What’s OpenType ? A rich font fomat

Hiding behind this abbreviation is a font technology with great capabilities. Jointly developed by Microsoft and Adobe companies, OpenType is a font file format with 100 % cross-platform compatibility (work as well with PCs and Macs computers) and it can support advanced typographic functions such as large character sets, better language support, special glyphs, one cross-platform font file, and advanced typographic features. It integrate also great features to improve your typographic work such as small caps, f-ligatures, case forms, tabular and old style figures, discretionary ligatures, fractions, numerators ans denominators, ordinals and much more.

Where and how to use these features?
In InDesign program, find your character palette and click the palette tab to reveal all the palette options. If the character palette is not visible, you will find it via the Window menu. Choose Opentype to show all features of the font you’re working with.

Opentype palette InDesign Adobe


In Microsoft Word program, click the format option on the main menu. Select Font and this will pull up dialogue bow with two tabs. Choose your font and click Advanced tab to experiment the OpenType features of your font.

Opentype options in Word Microsoft

These days, programs most commonly used in graphic design industry (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator) supports OpenType fonts. There is more than 100 OpenType features and we describe below the main functions you will find in our typefaces.

Case Sensitive Forms
This allows you to replace characters, especially punctuation, with forms better suited for all-capital text.

Small Caps
This allows you to replace lower-case letters with small caps letters.

Replaces sequence of characters with a single ligature glyph.

Ligatures Opentype features
Discretionary Ligatures
Ligatures to be applied at the user’s discretion

Stylistic Alternates and Stylistic Set 1 to 20
Either replaces with, or displays list of, stylistic alternatives for a character.

Titling Alternates
Replaces characters or sequence of characters with forms suited for large type, as in titles.

Lining Figures and Old Style Figures
This allows you to replace basic figures by old style figures.

Tabular Figures and Tabular Old Style Figures
Replaces numerals with glyphs of uniform width. Very usefull for tables.

This allows you to Convert figures separated by slash with diagonal fraction. Another features (Called Alternative fractions) converts figures separated by slash with alternative stacked fraction form.

Numerators and Denominators
Converts to appropriate fraction numerator and denominator form.

Superscript, Subscript, Scientific inferiors and Ordinals
Replaces character with subscript, superscript version.

Slashed Zero
Replaces 0 figure with slashed 0. The slashed zero glyph is often used to distinguish the digit “zero” (“0”) from the Latin script letter “O” anywhere that the distinction needs emphasis, particularly in encoding systems, scientific and engineering applications.

This allows you to replace usual glyphs to fleurons, vignettes, borders, bullets, brackets, arrows



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