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PowerPoint: Please vote for OpenType Feature support eg. Kerning

Hi Folks,
 
I am sick of PowerPoints ignorance related to OpenType feature eg. Kerning. If you do the same, I am more than thankful when you're willing to help and vote for OpenType feature support within PowerPoint:
https://feedbackportal.microsoft.com/feedback/idea/2ab71476-dca0-ed11-a81b-002248519701
 
And please feel free to share this :)

 

Thanks a lot in advance,
Olli

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    John ButlerJohn Butler Posts: 251
    edited April 2023
    Thanks for bringing this up with Microsoft. Again. I did vote for your request.
    While you’re waiting for MS to update PowerPoint rendering code older than every current programmer maintaining it, try the free LibreOffice Impress. Once you select the font, add a colon, followed by feature tags delimited by ampersands, such as
    Adobe Caslon Pro:onum&smcp&c2sc&pnum
    and behold!
    This also works in LibreOffice Calc, if you like your spreadsheets to use tabular oldstyle figures, for example.
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    Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,765
    Although one of its implementations (GPOS kern feature, as opposed to kern table) is OpenType-specific, I don’t even consider that to be an OpenType feature, per se. It is functionality available in other formats and not OT-specific.

    Hoping PowerPoint gets this at some point.

    The UI already claims it does “kerning” but in testing (latest PowerPoint 365 on Mac) it still doesn’t work. Not sure if this is true for both TTF and OpenType-CFF, or not.
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    @John Butler Thanks a lot for you help. I much appreciate it. 

    I do all this not because I like PowerPoint. It's because font customers like using PowerPoint. And often they say think the font is broken, because eg. kerning does not work. But in fact, it's not the font which is not working correctly – it's the app, which does not support current standards.
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    John ButlerJohn Butler Posts: 251
    edited April 2023
    I agree Microsoft should expose this capability in PowerPoint already.
    Microsoft is a big company. In one part, PowerPoint developers are dragging their feet with the text rendering, or even just the interface to the text rendering. In another part of Microsoft, someone who cares about OpenType is adding swashes to the Times New Roman italics and not announcing it anywhere.
    In the meantime, while we wait for it, you can still tell your customers that oh by the way, LibreOffice Impress is free and can open most PowerPoint files. From there they can turn on the OpenType features, if a bit clumsily without a pleasant UI for doing so, then save the slideshows in native Impress format, export to PDF, et cetera.
    I just did a quick test, and including &kern in the feature string turns on class kerning rendering in Impress, and it even appears smart enough not to make the kerning additive between class kerning and legacy kerning.
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    John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 3,005
    edited April 2023
    Another thing to note about PowerPoint is that it was originally developed as a Mac app, purchased by Microsoft shortly after its original release in 1987, and ported to Windows. While considered part of the Office suite, it seems to remain an entirely separate and weird code base that perhaps can’t take advantage of the shared libraries that give other MS apps access to some common text layout functionality.
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    k.l.k.l. Posts: 109
    @John Hudson This was almost four decades ago, during which Microsoft did not mind to spend billions on bullshit and to rewrite parts of Windows, so at this point it amounts to hardly more than an entertaining anecdote. At best, it serves as yet another interesting story that helps past and present managers excuse their own failure to act. This issue, by the way, reminds me of Word not applying GPOS decomposition unless triggered by a subsequent mark, a rather peculiar behavior not described in Microsoft’s own OpenType specification. Has this latter one, at least, been addressed by now?
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    John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 3,005
    edited April 2023
    It definitely should not be taken as an excuse: it is a bizarre situation in which a bad piece of software becomes incredibly successful, such that it is never replaced by something better, but continues only be be successively tweaked within the limitations of the original code base. That fact that MS bought PowerPoint four decades ago and not bothered to rewrite it is exactly the point.
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    It's always good to know the background, so thanks to everyone. I really hope that a lot of people will vote for it and keep my fingers crossed that it will change something.
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    k.l.k.l. Posts: 109
    Did anyone check, e.g. with TTFDiet’ed fonts, if the Word issue I mentioned has been addressed in the meantime and, if, starting in which version? (I don’t consider this as entirely off-topic as both issues are about OTF in Office.)
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    Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,765
    PowerPoint was part of Microsoft Office, and Persuasion wasn’t. The power of bundled apps killed Persuasion as demand for a standalone presentation app plummeted.

    (Side note: Corel still makes WordPerfect Office, and has a presentations app called “Presentations,” somewhat related to CorelDraw.)
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    James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,974
    We need to convince Microsoft that people don’t want this. Then they might sneak it into an automatic update the same way as they installed Candy Crush Saga on my Windows image.
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    James MontalbanoJames Montalbano Posts: 85
    edited April 2023
    Interesting that Apple's Keynote application has not garnered even one mention in this thread.

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    John ButlerJohn Butler Posts: 251
    Interesting that Apple's Keynote application has not garnered even one mention in this thread.

    That’s because it works when you know where to look. But Keynote only runs in macOS, and there is a Whole Other World of users who are trapped in a Windows ecosystem by other real constraints, but who could appreciate good microtypography if it were available to them. Ideally by default.
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    Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,656
    @James Montalbano said:
    Interesting that Apple's Keynote application has not garnered even one mention in this thread.
    I was going to mention it, and then didn't because it seemed to be beside the point I wanted to make.

    But, yeah, as a Mac user, you do have that alternative. And it does have decent typography support if you know where to look, as John says. I've almost never used PowerPoint, even though it's included with my Office license.
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    John ButlerJohn Butler Posts: 251
    edited April 2023
    While on the subject of Office: did MS ever get around to implementing OT small caps correctly in the latest Word? I run Word 2010, but every time I check on a customer machine with a newer version of Word, OpenType small caps still appear inaccessible. OpenType features are buried in a section of the Advanced tab in the Font formatting dialog, and do not include any caps versions. The small caps toggle in the normal Font tab yields scaled small caps only.
    As someone who hates bold emphasis inside body text, small caps are invaluable to me. MS making every major Latin-script OT feature except small caps accessible amounts to a cruel taunt. Cruel, I say!

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