Accessing Skia's variants

Hi,
Do you know if the version of Skia that ships with Mac OS these days is still the original QuickDraw GX? Or is it an updated Variable OpenType? Or none?
Do you know of a standard app that can access its variants? I've got Adobe CC, MS Office and obviously Mac OS native apps.
Thanks
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Comments

  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 928
    edited June 5
    I believe it is essentially the original GX font.

    It does show up as a variable font in the recent version of Illustrator CC and Photoshop CC. There is also a web development app by SoftPress called Freeway that has continually supported GX fonts since way back.

    For some reason, access to the width axis is disabled in Photoshop CC. However, there are preset styles in three different widths, and you can vary the weight after selecting one. You just can't vary the width beyond the three widths in the presets.

    Skia variants are also available in web browsers that support variable fonts.
  • Ori Ben-DorOri Ben-Dor Posts: 204
    edited June 6
    Thanks, Mark. Took me a moment, but I found how it's being done.
    So I gather InDesign still doesn't support variable fonts? Weird, I'd have expected it to be the first one to support variable fonts.
    In Illustrator, as I play with the weight and the width, the spacing won't adapt. Is it the same for you?
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,055
    Ori:

    Illustrator and Photoshop share the same text engine, so they can both get Variations support in (almost) a single shot. InDesign has its own text engine, so that is a separate thing.

    (Both of these are on top of a shared font engine used in all three apps, which obviously has Variations support now.)

    I have repeatedly seen the same issue as you in Illustrator. Its Variations support is largely broken.  :(
  • Ori Ben-DorOri Ben-Dor Posts: 204
    Illustrator and Photoshop share the same text engine, so they can both get Variations support in (almost) a single shot. InDesign has its own text engine, so that is a separate thing.
    Interesting, do you know if there's a reason for that or rather it has just evolved this way?
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 928
    In Illustrator, as I play with the weight and the width, the spacing won't adapt. Is it the same for you?

    Seems like it's working for me.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/mncle2ma4z0cvh0/Skia Illustrator.mp4?dl=0
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,055
    Illustrator and Photoshop share the same text engine, so they can both get Variations support in (almost) a single shot. InDesign has its own text engine, so that is a separate thing.
    Interesting, do you know if there's a reason for that or rather it has just evolved this way?
    It just evolved that way, around the end of the 90s.

    I forget whether Illustrator or Photoshop got their text engine replacement first, but the second of the two then borrowed it. Back then they were both single-page apps.

    Meanwhile, InDesign was already under development at Aldus, so it got acquired with its new engine under development around the same time.
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