Diacritc-like placement using Apple Advanced Typograghy (AAT)

sfmoore's picture

I am working on a Font that we wish to function using MSWord on both Windows and Mac OS X. The Font requires numerous diacritic-like glyphs placed above numerous base characters. Our preference is to have the glyphs composed on-the-fly using font technologies on both platforms instead of having to populate the Unicode Private User Area with upwards of several hundreds of glyphs. Working with VOLT or FontForge I believe will give us the result we need on the Windows side using Opentype's 'mark' and 'mkmk' features, or 'ccmp'. However, MS Word 2011 on the Mac does not appear to honor the Opentype tables. If this be the case, how does one provide the same functionality as Opentype's 'mark' and 'mkmk' features on the Mac? I don't see how Apple Advanced Typography state machines do the same sort of thing, but they somehow seem to...

Bob H's picture

OpenType support varies with script -- what script (or what Unicode blocks) is this font implementing?

John Hudson's picture

MS Office on the Mac doesn't use OpenType or AAT. Basically, the Mac version of Office provides no smart font layout support: it is a very poor cousin of the Windows version.

Karl Stange's picture

MS Office on the Mac doesn't use OpenType or AAT. Basically, the Mac version of Office provides no smart font layout support: it is a very poor cousin of the Windows version.

I do not know about Excel or PowerPoint but Word 2011 for Mac supports ligatures, stylistic sets, context alternative characters and number forms for OpenType; not amazing but a start. I have not tested these features extensively but have seen reports that they are either inconsistent across some fonts or do not port well to the Windows 2010 version.

[edit] Sorry John, just realised that you were probably talking about additional support beyond these features.

However Word 2011 does not accept what it deems to be fonts with problematic naming conventions. Adam Twardoch has posted naming guidelines for FontLab that help to address that particular issue. For example, I have encountered problems with the larger FontFont families (e.g., Meta), which use a naming structure that Office 2011 clearly does not play well with.

John Hudson's picture

Thanks, Karl. Perhaps my information re. Word for Mac is out of date.

Karl Stange's picture

John, I think as a rule (sadly) the Mac versions have always been an afterthought and either by virtue of application level or system level support I do not doubt that the Mac versions suffer by comparison but I have noticed a significant and positive improvement in moving from the 2004 version to the 2011 version.

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