Smallcaps suggestions?

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MikeW
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Re: Smallcaps suggestions?

Post by MikeW » Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:38 am

One could make a small cap font be part of a family, but one normally wouldn't want to do that. If an application doesn't support small caps--which is the only reason to break out the small caps to another font--then it likely only supports the 4 main styles (regular, italic, bold, bold italic).

Before Unicode fonts with their limited character sets, one would name the font to include an SC in the file name, like in the screen shot below.
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Mike

Psymon
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Re: Smallcaps suggestions?

Post by Psymon » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:50 pm

MikeW wrote:
Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:38 am
One could make a small cap font be part of a family, but one normally wouldn't want to do that. If an application doesn't support small caps--which is the only reason to break out the small caps to another font--then it likely only supports the 4 main styles (regular, italic, bold, bold italic).
Well, there's a LOT of software (if not most software) that doesn't support OT features, so isn't that a good reason to do a separate small caps version of one's font? Assuming one feels one's small caps are "important" enough, of course.
Before Unicode fonts with their limited character sets, one would name the font to include an SC in the file name
Um, I'm a bit confused, then. So is it possible to specify "Small Caps" (or "SC") as the sub-family of one's family of fonts? Or no? In the screenshot you provided, it does look like that's what the designer of Sabon did (is that your font?), but I don't know how they did that.

As it is, the only think I can think of to do re naming my small caps font is to call it that in the "Family" field of that naming dialog box -- but that then makes it an entirely separate font when I go to use it in Photoshop (or wherever), of course.

MikeW
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Re: Smallcaps suggestions?

Post by MikeW » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:12 pm

The reason for a separate small cap font is just for those applications to be able to select it from the menu if they do not support a full-family listing and/or not support a small cap feature. Many/most recently made fonts do not provide separate fonts except by request. That I agree with.

Yes, one can make it all hang into a family. But if the application in question doesn't support small caps as an OT Feature, it also may not support larger than the typical 4 font family, either.

Psymon
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Re: Smallcaps suggestions?

Post by Psymon » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:25 pm

MikeW wrote:
Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:12 pm
The reason for a separate small cap font is just for those applications to be able to select it from the menu if they do not support a full-family listing and/or not support a small cap feature. Many/most recently made fonts do not provide separate fonts except by request. That I agree with.
Why do you agree with that? I suppose it would be nice if software was moving more toward supporting OT features and stuff, but it doesn't seem to be that way -- not that I've seen, anyway (although I'm hardly a software reviewer, of course).
Yes, one can make it all hang into a family. But if the application in question doesn't support small caps as an OT Feature, it also may not support larger than the typical 4 font family, either.
Oh, okay. Well, it's too bad, it would have been nice to keep all my fonts together in the same family, but if it's not practical, then oh well.

Thanks for the replies, Mike! :)

MikeW
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Re: Smallcaps suggestions?

Post by MikeW » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:39 pm

Bear with me...

What Apple did with the Mac throughout its history is both a blessing and a curse. That is, they really don't give a hoot about supporting old software unless their OS advancements simply allowed them to work.

What Microsoft has done throughout its history until Windows 10 (mainly) is to always attempted backward support capabilities. This too is a blessing and a curse. I feel it is mainly a curse, though. It has historically kept Windows from advancement and provided a main source of bloat.

As for fonts, I don't really care about supporting antiquated or poorly written software as long as the 255 character set works properly in such software. My feeling is that if people want access to such features like small caps (or whatever) they ought to buy software (both the OS and applications) that supports it. Failing that, they can request the separate fonts. They would appear in the menu following the main styles. But I won't accommodate such software right from the start.

My font clients are not John Q. Public. They are mainly publishers and some other designers. I have made changes (additions, really) in certain OT Features so that they can be accessed in an application such as InDesign (ID doesn't support the hist feature, for instance. So I copied the code into a Stylistic Set for them). They tend to use software that supports OT Features no matter how old that software is.

I do have a few families I am thinking about releasing to the public. I will not, however, break out the features such as small caps into a secondary font initially.

Psymon
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Re: Smallcaps suggestions?

Post by Psymon » Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:34 pm

Okay! It only took me, like, a year to do this, but I finally added in all my smallcaps into my regular/roman font, and everything swaps out nicely when you select the smcp option. :)

Just one problem, though... I have so many ligatures in my font, like for all sorts of things including "gg," "tt," "pp," etc. and those still also swap out to those ligatures even if/when you have smcp selected -- so you end up with words coming out like "PIggY" (where the uppercase would be smallcaps, and the "gg" a lig, of course), or "LIttLE," or "HAppY," etc.

Is there any way to "turn off" those ligatures from happening if/when a person has turned on small caps? Or is that basically just the way things are, and it's up to the end-user to know enough (hopefully) to turn off ligs if they want smallcaps?

