for Arabic Script and then ask for guidance on how to implement it in FontCreator.
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hassan
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Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:43 pm

Re: Multiple marks

Post by hassan » Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:02 am

Dear Mr: Erwin:

Thanks for your reply.

The article was not so helpful for me.

I underrstood from this section of the article that we can't stack two marks, am i correct?

Image

full section:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/typogr ... rabic#comb

If yes, is there any way to override that?

In other words, is there any possible way in Fontcreator 12 to transform two marks into a third form?

I made a ligature in (rlig) and placed two marks in the input and the newly designed composite glyph which contains the new stacking form in the output, but it keeps showing the second mark on a .notdef symbol
Image

Any help?

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