Maximum number of Space Characters

AzizMostafa's picture

Dear Friends,
What is the maximum number of Space Characters a font can have?
Is it possible to include a negative space (narrower than zero)?
Peace with Flowers

Si_Daniels's picture

There are about 9 space code-points in Unicode - I'm surprised more type designers don't add them to increase their glyph counts with minimal work ;-)

Cheers, Si

hrant's picture

I've had very iffy results with negatively spaced glyphs.
Even zero-spaced glyphs seem to spell trouble sometimes.
But maybe if the glyph is blank it's less trouble?

Simon, you've just reminded me of a killer product I hope to release one day:
a CD of whitespace clip art. Graphic designers would pay good money for it.


bieler's picture

The Unicode codes below were found on an information page that came with P22's April's Fools Day font LTC Spacing Sorts.


U+0020 space
U+00A0 no-break space
U+2000 en quad
U+2001 em quad
U+2002 en space
U+2003 em space
U+2004 three-per-em space
U+2005 four-per-em space
U+2006 six-per-em space
U+2007 figure space
U+2008 punctuation space
U+2009 thin space
U+200A hair space
U+200B zero width space
U+202F narrow no-break space
U+205F medium mathematical space
U+3000 ideographic space
U+FEFF zero width no-break space

Nick Shinn's picture

I use negative-spaced characters in Austin (due for release next year), to create nut fractions.

hrant's picture

Nick, have you done much testing, especially on older OS/SW?


Nick Shinn's picture

In CS for Mac, it works in InDesign, but not Illustrator or Photoshop -- in those the right-hand negative sidebearing is ignored, so the denominator doesn't tuck under.
It doesn't work in Quark 7, as that app ignores the OT feature code for fractions, making fractions on the fly from the numerator, fraction-slash, and denominator characters.

I think it's OK to ignore the present non-functionality of my nut-fraction feature in Illustrator and Photoshop, as I don't consider those to be situations where people use fractions (although there may be exceptions). And for Quark, users still get proper fractions, only they're "slash" fractions, not "nut".

Nonetheless, I may abandon this feature when the typeface is released, with the nut fractions (quarters, eigths, thirds and sixteenths) only being available as composite characters from the glyph palette.

As with many OpenType features, I think documentation is extremely important, and what may really be needed for a multi-featured OT typeface family is a hard-bound user manual, as well as a similar online resource at the foundry.

dezcom's picture

"I think it’s OK to ignore the present non-functionality of my nut-fraction feature in Illustrator and Photoshop, as I don’t consider those to be situations where people use fractions"

I think you are right about PhotoShop but Illustrator may be another case. Fractions in dimmensions or technical illustrations are certainly possible. I just wish that OpenType features were supported completely by at least all publishing applications.


AzizMostafa's picture

Thanx Typophiles! How helpful You are!
Your Answers here answer my hanging questions there as well.
Swashing and Word Space Width Modulation is possible?!
That's News for Arabic Font Designers! Many Thanx once again.

paul d hunt's picture

nick, just curious, why do you prefer nut fractions? and why is the fraction bar -359 and the characters 360? was that intentional?

Nick Shinn's picture

1. The nut fractions are the traditonal ones used for this style (scotch modern) of face.
2. I don't exactly recall, other than it was a bit tricky, but I think I must have positioned the bar by eye, dragging the sidebearings, so the numerical values just came out that way.

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