Opentype features I wish to use

If this request is off limits - please delete it or let me know how to do so myself.

I'm an amateur collector and user of fonts and would like to make some use of opentype features.

I have both free and purchased fonts. Some of each have opentype features that I cannot make use of in Scribus, at least not in the versions of Scribus I have, nor use them in dumber applications. I'm using Linux, so Scribus is pretty much it for applications with some typographic control. I cannot see moving to macs or Windows and Adobe for this purpose.

I would like to be able to make separate font files with characters like small caps and OSFs substituted in. All this is solely for my own use. Nothing I make will be distributed or sold.

Would I be able to do so through a program like FontForge? And being a total amateur, where would I look for a guide on such jobs? At a quick glance, opentype features don't look simple to me. If it is all just too complex, it's not a big deal, but if there is a relatively simple path, that would be great.


  • It's certainly possible with FontForge as well as pretty much any other font editor. The real question is does the respective font licenses permit you to do this? I'd check on that first.
  • Thanks! It may end up that I can only do this with some open license free fonts. I'll check with the makers of paid fonts.
  • I haven't tried this myself but maybe Font Squirrel Webfont Generator's OpenType flattening feature could be used to convert to a flattened TTF for desktop use.
  • Thanks!!!!!
  • In you are simply looking to use the OpenType features in fonts that you already have, try LibreOffice Writer 5.3 or higher. It supports virtually all OpenType features, and is free and available for Linux.
  • If you want to make the most of the Open Type feature in a font there is also Serif PagePlus X9 which although it isn't free it is moderately priced.  It has very good support of many open type features, however the user interface takes a bit of getting used to, sometimes it's not very intuitive.
  • Indeed, PagePlus has outstanding OT support—I have used it to test features in my fonts. Unfortunately it does not work with characters outside the BMP, which is a severe limitation for some of us. It is also Windows only, and the OP indicated that he wanted to stay with Linux. 
  • Thank you to all for the ideas and help!
  • PagePlus is labeled as a "legacy" app, meaning it is all but discontinued. “Our legacy, or 'Plus' range of software is no longer being developed as we focus entirely on our new Affinity range of professional graphic design software. However licenses are still available to purchase here if you wish....”

    Affinity Designer is a current app from the same company, covering some of the same ground, $49.99 for Mac or Windows.
  • Alas, I cannot use software for mac or Windows unless there are versions for Linux. But regardless, you guys are fantastic. It is wonderful to have the chance to get great data from the folks who literally make fonts. Thanks!
  • Thomas, correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Affinity Designer is a vector drawing program (like Adobe Illustrator) rather than a page layout program.  It does apparently have good OT support for text that one might employ while creating, say, a poster but seems unsuitable for documents with extensive text.  I've been really hoping that Serif would come out with a successor to PagePlus but so far no sign of it.
  • Yes, AD is a rough Illy replacement.

    Serif will be releasing Affinity Publisher to beta at some point in the future (in theory before year's end...but they've been down this road before and it has slipped considerably).

    That is the layout application from Serif moving forward. While I expect the OTF support to be on par with AD from the outset, other layout features will not be present once 1.x is released for sale. Which means it will not be usable for much of what I do nor how I do it upon release nor likely for some time to come.

  • Thanks Mike.  I just hope A. Publisher comes with complete Unicode support, i. e., beyond the BMP.
  • It'll likely only support what AD does currently. 
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