Feature circled characters

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What's your preferred way to make circled characters accessible as OpenType feature? dlig? salt? stylistic set?

Comments

  • Peter Baker
    Peter Baker Posts: 184
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    The OpenType feature nalt is there for this purpose. I use it with rlig to make two-digit circled numbers.
  • André G. Isaak
    André G. Isaak Posts: 630
    edited May 31
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    I would go with a stylistic set for the simple reason that stylistic sets can be assigned keyboard shortcuts in InDesign whereas things like salt and nalt cannot (as far as I know — I wasn't even aware of nalt until now).
  • Thomas Phinney
    Thomas Phinney Posts: 2,785
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    Peter, the 'nalt' feature is not so specific, though. From the feature registry, it: “Replaces default glyphs with various notational forms (e.g. glyphs placed in open or solid circles, squares, parentheses, diamonds or rounded boxes). In some cases an annotation form may already be present, but the user may want a different one.”

    So while it *can* be used for that, it does not mean *only* that. Rather like 'salt' in that regard.
  • John Hudson
    John Hudson Posts: 3,034
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    ‘nalt’ was primarily registered for the context of East Asian typography, in which a variety of notational forms exist. I wonder how widely supported it is in software, especially outside of CJK-specific layout?
  • Jani Paavola
    Jani Paavola Posts: 46
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    Proceeding with the stylistic set solution. Thank you all!
  • Peter Baker
    Peter Baker Posts: 184
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    I should have said that this was one of nalt's purposes. I used nalt partly because I was running short of Stylistic Sets, which are of course more convenient than almost anything else. As for software support, MS Word is hopeless, but you can use nalt and almost any other OpenType feature with TeX, LibreOffice, InDesign (with Roland Dreger's terrific open-type-features script), or Affinity Publisher.
  • Johannes Neumeier
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    While the questions was about what the most suitable feature for use case is, there is no (technical) reason not to include the same transformations in several features.

    Define a lookup for the substitutions, reference the lookup in any number of features, just be mindful of the lookup order in your feature file with regards to other features/lookups. 

    Including, for example, multiple stylistic sets’ lookups in the general stylistic alternates feature is fairly neat, as long as the individual stylistic sets don't contradict each other. You get a "all alternates on" switch. Of course you may opt to retain the stylistic alternates feature for unique alternates not referenced elsewhere, but both approaches are valid.