activating or deactivating opentype features

fontdesigner2's picture

This is a dumb question but how does one activate or deactivate opentype features when using an Opentype font that has these features built into it? Features like stylistic alternatives or prebuilt fractions for example?

oldnick's picture

Depends on the application…

William Berkson's picture

In InDesign you go to the Character Pallet, click on the fly-out box on the top right. Then you choose "Open Type" from the list and all are listed. Way too complicated and hidden, but there it is.

Nick Shinn's picture

Typotheque has compiled a useful chart of which applications support which features:

fontdesigner2's picture

Thanks for the chart Mr. Shinn. I'm bookmarking it.

This is what I thought too, but I was just checking with you guys. In order to use them, a user must access some type of palette or special window or whatever within that program, and that program has to be OpenType savvy.

Like I said. Dumb question.

What I'm wondering lately is, is it still a good thing to create a separate font for small caps, or is it better to include the small caps into your font as a feature? I wonder because, not everyone uses OpenType savvy apps. Some use old software, but they might want those small caps and be willing to buy a separate small-caps version of the font. Same thing with dingbats and arrows. If you have a separate dingbats file, don't you think you could still sell it as a separate font, or is it just time to cram everything into one font and tell people about how much is included inside of it? I see so many foundries that do the latter and just expect their users to use certain software.

I'm looking at Office 2010 in the chart and it hardly supports any OT features! It does not support Small Caps, for example. So that's exactly my point and what I was wondering about. Word users will freak out if they buy your OT font and can't get all of those features to work, right? And if you give them a disclaimer before-hand, they will not want to buy it anymore. I really am leaning towards not using features, and creating a separate font for Small-caps and dingbats, like font foundries did in the old days, and yes, people will have to pay extra to have it.

What do you guys think?

eliason's picture

I would think the majority of font purchasers have access to OpenType savvy apps (and that majority will only increase in the future), so I would include them in the font. Then I would estimate whether the additional sales to non-OT purchasers would be worth the hassle of adding an additional separate font of smallcaps, and if so, I'd make it and throw it into the same package.

fontdesigner2's picture

Thanks for your input. I'm going to repost this as a new thread so that it gets some more attention because it got buried at the bottom of this one. I'd like to get some more input from others and was hoping for more than one reply.

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