Office 2010 and other apps still not OT savvy - don't support certain features.

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Ryan Fruest's picture
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Joined: 14 Dec 2010 - 11:37pm
Office 2010 and other apps still not OT savvy - don't support certain features.
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It bothers me that if I create an OT font, in order for users to be able to use the features included, users have to use special software and access some type of palette or special window or whatever within that program, and that program has to be OpenType savvy.

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?

Nick Curtis's picture
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Joined: 21 Apr 2005 - 8:16am
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I think MS Office is an excellent tool for what it was intended for—office documents and correspondence. Unfortunately, a lot of people use it for unintended purposes because it is the software they have available. When I worked for a printing company, it wasn't uncommon for us to get business card "production-ready" artwork prepared in PowerPoint.

If Office users want small caps, they'll have to use font solutions to compensate for the program's "shortcomings."

Ryan Fruest's picture
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Joined: 14 Dec 2010 - 11:37pm
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@oldnick. There is a chart on the internet that tells what apps support what features, and maybe Office users should look at it and figure out on their own that Office doesn't support opentype features very well. I guess you could look at it from the point of view that if they don't know Office's capabilities before buying your font, it's not your fault.

Maybe I should just ignore Office's shortcomings and expect the users of my font to have better software.

When I used to work at Kinko's we had a policy that we would not accept Word or other Office documents for printing, because we didn't want to be held responsible for the results. We required the customer to create a pdf and we would accept that. Later, I worked for a printer and the owner was so desperate for business, he would bend over backwards for his customers and accept any type of format. If it was a publisher file, he would spend more money on paying me or one of the other guys to strip it apart and get it into InDesign than he would ever recoup from the customer, who we usually never saw again regardless of how much we invested into pleasing them.