Question about contextual alternatives, Arrotino, and applications

J. Tillman's picture

Arrotino, an as yet unreleased typeface, was previously discussed.
http://www.typophile.com/node/62683

A pdf specimen is available. 12 Megs!
http://www.typefacedesign.org/2009/

Arrotino uses contextual alternatives for many characters, even forming the "ligatures" in this fashion. (It also supports regular ligatures.) From the document maker's perspective, what software (that can output pdf's) supports these types of contextual ligatures? InDesign? Quark? MS Word? Serif PagePlus? Scribus? MS Publisher? Others?

And really, the same question about software that can output e-books.

This whole contextual alternative stuff is new to me, and I'm just trying to get a lay of the land. Thank you.

Joshua Langman's picture

At least InDesign and Quark support contextual alternates and output PDFs. Not sure about the other programs you list, though I'm pretty sure most of them output PDFs. Of course, any program with a glyphs palette that shows all the characters in a font will let you choose alternates by hand, but may not necessarily support the OpenType functionality that will automatically substitute the glyphs. Hope this helps.

Josh

Frode Bo Helland's picture

E-books don't work like that: They're an early stage of HTML/CSS and there's no cross platform support for Opentype neither there nor online. Compound ligatures, where the lig is two part and the active part is located in a separate font and applied with f.ex span tag styling in text, would be an option if @font-face was supported across all platforms, but we're not even there yet.

Joshua Langman's picture

For reference, another (slightly updated) version of the table Nick Shinn linked to, with a guide on how to implement the features (scroll down for the table):

http://ilovetypography.com/OpenType/opentype-features.html

Josh

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