Character Styles and Advanced Typographic Options

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jjpulizzi
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Character Styles and Advanced Typographic Options

Post by jjpulizzi » 2011-02-14 11:03:46

Hi All,

I'm new to Nisus Writer and have been experiencing some strange behavior with the character styles and the advanced typographic features (e.g. small caps, superscripts, etc.).

For example, if I set a paragraph style to use small caps or old style numerals, the sample text in the style sheet displays those changes and an attribute for "Typographic Options" appears in the lower right hand of the style box. When I tried to create a character style for small caps, however, the sample font didn't change and nothing appeared in the lower right to indicate that OT feature was enabled. (Btw, I enabled small caps and other typographic options through Apple's Font panel, Format > Font > Show Fonts, or command + T.)

When I applied the small caps style in the document, nothing happened. I had to go back to the Font panel, enable small caps for the selected text, and then redefine the character style based on the selection. Then, when I went back to the style sheet, the small cap character style showed "Normal Case" in the lower righthand corner, which really should have been "Typographic Options" or "Small Caps."

Either I'm doing something wrong, or this is a bug in the way some of the advanced OpenType features are set in the character style sheets.

Thanks,
James

jjpulizzi
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Re: Character Styles and Advanced Typographic Options

Post by jjpulizzi » 2011-02-14 11:51:33

Somewhat related is a problem with rendering OT superscripts that I noticed while setting some of the character styles. On the first line of the page, the top of the superscripts are cut off. I've attached an image showing what happens.
Attachments
superscript%20problem.jpg
superscript%20problem.jpg (22.64 KiB) Viewed 4439 times

Kino
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Re: Character Styles and Advanced Typographic Options

Post by Kino » 2011-02-14 23:30:11

To set up a character style for an OpenType feature,
  1. apply a font having that feature on a Character style’s sample text,
  2. apply the feature on it from Typography panel,
  3. remove the font.

Character styles thus created are expected to work with all OpenType
fonts (e.g. Adobe’s) supporting the same features but not with
AAT fonts (e.g. Hoefler Text) for which you have to create another set
of character styles.
OTCharStyles.png
OTCharStyles.png (22.75 KiB) Viewed 4467 times
I think character styles defined in the attached file will work for you
if your default font is an OpenType font or if you apply such a font
directly or via a paragraph style.
OpenTypeCharStyles_20110215_rtf.zip
(3.89 KiB) Downloaded 197 times
Most likely the cutting off problem you are having has something
to do with your setting of line spacing. I cannot reproduce it.
Try to enlarge the spacing to 14 pt (fixed), for example.
OTSuperScript.png
OTSuperScript.png (5.63 KiB) Viewed 4467 times
P.S. Please don’t post a wide image, which makes your messages
very difficult to read for those whose browser window is not so wide.

EDIT: Fixed typos and tried to make some sentences clearer.

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martin
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Re: Character Styles and Advanced Typographic Options

Post by martin » 2011-02-15 13:05:00

Hi James- welcome to the forums (and Nisus Writer).

So the core of the problem is the way in which those typographic options (like small caps) are defined by fonts. Basically each font can define whatever options it pleases, which may or may not be compatible with other fonts. So when you choose/apply typographic options to some text (or a style), those options may only be functional for the font currently in effect. That's why Kino's suggestion to first apply a known font to your style before adjusting the typographic options will work. However, that doesn't guarantee that the style will work properly across your document with any other font.

This might be made more clear with an example. Let's look at the "small caps" typographic option and the fonts Adobe Garamond and Hoefler Text. The latter defines the "small caps" option using the internal number 3, which is a "well known" AAT font value for that setting. That's why Nisus Writer Pro (NWP) properly shows "small caps" in the stylesheet for the small caps option of Heofler Text in the stylesheet. It's also why NWP's more convenient Format > Character Case > Display As Small Caps menu will use proper/typographic small caps when applied to Hoefler Text, instead of "faking" small caps.

With Adobe Garamond the situation is different. Garamond represents the small caps option internally using the number 12. This isn't the standard AAT font value for small caps. That's why NWP gets confused and displays "Normal Case". That's a bug and NWP should display something else like a generic "Case Changed" attribute bubble, or lump it in with the "Typographic Options" bubble. But the problem should be clear now: one font's value for a particular option isn't necessarily another font's value for that same option. So an option might not be compatible, and thus not easily definable via a style (unless the font used with that style is constant across your document).

Hopefully that makes some sense. Let me know if you have any questions.

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martin
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Re: Character Styles and Advanced Typographic Options

Post by martin » 2011-02-15 13:08:35

jjpulizzi wrote:Somewhat related is a problem with rendering OT superscripts that I noticed while setting some of the character styles. On the first line of the page, the top of the superscripts are cut off. I've attached an image showing what happens.
What font are you using exactly? Perhaps you can attach your test document? Thanks.

jjpulizzi
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Re: Character Styles and Advanced Typographic Options

Post by jjpulizzi » 2011-02-15 19:36:30

Thanks Kino and Martin for your quick and thorough replies. I was using Warnock Pro (OT Postscript, bundled with the Creative Suite) for that test document (which I've attached). I realized that Nisus was setting the typeface back to Times when I created new character styles in the Style Sheet view, which explains why I couldn't enable small caps—Times isn't an OT font and doesn't even have true small caps among its glyphs. Selecting Warnock in the text palette and then setting small caps worked fine.

