Suggestions on how to squeeze in more Alternatives that can be viewed globally in Illustrator.

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N C Downey's picture
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009 - 8:08pm
Suggestions on how to squeeze in more Alternatives that can be viewed globally in Illustrator.
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Does anyone have any suggestions or solutions as to how I can squeeze more 'alternates' into a font for use in Illustrator.

I basically have only 1 ligature, but 6 sets of alternates.
Standard Ligatures
Stylistic Alternatives 1
Stylistic Alternatives 2
Swash 1
Swash 2
Titling 1
Titling 2

Currently Illustrator has:-
Standard Ligatures
Stylistic Alternates
Contexual Alternates
Discretionary Ligatures
Swash
Titling Alternates
Fractions
Ordinals.

I could only put them in the following places...
Stylistic Alternates
Swash
Titling Alternates
.....................or could I?

I would be missing
Stylistic 2
Swash 2
Titling 2
They would only be accessible through the glyphs panel.

IS THERE AN ALTERNATIVE OPTION or SOLUTION?

Kevin Pease's picture
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Joined: 19 Oct 2003 - 5:03pm
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Do the sets interact much with one another? If you want the plaintext preserved, I think you're probably stuck with making a second font.

But if this is only for your own use, or for users who you can expect to follow specific instructions, you could pack your alternates into ligatures. Designate a few easily-accessed characters you won't really need (like `~^) for "ligature codes" then make A.ss02 into grave_grave_A, or such.

N C Downey's picture
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009 - 8:08pm
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Thanks for your suggestion.
The font will be available to purchase on various font shops, so it has to be right.
I was thinking of doing another font with all the alternates in.
It's probably the easiest option, for me and users.

I was also hoping that there might be a sneaky way, (or get someone else to do it, as I can't quite programme complex OTFeatures yet).

I think the glyphs in Titling 2 are probably gonna have to take the chop, unless I do a whole new font.
Hmmmm. What to do. ?

Kevin Pease's picture
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Joined: 19 Oct 2003 - 5:03pm
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Are any of them best described as intersections of two other features? For instance, is Titling 2 composed of Titling versions of the alternate forms in Stylistic Set 1? If so, it shouldn't be its own feature; it should be handled by those two features when they are both on. You just have to be mindful of the order of execution. Even if that's not strictly how they correspond, it is probably still reasonable to game it that way.

N C Downey's picture
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009 - 8:08pm
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No, none of them are 'best described as intersections of two other features'.

I've opted for a whole new 'ALT' version of the font.
I can fit all the other alternative characters in Stylistic Alternates, and Swash now, as I've also removed the others that I may have had to put in Titling.
It was a far simpler solution for global OTFs to work across all Apps.... and another font for people to buy.
So it's a win-win.

Thanks

Thomas W Phinney's picture
Joined: 3 Sep 2002 - 11:00am
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Well, to be fair, lots of apps don't support any of these features.

MS Word also offers yet another different set of features supported. sigh.

So really, you can't make all your features universally accessible.

N C Downey's picture
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Joined: 26 Jun 2009 - 8:08pm
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Thanks Thomas. I didn't know that about MS Word. Your knowledge is much appreciated.