Open Type Kern feature for English and Bengali punctuation marks

gaura's picture

I have been developing fonts for the past one year so I am relatively new to font development.

Does any one know how to add the KERN feature for punctuation marks using MS volt? I am trying to alter the punctuation positions for the Garamond font using the KERN feature, but it doesn't work. I have opened the Garamond font in MS VOLT and allowed volt to overwrite the OT features. I have then developed my own OT features. KERN feature works for other letters of the English alphabet and for Bengali language alphabets. But even for the Bengali language alphabets, the KERN feature does not work if I include the punctuation marks such as semicolons, hyphens, emdash, endash, leftparen, rightparen, leftquote, rightquote etc.

Please help.

John Hudson's picture

To clarify: have you added Bengali characters to this font? In what software are you testing this?

[Note that you should check the license agreement for the Garamond font to confirm that you have the right to make this kind of modification.]

Té Rowan's picture

Um... what Garamond? There are skrillions of'em.

gaura's picture

I am using Adobe Garamond Pro. I am using it for experimental / learning purposes only and not for commercial purposes. Hopefully this is OK. I am using Fontlab True type to create the Bengali glyphs and added them to the Adobe Garamond Pro font so I can have a multilingual font. I am testing them using the MS Volt Proofing tool. Everything seems to work in the proofing tool but does not work when I generate and install the font file for applications such as MS Word or Adove InDesign.

John Hudson's picture

Okay, this should be fine according to Adobe's standard font license, so long as you do not distribute the modified font in any way.

I've done some work with kerning between Devanagari and punctuation, but I cannot recall the details of how and where it works or does not work. If I can find some extra time, I'll look into this. I recall that in MS apps this depends on the version of Windows.

hrant's picture

Adobe -the gods bless them- actually even allows third-party
modifications. Back in 2007, I was commissioned to add 20 new
accented characters (for Sanskrit transliteration) to Garamond
Premier Pro; since both the client and myself owned a license
for it, it was fine.


gaura's picture

Thanks, John and HHP for clarifying the license bit. I can now continue with a clear conscience :).


If you can provide me with some guidance drawing from your past experience with using punctuation with Devanagari, I would be very grateful. By the way, I am using MS Windows 7 and Word 2007. On the Mac its OSX 10.7 and InDesign CS5 in which the World-Ready Composer has been enabled using a third-party script, that enables composition of Indic languages.


I am interested in purchasing the Adobe Premier Pro font that you developed for Sanskrit transliteration. Do you know where I can find it?

Many thanks to both of you for responding,


hrant's picture

Unfortunately I cannot legally or ethically sell you
those fonts. Even the party that commissioned the
work probably cannot do so. There is a gray area
of sorts* that be explored, but anyway Garamond
Premier is not the same as Garamond Pro; although
I haven't carried out a careful comparison myself
it's highly unlikely that the two can be intermixed
with acceptable results.


Of course I would gladly perform the addition of those
20 new accented characters to Garamond Pro (although
I would have to purchase the typeface for myself first).
If this is something you'd like to pursue please feel free
to email me: hpapazian at gmail dot com


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