Customising Superscript and Subscript

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greenmorpher
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Customising Superscript and Subscript

Post by greenmorpher » 2008-12-13 16:03:21

I cannot see (and I even looked in "Help", which fact emphasises the importance I place on this matter) a way of customising the size and position of Superscript and Subscript characters in Nisus Writer.

As they stand, I find them too small. In Canvas, for example, the auto Superscript is the current type size reduced to 75% with baseline raised by 30%. Subscript is type reduced to 75% and baseline lowered by 30%. I find the Canvas superscript good (although some would argue for a slightly greater reduction in type size -- PageMaker's standard is 70%) but the baseline for its subscript too low -- 15% would be enough.

These are at 12 pt type size.

These type size reductions and up/down baseline movements ought to be adjustable individually so that the type size reduction could be made larger in larger type sizes and the up/down baseline movement tweaked appropriately.

These raising and lowering of baselines, incidentally, do not affect previous or subsequent lines.

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout" -- how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print; "Success in Store" -- go retail, enjoy it and make money. Real business smarts @ just $29.95. See these books and more at http://www.worsleypress.com

xiamenese
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Re: Customising Superscript and Subscript

Post by xiamenese » 2008-12-13 21:33:31

Geoff, I think this is down to Apple and their text engine. So here is my latest guess/kludge, but it is possible to modify the "Note Reference" character style to lower the baseline, and presumably the font size could be adjusted by setting a different standard font size on which it is based, but only for that style. So:

1) Can you not set the note reference character style to what you want, and give that a keystroke and use that.

2) If you also need subscripts ... can you not create your own superscript and subscript character styles to match what you want, and then assign a keystroke. Then when you need whichever, you use that keystroke rather than the standard ones for sub and superscript, or even re-assign those. You will of course need to cancel the character style to return to the normal, just as you have to do with super and sub currently.

Any good? :)

Mark

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greenmorpher
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Re: Customising Superscript and Subscript

Post by greenmorpher » 2008-12-13 23:25:21

Hiya MARK

I had thought along those lines, but the problem is that if you set it as a style it has to be a character style and it refers to:

a) A particular typeface

b) A particular size

c) Baseline.

I work on screen in Verdana -- that is my "Body Text Entry" Paragraph style or some variation of that. When I am ready to print, I use the Format > Select All Style, then click on a character style, which is "Body Print" -- the same size (12 pt) but a different typeface you can read on paper.

In addition to changing the typeface, that returns over the pseudo-superscript, returning its type size to 12 pt znd its baseline to normal.

Using the apparently cunning scheme you suggest, I would have to go through a document and reset all the homemade superscripts.

Incidentally, to my eye, with 12 pt type, for superscript, 8 pt type with 4 pt of baseline raising gives a fair result. I would like to go a point higher in baseline raising, but that then starts to add to interlinear spacing. For subscript, 8 pt type with one point of baseline lowering works well.

We'll have to wait for the lads to get back to work at Nisus tomorrow to see what they have to say.

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout" -- how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print; "Success in Store" -- go retail, enjoy it and make money. Real business smarts @ just $29.95. See these books and more at http://www.worsleypress.com

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Re: Customising Superscript and Subscript

Post by xiamenese » 2008-12-14 00:13:31

greenmorpher wrote:We'll have to wait for the lads to get back to work at Nisus tomorrow to see what they have to say.
My betting is that they'll say that that's the way it is in Apple's text engine, so it then comes down to how willing they are to do yet more enhancements of the text engine, but it's my bet also that Apple won't.

I see your point about the way you work, and how my suggestion won't work for you. I work in the font I print in -- my default is Adobe Caslon Pro -- so I wouldn't have your problem, but I can still see how it might give me a bit of extra work. I might try it though.

I sometimes wish I had the time/energy to get into MMD/LaTeX where these things can be handled so much more elegantly, but I don't, so I look for kludges like these instead.

Mark

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Re: Customising Superscript and Subscript

Post by martin » 2008-12-15 14:13:10

A lot of the time it does come down to what Apple provides, but for superscript (and subscript) sizing and baseline adjustments it's entirely under our control.

First we check if the font provides native superscripts, an advanced typography feature some fonts have (eg: Palatino). Only if that's not available does NWP do "fake" superscripting and shrink the font size and raises/lowers the baseline. Currently there's no way for the user to customize the adjustments, but I suppose it's something we could add.

