my beef with Opentype

johnland's picture

This development really should be called Closedtype. Unless you have some expensive design package, some very ordinary features, including smallcaps, of all things, are not accessible - in Word etc

Is this the way things are going??


jessi.long's picture

hmm...question is. Should you be using small caps in word?

DrDoc's picture

Then don't use Word. That's not OpenType's fault; that's Microsoft's.

And no, you don't need an expensive design package to take advantage of OpenType features. Apple's iWork supports OpenType, and it's only $79.

EDIT: I have no idea where I got the idea that iWork supports OpenType. But my point remains the same. It is Microsoft's responsibility to make Word support OpenType, not vice-versa.

eliason's picture

For the record, Mellel is a word-processor that supports OpenType, and is not very expensive. (OSX)

dezcom's picture

Microsoft was and is a major partner in opentype development and has been at the forefront of creating opentype standards. Microsoft, for business reasons, has avoided full support for opentype features in its applications. Perhaps the assumption is that anyone interested in true typographic sophistication, would not be using a word processor for publishing. It may even be assumed the the greatest percentage of Office users don't even know what the finer points of opentype typography are or even care to know, for that matter. The bottom line is, would they sell any significant amount more copies of MS Office after full opentype support than they do now without it? If there is no perception of increased profit, then there is no need to pursue development time and costs to that end. MS Office is almost the only show in town now. Why would Microsoft spend more on development than they can recoup in profit? Johns question even proves the point that the few customers who want opentype sophistication in typography for Office already own Office and don't even blame Microsoft for being lax in support of OT features.
Adobe has the other share of the market--those professional publishers and designers who need typographic sophistication to do their work. A better question is to ask Adobe why their support for OT is inconsistent among their applications (at least the interface) and why one-for-many substitutions are yet to be supported? This is another case of internal struggle. You can be sure Thomas and Miguel would love to see it but they are in the Type group, not the CS Development group so they have no say in the matter (I'll bet they have tried like crazy though to have a say!)


DrDoc's picture


I apologize; I didn't mean to imply that I think Microsoft has an obligation to include OpenType support in MS Office. I do realize that Microsoft played a huge role in the development of OpenType. I was more suggesting that John's beef with OpenType is unmerited, because if we want OpenType support in word processors, then it is up to the developers of those programs, not to the creators of OpenType fonts.

dezcom's picture


No need for an apology. I had no problem with anything you said. I agree with you. I was just trying to explain the difficulties of huge corporate institutions and how they are more a collection of disconnected parts rather than a dynamic whole acting with united reasoning. In the cases of both Microsoft and Adobe, the type groups are perhaps the least powerful forces of their respective corporations. They do battle internally with both bean counters and application groups who get much more attention from the CEO and board of directors then the few type geeks trying to explain their case.
I really admire guys like Thomas, Eric, Miguel, and Si for their dedication and continued effort on behalf of typography in the face of internal pressures from other sectors of their companies.


Chajmke's picture

You may use LaTeX with XeTeX (on Windows and Mac). With XeTeX you are able to use all the OpenType stuff and perfect Unicode support. The best: It is free!
Check out or for Mac Installation.


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