OpenType fea example for tabular lining substitution?

Ramiro EspinozaRamiro Espinoza Posts: 839
edited January 2015 in Technique and Theory
Hi there,
I am having problems trying to figure out how to deal with a font with only 2 sets of numeras: a proportional lining (default) and tabular lining. I am using a tnum feature to replace the standard (prop. lining) set by the tabular lining but when I generate the font the InDesign interface display as active the option "Tabular OldStyle" (which does not exist) and "Default Figure Style" is not available.

What I am doing wrong? Do you have an example of how to make the feature for this sort of fonts?

Thanks in advance. 


  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 905
    That’s a little odd to have the [Default Figure Style] bracketed out like that. Are your default figures properly encoded?

    Also, do you have a corresponding {pnum} to undo the {tnum} subsitutions?

  • Ramiro EspinozaRamiro Espinoza Posts: 839
    edited January 2015
    Hey Kent,
    After your advice I added a pnum feature reversing the lining tabular substitution (I only had tnum).
    Now Default Figure Style is available but still the problem with Tabular OldStyle persist.

  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 905
    That is the nature of InDesign. It is not sophisticated about distinguishing these enumerated options.

    For example, if I have a font with only onum (and no corresponding lnum), InDesign will present me with options for both Proportional Oldstyle and Tabular Oldstyle, even though the font contains no tabular oldstyle figures or tnum feature.

    Basically, it seems like when a tnum/pnum/lnum/onum feature is present, it unbrackets all options that reference that feature, whether or not the other element of the enumerated option is present or applicable.

    Since you have now have both tnum and pnum, the Tabular and Proportional options are all turned on. Nevermind the fact that there is no onum, so those two should not be available.

    Like I said, InDesign is pretty dumb in this regard.

  • attarattar Posts: 209
    Hope the Adobe committee will make this less confusing.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 2,145
    Yes, even Adobe’s own Trajan suffers from this UI issue, which should have brought it to the attention of InDesign programmers.

    I usually hold my nose and produce the four basic sets of figures, even when they are patently inappropriate—for instance, old style figures in Scotch Modern. And the thing is, this avoids my font from looking like it has something missing, and strange as it may seem, there is always a typographer somewhere who appreciates the oddity and is able to use it in a meaningful and beautiful way. 

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