MS Word and OpenType

petermk's picture

This is my first post in these forums. Please be gentle.

Forgive me, I use MS Word (Windows) to prepare laser-printed reports. I use Utopia in regular and semi-bold weights. I need roman and italic variants, including small caps.

The standard Utopia fonts have lining figures which look gross when used in body text. So I switch to the small caps font (which has old style figures) to enter dates and numbers. Entering small caps also involves a font change. Constant font changes make writing more painful than it should be.

I see that Utopia is now available in OpenType versions which include the different figures (lining, old-style, tabular) and the small caps all in the one font. This would all be terrific if I was using inDesign as my writing tool (no, please don't suggest that), but I fear that MS Word cannot properly select the right glyphs from an OpenType font to do small caps and old-style figures.

Can someone please allay (or confirm) my fears?

Si_Daniels's picture

You are correct - you can't get at these OpenType features from Word. If the glyphs are mapped to the fonts PUA (private use area in Unicode) you may be able to insert them (using insert symbol) but that will mess up spell check, hyphenation etc.,

Cheers, Si

petermk's picture

Simon

Thanks for the clear answer.

I wonder when Microsoft will make Word capable of doing this? I don't expect you to answer, but it is a reasonable thing to ask for. After all, Microsoft is one of the OpenType proponents...

hrant's picture

> This is my first post in these forums. Please be gentle.
> Forgive me, I use MS Word

I think you're going to fit in just fine. :->

hhp

pstanley's picture

The other option (which I have found better, generally) is to type everything "straight" and then use find and replace to make the changes when the document is complete. You search, say, for all figures in Utopia Regular and replace them with Utopia SC. You may then have to do a little manual adjustment, e.g. to all caps lines where you actually want lining figures, or conceivably even some other global change (e.g., to make footnote references lining figures, if that is what you prefer). A similar approach can be taken to inserting ligatures and so on.

A similar "search and replace" approach can be taken to inserting ligatures from an expert set: replace ffi and ffl first, then ff, fi, fl. I doubt that matters in Utopia, but in some fonts it makes a significant difference.

You can fairly easily write or record macros which do these searches. The procedure then is to keep your "master" document clean. You get the text absolutely right. Then, when you want to print you run the macros and make any final formatting adjustments (keeping those to a minimum) and save the document under a new name.

It's a bit of a pain, but it does work. The result will not match InDesign or (La)TeX because kerning, spacing, and especially hyphenation are never up to snuff; but if your layout is sensible it can look much better than the typical Word document.

Paul

azeli's picture

>The result will not match InDesign or (La)TeX because kerning, spacing

Paul, you can switch kerning on in MS Word.
I have noticed that most users do not believe that it is possible because for some unknown reason MS decided to turn kerning off by default. The option is hidden in Font > Character spacing > Kerning for fonts bigger than XY.

Hope it improves the result a little bit.

Pavel

Chris Rugen's picture

It's annoying that it seems to do it on a per-document basis only.

Si_Daniels's picture

> I wonder when Microsoft will make Word capable of doing this? I don't expect you to answer, but it is a reasonable thing to ask for. After all, Microsoft is one of the OpenType proponents...

There is work going on to expose these features in Word 12 - no guarantees it will be in the shipping product though.

Default-automatic features (like the ligs) should be in as these are already applied at the system level with Windows XP SP2.

Cheers, Si

raphaelfreeman's picture

ligs work in Notepad but not in Word.

pablohoney77's picture

It's annoying that it seems to do it on a per-document basis only.

I wonder if you could change this in the normal.dot file so it becomes a default setting.

...just tried it, seems to work.
find the normal.dot file, open in in Word, change any settings you want to be on by default and then save the document. they should be applied to any new document you make after that.

Si_Daniels's picture

>ligs work in Notepad but not in Word.

Yes with XPSP 2 - reasons for this are...

1. Word uses a different version of 'Uniscribe' than the system does.
2. There's a performance hit associated with applying these features.
3. No one complains about document reflow in NotePad.

Cheers, Si

raphaelfreeman's picture

hmm, wouldn't it be easier to add a feature that switches ligs on? That way if you have an old document then it won't reflow or if you haven't upgraded your 386 to a Pentium you won't suffer.

petermk's picture

Thanks to everyone. I appreciate your high-grade advice.

Here are some comments back to you:

To Paul Stanley (who suggested

dtw's picture

As an aside, I know you said most of your text is ragged-right, but just in case you have any fully-justified: Remember that you can get much better than (Word's crappy..) default spacing in fully justified text by switching on Tools > Options > Compatibility > Do full justification like WordPerfect 6.x for Windows. (Which is also set on a doc-by-doc basis so would need switching on in Normal.dot and/or main templates.)

...Word's justification just adds space until the words fit the line; this alternative method does attempt to tighten spaces instead where the result would be better. Dunno why that's not the default... :)

Ever since I chose to block pop-ups, my toaster's stopped working.

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