Opentype font handling and Word 2010

peterfwyang's picture

Recently I have been using a colleague's computer to type traditional chinese using Monotype's MHeiHK-Light, -Medium, -Bold and -XBold. When opening MS Word 2010 (docx) documents written in PMingLiU (default traditional chinese font in Windows), and later highlighting all the text and changing to the MHeiHK fonts the spacing around the font is incredibly large causing a 1 page document to be reformatted to be 1.25 pages. Note that the line spacing is not changed, but the actual white space arount the font is changed - probably to do with how it has been made)

Now my colleagues computer is running Windows 7, Office 2010 and using an OTF font format. Aside from manually adusting line spacing for each line of text to match PMingLiU - an incredibly tedious task to say the least involving many hours of guesswork, is there something I can do, becuase this problem is not apparent when using other foundry's donts nor in Illustrator / Indesign CS5 on Windows or any program on Mac OSX (Word 2011, AI, ID CD5.5)

My Colleague and I jsut want to be able to type and everything is taken care of automatically - to create beautiful looking documents - simply. Aside from this, the final DOCX will be imported into Adobe Live Cycle Designer to create interactive forms (hence the need to use Word 2010 as PDF files imported to this program are a nightmare!!!).

I would really appreciate any assistance with this one as Monotype are less than helpful.

Gus Winterbottom's picture

I'm not sure how much white space you could get rid of, but you don't have to manually modify each line of text -- just modify the style (e.g., Normal or Body Text), or create a new one specifically for use with the MHeiHK font.

J. Tillman's picture

Can't you just set all your text to have a specific ("exactly") leading size, in points, no matter what fonts are involved? Using a style, as Gus suggested, is best. I don't have Word 2010, but this is a paragraph option in Word 97.

aaronbell's picture

I'm a bit confused as to what you're seeing. Can you possibly provide a sample image that demonstrates?

peterfwyang's picture

Hi all,

Fron the screenshot attached it shows how the default microsoft font (PMingLiU) uses only very little space between lines, whereas the MHeiHK font is much more spaced. I have put underlining and captured the screenshot while selecting some text in this example to illustrate my point. On the right of the image (you may need to scroll), you can see the paragraph settings.

It has been suggested that I set an "exact" height for MHeiHK or indeed all text - this is fine, providing that I use only one typesize i.e. 11. I create documents that fit certain criteria for visual design. I.e. Firstline headings are 50% larger than body text for example and I also use this font in conjunction with Latin fonts as the latin characters in MHeiHK and PMingLiU are horrible. Now having said that, I know that it is not the Latin fonts causing this situation, you can see from the examle of PMingLiU and MHeiHK sitting ont he same line that the MHeiHK sits slightly higher on the line, than PMingLiU and after typing the MHeiHK text the line space automatically increases but this is not actual line space from word, but caused by the font itself.

This problem, does not however exist in Illustrator or InDesign, so it is something to do with how Word handles the font.

Any suggestions as it is rather frustrating that I can not simply type document like I would with PMingLiU.

agisaak's picture

It has been suggested that I set an "exact" height for MHeiHK or indeed all text - this is fine, providing that I use only one typesize i.e. 11. I create documents that fit certain criteria for visual design. I.e. Firstline headings are 50% larger than body text for example

Well, in that case you would set an exact value for line height for text and a different value for headings. This can be easily incorporated into your style sheet.


peterfwyang's picture

Hi Andre,

How exactly can I work out what the spacing used by PMingLiU is? As this problem only exists in the Windows version of Word, not the Mac version. Many of the documents we work on are first designed on Mac and then we open in Windows and the whole layout goes to custard :-(

If I knew what the standard space is for PmingLiU I could, in theory, apply the same settings manually. Any ideas?

J. Tillman's picture


You have shown a picture of your paragraph options. "Single" is highlighted in blue.

Select, in your document, several paragraphs of mixed text. Then go to the paragraph options and replace the "Single" with "Exactly" from the drop down list. Then type in the leading to the right of "Exactly". Try 14. How does your text look now? Increase this number or decrease it as necessary.

Apply this setting to the style for your body text.

agisaak's picture

Just an addendum to what J. Tillman writes...

If you're using Word on both Macs and PCs it's probably a good idea to *always* use a fixed line height since there are differences between how line height is calculated on Macs and PCs -- differences which shouldn't really exist except that the specs for vertical metrics haven't been followed consistently by all application developers.


peterfwyang's picture

Andre, I couldn't agree more, these differences shouldn't exist, however, it only happens with this particular font. Not any of the PMingLiU or SimSun variants, or any other Chinese fonts we have been using from other manufacturers...

J Tillman, yes, that is what I have been doing - however it is rather difficult when we are dealing with size 11-72 to judge the exact equivalent for each font size... You would think that MS would play nice on both platforms... evidently not :-)

agisaak's picture

I don't have a copy of M Hei HK Light so I can't check how it's vertical metrics are set, but it sounds like there are probably inconsistent metrics in the OS/2 and hhea tables.

Assuming you're using the same version of P Ming Li U which came with my (rather old) version of Office, then its default spacing will be roughly 120% of the point size plus whatever amount of leading word adds automatically. Try setting the line spacing to 120% of your point size and see if that looks roughly like the spacing word produces for Ming Li when an exact value is not specified. If that looks right, you can use it for both fonts.


peterfwyang's picture

I dare say that it is the same PMing. I will give it a go. Thanks for the help!

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