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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, author and industry expert Deke McClelland teaches how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic features in Illustrator CS5. This course demonstrates how to apply these features to paths, groups, and editable text to create professional-quality artwork. The course covers Live Trace, Live Paint, and Live Color, as well as symbols, gradients, exporting, and integration with Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this exercise, we are going to discuss a few specialty type items specifically ligatures, swatches, ordinals and fractions in the context of the OpenType panel. I've saved my progress as Prospective type.ai and I am going to go ahead and select that yellow type that we went ahead and formatted in the previous exercise. Notice that it's not at the angle that it appears to be so bear that in mind. Then having done that, notice that we've got that big problem over here in the word Difficulty. So we have a big gap between the f and the i and that is the automatic kerning that's associated with this font right now.
So I can't figure out why it's this bad but what needs to happen is those letters need to be replaced with a ligature. A ligature is a single character that represents multiple letters for example there is a ligature for fi in a row, there is a ligature for fl, there is another ligature in this font for ffi and several other combinations as well. Now, assuming that you're using an OpenType font as opposed to either TrueType font or a postscript type one font or something along those lines. OpenType has been out there for years about a decade now and just about every font that ships any more is an OpenType font.
All of the fonts that ship along with the Creative Suite are OpenType fonts. OpenType fonts are smarter than the old generation. First of all by the way they are cross- platform so the same font file can be used on a Mac or the PC but also they're indexed in a way that Illustrator can read and that Illustrator can automatically replace characters with the preferred characters for example anytime you type ffi, it should automatically get replaced with a ligature. Let me show you how that works. To get to the OpenType panel you go up to the Window menu, you drop all the way down to the Type command which brings up a submenu and then you choose OpenType or you press mash your fist T. So Ctrl+Alt+T or Command+Shift+Option+T on the Mac brings up the OpenType panel over here and then at this point you can use the options inside of this panel to automatically replace characters.
Now these first two options in the pop- up menus they are not nearly as popular as the other's figure. It allows you to replace numbers that's what the Figure item means you are replacing numbers with other kinds of numbers. So you can use Tabular Lining that means that one gets just as much as space as the two, and three and so on or you can use Proportional Lining. We'll see that in a moment. You can also choose Oldstyle characters if they are available. Oldstyle characters, Oldstyle numbers drop below the baseline in many cases. You also have these Position options here which are great for Superscripts and Subscripts as well as Numerators and Denominators.
This would be numbers inside of a fraction. So the first number in the fraction in it is the Numerator, the second number is the Denominator so you can take advantage of those options as well. These icons that here at the bottom though are little more popular. Notice right there is standard ligatures and it says fi and as soon as I click on that watch what happens to the ffi down here. It automatically heals and becomes a good-looking character. The reason I say that's a single character's notice that the dot of the eye is actually built into that f right there so it's all one single continuous character.
That's not something you could do with multiple characters in a row. However, Illustrator can spell check that as ffi. It's quite intelligent about the way it handles it. You also have the option of using Discretionary Ligatures. Now these are not very popular quite frankly. They are Oldstyle ligature, not the kind of thing that we see on a regular basis. I think they're little overly fancy but watch what happens if I turn this on. Watch what happens to the st in Persistent and the st in Master, they get a loop on top of them.
So you may want that, you may not. It's totally up to you. If you're working with an italic style and in my case I'm working with Adobe Caslon Pro bold italic then the font may include special swash characters. So, if I turn off the Swash item watch what happens to the capital letters in this text right there. The M gets a big swash next to it, the P gets a swash, the D gets a swash and so on. So, that's ends up filling out things quite nicely I think. Now, then let's take a look at some of the other options here. We are not going to see every single one of them just the most common ones.
I am going to click on this text up here. Notice that it says the 1st name and that one st. The st should be raised and that's called an ordinal by the way when the s and t are raised characters are basically superscripted characters and many OpenType fonts include specialty ordinals. If you want to automatically apply them then you go ahead and turn on Ordinals. The problem is in our case Illustrator gets a little carried away and things just about everything inside this point text must be an ordinal. Of course, it's wrong so I am going to go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on a Mac to undo that.
I'll grab my Type tool and I'll just select first like so and then I'll go ahead and turn on the Ordinals Option that will automatically switch out that text. Notice also I've got a fraction right here 1 and then a slash character and then 2 (1/2). Well, I could replace that with the fraction character by selecting that text because if I don't select those characters right there than it's going to replace the one over here as well. So, I need to make sure I just get the fraction and I'll go ahead and click on that Fractions icon and I end up automatically replacing that fraction with a single character.
Now, you may look at this build fraction at this point. This is a single fraction character bear that in mind. You may look at it and think you know gosh! Those numbers need to be kerned apart from each other. Well, you are not going to be able to do that because you can't kern pieces of a single character away from each other. They are glued into alignment just like that so just bear that in mind. The s and t however by the way and the one are all separate characters. So that's how you work with the specialty characters. Remember you've got your Ligatures, you've got Swashes, you have Ordinals which are the superscripted letters and you've got Fractions as well.
All of which you can replace automatically inside of OpenType fonts from the OpenType panel.
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