Choosing Lining or Old-style Numerals for Verse Numbers

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adamjcooper
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Choosing Lining or Old-style Numerals for Verse Numbers

Post by adamjcooper »

The particular font I want to use for verse numbers uses Old-style figures for numbers by default, which I don't want (where digits, like 3, descend below the line). The font also defines Lining figures for numbers (where the digits never descend or ascend), but I don't see a way to instruct Dorico to specifically use the Lining version of the numbers. Is this possible? If not, are there plans to add this option to Dorico?

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benwiggy
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Re: Choosing Lining or Old-style Numerals for Verse Numbers

Post by benwiggy »

There is a Font Style just for the Verse Numbers. Can you not choose a different, but all-but-identical font that does lining figures?

As I understand it, the 2.2 update expected at the end of this month will be the last update to version 2, so if it's not in that, your next chance will the paid update to D3, whenever that comes.
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AaronGiles
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Re: Choosing Lining or Old-style Numerals for Verse Numbers

Post by AaronGiles »

That's an OpenType feature that I too hope Dorico will support in the future.

In the meantime, my workaround was to install FontForge, make a copy of the font, and then copy the lining figures I wanted over the default. This sounds easy when I type it, but FontForge is not the most user-friendly software, and I doubt I could replicate the feat without some significant clicking around. But I did manage to make it work once!

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adamjcooper
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Re: Choosing Lining or Old-style Numerals for Verse Numbers

Post by adamjcooper »

I have workarounds I can use to resolve this problem, so this is not something I need fixed urgently. The particular font face I want to use comes in both OpenType and older PostScript Type 1 file formats, and with the PostScript versions there are actually different font names for the different number styles. But PostScript is being phased out, and I wanted to see if there is a "right" way to select number figures in an OpenType font with Dorico.

FontForge is indeed a difficult application to use, though if the font I wanted to use was only available as an OpenType file, that is what I'd reach for to extract the Lining number glyphs as a new font (or, if you happen to own a license, the much nicer but very expensive FontLab).

For verse numbers, where we can't choose the font glyph that is used, it could be useful if Dorico allowed us a way to specify which set of number glyphs in an OpenType font should be used (Old-style vs Lining, Proportional vs Tabular). Or maybe Dorico just always asks for Lining numbers when using an OpenType font (since I suspect that's what most people will want).

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benwiggy
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Re: Choosing Lining or Old-style Numerals for Verse Numbers

Post by benwiggy »

adamjcooper wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:25 pm
But PostScript is being phased out,
"Citation required." :D
Type 1 fonts are still supported on MacOS, and Apple has given no indication that they are deprecated. I can't find anything to suggest that Windows is different in this regard, either.

Alternatively, you may want to check the licence of your font, as some foundries allow (or used to allow) the conversion of a font to a different format, as long as you're not using both on different machines.
adamjcooper wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 1:25 pm
Or maybe Dorico just always asks for Lining numbers when using an OpenType font (since I suspect that's what most people will want).
Never assume that everyone wants the same thing as you! :D I certainly prefer non-lining figures for verse numbers.
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Rob Tuley
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Re: Choosing Lining or Old-style Numerals for Verse Numbers

Post by Rob Tuley »

Type 1 fonts are likely to die over time, simply because they don't support all the advanced typography features in newer font formats. I can't imagine a professional font designer would create a new font only in Type 1 format now.

But they will probably still "work" for as long as PDFs are around, since the format of a PDF is basically "PostScript plus some extensions."

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benwiggy
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Re: Choosing Lining or Old-style Numerals for Verse Numbers

Post by benwiggy »

Indeed: they are a 'legacy format'. Adobe haven't sold one for well over 10 years.
But that's a long way from "being phased out". There's a lot of documents out there that depend on them, and if MS or Apple deprecated or dropped support, there would be a lot of angry people.
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LSalgueiro
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Re: Choosing Lining or Old-style Numerals for Verse Numbers

Post by LSalgueiro »

benwiggy wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:51 pm
Indeed: they are a 'legacy format'. Adobe haven't sold one for well over 10 years.
But that's a long way from "being phased out". There's a lot of documents out there that depend on them, and if MS or Apple deprecated or dropped support, there would be a lot of angry people.
… whose open letters regarding the issue might be rendered unreadable if Word were to suddenly drop PostScript, so, we'd be good either way!

As a font geek, I'm all out for Dorico having the best typographic engine it can have.

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Re: Choosing Lining or Old-style Numerals for Verse Numbers

Post by jonvog »

Any news regarding this topic? I am considering buying a font with old style numerals per default and lining numbers as opentype alternative. It’s the only thing that’s holding me back to spend money on this font...

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benwiggy
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Re: Choosing Lining or Old-style Numerals for Verse Numbers

Post by benwiggy »

Dorico still doesn't support advanced OpenType features like non-lining figures, small caps, Swash, etc. But you could always create a version of the font with the numerals switched using FontForge, or similar.

But I have found out that Apple now describes Type 1 fonts as a 'legacy format, which might not work'. They kept that quiet. Obviously, PostScript the language is still a fundamental part of CoreGraphics and the CUPS printing system. T1 fonts are probably the only thing that still use the resource fork of the filing system, which has been deprecated at least since Lion, if not since OS X itself.
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