Kerning not working in Word

Ken Krugh's picture

We have a font created in FontLab, generated as an OpenType PS which is being used mainly in InDesign but also in Microsoft Word 2003 and 2010.

I have the FontLab option turn ON to generate the non-OpenType kern table but for some reason Word is not “seeing” the kerning. If I generate the font as TrueType or Type1 Word using the kerning just fine.

We have another font that is being used in exactly the same way and that one is fine.

The other oddity is that Word 2010 grays out all of its OpenType controls on the Font dialog for this problematic font. I’m guessing the two are related but I’m stuck as to what’s going on.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Ken

ralf h.'s picture

You might try to add a digital signature.

Ken Krugh's picture

Yeah, I saw that somewhere but I thought adding the DSIG was to help Word determine that it was a TTF with OpenType features, and we're generating an OTF.
Might it help with the OTF?
Oh, also forgot to mention that when we DO generate the TTF THAT WORKS! Oy.
Thanks for taking the time to read and respond.
Ken

Ken Krugh's picture

For anyone who might be interested: Used sfntedit in AFDKO to add a "dummy" DSIG and regenerated the OTF but it didn't help.

Té Rowan's picture

Which table does Word use, 'GPOS' or 'kern', for kerning info?

Ken Krugh's picture

2003 does not support OpenType at all so that definately uses the "kern" table. I'm not sure how 2010 works.
Unfortunately we have need for use for the font in 2003 so I'm working with that now to try and see what's wrong.
Thanks,
Ken

Té Rowan's picture

Hrmmff...! That explains it. Quoted from the MS OpenType spec v1.6: "OpenType™ fonts containing CFF outlines are not supported by the 'kern' table and must use the 'GPOS' OpenType Layout table." Guess you're stuck with TrueType-flavoured OpenType, then.

Ken Krugh's picture

Hmmff is right! Thanks for the tid-bit! However, I have another font devised much the same way for which the kerning WORKS in Word 2003.

Both fonts are updates to other fonts. The one that works initially came from a TTF, the one that doesn't initially came from a Type1. Could there be something "hiding" that's causing one to work and one not?

Oy.

Té Rowan's picture

None too sure. If you have ttx (which requires Python), you could probably use that to dump the fonts to text and see what tables are there. It's possible, if short of likely, that the TTF child font has a remaining 'kern' table that never got thrown out. 'Course, there may be a checkmark somewhere deep inside the editor that lets it add a 'kern' table to a PS-flavoured OT font. Should be possible as long as there are some kerning pairs. 'kern' can only handle pairs, not classes, it seems.

Edit: FontForge can do it. Surely the big names can sneak in a 'kern' table, too.

Rob O. Font's picture

Convert the Type1 font to TT, then try.

Theunis de Jong's picture

Is this perhaps related to the "no GSUB? Then no GPOS!" problem, as described in this older thread?

(Possibly I'm reading it backwards.)

Ken Krugh's picture

Thanks Theunis, but no, I don't think that's the problem. We do, indeed, have a liga feature in the font.

Té Rowan, I have actually used TTX on the OTF to make sure that kern table was still there as that is what Word would use. It looked to me like it WAS there so I'm still perplexed as to why Word would not be applying the kerning.

I did solve at least part of this. That being that Word 2010 was graying out its OpenType controls on the font dialog. I'm embarrassed to report that when Word 2010 opens a file created in an earlier version of Word by default it disables the OpenType features. In the Options, in the "Advanced" area, down at the bottom of the page is "Layout options." In that humungous list is the option to disable OpenType features.

In the little investigating I've managed to do with Word 2010 it definitely treats files created in an earlier version significantly different than doing a new document. I have, for instance, a document created in an earlier version of Word in which I can get NO kerning to work. However, do a new file, use the same font, in the same size and Word uses the class kerning. I've not looked very far into this one as of yet.

Thanks again guys for the help.

Ken

Nick Shinn's picture

Word is not “seeing” the kerning…

I always thought that was a feature, not a bug.

oldnick's picture

Well, while we're on the subject of TTX…

As some of you may know, one of the things that I would like to implement with my new LUV line (now a Registered Microsoft Vendor!) is a unique serial number for every font sold. Am I correct in assuming that this task could be accomplished at point of sale, simply by converting the font to XML, appending a ten-digit serial number to the Type 1 XUID field, converting the font back to OTF or TTF format, then delivering the finished product via download link? A separate database would, of course, tie the serial number to purchaser data.

Then, there's the separate issue of dsig. It would be nice to offer digitally signed fonts, but the mechanics of how to implement this element escape me at the moment. Big surprise.

Té Rowan's picture

'S okay, man; the DSIG is for the case where someone else is willing to take your money for agreeing with you that you are you.

Or, in a more boring way, it's a (paid-for) certificate that the file in question is an original one from your stall.

http://www.microsoft.com/typography/developers/dsig/default.htm

oldnick's picture

Wow: copyright date 2001. The W3C’s DSig project lapsed a few years ago. And…the mechanics STILL escape me.

oldnick's picture

And…everyone's still mum on TTX. So, nobody wants fonts with unique serial numbers?

Cool.

hrant's picture

I've loved that idea for years.

hhp

oldnick's picture

Yeah? Well, you're almost as marginalized as I am, so who listens to us, anyhow?

hrant's picture

You can't be marginalized if you were never in it.

hhp

Té Rowan's picture

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/opentype/afdko/topic_digital_sig_guide.html --a guide to digital signing, looks a bit more how-to than the MS oldie.

(I hate mispeelings, expecially mine!)

John Hudson's picture

I believe some font vendors are already shipping fonts with serialisation, in custom tables, and have been for some time. Workflow is presumably something like this: generate the table, merge it into the font with something like TTX, then apply a digital signature.

The sfnt table structure enables one to put pretty much anything into a TTF or OTF binary. Even pictures of kittens.

hrant's picture

Which vendors?

hhp

Jens Kutilek's picture

Pictures of kittens is a nice idea. Or haikus. Anything that would count as an artistic work, thus strengthening the copyright protection of fonts ;)

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