OpenType fonts in MS Mac Office 2004

Palatine's picture

I've got a problem. I just downlaoded the gorgeous "Musee" by DSType, which comes in OpenType and TrueType flavours.

I'm using MS Office 2004 for Mac. The problem is that although the weights contain the special swashes, ligatures and other goodies I love, I have no access to them when I select "insert symbol." Seems a generic character map shows up. Same thing for the TrueType flavour.

How can I access these special sets through Word 2004 for Mac?

TDF's picture

I don't think Office supports Open Type's special characters...

You should be able to access some of the basic symbols and ligatures using the keboard viewer.

Stephen Coles's picture

Write Microsoft and ask them to support the font format they codeveloped!

Palatine's picture

isn't there any solution? How do I access the keyboard viewer? Is there no way to access the full character map and simply copy the dsired symbol(s) into the document?

Or zhould I be using something other than Word for my Word Processing/design needs? Maybe InDesign?

I'm really disappointed.

Miguel Sousa's picture

> Write Microsoft and ask them to support the font format they codeveloped!

LOL :^D
I'd say, write to MS but c/o the Word and/or Office team(s). AFAIK, they're the ones that don't give a penny to the good work the MS Typography team and other font developers are doing...

> isn’t there any solution? How do I access the keyboard viewer?

I believe Adobe was trying to overcome this problem when they decided to use PUA's in their fonts*. I don't think you'll be able to get any character into Word unless it has an Unicode value associated with it.

> Or zhould I be using something other than Word for my Word Processing/design needs? Maybe InDesign?

That's one option. I believe there are other out there. It will depend on the kind of work you do and how you need to output it. A simple word processing application is fine for office-like documents, but not for heavy-graphical documents that need to be offset printed.

> I’m really disappointed.

(As sorry as I am to have to say this in mid-2006,) Welcome to the real (type) world !! :^/
I completely understand your grief.

*more about the development of this issue here:
http://blogs.adobe.com/typblography/2006/05/eliminate_priva.html

John Hudson's picture

I’d say, write to MS but c/o the Word and/or Office team(s). AFAIK, they’re the ones that don’t give a penny to the good work the MS Typography team and other font developers are doing…

Mac Office is actually a separate group with Microsoft, and deserve a bit more slack than the Windows Office group on the subject of OpenType Layout support because they have not had the system infrastructure sitting at their fingertips for years.

If I were a betting man, I might put money on Mac Office delivering OTL typography support before Windows Office at the current rates of non-motion from the latter.

John Hudson's picture

Or zhould I be using something other than Word for my Word Processing/design needs?

Check out Mellel. To be honest, I don't know how good their OTL support for Latin script typography is, but I've been impressed by their complex script support. You could also look around for any Mac apps that make use of IBM's ICU library, which provides open source support for OpenType Layout.

John Nolan's picture

John:
I haven't used Mellel either, but glancing at the manual, it seems to support many OT features, including style sets, contextual alternates, swashes, fractions, titling alternates, figure styles and small caps!

david h's picture

Mellel is fine with OT (for some reason I can't post any image - 'Could not copy image.Error')

Miguel Sousa's picture

> If I were a betting man, I might put money on Mac Office delivering OTL typography support before Windows Office at the current rates of non-motion from the latter.

AFAIK, OTL typography support for non-Latin scripts is available in Windows Office, correct? If so, wouldn't Latin OTL support come for free? If so, what I fail to understand is why isn't that in place already.

John Hudson's picture

AFAIK, OTL typography support for non-Latin scripts is available in Windows Office, correct? If so, wouldn’t Latin OTL support come for free? If so, what I fail to understand is why isn’t that in place already.

The OTL features implemented in Windows Office are all language shaping features, i.e. features that are active by default for the script and are not considered discretionary. Such features are also implemented for the Latin script, e.g. the ccmp and mark positioning features. What Office do not support, for any script, are features that require user interface.

twardoch's picture

Miguel,

> AFAIK, OTL typography support for
> non-Latin scripts is available in
> Windows Office, correct? If so,
> wouldn’t Latin OTL support come
> for free? If so, what I fail to
> understand is why isn’t that in
> place already.

First, there is the problem of user interface. The linguistic OTL features usually are supposed to "just work" while for user-controlled OTL features you need decent UI. If you look at Adobe's inconsistent solutions between Illustrator (OpenType, Character and Glyph palettes), InDesign (Character and Glyph palette but no OpenType palette), and Photoshop (only Character palette), you'll realize that it's not at all trivial.

Second, there is the issue of backwards-compatibility in line-breaking. For Arabic or Indic scripts, there was constant improvement across Office versions (97, 2000, XP, 2003, 2007) which, however, often resulted in text reflow when you open the same document in different editors. In this case, the advantage of having ortographically more correct handling of the scripts was valued higher than the disadvantage of reflow.

But for simple scripts, the Office team aimed for consistent line- and page-breaks in Word across versions. If at some point, you get ligatures and different kerning (GPOS-sourced class kerning vs. traditional plain kerning which usually is a subset of the earlier), your documents will certainly reflow. Apparently, the advantage of having typographic refinement has not yet outweighed the reflow risk in the Microsoft Office team members' heads.

A.

paul d hunt's picture

Photoshop (only Character palette)

what version of Photoshop do YOU have? I want a character palette! i'm assuming that you meant OT features are accessible via drop down menus, no?

