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OpenType fonts are specially designed for professional layout. Certain fonts including the Microsoft ClearType collection including Cambria, Calibri, Candara, Consolas, Constantia, and Corbel contain OpenType features that change the shape of the letters from small caps, ligatures, number forms, and stylistic sets. Gabriella, a Windows 7 font, is particularly feature-rich. You can tell when a font is OpenType when you drop down the Font menu and you see an O next to some of the fonts.
If you see a T those are TrueType fonts, and they work a little differently than this. Now just because the font is OpenType doesn't mean that it will take advantage of the features that I'm about to show you. It's completely up to the font designer, but let's take a look. After you've selected an OpenType font, open up the Font Launcher, either using this button here or pressing Ctrl+D. Click on the Advanced tab in the Font dialog box and let's turn our attention down here to the OpenType Features. Let's start with Ligatures.
Instead of each letter being individually drawn, specific letter combinations are designed together as one glyph, for example, after you type f i or ffi OpenType fonts replace the characters with one glyph created by the font designer. This aids in legibility. So if you look at my example, if you don't have Ligatures turned on the f and i are two separate letters and this is what the f is like. But if you turn on Standard Ligatures the f and the i are replaced by this combination fi glyph and the same happens for these two fs.
Now as you're editing the f and the i and the f and the f act as individual characters, but they're drawn together to aid legibility. If you choose standard, those are the ligatures that typographers generally turn into glyphs. Standard and Contextual may include additional ligatures created by the font designer. Historical and Discretionary may include ligatures that have fallen out of current usage. I'll go ahead and set this to Standard. Let's turn our attention to numbers. There are two different settings, Number Spacing and Number Forms. The Number Spacing are either proportional or tabular.
Proportionally spaced numbers have variable widths. A four is wider than a one. Candara, Constantia, and Corbel all set to Proportional by default. Tabular spaced numbers all have the same width and they line up well underneath each other when they're working with math. Cambria, Calibri and Consolas are set to Tabular by default. Your Number form choices include Lining an Old style. Lining numbers all have the same height and they don't extend below the baseline.
Cambria, Calibri and Consolas are set to Lining by default. Old style numbers may be higher than text characters or extend below the baseline. Candara, Constantia, and Corbel are set to Old style by default. Stylistic sets add frills and flair to OpenType text. The larger the number, the more the adornment. Let's take a look at the font Gabriella over here on the left. By default this is what Gabriella looks like, but if you bump it up to Style Set 3, you get a little bit more flair.
If you set it to Style Set 5, the frills increase. When you bump it up to Style type 7, it looks like old-fashioned calligraphy. Fonts that you wouldn't ordinarily think had any jazz to them will surprise you. If you find that the top or the bottom of the scrolling gets cut off, increase the paragraph spacing before and after, like we discussed earlier in this course. Now last, there is a checkbox for Use Contextual Alternates. Here's an example of Contextual Alternates down here. If the font designer is so inclined, you may see letters change shape depending on the text around them.
So if I was typing this is different, by the time I got to this is d, the d has a whole lot of frill to it. As soon as I add the i, the d takes this shape, and then when I continue on to the word different the extender gets even shorter. By adjusting your OpenType settings your document will look professionally typeset, both aiding in readability and adding some elegance.
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