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OpenType and ligatures

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: OpenType and ligatures

In this exercise I'm going to introduce you to OpenType fonts and the OpenType palette here inside of Illustrator and we will even switch out a few ligatures and if that sounds like the nerdiest thing ever, I assure you it is, but it's all for a good cause. We are making our document look that much better. The document in question is called, this time around, Composed & justified.ai. If you are just joining me for whatever reason, found inside the 08_type folder and let's take a look at the fonts that are available to our system. I'm just going to go up to Type menu and choose Font here so that we can see not only the names of fonts rendered in their fonts of course, but also we are seeing these icons over to the left and these icons have a very specific meaning.

OpenType and ligatures

In this exercise I'm going to introduce you to OpenType fonts and the OpenType palette here inside of Illustrator and we will even switch out a few ligatures and if that sounds like the nerdiest thing ever, I assure you it is, but it's all for a good cause. We are making our document look that much better. The document in question is called, this time around, Composed & justified.ai. If you are just joining me for whatever reason, found inside the 08_type folder and let's take a look at the fonts that are available to our system. I'm just going to go up to Type menu and choose Font here so that we can see not only the names of fonts rendered in their fonts of course, but also we are seeing these icons over to the left and these icons have a very specific meaning.

For example, this guy right there, this red A means that we are looking at a PostScript Type 1 font and this sort of multi colored T, we have got a gray T, with a blue T in front of it. That means we are looking at a TrueType font. Now the thing about PostScript Type 1 fonts and TrueType fonts is that they are old school, essentially. You have to have different fonts for different operating systems. So they are both available for both the Mac and the PC, but you would have to have a different font for the Mac than you would for the PC and a different font for the PC than the Mac, you get the idea. Whereas all of these other guys are OpenType fonts and OpenType fonts are way better for several different reasons and thankfully everybody has jumped on the bandwagon as you can see here. Just about every font that has made these days is an OpenType font and even fonts that you have purchased in the past are probably available as OpenType fonts and there are even utilities out there that will convert your old Type 1 and TrueType fonts over to OpenType if you like and there are good reasons to do that.

Especially if for no other reason than they are crossed platform. So if you've got an OpenType font for the Mac and you want to use it over on your PC, all you have to do is copy it over and you are good to go. So that's one of the big things with OpenType. Another thing is that they devote 2 bytes to every character, instead of just 1 byte per character like old school fonts, there are 2 bytes devoted to every character and when I say that, we are not taking bytes out of character here. I mean 2 bytes of data and what that means is instead of having 256 different characters available to you inside of a font, which used to be the way it was. It would top out of 256 characters, one of them being a paragraph return that kind of thing. Now we have got tens of thousands of different character variations. So a single font can contain not only the entire western alphabet and all the different accent variations, but it can also contain all other alphabets that there are, every single other alphabet on the planet.

So all the Chinese characters, all the Japanese characters, all your Ethiopian characters, all your Cherokee characters, the list goes on and on. And then finally OpenType fonts are very smart, meaning that they can be very smart, not all of them are, but they can be very smart. Then I should say all of this stuff is possible. I don't know of any font that actually contains every single language available. It just can, if it wants to. Anyway, back to being smart. The font can have intelligence built into it. So you can have multiple variations of a single letter that you can choose from and if the font is marked then Illustrator is there to support it with its OpenType palette. So let me show you what's going on with that. Let's go ahead and get rid of that menu that's been on screen for about an hour and half.

Switch back to our text. I'm going to double-click inside of it at I at some location right there and I'm actually, you know what I'm going to triple-click in order to select this entire paragraph like so and then I'm going to bring up my OpenType palette and the OpenType palette is available right there for me. Just go ahead and click on that icon to bring it up. If you can't find the palette then you need to go to Window menu and you choose Type, way down here at the bottom for me, and then OpenType. Notice everybody has got a keyboard shortcut, so I'll show you how those work really briefly here. Ctrl+T or Command+ T takes you to the Character palette.