Palatine's picture

. . . which leads me to ask why Dino dos Santos would create such a beautiful legible, feature-rich font set, only to package it in a manner which would frustrate most users?

Make no mistake: far be it frome me to criticize such a talented designer - I'm grateful beyond words that Musee was released publicly - but how is one supposed to access all the glyphs? Why not simply include the extra problem-causing ligatures and the like in a separate OpenType file? Or was dos Santos thinking only of InDesign users, or perhaps *future* users down the road, when OT technology matures sufficiently?

dan_reynolds's picture

Or was dos Santos thinking only of InDesign users, or perhaps *future* users down the road, when OT technology matures sufficiently?

Probably. This seems to be more or less an industry-standard for new fonts. I have a feeling (and I'm sorry that this is no consolation for you) that most font users who specifically want to set advanced typographic features do their typesetting virtually soley in Quark, InDesign, or Illustrator.

Palatine's picture

Then it looks like I'll need to invest in InDesign. I was going to do it anyway. ;-)

In any case, I do appreciate all the help and kind responses.

Miguel Sousa's picture

It's definitely NOT Dino's fault. The decision-makers behind MS Office are the ones that do not seem to be willing to allow their users to make "good typography".
Let's face it, what can you expect from a word-processing application that does not have kerning ON by default?!? Well, maybe they're right and we're ones wrong here. Maybe you need to stick to a layout application instead...

Worth reading thread: http://www.typophile.com/node/20298

dezcom's picture

Miguel, I think Bill Gates must have had a childhood rival named Kerning who teased Bill to tears and would never shut up. Bill was looking for a way to turn Kerning OFF since then so it's not default of the word process, it's default of the ab-user :-)

OH, that was a BAD one, even for me!

ChrisL

paul d hunt's picture

I think Bill Gates must have had a childhood rival...

Good thing he quit his day job to stick to charity work then!

Miguel Sousa's picture

Actually, it seems that Bill Gates is pretty up-to-date in regards to Typography. Here's Bill Hill in first person:
I always check my e-mail on a Saturday night, because that’s the night I’m most likely to get an e-mail from Bill [Gates]. I got a mail from Bill [Gates] asking me about ligature support in Windows and Office. It totally astonishes me that Bill [Gates] should even know what a ligature is, never mind care enough to send a mail on a Saturday night.
http://www.itbusiness.ca/it/client/en/home/News.asp?id=39812&PageMem=2

No further comments.

dezcom's picture

I am very proud of Bill Gates for his new charity priority. It seems to me that his wife had something to do with it. Soon after their wedding, I noticed a big jump in charitable work for Bill. Kudos to Mrs. Gates, a good women with a good heart. Kudos to Bill for recognizing her qualities and listening to her.
Maybe, Saturday nights, she is the one who also tells Bill to make that call about ligature support :-)

ChrisL

crossgrove's picture

Christian,

"Word Processing/design needs"

is an oxymoron. Do your word processing in Word, since it's made (ostensibly) for that, then, when that's done, take the plain text and format it in InDesign, Quark, Illustrator, or some other software that's made to handle OpenType. If you need typographic features available while you type, then just use InDesign or Quark.

Palatine's picture

I'm sitting in front of my mac, laughing out loud! Ahh, a bit of levity always helps.

Mellel turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Kerning seems to be on by default, it has automatic ligatures - dicretionary and others, auto swashes, historical forms/ligatures, auto small caps, you name it. It recognizes *most* of Musee's OT features, not all (i.e., a number of swashes), but until I get InDesign this will do very nicely. A great value at around 40-50 bucks, too. Well worth checking out.

Another one that more or less did justice to Musee's beauty is Nisus Writer Express. I'm not sure about its kerning capabilities, though, seemed a bit shaky to me.

In any case, Mellel is far better than MS Office when it comes to taking advantage of OT features such as are in Musee.

peterj's picture

insert symbol on mac office displays a lot fewer glyphs than you see if you open the font in the character palette of the font book. maybe inserting them from there could be an option?

Palatine's picture

peterj:

Thanks for the help, but there's no need. Mellel has auto-opentype features. I can "ligaturize" a whole block of text by selecting it and simply acticvating ligatures from the appropriate menu. Same goes for small caps, swashes and the like. I'll be picking up a copy of InDesign as well, and that does what Mellel does, and *much* more besides.

Finally, I can use OpenType fonts the way they were intended.

twardoch's picture

> What version of Photoshop do YOU have?
> I want a character palette!

Paul,

I use Photoshop CS2. The Character palette is accessible from Window / Character. In the palette, of course, the OpenType features are accessible from the little flyout menu.

A.

Stephen Coles's picture

I think Paul was thinking of a "glyph palette" showing every glyph in the font. InD and Ill have these, but Photoshop does not.

twardoch's picture

> I think Paul was thinking of a “glyph
> palette” showing every glyph in the font.
> InD and Ill have these, but Photoshop
> does not.

Which is exactly what I wrote:

> If you look at Adobe’s inconsistent
> solutions between Illustrator (OpenType,
> Character and Glyph palettes), InDesign
> (Character and Glyph palette but no
> OpenType palette), and Photoshop
> (only Character palette), you’ll
> realize that it’s not at all trivial.

paul d hunt's picture

yes it is. i need to get all my palettes straight! >^p

dezcom's picture

Paul,
Maybe you need a forklift for all those palettes :-)

ChrisL

Palatine's picture

Hehe . . . swift (and I don't mean Unger.) ;-)

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