Kino's suggestion to change the leading to "Fixed" from "Multiple" does prevent the tops of the OT superscripts in the first line from being cut off, and that will work for me, since I prefer to use one point size per typeface in a document. However, the tops still shouldn't be sheered off, even if the leading changes automatically based on point size. I checked again and noticed that this behavior isn't limited to the first line of the page. Even when I apply OT superscripts in another line of text, the tops are cut off until I unselect the text I've just applied the style to. Then the superscripts render correctly—see the tiff I attached. The cut offs in the first line, however, never go anyway.

Perhaps the bug is in Core Text (I'm guessing that's what NWP uses), but I created a Pages document with OT superscripts in the first line and didn't see the same behavior. As far as I know Pages uses Core Text too, but maybe they tweaked Pages to get around some bugs in the APIs that haven't been fixed yet.

Just to be clear, this is a very minor issue and the superscripts will probably print correctly (I haven't verified that though). Just thought I'd bring it to your attention. I like NWP much better than Word or Pages and find it especially helpful when exchanging drafts of my dissertation with my advisors (both of whom use Word).
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Example 2.tiff
Example 2.tiff (9.03 KiB) Viewed 4428 times
Test.rtf
(20.02 KiB) Downloaded 191 times

Kino
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Re: Character Styles and Advanced Typographic Options

Post by Kino » 2011-02-16 01:46:24

jjpulizzi wrote:Perhaps the bug is in Core Text (I'm guessing that's what NWP uses), but I created a Pages document with OT superscripts in the first line and didn't see the same behavior. As far as I know Pages uses Core Text too, but maybe they tweaked Pages to get around some bugs in the APIs that haven't been fixed yet.
I’m not familiar with the technical aspect of the problem but I think you are right. I looked at this issue in TextEdit. In my understanding, NWP’s text engine is closer to that of TextEdit than to that of Pages. As you see in the screen shots below, with multiple line spacing, the height of superscripts of an OpenType font (Adobe Caslon Pro; I don’t have Warnock Pro) seems to be ignored when you make a selection—presumably this is what causes the cutting-off-in-the-first-line problem—although that of an AAT font (Apple Chancery) is recognized and treated properly.
SpacingMultiOpenType.png
SpacingMultiOpenType.png (40.54 KiB) Viewed 4414 times
SpacingMultiAAT.png
SpacingMultiAAT.png (40.82 KiB) Viewed 4414 times
Just to be clear, this is a very minor issue and the superscripts will probably print correctly (I haven't verified that though).
I think, with OpenType fonts, it would be safer to use a sufficient amount of fixed line spacing. In my experience, what you see is what you get in printout.
SpacingFixedOpenType.png
SpacingFixedOpenType.png (40.6 KiB) Viewed 4414 times
EDIT: I forgot to insert the second quotation.
EDIT: Tried to ameliorate this posting from my stylistic and linguistic view.

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martin
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Re: Character Styles and Advanced Typographic Options

Post by martin » 2011-02-16 16:31:08

jjpulizzi wrote:Perhaps the bug is in Core Text (I'm guessing that's what NWP uses), but I created a Pages document with OT superscripts in the first line and didn't see the same behavior. As far as I know Pages uses Core Text too, but maybe they tweaked Pages to get around some bugs in the APIs that haven't been fixed yet.
NWP and Pages do use CoreText, but not directly. NWP uses the Cocoa text system, which sits atop CoreText, while Pages uses WebKit, which also sits atop CoreText. That's why Pages can behave differently than NWP. As Kino mentioned, TextEdit is a fairer comparison, because it too uses the Cocoa text system.
jjpulizzi wrote:However, the tops still shouldn't be sheered off, even if the leading changes automatically based on point size. I checked again and noticed that this behavior isn't limited to the first line of the page.
...
Just to be clear, this is a very minor issue and the superscripts will probably print correctly (I haven't verified that though).
I too lack the Warnock font, but see the same issue with Adobe's Caslon Pro font (thanks to Kino for discovering that). The sheering on the first line of the page is shown in printouts/PDFs, and is reproduced in TextEdit as well. Unfortunately it's unlikely we'll be able to do anything about this bug.

However, the sheering on subsequent lines is an oddity that appears only in NWP. The good news on that is the bug is just a temporary onscreen effect that is not shown in printouts/PDFs.

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martin
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Re: Character Styles and Advanced Typographic Options

Post by martin » 2011-02-16 16:39:26

Kino wrote:although that of an AAT font (Apple Chancery) is recognized and treated properly.
AAT (Apple Advanced Typography) fonts have always enjoyed more robust support on OSX, but Apple has been making improvements to their OpenType support. Hopefully they can get this fixed sometime in the Cocoa text engine.

Although even in Pages the superscripted numbers appear outside the line / page area:
pages.png
pages.png (7.43 KiB) Viewed 4385 times
Probably that's just the way the font is designed, and somehow Pages/WebKit doesn't clip the glyphs when drawing.

jjpulizzi
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Re: Character Styles and Advanced Typographic Options

Post by jjpulizzi » 2011-02-18 14:11:10

Martin and Kino,

Thanks for your help and attention. I'll send a bug report to Apple, and hopefully they'll fix this problem in a future maintenance update or 10.7.

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