Ctrl+Alt+T or Command+Option+T takes you to paragraph and then go ahead and add Shift. So you got Ctrl+Shift+Alt+T or Command+Shift+Option+T on the Mac in order to switch over to OpenType and notice that we have these icons right here along the bottom and these icon show what kind of variations are available to us for our selected text. So for example, the Swash character is not available for this specific style of this specific font. So typically for your regular or Roman styles you are not going to get swashes. Those are typically associated with Italics. But if you don't have that specific variation available to you then it will be dimmed. If you do have a variation available to you such as Discretionary Ligatures or Standard Ligatures here, then you will see that option.

All right, so how does that work? Let's go ahead and hide that palette for a moment and I'm going to attempt, let's see if I can do it. Yeah, I'm going to be able to zoom in here, this is a Spacebar trick. So I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't replacing any of the text with a space of course. Notice this ff right there. Anytime you see a lower case f inside of a document followed by another character, whether it's a fi or an fl combination or an ff combination or ffi or an ffl, there are all kinds of them. Even fj, but I don't know too many words with fj combos and those can be replaced with a single character ligature and the idea is that it increase legibility and it makes designers happy and it makes the text look better so that two fs aren't just jamming into each other quite like we are seeing them here.

Now what you do if you want to replace everything that Illustrator thinks should be a ligature with a single character, then you go over to the OpenType palette and you click on this icon right there, Standard Ligatures and watch that ff, watch what happens to it. It gets switched out with a single ff character and that is actually a single character. Even though I'll go ahead and click right there and I'll press the Arrow key to move in between them so I can still edit them as independent characters and they still spell-check as independent characters. Because in the old days, you would have to enter O and then find the ff ligature and enter it manually and then of course old versions of Illustrator wouldn't have known that was the word off. They would have thought it was of-f, whatever that character is and that wouldn't have been a part of your dictionary and it would call it out as being a mistake.

These days thanks to OpenType, Illustrator is well aware is that is an ff right there, and it's replacing that character on the fly. All right, now what other kind of characters can we replace? I'll go ahead and triple-click again inside this paragraph to select the whole thing. Also, we have these Discretionary Ligatures, which include things like st combos and ct combos and those sorts of variations, and these are old styles ligatures. This is why they are broken up from each other. Standard Ligatures, you definitely want to replace, they include all the f combos. They sometimes include capital T followed by a little h, you definitely want to hit them, is the idea.

However, Discretionary Ligatures you may or may not, because sometimes they are just a little bit too precious, as we will see. So I'll go ahead and turn on this option as well, and notice that this st combo got replaced with this little humpy-poo in the middle there and that's what a ct combo would look like as well. As an old style convention, you may like it, you may not like it. I'm going to leave it on just so that we are aware that these options area available are to us and there are several other examples of ligatures inside of this specific little file. There is another ct right there, there is another off. There is a few others. There are some fis, some fls, right there. See these guys, the flop and the flump right there? Those have been replaced by standard ligatures.

All right, so there you have it, more info than you ever wanted to know on the topic of ligatures. Basically my recommendation is definitely turn on your standards. It's up to you about the discretionaries. In the next exercise, we are going to be talking about more exciting things, more exciting OpenType things including fractions, numerals and ordinals. Really cool stuff, stay tuned.

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This video is part of

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Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

