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Lindsey Hudlow Charles
Posts: **5**

Hello,

Working on my second typeface and I'm doing some fractions right now. I've made numerators and denominators, but I was wondering if anyone could shed some light on the fraction slash for a beginner.

The way I had imagined them looking was like this: https://cl.ly/gdtr

But I recognize that in good typefaces, the fraction slash is diagonal, I suppose so that you can type out any long fraction you want.

My question then— is having a horizontal fraction slash something that ever happens—or does it seem to all of you more like a tacky idea to be abandoned?

Working on my second typeface and I'm doing some fractions right now. I've made numerators and denominators, but I was wondering if anyone could shed some light on the fraction slash for a beginner.

The way I had imagined them looking was like this: https://cl.ly/gdtr

But I recognize that in good typefaces, the fraction slash is diagonal, I suppose so that you can type out any long fraction you want.

My question then— is having a horizontal fraction slash something that ever happens—or does it seem to all of you more like a tacky idea to be abandoned?

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## Comments

349948661For the precomposed fractions, you are welcome to structure them as you like. Vertically stacked “nut” fractions require smaller numerals and hence are a bit less legible at small text sizes, but they are otherwise a perfectly reasonable design option.

It is even possible to support arbitrary fractions as nut fractions, although the code is rather more complex.

513Matthew specified that the precomposed fractions in the updated Big Caslon be nut fractions. I proposed developing a {frac} feature that would also provide arbitrary nut fractions. I even produced a proof of concept.

(This was, coincidentally, around the same time John unveiled his Nutso, unknown to me when I first tackled this. My solution was slightly different, not relying upon {mark} for the arbitrary positioning among other things.)

But in the end FB decided not to pursue, mostly because it wouldn’t work in a default InDesign environment since it relies upon the World-Ready Composer (which is sadly not the default).

513It was Carter & Cone’s cut of Monticello that had a “Tabular” font with offset numerators for arbitrary nut fractions. Not sure you can get those forms in the commercial OpenType versions. If you can, I seriously doubt there’s a feature to implement them.

36If it's an all-around quirky typeface that you're designing, a horizontal fraction just might fit nicely as a natural continuation of the face's personality. On the other hand, if the horizontal fraction really does stand out as an oddity that leaves designers, like me, and readers scratching their collective heads over why it's there, well, that's another matter. If so, maybe including these out-of-the-ordinary fractions as alternates might be your best bet.

68This is quite typical German math notation:

(also note the 1 with the incredibly long nose and the seven with bar, my upcoming handwriting font has that as a stylistic alternate for German)

53496615135361,034Lindsey, bear in mind that often the Fraction feature will not be used, so it’s a good idea to make the fraction glyph thin, so that it is matched to your basic lining figures, reduced to 66% size by layout apps (or whatever the default percentage is). And with appropriate sidebearings.

Nut fractions are appropriate for certain kinds of typeface, notably didones, because in this day and age, consistency is expected throughout a type family, and nut fractions are problematic in heavier weights of most other serifed genres, and sans.

Here is a fairly simple code for Fractions:

} frac;

http://opentypecookbook.com/common-techniques.html

5541,034513881fracbar+onesuperior+~fourinferior=onequarter.nut fracbar+onesuperior+~twoinferior=onehalf.nut fracbar+threesuperior+~fourinferior=threequarters.nut fracbar+onesuperior+~threeinferior=onethird.nut fracbar+twosuperior+~threeinferior=twothirds.nut fracbar+onesuperior+~eightinferior=oneeighth.nut fracbar+threesuperior+~eightinferior=threeeighths.nut fracbar+fivesuperior+~eightinferior=fiveeighths.nut fracbar+~sevensuperior+~eightinferior=seveneighths.nut fracbar+onesuperior+~fiveinferior=onefifth.nut fracbar+twosuperior+~fiveinferior=twofifths.nut fracbar+threesuperior+~fiveinferior=threefifths.nut fracbar+foursuperior+~fiveinferior=fourfifths.nut fracbar+zerosuperior+~zeroinferior=zeronut.nut