Desired OpenType UI

I’d love to have same feature set in InDesign and Illustrator. I’d love to have the ease of use of Stylistic Sets, Character Variants, OT Dropcaps, Historical Forms, Historical Ligatures, OT Unicase and Nut Fractions. I’ve made this rather raw and quick mockup and I want to share it with you, fellow typophiles. I’m not affiliated with Adobe, these are just my thoughts on how to UI could work.

Maybe you have some other ideas? Firefox Nightly and some other browsers for example, supports almost all OT features by font-feature-settings: "xxxx";. So this support could be done. Maybe it’s possible to convince other software developers to support more OT features?

J Weltin's picture

You’re not alone with your wish list …
Approach the Adobe developers. I’m not sure if David Lemon is still in charge.

J Weltin's picture

Read this recent thread.

Nick Shinn's picture

I think what was most revealing about Adobe’s implementation of OpenType was that for years, when InDesign was the upstart application challenging Quark Xpress, and with an aggressive marketing campaign aimed at getting users to switch, they mentioned many reasons, but not once OpenType support, despite the fact that Quark did not support OT features, whereas InD did. At that point I decided that one should be greatful for small mercies, and the fact that MicroSoft and Adobe had managed to make this awesome functionality a practical reality. Sure, it could be better supported, and perhaps one day it will be.

russellm's picture

for years there was no support for OT in CorelDraw whatsoever. Now they have it and it looks like it could be pretty good:

Mark Simonson's picture

Wouldn't it be possible for a third party to write a plug-in that would add palettes like these?

Theunis de Jong's picture

Not all of these applications are equal. The "Crisp" setting in that Character panel only has use for text in Photoshop -- and then only when the text gets rasterized.

But yes: it would have been nice if all of Adobe's inter-application teams decided on some common panels, instead of treating themselves as islands, convinced of having The Definite Answer all on their own.

As for plug-ins: sure. There are two options. Design new panels that only have the options available to all three main programs (.. perhaps 4, I'm not sure about FrameMaker's OT caps), or add the missing feature sets to the software that doesn't have it. That latter option needs not only a new interface but also a new document format, which may make it incompatible with previous versions.

Queneau's picture

How about a custom script/panel that offers the options indesign has now, but in a less cluttered way. Stylistic Sets in particular is terrible to work with now, I think. Paragraph Styles are definately the way to work for normal documents, but for short bursts of text, flyers and display typography with swashes and alternates a better interface would be awesome.

And while we are at it: is there not a way to implement a glyphs panel in photoshop. This is a feature I use all the time in InD and Illu, and I miss it everytime I use PS...

agisaak's picture

I agree that the InDesign UI is poorly designed. However, if you assign keystrokes to each of the accessible opentype features the depth of embedding of the various menus becomes rather irrelevant.


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