182 video lessons · 37882 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 42m 7s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 58s
    2. The Welcome screen
      3m 2s
    3. Creating a new document
      5m 6s
    4. Advanced document controls
      4m 43s
    5. Saving a custom New Document Profile
      8m 46s
    6. Changing the document setup
      4m 21s
    7. Special artboard controls
      4m 58s
    8. Accepting artboard changes
      2m 19s
    9. Saving a document
      4m 33s
    10. Closing a document
      2m 21s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Adobe Bridge
      56s
    2. Opening an illustration
      4m 45s
    3. Modifying an illustration
      6m 27s
    4. Saving changes
      4m 58s
    5. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      8m 41s
    6. The all-important file type associations
      3m 20s
    7. Navigating inside Bridge
      4m 23s
    8. Previewing and collecting
      5m 55s
    9. Using workspaces
      6m 41s
    10. Customizing a workspace
      6m 14s
    11. Cool Bridge tricks
      8m 17s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
      35s
    2. Keyboard increments
      5m 12s
    3. Scratch disks
      3m 48s
    4. Changing the user interface and setting Appearance of Black
      4m 14s
    5. Best workflow color settings
      9m 17s
    6. Synchronizing settings across CS4
      3m 2s
    7. Working inside tabbed windows
      7m 14s
    8. Organizing palettes
      5m 4s
    9. Saving a custom workspace
      4m 12s
    10. Zooming and panning
      4m 19s
    11. Using the Zoom tool
      3m 3s
    12. Navigating the artboards
      5m 5s
    13. Nudging the screen image
      3m 3s
    14. Scroll-wheel tricks
      2m 8s
    15. Cycling between screen modes
      4m 39s
  4. 1h 22m
    1. The Wedjat (or Eye of Horus)
      55s
    2. The line tools
      2m 57s
    3. Introducing layers
      5m 10s
    4. Creating ruler guides
      6m 18s
    5. Creating custom guides
      5m 16s
    6. Snap-to points
      5m 25s
    7. Organizing guides
      5m 43s
    8. Making a tracing template
      3m 42s
    9. Drawing a line segment
      4m 29s
    10. Drawing a continuous arc
      5m 28s
    11. Drawing a looping spiral
      6m 5s
    12. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 20s
    13. Joining open paths
      7m 31s
    14. Aligning and joining points
      6m 34s
    15. Drawing concentric circles
      4m 41s
    16. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      5m 34s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the shape tools
      3m 5s
    3. The traceable Tonalpohualli
      2m 52s
    4. Drawing circles
      4m 38s
    5. Enhanced Smart Guides
      4m 1s
    6. Aligning to a key object
      4m 29s
    7. Creating polygons and stars
      5m 4s
    8. Using the Measure tool
      3m 47s
    9. The Select Similar and Arrange commands
      3m 56s
    10. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 8s
    11. The amazing constraint axes
      5m 26s
    12. Grouping and ungrouping
      3m 35s
    13. Flipping and duplicating
      4m 12s
    14. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      5m 24s
    15. Cutting and connecting with Scissors and Join
      3m 31s
    16. Tilde-key goofiness
      2m 53s
  6. 1h 41m
    1. The ingredients of life
      54s
    2. Fill and Stroke settings
      4m 22s
    3. Transparency grid and paper color
      5m 47s
    4. The None attribute
      5m 4s
    5. Color libraries and sliders
      3m 39s
    6. Industry-standard colors
      4m 38s
    7. Using CMYK for commercial output
      6m 39s
    8. Using RGB for the web
      7m 23s
    9. Color palette tips and tricks
      7m 18s
    10. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 35s
    11. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      6m 46s
    12. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 38s
    13. Dragging and dropping swatches
      5m 0s
    14. Paste in Front, Paste in Back
      4m 54s
    15. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 28s
    16. Pasting between layers
      4m 41s
    17. Joins, caps, and dashes
      6m 50s
    18. Fixing strokes and isolating edits
      7m 12s
    19. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 57s
  7. 1h 50m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 20s
    2. From primitive to polished art
      2m 42s
    3. Using the Blob brush
      5m 46s
    4. Resizing the brush and erasing
      4m 15s
    5. Selection limits and methods of merging
      6m 39s
    6. Cloning and auto-duplicating
      6m 45s
    7. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      3m 7s
    8. Moving by the numbers
      5m 15s
    9. Using the Reshape tool
      7m 47s
