Tabular Periods and Spaces

eolson's picture

I'm chiseling away at rather large OT family that includes
Tabular figures as alternates to the standard proportional figures.
I've designed and included monetary symbols to fit with the
Tabular figures but it dawns on me that periods and spaces
should match too. Maybe...

Am I crazy? Periods are really common within a range of numbers.
For example:

And as shown above, would throw off the tabular setting.
Is this reasonable with OT?

hrant's picture

What some designers do is make the numerals exactly double the width of the space, and make the period/comma/dash/etc. exactly the width of the space, so you can "pad" as needed.


Thomas Phinney's picture

You *can* do it. But I don't think you need to.

The only reason for tabular figures is to make them line up from one line to the next in a table. In such setting, it is expected that the numbers will be aligned on the decimal (a period in English, a comma in many other languages). So the width of that alignment character becomes irrelevant. Any separator characters will then also line up, so as long as one is consistent in their use (spaces, thin spaces, commas, periods, whatever one uses to do numbers like "1,000,000")

Now, that's the question of necessity. A tabular period and comma would put more space around them in setting numbers. I am curious to hear folks' opinions about whether this would be aesthetically pleasing.



eolson's picture

> You *can* do it. But I don't think you need to.

I was thinking the same thing.
If there was an easy way it might be nice but the problem still
remains, how would the user deal with really wide spaces and periods?
Not well I'm thinking. Best left for a real monospaced typeface.

However, I could see working up a mono period and space that only activate
when surrounded by numbers...
(this relates to the *can* mentioned above)

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