Lucida Grande and Italics

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jb
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Lucida Grande and Italics

Post by jb » 2012-02-15 13:07:41

Well I’ve never understood much about fonts.
I’ve been happily using Lucida Grande, believing (wrongly?) that I was getting italics when I press CMD-I (or Format>Font Face> Italic). But I see that elsewhere—in other software contexts, such as in TextEdit—Lucida Grande has no italics. So what do I have that looks like italics?

More to the point, do I run any danger in using these (Nisus-generated?) “italics” when I send documents to a publisher?

[I know I can easily change the font to one that has (real?) italics, but I use more than one script and the reason I like Lucida is that it looks decent whichever script I use. So I’d like to stick with it, unless I’m looking at trouble down the road.

And yeah, I know I can find all text with a given script and convert it to whatever font I need. Just trying to keep things simple...]

Thanks

Groucho
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Re: Lucida Grande and Italics

Post by Groucho » 2012-02-16 03:44:26

Hello, jb.

Lucida Grande that came with my OS (10.6.8) doesn’t have an italic typeface. Just normal and bold.
Use Font Book in your Applications folder to check if your font has an italic typeface. Select the font and expand the typeface list by clicking on the triangle next to the name.
Or, which is faster, click on the Face drop-down right below the font name box in NW’s Character palette. The Face drop-down lists all the faces an installed font has.
As far as I know, clicking on the Italics or bold button will create fake italics (slanted) and bold (thickened) when italics and bold faces are not available. Depending on the application you export to, these fakes are not recognized. Maybe there should be a warning.

Henry.

jb
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Re: Lucida Grande and Italics

Post by jb » 2012-02-16 04:24:10

Thanks, Henry.
I didn't realize Nisus could do such faking. It looks fine when printed and also in PDF, so it's certainly of some value.
I realized later I should just check to see what happens on export. I don't have Word, which of course is usually what we have to deal with, but I see that a file exported from NWP as .doc loses these faked italics when opened in Pages. If that means anything. Anyway, I guess I'll just find a copy of Word somewhere and experiment, but it seems I should just avoid the faking.

Cheers

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greenmorpher
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Re: Lucida Grande and Italics

Post by greenmorpher » 2012-02-16 12:07:32

This kind of faking has been with us since the beginning of desktop computer time. Back in the day with the PS1/3 fonts, it didn't print or translate into PDF, because of the separation of screen and printer fonts. We DTPers quickly learned not to use the the italics and bold commands but to always go to the native font. With the new fonts it does print because we are working directly on the printer fonts and applying the Italics command to a font without italics actually creates a printable font on the fly.

Presumably this is an OS X thing (the test, does TextEdit do it -- if yes, then it is an OS X thing) with which MS doesn't comply because it is not using the OS Xtext engine.

Cheers, geoff

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martin
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Re: Lucida Grande and Italics

Post by martin » 2012-02-20 14:56:52

jb wrote:I’ve been happily using Lucida Grande, believing (wrongly?) that I was getting italics when I press CMD-I (or Format>Font Face> Italic). But I see that elsewhere—in other software contexts, such as in TextEdit—Lucida Grande has no italics. So what do I have that looks like italics?
As others have mentioned, Lucida Grande does not have a proper italic typeface, so NWP "fakes" it by slanting the letters a bit. NWP does this for other options as well, like bold and small caps. Basically if the font provides a proper typeface for these options, NWP will use that typeface, but if not, we'll display something to fulfill the requested formatting/feature.
More to the point, do I run any danger in using these (Nisus-generated?) “italics” when I send documents to a publisher?
The only danger you run is that your publisher's software won't be able to display the saved/requested formatted. But Microsoft Word will also happily "fake" typeface options like bold/italic for fonts that don't have proper typefaces.

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martin
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Re: Lucida Grande and Italics

Post by martin » 2012-02-20 15:00:57

jb wrote:I see that a file exported from NWP as .doc loses these faked italics when opened in Pages. If that means anything.
greenmorpher wrote:Presumably this is an OS X thing (the test, does TextEdit do it -- if yes, then it is an OS X thing) with which MS doesn't comply because it is not using the OS Xtext engine.
TextEdit and Pages do not "fake" formatting options for fonts that do not have a proper matching typeface, but that's a designed decision, not a limitation of the OSX text engine. Microsoft Word and NWP both provide this kind of faking on OSX.

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