How can I add different styles in Arabic Script in one Open Type font?

ikhlas's picture

I am beginner in typography. I am working on Arabic type OTF font. I am using MS VOLT. My question is:
1- How can I add different styles in Arabic Script in one Open Type font?
2- What is best tool for OTF, MS VOLT or Font Lab v.5.0?
3- An Arabic medial form can occupy any glyph or it must be placed in a specific glyph?


by Ikhlas

Theunis de Jong's picture

1. Styles? Calligraphic, old style, like such? You could consider creating a separate font for these. For a single font, InDesign (and other Adobe software) support stylistic sets -- the features "ss01" through "ss20" --, which can be used to toggle any glyph with any other, but if the application doesn't support it you cannot use these. I think Adobe's Poetica has been used as a test case for stylistic sets with several different calligraphic initials.

2. For the moment, MS VOLT is the only program I know that can handle mark and mkmk features as well as (never used these) specialized arabic placements and substitutions. FontLab lags behind. OTOH, with FontLab you can draw glyphs, and that's not possible with VOLT. Perhaps you can combine them. (And create TTF flava fonts, rather than CFF -- MS VOLT can only work with the first.)

3. The medial forms have their own Unicode points assigned. Although technically it is not required to use the code points -- because, hopefully, your OTF code will sort it out --, but any non-OpenType savvy programs won't be able to use medials.

ikhlas's picture

thanks for reply

twardoch's picture

You can use the two VOLT source code files (for Adobe Arabic and Arabic Typesetting) as a first-starter:


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