OpenType help

Feature requests, and in-depth discussions of features and the way Mellel works

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A.D. Riddle
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OpenType help

Post by A.D. Riddle » Fri Aug 06, 2021 1:41 pm

Using Andika font in Mellel.
https://software.sil.org/andika/download/

This font offers alternate forms of lower case "A" and lower case "G." I have learned how to access these alternate forms in Adobe products, but I have not figured out how to do so in Mellel (though I see that Mellel supports OpenType). A demo on how to access OpenType features would be appreciated. The instructions on the website are not sufficient.

A.D.

jannuss
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Re: OpenType help

Post by jannuss » Mon Aug 09, 2021 6:52 am

When I need special glyphs I use the tools provided by Mac OS (under the flag menu)

First I would check Show Keyboard Vier -- many alternate forms are available using the alt key. If the forms you need are there then you simply type them in,

If not, use Show Emoji and Symbols -- navigate to the OpenType table you need and select the glyph required. While you're at it, place that glyph in favorites so it will be easy to find in the future.

Hope this helps,

Janet

DavidH
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Re: OpenType help

Post by DavidH » Mon Aug 09, 2021 6:22 pm

You can apply OpenType features (including Discretionary ligatures, Titling alternates, Stylistic alternates, etc) to selected text or to the next text you type by using the dropdown menu of OpenType Features in the bottom lefthand corner of the Character attributes palette. Such features remain checked and in effect until you uncheck them by going back to the dropdown menu.

Mellel treats OpenType features much the way it treats other Character attributes. If you want Stylistic alternates to be in effect whenever you're typing Regular text, you can make that feature part of the definition of the Regular Character style.

For details, see the Advanced Typography section of the Mellel Guide.

Icelander
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Re: OpenType help

Post by Icelander » Thu Sep 09, 2021 5:00 am

I would like to put my two cents in, notwithstanding the fact that the OP seems to have vanished into thin air 2 minutes after (s)he posted and has therefore probably never read the replies by Janet and DavidH…

I have learned how to access these alternate forms in Adobe products, but I have not figured out how to do so in Mellel (though I see that Mellel supports OpenType).
This is a good question. The Advanced Typography section of the Mellel Guide describes how this is supposed to work in theory. But the praxis is different. Even if you select text of an OpenType font and enable all the features in the Character Pane > Attributes > OpenType > Features (except Superscript/Superior and Small Capitals, which usually work OK), you may not see any changes at all in the text. The same text may have great Swash embellishment in Adobe and Affinity Designer, but not in Mellel.

Either this is another serious limitation in Mellel, or my Mellel setting is broken. I believe it's the former.

If anyone wants to test this, Gabriola is a good OpenType font with beautiful Swash (which remains hidden in Mellel.)

Other good OpenType fonts are Desire, Aire Roman Pro and Adobe Garamond Pro. Here is a YouTube video which shows the extra hidden features in all their glory in InDesign. Alas, using the same fonts in Mellel will not display the hidden features.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHGXKykiW_Y
Last edited by Icelander on Fri Sep 17, 2021 4:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

A.D. Riddle
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Re: OpenType help

Post by A.D. Riddle » Fri Sep 10, 2021 7:03 pm

Actually, I vanished immediately after posting. I did check later that day and the next, but I did not wait around as I did not expect an instant reply. Janet's reply does not address the specific problem about which I am asking. DavidH does address my question, but as Icelander pointed out, I am not seeing any of the changes I expect when I follow Mellel's directions. So either (1) I am not following the directions right, (2) the directions are wrong, or (3) it does not matter what the directions say because Mellel will not do what I want it to do. I have gone through all of the features in the OpenType dropdown menu. Some do produce changes with this particular font (Andika), e.g. small capitals, but none of the features allow me to use the two-story lowercase A (https://creativepro.com/typetalk-two-story-type/). I would expect the alternate lowercase A to be a "stylistic alternate," but no. In Adobe, I am able to access this alternate glyph, so I know it has been designed for this font.

I think I agree with Icelander that this is a Mellel limitation. I would be happy to find out that I am wrong--if anyone can demonstrate it.

Thanks,
A.D.

Icelander
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Re: OpenType help

Post by Icelander » Sat Sep 11, 2021 6:54 am

Hello A.D.,

Glory be! You have risen from the dead…. :–)

Janet's reply does not address the specific problem about which I am asking.
That's true. However, you can find the variation you are looking for if you show Emoji & Symbols and enter "g" or "a" into the find field in the upper right corner. In the right column below you'll see 'Related Characters'. Scroll down until you see 'Font Variation'. There you can see a huge number of variations, and I think I spotted the variations you are looking for.