    10. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 43s
    12. Styling and eyedropping
      5m 28s
    13. Making a black-and-white template
      2m 27s
    14. Scale and clone
      4m 57s
    15. Enlarge and stack
      5m 46s
    16. Positioning the origin point
      6m 59s
    17. Using the Rotate tool
      3m 55s
    18. Using the Reflect tool
      4m 15s
    19. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      6m 48s
    20. Rotating by the numbers
      6m 12s
    21. Transforming the tile patterns
      7m 52s
  8. 2h 4m
    1. Next-generation text wrangling
      55s
    2. Placing a text document
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a new text block
      6m 1s
    4. Working with point text
      3m 57s
    5. Selecting the perfect typeface
      5m 48s
    6. Scaling and positioning type
      8m 57s
    7. Leading, tracking, and lots of shortcuts
      5m 54s
    8. Adjusting pair kerning
      6m 55s
    9. Eyedropping formatting attributes
      3m 54s
    10. Flowing text from one block to another
      8m 28s
    11. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      7m 39s
    12. Rendering the text in graphite
      5m 55s
    13. Creating a scribbly drop shadow
      5m 17s
    14. Advanced formatting and bullets
      7m 43s
    15. Setting Area Type options
      4m 57s
    16. Justification and the Every-line Composer
      5m 52s
    17. OpenType and ligatures
      7m 19s
    18. Fractions, numerals, and ordinals
      9m 7s
    19. Swashes and small caps
      5m 40s
    20. The amazing Glyphs palette
      8m 12s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Points are boys, handles are girls
      1m 20s
    2. Placing an image as a tracing template
      6m 56s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path
      6m 8s
    4. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      6m 50s
    5. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      9m 7s
    6. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 29s
    7. Defining a cusp between two curves
      6m 59s
    8. Replicating and reshaping segments
      8m 30s
    9. Converting anchor points
      7m 55s
    10. Deleting stray anchor points
      5m 1s
    11. Separating and closing paths
      5m 43s
    12. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 55s
  10. 1h 40m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 34s
    2. Exploring the Appearance palette
      9m 54s
    3. Snip and Spin
      8m 3s
    4. Adding a center point
      4m 12s
    5. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 42s
    6. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      5m 54s
    7. Saving and recalling selections
      6m 20s
    8. Rotating is a circular operation
      8m 32s
    9. Lassoing and scaling points
      5m 28s
    10. Using the Transform Each command
      4m 11s
    11. Using the Magic Wand tool
      8m 1s
    12. Eyedropping live effects
      9m 58s
    13. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 50s
    14. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      7m 59s
    15. Scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      5m 16s
    16. Expand before you merge
      4m 17s
  11. 1h 26m
    1. The new pleasures of printing
      44s
    2. Outlines and artboards in CS4
      7m 35s
    3. Setting trim size and bleed
      7m 17s
    4. Creating custom dynamic crop marks
      3m 41s
    5. Working with the Separations Preview palette
      7m 42s
    6. Trapping an object with an overprint stroke
      8m 20s
    7. Placing multiple artboards into InDesign
      5m 17s
    8. Working with the Print Tiling tool
      4m 55s
    9. Setting the General Print options
      6m 9s
    10. Setting printer marks
      5m 16s
    11. PostScript-only output and graphics
      9m 10s
    12. The Color Management options
      6m 56s
    13. Adjusting the Flattener settings
      7m 32s
    14. Setting the Raster Effects resolution
      5m 32s
  12. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator does pixels
      51s
    2. Illustrator, PDF, and Save As formats
      8m 15s
    3. Saving an illustration for the web
      6m 13s
    4. Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image
      10m 1s
    5. Saving a high-contrast GIF graphic
      6m 26s
    6. The versatile PNG format
      4m 45s
    7. Saving a scaleable Flash (SWF) graphic
      11m 0s
    8. Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop
      12m 44s
    9. Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator
      12m 57s
    10. Exporting to Microsoft Office and PowerPoint
      7m 24s
    11. Sharing with InDesign, Flash, and Photoshop
      12m 12s
  13. 1m 4s
    1. Until next time
      1m 4s

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