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Old 02-20-2005, 12:42 AM   #1
Mike
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Default Converting to OpenType fonts

Has anyone tried out FontLab's TransType Pro 3 (http://www.fontlab.com/index.php)?

The web page says 'TransType Pro automatically adds some OpenType typographic features such as ligatures or fractions'. So, does it create ligatures in the font where none existed originally?

(The answer to this question is probably on the web site but it seems to have gone offline this morning.)

   
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Old 02-20-2005, 08:46 AM   #2
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Mike:

'does it create ligatures in the font where none existed originally?'

According to the user's guide (PDF, under the 'Download' section of the TransType site) it does.

   
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Old 02-20-2005, 02:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Rowley
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
does it create ligatures in the font where none existed originally?
According to the user's guide (PDF, under the 'Download' section of the TransType site) it does.
I wish I understood what it does. Creating a ligature is a design/drawing job.

If ligs exist in a font (but hidden), I can see how they could add them. The fi and fl ligatures are standard in most Mac fonts, where Windows fonts have fractions. Or if the conversion includes expert fonts, which may have all five (or six) f-ligatures, that too would work.

But otherwise, what are they doing? Placing two or three characters in a single character slot?

   
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Old 02-20-2005, 03:07 PM   #4
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KT:

I wondered if it creates the ligatures (and if so, how?). However, the fi and fl ligatures are standard on any font I've seen, and I've never used a Mac. They are however not accessible from a Windows keyboard (you have to go to the character map), whereas they can be accessed directly from a Mac keyboard. The other standard (i.e. standard in Unicode) ligatures are only accessible from the character map (that applies to Mac OS 10, I suppose), if they are present, which they may be even in non-OT fonts.

The ligature variants, if present, have the same Unicode numbers as their 'parents', but of course can be chosen through some mumbo-jumbo, which as far as I know is only understood by a few Adobe programs (such as InDesign).

   
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Old 02-21-2005, 12:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Rowley
According to the user's guide (PDF, under the 'Download' section of the TransType site) it does.
I'm downloading that at the moment -- the site, or my internet connection, seems to be working better today.

I notice it says that it will create OT features such as small caps and fractions but what I really like is something that would combine expert sets into an OT font -- now I'm used to using OT fonts it's a real pain to have to keep chosing from expert sets where that's all I have for a font.

   
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Old 02-23-2005, 07:37 PM   #6
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No, it doesn't create ligatures where none existed previously. It takes existing standard ligatures and fractions (if present) and adds OpenType layout features to help access them. I can see how it would be easy to word that functionality in an unintentionally misleading way, though.

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Old 02-24-2005, 12:11 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by tphinney
It takes existing standard ligatures and fractions (if present) and adds OpenType layout features to help access them.

That certainly sounds more believable.

I'm sure it would be possible to automatically generate ligatures but they'd probably look as elegant as faux bold.

By the way, it's good to see you here, Thom.

   
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Old 02-24-2005, 12:20 PM   #8
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Thomas:

'I can see how it would be easy to word that functionality in an unintentionally misleading way'

Mea culpa! The PDF guide says that the program adds Open Type features such as ligatures if originally present.

   
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