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Re: Customising Superscript and Subscript

Post by xiamenese » 2008-12-15 18:30:42

martin wrote:A lot of the time it does come down to what Apple provides, but for superscript (and subscript) sizing and baseline adjustments it's entirely under our control.

First we check if the font provides native superscripts, an advanced typography feature some fonts have (eg: Palatino). Only if that's not available does NWP do "fake" superscripting and shrink the font size and raises/lowers the baseline. Currently there's no way for the user to customize the adjustments, but I suppose it's something we could add.
I didn't know that ... I assumed that was all Apple text-engine controlled. Yes, this is good to know; can I -- joining Geoff, I'm sure! -- put in a vote for user customisation of super- and sub-scripts. :)

Mark

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Re: Customising Superscript and Subscript

Post by martin » 2008-12-16 00:23:25

Absolutely Mark- consider it filed!

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Re: Customising Superscript and Subscript

Post by Groucho » 2008-12-16 01:55:56

martin wrote:First we check if the font provides native superscripts, an advanced typography feature some fonts have (eg: Palatino). Only if that's not available does NWP do "fake" superscripting…
I'm glad to learn that, Martin. So NWP uses special features available in OpenType fonts even if we are not aware? Nice!
Looks like I'm forever learning something.

Greetings, Henry.

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Elbrecht
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Re: Customising Superscript and Subscript

Post by Elbrecht » 2008-12-16 07:35:24

Hi Martin -

me too! For customizing whatever font related options... BTW whatelse do you check fonts for? Do you check for pre-composed characters included in a font? Would be great to have control over and make sure for the better.

HE
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martin
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Re: Customising Superscript and Subscript

Post by martin » 2008-12-16 11:52:04

Groucho wrote:So NWP uses special features available in OpenType fonts even if we are not aware? Nice!
I'm not sure if using proper superscript/subscript alternates is supported for OpenType fonts or not. It comes down to whether or not Apple supports them. We have customized the superscript display process, but we're still using Apple's tools to get the job done.
Elbrecht wrote:BTW whatelse do you check fonts for? Do you check for pre-composed characters included in a font? Would be great to have control over and make sure for the better.
Besides superscript/subscript we also check for proper bold, italic, and small caps support in the font before "faking" these features. On the other hand, how Unicode character sequences are converted to font glyphs is handled completely by Apple. The only way one can customize that is to look for the "glyph variants" section of the Typography palette. It may present alternatives depending on the selected font/characters.

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Re: Customising Superscript and Subscript

Post by greenmorpher » 2008-12-16 12:55:17

That's good news, Martin. So what we're looking for is the type size reduction and raise/lower in respect of the baseline to be available as a dialog. By percentages and in the preferences would be the way to go, I should think.

(Snaps fingers) So easy!!! :D (Well, for me to say!)

Best regards and Season's Greetings to all at Nisus and on this forum. I am off to Timor-Leste where I will be doing lots of writing in NWP now I have sold off the mighty Mac mini and equipped myself with a Macbook instead. :)

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout" -- how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print; "Success in Store" -- go retail, enjoy it and make money. Real business smarts @ just $29.95. See these books and more at http://www.worsleypress.com

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Re: Customising Superscript and Subscript

Post by shades » 2008-12-16 13:53:49

Wow, Geoff! Vertical rulers and font changes for subscript and superscript.... what will be next?


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Re: Customising Superscript and Subscript

Post by greenmorpher » 2008-12-17 12:52:55

It sounds as though customization of super- and subscripts will happen, though, Shades.

Sadly, I am not sanguine about the vertical rulers any longer.

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout" -- how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print; "Success in Store" -- go retail, enjoy it and make money. Real business smarts @ just $29.95. See these books and more at http://www.worsleypress.com

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Re: Customising Superscript and Subscript

Post by martin » 2008-12-17 13:37:48

greenmorpher wrote:Best regards and Season's Greetings to all at Nisus and on this forum. I am off to Timor-Leste where I will be doing lots of writing in NWP now I have sold off the mighty Mac mini and equipped myself with a Macbook instead. :)
Thanks Geoff, best wishes to you on your travels, and happy holidays!

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