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In this installment of Illustrator Insider Training, author Mordy Golding shows how to create type that’s both beautiful and communicative, whether it’s destined for logos, brochures, signs, infographics, or simple documents. This course covers core typography concepts, such as working with Unicode and OpenType fonts, applying character and paragraph settings, managing text with styles and text threads, placing text along a path, and wrapping text around graphics.
In the previous movie, I spoke about two different kinds of OpenType fonts, something called OpenType Standard fonts and something called OpenType Pro Fonts. Now again, these are the names that Adobe gives them, but other manufacturers may create, again, two different types of OpenType fonts: those that have basic features or what we call basic character sets, and then we have some fonts that have extended character sets or more features inside of them. To better understand that, let's compare actually some of these different types of fonts, and to do that, we are going to use a feature inside of Illustrator called Glyphs panel.
You can find that by going to the Type menu and choosing Glyphs. Now, before we actually talk about the Glyphs panel, let's get a better understanding of what a glyph is. Now we throw around these terms like characters, for example. Like a character might be an uppercase a or a lowercase a. A glyph is a picture. It's a picture that describes a character, but it might also describe more than just a single character. For example, in the world of typography, we have a concept called a ligature.
What is a ligature? Well, when I have two letters that appear next to each other, for example, an F and lowercase I, because the lowercase F kind of bends towards the front over here to the next character and because the lowercase I usually has little dot on top of it, those two parts of the characters may kind of run into each other. So you may have the F collide with a lowercase I, and that might look bad. So what a type designer will do is design a brand-new character which replaces a single F and a single I. So whenever you have a lowercase F and a lowercase I that appear next to each other-- for example, if you typing the word finish, so you might have F and I--a special picture or special glyph is created that has two characters inside of it. It's one picture.
It's an F and an I combined into one unit, but inside of that one picture, we are referencing two separate characters. So to better describe these terms that we are using here, a glyph is simply a picture that describes a character, or sometimes it may describe multiple characters. But a character could be a lowercase F or lowercase I. A glyph could be an F and I or a combination of an F and an I, what we call an FI Ligature. So I am going to come here to the bottom and you can see that I now have this Typeface selected called Myriad Pro.
At the top I have a little pop-up menu. It says Show: Entire Font. I am going to click on this pop-up here, and I will see that there are many features that are available inside of this font. We have things called Alternates. Alternates would be different versions of that one glyph. We have things like Denominators, which might be used inside of fractions. We have things called Standard Ligatures, which are things like FI combinations and FL combinations; and things like Numerator, again, also used for fractions or old-style figures.
Those are where the actual numbers kind of look like lowercase letters, and some of them actually drop below the baseline. However, I am going to come here to the pop-up menu at the bottom where it has the font and I am just going to choose Myriad, because in my computer I have both the Standard version and also the Pro version of this font. And if I go over here to the pop-up menu here, notice that all those additional features that were available for the Pro version are not available for this Standard version of Myriad. Here's another way to look at it. I am actually going to choose another font here.
Let's choose something like Letter Gothic Std. I can actually make my Glyphs panel much bigger by kind of enlarging the panel right here, and if I scroll through the panel here, I can see the additional glyphs that exist for this font. In fact, let me kind of zoom out just a little bit. I am going to click on these little smaller mountains here to zoom out and you can actually see now the entire character set for this typeface, Letter Gothic Std. So you can see right away I have here all these numbers here.
I have some of these characters that you might be familiar with. I've uppercase and lowercase letters. I have some basic ligatures, like FI and FL, for example. And then I have some additional characters here at the bottom, but now I am going to choose a different typeface. Let's choose a Pro typeface. I am going to go to this little pop- up menu again, and I will scroll down over here to Myriad Pro. You can see instantly now that I have a lot more characters available. In fact, purely just for ligatures, instead of just FI and FL, which I see here and here, I also have ligatures for FF, FFI, and FFJ, and FFL.
In fact, I am going to click on these little small mountains here to zoom out even further and you can see that I have a lot more glyphs available to me inside of this font than I did in the other one. Again, this is a Pro Font, meaning it has extended characters inside of it. There are more features for me as a designer to tap into to use when I'm setting my type. Now there are some typefaces, for example, like Caflisch Script. Caflisch Script Pro is a handwritten typeface and there are tons of glyphs inside of that typeface.
There are also different variations. Let me zoom in just a little bit over here. Let me click on little big mountains over here, so I can zoom in closer to these. And you can see that the lowercase a has little black triangle that appears in the lower right-hand corner. I will zoom in even little closer on this. And that means at there are additional glyphs available for that character slot. So if I click and hold my mouse button down, you see that I have three different glyph possibilities for a lowercase A. Now there are some foreign-language fonts that can have up to 12 different variations of each individual character.
Now of course, you can use the Glyphs panel for typefaces that are not OpenType fonts. However, you won't get access to these extended features inside of them. Now, how would I use these features? Well, let's make my Glyphs panel a little bit smaller here. I am going to leave it set here to Myriad Pro. Let's kind of reduce the size over here. And now let's add some type into my document here. So I am going to type in, let's say the word, Hello, for example. Let me go ahead now and make this typeface bigger. I can actually go ahead and just hit Ctrl+A or Command+A, and then Command+Shift+Greater Than Sign on my keyboard, several times here to make this bigger on my screen, so we can see it.
Another way to enlarge type sometimes is remember that in Illustrator, everything is always a graphic, so I can always just switch to my Selection tool and you can see I get the bounding box, here and I can just simply hold on the Shift key and then just click and drag on this to actually make it much larger. But let's say I wanted to add one of these characters here. What I can do is I can actually double-click anywhere here. When you have a text object selected with your Selection tool, you could simply double-click anywhere inside that text object and Illustrator will give you this blinking cursor, meaning that I am now inside of that text. And I can use, for example, my left or right arrow of my keyboard to move that cursor left and right.
I will bring it here to the beginning, and maybe I want to use the @ sign. Maybe I'm not familiar with where the @ sign is on my keyboard. Well, I can access it directly from Glyphs panel by simply coming over here and saying, oh, here it is. I am going to go ahead now and I am going to double-click on it, and that's going to automatically add it to wherever my cursor was. Now remember, if we see little black triangle, that means that there are alternate versions of that. If I go ahead and click and hold my mouse button down, I see there is a version here that's called Case Sensitive Forms and if I choose that, you see how it's kind of a little bit higher there on the baseline.
So that's how I might be able to access these additional glyphs. Now of course, we discussed before that OpenType fonts can have sometimes upwards of 60,000 glyph possibilities within that one font. I don't have 60,000 keys on my keyboard and I certainly don't want to memorize every possible different combination of how I might be able to access these special kinds of characters. And that's why the Glyphs panel is valuable, because visually, I can scroll through and see all the different characters and glyphs available to me within a single font. Simply double-click on them to add them into my document.
So that's how you use the Glyphs panel here inside of Illustrator to your benefit. I will tell you one thing though. If you think about it, what if I did have a font that had all of these different glyph possibilities? I have to scroll through the entire glyphs panel just to find out what potential character might exist? Glad you asked that question because we are going to cover that in the next movie.
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