Methinks that wouldn't work out so well, though, if one doesn't know any better, or if it's a circumstance where you just want to select a bunch of text and tell it to be smallcaps -- like, say, in a web page with your fonts embedded, and by default standard ligs are turned on, but you might just want a portion of text in smallcaps.

Surely there must be a way to tell the smcp thingie to turn off the liga thingie? :roll:

MikeW
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Re: Smallcaps suggestions?

Post by MikeW » Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:54 pm

Ligatures are one of the OT features that is on by default in applications that adhere to the OT spec.

You have a couple choices. Add the same ligs using your small cap characters and sub them in.

Or, use a Multiple Substitution lookup and swap out the lig for the plain SC characters. This is what I did for the screen shot below. I added a Multiple Sub lookup to my smcp. I added the fi ligature to it and I am "decomposing" that single fi.small cap into two small cap characters. This way even if ligatures is turned on, the fi lig gets turned into two separate small cap characters.

Mike
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Psymon
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Re: Smallcaps suggestions?

Post by Psymon » Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:00 pm

MikeW wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:54 pm
Or, use a Multiple Substitution lookup and swap out the lig for the plain SC characters. This is what I did for the screen shot below. I added a Multiple Sub lookup to my smcp. I added the fi ligature to it and I am "decomposing" that single fi.small cap into two small cap characters. This way even if ligatures is turned on, the fi lig gets turned into two separate small cap characters.
Oh, interesting, I didn't know you could do a substitution that output back to two characters from a single character -- I thought it only worked the other way around.

Cool! Total pain in the butt, too, because I have SO many ligs in that font, but I guess it's the best solution. Thanks! :)

MikeW
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Re: Smallcaps suggestions?

Post by MikeW » Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:11 pm

I opted to have small cap versions of all my ligs instead. But I do decompose for other purposes. Works well.

Psymon
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Re: Smallcaps suggestions?

Post by Psymon » Sun Dec 16, 2018 6:27 pm

I suppose it depends on the font, whether ligs for the same uppercase combinations would merit having as a lig. Like, with my lowercase, I have ligs for ffb, ffh, ffk, etc. but I can't see those being ligs as uppercase -- at least, I could certainly create them as "three-part glyphs," but I might as well then just point them right back to the original letters instead.

Mind you, for other combinations like tt (which then becomes TT), I suppose those could still indeed work as ligs -- so I guess in my case it's almost a case-by-case thing to decide on.

What a chore! ;)

Psymon
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Re: Smallcaps suggestions?

Post by Psymon » Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:36 pm

MikeW wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:54 pm
Or, use a Multiple Substitution lookup and swap out the lig for the plain SC characters. This is what I did for the screen shot below. I added a Multiple Sub lookup to my smcp. I added the fi ligature to it and I am "decomposing" that single fi.small cap into two small cap characters. This way even if ligatures is turned on, the fi lig gets turned into two separate small cap characters.
This method doesn't seem to work -- unless I'm doing something wrong???

I went back into the OT Designer, go in my lookup for my smcp, click the +-sign to add another lookup, entered "uniF13B" in the first field for what is my regular "Th" ligature, and then click the smallcaps "T" in the other list.

Click "OK" and then get back to the main OTD window, but when I try to enter in the extra smallcaps "H" to go along with the "T," it won't let me! Tried it both with a space and without one, and either way it doesn't work.

Am I doing something wrong? Did I misunderstand your instructions, Mike? :oops:

MikeW
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Re: Smallcaps suggestions?

Post by MikeW » Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:02 pm

My small cap ligatures look no different than the single letters next to each other. I did it this way so that when people enable ligatures or disable them, the small caps remain looking as they ought. And it makes for copying text and pasting it from one app to another for less issues.

Be that as it may...

Exactly what type of look up did you add? If it was a Multiple Substitution, and the "h" was added to the bottom entry section, it should work fine.

Is this the look up you added?
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You would need the Uni code for your ligature in the very first entry box. Look at the previous post's screen shot.
Then you need both the small cap characters in the second entry box...again, review the previous post's screen shot.

And don't worry. All these things get easier the more you do them.

Psymon
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Re: Smallcaps suggestions?

Post by Psymon » Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:50 pm

MikeW wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:02 pm
Exactly what type of look up did you add? If it was a Multiple Substitution, and the "h" was added to the bottom entry section, it should work fine.
Oh, I did a single substitution instead. Well, crapperoony -- is there a way to change what I already did now, so that I don't have to re-do the whole shebang again? Or can I add in an additional multiple substitution (for my ligs) on top of the initial single one I already have (for the basic/extended characters)?

MikeW
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Re: Smallcaps suggestions?

Post by MikeW » Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:30 am

Personally? I would just redo it right.

Psymon
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Re: Smallcaps suggestions?

Post by Psymon » Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:18 am

MikeW wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:30 am
Personally? I would just redo it right.
Is there no way to just go right in the code editor thingie there (in the OTD) and simply swap out a line or two with a different one, to change it from a single substitution to a multiple one?

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