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Fantomas.CZ

Multicolor layered font (OTF) - correct usage

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Hi! Please have a look at the picture beneath. The font name is LTC Goudy Initials and you can find it here.  Now, I'd like to know, how to do this properly. I know the font contains the complete colorless version, then just the letter outlines (here in gold) and finally the floral decoration (here in red).

My question is: I'd like to use this as colored drop caps in Affinity Publisher. Is there a better way to do this than creating three layers with three text boxes and then manually matching the exact size and position of the original drop cap, that is part of the big text box with the text? (BTW? I'm just interested in the content in black boxes, the floral motives above and under the text are of no interest of mine).

Thanks for the answers!

image.png.6ab4a0f815ce3e7ea930978457b97f72.png

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44 minutes ago, Fantomas.CZ said:

... I'd like to know, how to do this properly. ... Is there a better way to do this than creating three layers with three text boxes  ...

Nope. That's how layered fonts work.

I've found with a properly done layered font, one only needs to create the first text box, duplicate it, change to the second font, and align them via snapping. (And at some point, color them as desired.)

The only issue comes in, like in the above, if one wants to use the combined text boxes as a dropcap. The need to be grouped, placed in-line, and likely otherwise adjusted.

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Write every letter two (in your case three) times and use kerning to position your letters perfectly on top of each other.

Below a screenshot using the free font "Romanique Initials" with two colours and a marker where you can see which value to edit for the second (and in your case third) letter -- for this sample I set it to "-880", but it may vary from font to font.

Make sure to use what Affinity calls "global colours" so you can set them to overprinting if needed and also change the colour without "unfiddling" your letters manually. If you use a text style, you can also adjust the size (or even font) later on; And when you even use two (in your case three) text styles, you can apply and reapply the kerning values and colours by simply switching styles.

This method works without ANY extra text frames, you can just put your text in any Frame you like and even place them in the middle of your text if you want. In combination with the drop cap feature (in you case set to three characters), that should make your life much easier.

screenshot.thumb.jpg.843a07625b197113d69c8f8781d15c5c.jpg

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Sorry, just noticed that you can only drop one cap ... however, this has already been changed in the new 1.8 beta, so it should be available for everyone, as soon as the next update for Publisher releases.

Currently you need to create one single new text frame with your drop caps (same method as described above) and pin it to the start of your paragraph.

I have put a feature request in for an enhancement of the current feature, which would make life even easier:

 

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On 1/13/2020 at 6:10 PM, MikeW said:

The only issue comes in, like in the above, if one wants to use the combined text boxes as a dropcap. The need to be grouped, placed in-line, and likely otherwise adjusted.

Exactly, this is the main reason I want to use a layered font like this - as drop caps. Luckily there is never too many of them, especially such ornate ones, so I can live with the 3 layers. Using an artistic text tool works surprisingly well in this case.

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On 1/13/2020 at 6:41 PM, Jens Krebs said:

Write every letter two (in your case three) times and use kerning to position your letters perfectly on top of each other.

Thanks for the suggestion!

I was surprised that this actually works in the Beta. There are however some issues: when I used 4 lines high drop cap, I needed to set the kerning to about -1020, but the maximum value that still did something was -1010, so the characters are slightly misaligned. It is also necessary to repeat the first letter three times, which is not very popular with the spelling checker. But if the kerning limitation gets extended, this is definitely a way to go.

The ideal solution for this case would be something like a possibility to apply 3 consecutive styles on the same drop cap. This way, it would be possible to draw one letter three times on the same spot, every time with a different style and color. But this seems to me too far fetched to implement such feature for something that is not that frequent and can be done in a different way. 

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19 minutes ago, Fantomas.CZ said:

I was surprised that this actually works in the Beta. There are however some issues: when I used 4 lines high drop cap, I needed to set the kerning to about -1020, but the maximum value that still did something was -1010, so the characters are slightly misaligned. It is also necessary to repeat the first letter three times, which is not very popular with the spelling checker. But if the kerning limitation gets extended, this is definitely a way to go.

In QXP, I use the kerning method. It didn't work in APub properly so I didn't mention it.

In Q, I also use what Quark calls Conditional Styles (akin to, but not as powerful, to ID's grep styles) to format the, in this case, doubled letters.

Capture_000398.png.672beb4c9abd1352a03e25cce96390dc.png

While I could use the Story editor to change the two letters, I just remove the conditional style, make edits and reapply it.

 

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