OpenType Ligs in MS Word

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Dick Pape
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OpenType Ligs in MS Word

Post by Dick Pape » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:00 pm

Better get ready, itsa comin': Microsoft Word - Wikipedia: "Word 2010 (Word 14) is the first version of MS Word that will have support for OpenType ligatures."

and more http://www.orzeszek.org/blog/2009/05/17 ... word-2010/

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Re: OpenType Ligs in MS Word

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:27 pm

No normal person would care, but Microsoft has finally added support for OpenType ligatures in Microsoft Word 2010 (Word 14).
I'm not a normal person — I don't use Word at all.
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Dick Pape
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Re: OpenType Ligs in MS Word

Post by Dick Pape » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:21 pm

(I don't use it well.)

Gonna get a whole lot of newbies interested in ligs however so FC, Scanahand and MT better also ...

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Re: OpenType Ligs in MS Word

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:34 pm

I agree this greatly strengthens the case for providing OpenType Feature support sooner rather than later. By the end of this year I presume that the majority of Word users, or at least a significant minority, will be using the 2010 version, and so will have easy access to OpenType features. That is sure to boost the demand for OpenType fonts.
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Re: OpenType Ligs in MS Word

Post by William » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:02 am

I wonder which fonts will be bundled with the program.

For example, will a secretary wishing to try using, say, a ct ligature or an st ligature in a document such as a poster for the office noticeboard have a font available to use or would using a ct ligature or an st ligature in a document depend upon first obtaining a font from elsewhere?

I can imagine that if an OpenType font with lots of ligatures is bundled with the program, it would only need an article about how to make posters more stylish in a popular magazine for there to be a great flowering of typographic design in offices around the world.

Is the program going to allow access to alternate glyphs in an OpenType font if indeed the font contains any alternate glyphs?

William Overington

22 January 2010

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Re: OpenType Ligs in MS Word

Post by vanisaac » Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:54 am

I'm hoping that it supports not just <rlig> and <liga>, but also <clig>, <dlig>, and <hlig> (that's Required, standard, Contextual, Discretionary, and Historic LIGature tags). However, given the scripts that I work with, I am actually more concerned about contextual alternates and cursive positioning support than ligatures. It would be nice for all programs to support the whole complement of complex script features, but I know that this is not necessarily ever going to happen.

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Re: OpenType Ligs in MS Word

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:28 pm

William wrote:I wonder which fonts will be bundled with the program.

For example, will a secretary wishing to try using, say, a ct ligature or an st ligature in a document such as a poster for the office noticeboard have a font available to use or would using a ct ligature or an st ligature in a document depend upon first obtaining a font from elsewhere?
Users will have the standard Windows Vista fonts available at least: Cambria, Calibri, Constantia, etc., and no doubt some more with OpenType Features. The beauty of OpenType Glyph Substitutions is that if the text string is "ct" the ligature is substituted if it exists, but "ct" remains if the ligature does not exist in the font. No more .notdef glyphs due to using PUA code-points in the text stream.
William wrote:Is the program going to allow access to alternate glyphs in an OpenType font if indeed the font contains any alternate glyphs?
In most (but not all) of the fonts I have looked at, the stylistic alternates are not mapped so they are only accessible by using OpenType features. This stops people producing documents with non-standard PUA encoded glyphs in the text stream, ensuring that documents can be read without the OpenType features if another font is selected. Some Adobe fonts have the extended glyphs mapped.

The vista fonts do not. Apart from a few extra ligatures like ffb or ffk, most of the extra OpenType glyphs are for Small Caps, Old Style Figures, and super/subscripts.

Swashes and discretionary ligatures are very much a minority requirement.
vanisaac wrote:I'm hoping that it supports not just <rlig> and <liga>, but also <clig>, <dlig>, and <hlig> (that's Required, standard, Contextual, Discretionary, and Historic LIGature tags). However, given the scripts that I work with, I am actually more concerned about contextual alternates and cursive positioning support than ligatures. It would be nice for all programs to support the whole complement of complex script features, but I know that this is not necessarily ever going to happen.
As far as one can tell from this dialogue box screen shot, Word will support discretionary ligatures and contextual alternates.
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Re: OpenType Ligs in MS Word

Post by William » Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:18 am

An interesting item that I decided to conserve was a Christmas card for 2009 from the Post Office here in England that arrived a good time before Christmas.

It includes various details about the postal arrangements for the Christmas period.

I found that the typography used for the words Merry Christmas on the front of the card was interesting.

The typeface looks similar to Garamond Italic.

An st ligature is used. A swash M and what I think is probably a swash C are used.

Here is a link to a pdf for Garamond that I found on the web. It is just over 2 Megabytes in size.

http://store1.adobe.com/type/browser/pdfs/1737.pdf

Referring to page 5.

The typeface does not look quite the same, but is similar. The swash M looks as if it is the same as the one on the card, though both could have perhaps been derived from the same historic original.

The swash C on the card is not like either the ordinary C or the swash C in the pdf. The swash C on the card does not drop below the base line and has a round blob at the top and not a sharp serif and seems wider than the swash C in the pdf.

Now, I can well imagine that the card was quite possibly designed by a professional designer who might well have a specialist interest in typography, and that that is a situation very different from a typical potential user of Microsoft Word 2010.

However, people often tend to expand their interests into what is available.

William Overington

23 January 2010

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