TextEdit Font Menu

I’m working on a font with non standard weight names. I’ve set the ‘WeightClass’ correctly and they display as expected in Indesign but they appear in the wrong order in the TextEdit Font menu . 

Anyone knows wich value uses TextEdit to define the order on its Font Menu?

Comments

  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 653
    I wouldn’t bother to try to figure out TextEdit’s menu. It’s not just your font; it does that with all fonts, even Apple system-supplied fonts. The order of styles seems somewhat nonsensical.



  • Thanks Kent, but I'm having the same problem with MS word.

    Do you know which value uses MS Word to define the order on its Font Menu?
  • The only thing I know is that the fonts displayed in TextEdit (and Preview too) are the same as the ones listed in Fontbook under Smart Sets > [your language]. 


  • I wonder if this has been improved in more recent OS and/or app versions. This is what the same menu looks like in High Sierra (10.13.1):


    The order of the weights is a little off (Regular at the top), but they are at least paired with the italics. In some cases, Thin gets put at the bottom, but otherwise the sorting makes sense.
  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 653
    MS Word is also tricky. (Word for Mac 2011, anyway.) It starts to have trouble with families that are larger than standard RIBBI. The further you get from that, the more trouble.

    I once tried, unsuccessfully, to troubleshoot the Benton Sans family for Font Bureau several years ago. With the OT expansion, the fonts were reorganized with width attribute as part of familyName and styleNames normalized to just weight designation (original versions had styles like BentonSans-RegularCondensed). But still, Word would have problems getting all styles merged and grouped in some semblance of order.

    To make matters worse, usually one or two random styles would be missing from the menu. And to make it all more confusing, quitting the app and clearing caches to cause Word to rebuild the menu would result in previously missing styles showing up and new styles going missing.

    I seem to recall that it behaved better when only a modest subset of all weights was installed, but it couldn’t handle all sixteen at once. (I don’t remember where the cut-off was.)

    We never got a satisfactory answer from Microsoft about what name fields were being used to build their menus and in what way.

    I think in the end we set the name fields and OS/2 weight fields according to spec as best we knew how and let Support know that Word was inscrutable. I believe we kept a set of completely unmerged fonts with only italic linking for Customer Support to be able to supply to customers who complained about Word. I don’t know how often they needed to provide those.
  • The technology to allow fonts to show up in the right order in a menu is still decades away. Even after the technological singularity, it'll take a little while. Just before the glaciers finish melting, I think.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 920
    edited November 30
    Aren't we in a sassy mood lately...  :-)

    Is it possible the sorting depends on the order of the actual file installations of the styles?
  • I’ve always wished that there was some sort of "sorting order" field present in fonts (both for styles and for families themselves — e.g. so one could give a font a name like 'ITC Kabel' but force it to sort as 'Kabel'). Of course, such a field would have to have been present from the beginning of time. Adding it now probably wouldn't do much good.
  • Ray: what is "the right order"?

    Adobe InDesign, for example, sorts at:
    1. width (Condensed, Regular, Expanded)
    2. weight (Light, Regular, Bold, Black)
    3. slant (Regular, Italic/Oblique/Slanted)

    but one can argue for other arrangements as well.

    (Whatever sorting algorithm InDesign uses, it fails on the 51 styles of Helvetica Neue LT Pro that I have. Although this could be due to malformed meta-information.)
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 920
    edited November 30
    It would be nice if the foundry could determine a default order (in fact ideally a structure, with tiers) but the user could modify it (even being able to "mute" certain styles).
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 676
    edited November 30
    what is "the right order"?
    The order the type designer specifies.
  • Except type designers don't know how to use type.  :-)
  • Theunis de JongTheunis de Jong Posts: 18
    edited December 1
    If you let individual designers decide, then one font may be in the order "Regular, Italic, Bold" and the next one "Regular, Bold, Italic". Or possibly worse :/

    As I see it, "large" font families have three major axes: width, weight, and slant. Displaying them in a one-dimensional list forces one to decide on which axis to sort first. There is something in Frutiger's two-dimensional system – if only it were easy to program as a font menu!


    (image courtesy of FontShop (https://www.fontshop.com/content/adrian-frutiger-1928-2015))
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 676
    I just want to put them in a certain order and have my customers see them in exactly that order. If everyone thinks it's a stupid order, then I'll change the order myself and update the fonts. But the way it is now, no matter how I set up the names it's going to look fucked up in some applications. And that's for normal style names. If fonts have non-standard style names, it's like applications are picking them out of a hat.
  • I once tried to understand how it works but failed. There is a lot of convoluted "magic" for this. 
  • If you let individual designers decide, then one font may be in the order "Regular, Italic, Bold" and the next one "Regular, Bold, Italic".
    People can read, and if you can't trust the designer with their style ordering, can you trust them with the actual font?  :-/
    Ray Larabie said:
    If everyone thinks it's a stupid order, then I'll change the order myself and update the fonts.
    Better: allow the user to re-order.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 676
    @Hrant H. Papazian

    I manage to the alphabet in the correct order most of the time, I think I can handle style ordering. I don't think designers have much spare time for manually rearranging all the styles of their typefaces but who am I to stop them?

    Goal A: style appear in a specified order

    Goal B, an interface that lets the user manually override a typeface's specified order and save that customer spe....wait...do people really want to do that?
  • Ray Larabie said:
    an interface that lets the user manually override a typeface's specified order and save that customer spe....wait...do people really want to do that?
    Virtually none of the bad ones. Not all of the best ones, but some for sure. And if a user really can't stand your Demi, they should be able to nix the n weights of it from the menu.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 676
    edited December 4
    I'm just curious if these are features other people have been wishing for. Hrant, I understand (I think) you like the idea of shuffling and deleting styles in the application menu. But I wonder of this is something a lot of designers have been wishing for. A question for everyone else:

    If styles appeared in your app's menu in the order specified by the type designer, would you like to:

    A: change the style order in the application menu
    B: delete/hide styles in the application menu

    Obviously, you can easily delete/hide styles from your OS font menu but what about from every application's font menu.
  • Yes, I'm just edumacated-guessing, we need to pick the brains of actual users. If we could get a graphic designer with a lot of followers on Twitter to do a poll, we might get some semi-meaningful data.
  • You can delete/hide styles from the menu by simply not activating those fonts. Easy. (At least, until variable fonts are widespread.)
Sign In or Register to comment.