Calt vs Liga for connected script

Randy's picture

I'm wrapping up a retro baseline script that started as a type battle entry. I want the high/low joins to happen automatically. At first I put them in calt because, well, they are contextual alts o+r -> o+r.high (see here). However some major apps (Illustrator CS2) don't have calt on by default, but most do have liga on. I have seen many examples in the wild of nicely designed scripts ruined by ignorance about calt.

Would it be a problem to do this kind of sub inside liga? The result is very ligature-esque and I can't imagine a time when you'd want ligs on, but this off, or visa versa.

Anything I'm overlooking? Thx!

paul d hunt's picture

don't hijack the spec as a quick fix for things that may seem problematic now. at least that's the conventional wisdom on such things.

my opinion is that if you're going to be making OpenType fonts, you must be an OT evangelist yourself, insofar that you educate your user base how to use your the OT features of your fonts effectively.

Stephen Rapp's picture

No matter which feature you choose, there is no guarantee that the end user will set it nicely. They can turn on calt or not. They can just as easily keep ligatures on while attempting to track it out. Since your script is connected using ligatures seems like a reasonable way to go. You could even use the clig feature, though its probably not necessary in your case.

Randy's picture

Thanks guys! Sensible input.

Nick Shinn's picture

As liga is used as a default in more applications, I'd say use that.
I put contextual alternates in a "Pro" script font, thinking it would be default, but lo and behold, a distributor managed to produce an advertisement for the font with the contextuality turned off, i.e. non-pro.

Thomas Phinney's picture

Note that having 'calt' off by default was a bug in Illustrator. It was fixed in a later version (CS4 I think, but it might have been CS3).

Cheers,

T

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