Under normal circumstances you should be able to double click a font variation and it should be inserted into Mellel. However, this doesn't work (by me), no variation is inserted, just the plain form. All 'Related Characters' are inserted correctly though. — We found out last year that Mellel cannot display colored Emojis, so maybe this shortcoming is somehow related to that limitation.
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3746&p=19910#p19910

The funny thing is, I can enter font variations into Nisus Writer Pro without any problem and then copy and paste them into Mellel. Then they show up correctly!

In your particular case, you could access these alternate forms in Adobe, paste them into Typinator and thus always have them at your disposal in Mellel.

Could you be so kind and test what happens by you when you double click a font variation in the Emoji & Symbols window. Do you get the variation into Mellel? Or just the basic form? Make sure you are in the 'Font Variation' part and not in 'Related Characters' when you do this.

I did check later that day and the next
The forum-software seems not to have registered the second and the third visit. Do you remember whether you were actually logged in then? If you just visited the site without logging in, like you would do if you were not a registered member, then that could explain the "Last active" time stamp, which was set to 2 minutes after you posted.

I'm just trying to understand how the forum time stamp feature works. :–)

DavidH
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Re: OpenType help

Post by DavidH » Sat Sep 11, 2021 6:28 pm

My own sense had been that if the name of an OT feature exactly matched one of those in Mellel's menu, all would be well within Mellel itself. Justification alternates work just fine, for instance. Nowadays some fonts have multiple distinct stylistic sets, and Mellel offers the same limited set of feature options regardless of the range built into a given font. This can leave some characters out of reach within Mellel itself. But following up on Icelander's experiments makes me think there may be a separate issue about swash characters. Need to do abit more checking to be sure.

A.D. Riddle
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Re: OpenType help

Post by A.D. Riddle » Sun Sep 12, 2021 7:31 pm

DavidH,

I just read your replies, both logged-out and logged-in, on Sep 12. Then I closed the window, reopened it and it shows my last active date is from two days ago: Fri Sep 10, 2021 1:03 pm. This is the time stamp of my last reply.

Apparently, it records the last time I contributed something to the forum, not the last time I logged on or viewed posts.

A.D.

A.D. Riddle
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Re: OpenType help

Post by A.D. Riddle » Sun Sep 12, 2021 7:35 pm

DavidH,

(1) The glyph variation for this particular font does not appear in “Related Characters,” only the base glyph does. I tried double-clicking a two-story A from another font, and only a single-story A for my font was placed in Mellel. I tried dragging-dropping a two-story A from a different font and that worked, but when I changed it back to my font, it changed the glyph back to single-story A. (Yes, I had Mellel's OT Stylistic alternates and Historical forms checked, although after dragging-dropping, both were unchecked.)

(2) Apart from being able to use the two-story A in Adobe, I can also see it Font Book. I tried double-clicking and dragging-dropping from Font Book, and dragging-dropping gives me a black diamond with white question mark. Changing the font results in a single-story A.

I will now attempt Adobe > Typinator > Mellel to see if that works.

Thanks,
A.D.

Icelander
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Re: OpenType help

Post by Icelander » Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:54 am

A.D. Riddle wrote:
Sun Sep 12, 2021 7:35 pm
(1) The glyph variation for this particular font does not appear in “Related Characters,” only the base glyph does.
Yes, that's what I had already been saying. Forget about the part called 'Related Characters'. You should scroll down and look in the part called 'Font Variation'. These are two different things.

I asked you what happens when you double click on a character in the 'Font Variation' part.

A.D. Riddle
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Re: OpenType help

Post by A.D. Riddle » Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:29 pm

I misspoke (mistyped, rather). I actually was looking in Font Variation, not in Related Characters. My first sentence should have read, "The glyph variation for this particular font does not appear in 'Font Variation,' only the base glyph does."

A.D.

A.D. Riddle
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Re: OpenType help

Post by A.D. Riddle » Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:37 pm

DavidH,

Not sure if there was anything special I am supposed to do in Typinator. I did a simple paste from Adobe, then copied it the text in Typinator and pasted in Mellel. In Mellel, the glyphs reverted to their base form. But then, Typinator was not using the font I had in Adobe (which is the one I want in Mellel).

A.D.

DavidH
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Re: OpenType help

Post by DavidH » Fri Sep 17, 2021 3:36 am

Sorry, I've been away a few days. I believe the workaround involving Typinator came from Icelander, not me. But your problem may be that a Typinator expansion inherits its character attributes from the preceding text if the little dropdown menu at the left hand end of the expansion field in Typinator is set to the usual default: Ab, Plain Text. See if changing this to Formatted Text helps. If you're new to Typinator, have a look at the User's guide or the online help page.

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