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Author David Blatner provides in-depth training on InDesign CS5, Adobe's print and interactive page layout application, in InDesign CS5 Essential Training. The course shows how to create new documents with strong and flexible master pages, precisely position text and graphics, prepare documents for print, and export designs as interactive PDF or Flash SWF files. Exercise files are included with the course.
OpenType fonts can have thousands of different characters in them, instead of the old fonts that could only hold about 250. This means you can have a single font that has special characters like swashes, small caps, fractions and other cool features. We saw the small caps feature in an earlier movie. Now let's look at how to access some of the other cool OpenType characters. I'll double-click over here in this text frame to get the Type tool, and I'm going to select these numbers. The numbers look fine, but they are not really professional looking. Those are called lining numerals, and they are very good if you're trying to do something like an accounting spreadsheet, but when you're trying to make something really professional looking, it's nicer to use old-style numerals.
Some fonts such as Pro OpenType fonts have old-style numerals built-in and you can get them by going to the Control panel flyout menu, choosing the OpenType submenu, and then choosing Proportional Oldstyle down here at the bottom of the menu. Now before I select that, I want to point out something important about this menu. When a font is missing a special feature, it has brackets around it. For example, this font does not have any swashes, so there are brackets around the word Swash. But it does have Proportional Oldstyle characters, because it does not have any brackets.
When I select that, you'll see the characters change radically. They are just more elegant. They fit into a paragraph of text better. I'll scroll down here to paragraph number three to look at a couple other OpenType formatting options. Almost everyone needs to deal with fractions sooner or later. Here it says 2 3/4 Miles, but that 3/4 is really dumb looking. So I'm going to select the three quarters, 3/4, go to the OpenType submenu here in the Control panel menu, and choose Fractions. No brackets, so it must have some fractions built-in. There we go.
That looks much better. I do still have my extra space here, so I'm going to have to delete that manually just by clicking on it and pressing Delete. Now fractions are interesting, because some fonts only have a particular fraction characters built into them, like 1/2, 3/4, and so on, but they will not work with arbitrary fractions like this 22/7ths. Other fonts do work just fine. Let's see how it works here. I'll choose OpenType > Fractions, and we'll see that it works great, but that's one of those things that you just have to try out with the particular font that you're using.
Now here, 22/7ths Kms are on two different lines. So I'm going to select that and I'll use my No Break style that I talked about in an earlier movie to keep those together. That's better. There are all kinds of other options here. I'm going to select that th for 19th and make that an ordinal. That's an option here, there we go, Ordinal, and it kind of pops it up a little bit. Ordinals are not the same thing as a superscript or subscript. For example, I'll type O2 here to represent oxygen and I'll choose that two, and I've different options here in the OpenType submenu for Superscript or Subscript.
These characters are slightly different and smaller than ordinals, but you can see you've a lot of different options here. Setting all these kinds of special characters used to be a real pain, but these OpenType styling features change all that. Now, anyone can enjoy getting great looking typography.
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