New November 2009 beta of MS Word 2010 - promising Opentype feature access.

johnbutler's picture

I just downloaded the latest Office 2010 beta, and the Opentype feature support seems to have expanded more since the Technical Preview. You can get to far more features now. If you have 3.5GB of space lying around, try it out.

So far (after ten minutes of experimentation with just Gabriola) my only complaint is that the implementation of Stylistic Sets is mutually exclusive, against the spec. You cannot turn on multiple stylistic sets at once. So for example, something like Hypatia Sans, where stylistic sets toggle individual alternates for fine control, is crippled in this application.

I will write feedback requesting that they modify the interface to change ss01-ss20 to checkboxes instead of a pulldown. Has anyone here had direct contact with the specific MS employee interested in this and capable of addressing it?

dezcom's picture

Stylistic sets really do need to be combinable.

On another note, I love your test text and the word "froofiness" :-)


johnbutler's picture

I am in the middle of writing CALT features for a handwriting font and a copperplate font, and just looking at Gabriola being typed with Stylistic Set 7 turned on makes my brain hurt. My hat is off to Messrs. Hudson &or Mills [edit: I originally called him "Ross" implying "Mr. Ross" and not "Mr. Mills." --JB] &or whoever wrote that CALT code. I'm wondering if there are also some many-to-one substitutions going on in there. I have yet to try Gabriola under older versions of InDesign or Illustrator.

[edit again: now it puts my edited post out of order aaaargh]

dezcom's picture

I don't know if John/Fiona used "many to one substitutions" but I love what they ended up with :-)

John will probably be by to comment soon enough.


John Hudson's picture

my only complaint is that the implementation of Stylistic Sets is mutually exclusive

Yes, that is a problem, although not in the case of Gabriola, whose Stylistic Set lookups are designed to be mutually exclusive.

Regarding how Gabriola works: there are just about every kind of GSUB lookup employed. Stylistic Sets 6 and 7 make heavy use of contextual one-to-many substitutions: the big independent swash forms are zero-width glyphs that are inserted into the glyph string according to contextual rules. When I started the project, I wasn't sure there would be any applications in which I could even test these lookups, since MS didn't support the features and Adobe didn't support one-to-many substitutions, but by the time I'd finished the font Adobe had finally implemented that support, and now MS Publisher and Word are going to support the features.

I did all the OTL feature work myself. Ross hinted the font, with advice from Mike Duggan. I can't say I actually understand how it is hinted, but apparently it is a relatively novel approach.

johnbutler's picture

Did you do the OTL features in VOLT or the AFDKO?

johnbutler's picture

Oh yes, and I meant "one-to-many" when I wrote "many-to-one." I would like to finally attempt a Latin font that employs one-to-many. You can completely redo connecting strokes using modular bits instead of grafting them on to every glyph and amassing hundreds of tedious variants. Of course I suppose in reality it will prove more complex. Does anything on the Apple side support one-to-many in Opentype yet? Aside from CS4 of course. Mellel perhaps?

John Hudson's picture

I use VOLT.

I believe Mellel should work with one-to-many lookups. And perhaps also Apple's own OT support? Try TextEdit.

I've played with the idea of making a Latin connecting script font that splits letters into left and right side halves. I would use the 'curs' GPOS feature to tie them together -- even though there are no vertical offsets and the attachments would all be 0,0 -- because otherwise you risk the letters being broken apart by tracking (of course, you probably want to discourage users from tracking a script font anyway, but users will do the darndest things).

The tricky issue would be overlap of joins, ensuring that rounding doesn't produce stem offsets or dropped pixels. This is less of an issue with subpixel rendering than it used to be. For full pixel rendering, you want an overlap of 70 units on 2048 to ensure no drop out.

oakapple's picture

Does the current Word 2010 beta support true small caps? Various media reviews claim that it does, but I find that it is still producing synthetically reduced capitals, the way prior versions of Word did.

I have OpenType functionality turned on (ligatures are working), and I am using a font that contains true small caps (Adobe Garamond Pro).

Marc Shepherd
New York, NY

svayambhu's picture

It seems that Word 2010 and Publisher 2010 don't support Stylistic Sets for Indic fonts. I tried to use these features in Word 2010 for Devanagari font and was very upset (I have about 15 sets). This is some strange discriminative attitude - it is still not possible even to search within syllables in Devanagari text.

CurveDoctor's picture

Word 2010 beta does not support true small caps.
They are still synthetically reduced capitals. I suppose because documents need to be compatible with previous office versions.

Typical's picture

MS should combine Word and Publisher, and add a button on Word to show the Publisher menus. Or they might as well, if you start adding all of the opentype functionality to word. Oh wait, that would cut off income from the huge Publisher market, a group of professionals who ... final thought: heck, keep them separate, but add all of the opentype functions to Word. People who buy Publisher by definition don't know what they're doing, so they won't be bothered if most of the functionality is available in Word.

andreas's picture

I like to point to a thread in the FontLab forum about Word2010 and the requirement of DSIG for full support of OpenType features.

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