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Hello

 

I'd like to stress the need for a (very) good justification engine in Affinity Publisher, in order to produce high quality text-heavy publications. Because I'm not sure what the status on microtypography in Publisher currently is, I'll drop this info for your consideration.

 

In the 1990's type designer Hermann Zapf and engineer Peter Karow developed the Hz-program, a justification engine which has gained a somewhat mythological status. Its algorithm combines multiline composing, hanging punctuation with word-spacing, letter-spacing and most controversial: glyph-scaling. Adobe has bought the patent, but it's not known whether they actually use the program in InDesign. You can however change most of these parameters (word-spacing, letter-spacing and glyph-scaling) in the justification engine in InDesign with a minimum, maximum and optimal amount.

 

In my opinion, a paragraph composer with these settings, combined with extensive hyphenation settings are an absolute must for professional typographers.

 

Some sources on this topic:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microtypography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hz-program

http://www.typografi.org/justering/gut_hz/gutenberg_hz_english.html

 

Thanks for your consideration!

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Hi Bauke,

I hope you read these articles yourself before posting them here.

Here's a quote from one of these articles putting in doubt the validity of this approach:

 

"The particular technique of condensing and expanding characters (glyph scaling) which is an essential part of the Hz-program, and which is now an option in Adobe InDesign and pdfTeX, has aroused critique from well-known designers like Ari Rafaeli. Typographer Torbjørn Eng has raised serious doubts about the validity of referencing the glyph scaling to Gutenberg."

 

Regards

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Hi Seneca,

 

Thanks for replying!

Don't worry; I do read them.  :)

 

As I mentioned in my original post, the use of some of these settings are controversial. In my opinion that doesn't mean the option shouldn't be there in the first place. It's up to the typographer to use the available tools as he sees fit. For example it's also considered inappropriate to letter-space body text, or to put white text on a black background. Both of these things are (luckily) perfectly possible in most design applications.

 

In the specific case of the Hz-program: I merely mentioned this case in detail because to my knowledge, it's the most famous and most elaborate justification engine. I wanted to give the developers of Publisher some food for thought by providing different views on the subject.

 

Bauke

 

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Greetings everyone,

Having had a chance to peek at the Publisher Beta, I'm interested to know if there has been any follow-up with regard to implementing a microtypographical engine. A key document (for me, at any rate) is Hàn Thế Thành's 2000 dissertation Micro-typographic extensions to the TeX typesetting system (3.5 MB PDF). I generally use ConTeXt for typesetting, in part due to the excellent control over the implementation of these functions. I would love an Affinity-quality WYSIWYG typesetting program that included a similar fineness of control, at the least with margin kerning.

Thanks for listening!

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Margin kerning (i.e. protrusion) is there already: see the Optical Alignment section under the Character palette. It's very easy to configure as part of a style on a per-character level. Its approach is much better than the way InDesign handles this.

Expansion is not yet available; but that is not surprising, since it really need a paragraph-based composition engine to be of much advantage (which I hope will be coming soon).

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Just a quick follow-up here. 

Excellent, usable interface for handling margin kerning! Thank you Serif!

Can't wait for the paragaph-based comp engine!

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On 8/31/2018 at 2:26 AM, Chrysogonus said:

Expansion is not yet available; but that is not surprising, since it really need a paragraph-based composition engine to be of much advantage (which I hope will be coming soon).

Sorry for my ignorance, but what exactly is a paragraph-based composition engine?

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43 minutes ago, Christoph Daniel said:

Sorry for my ignorance, but what exactly is a paragraph-based composition engine?

Read Bauke's post earlier in this thread. Shortly, Publisher hyphenates & justifies using algorithm that optimizes one line at the time in a paragraph. More advanced algorithms optimize whole paragraph at one go, resulting better typesetting.

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A little more on the subject if you wish to dig deeper — Donald Knuth (of TeX fame in the typesetting world) & Michael Plass published an article in 1981 called Breaking Paragraphs into Lines. Here is the Abstract:

Quote

This paper discusses a new approach to the problem of dividing the text of a paragraph into lines of approximately equal length. Instead of simply making decisions one line at a time, the method considers the paragraph as a whole, so that the final appearance of a given line might be influenced by the text on succeeding lines. A system based on three simple primitive concepts called ‘boxes’, ‘glue’, and ‘penalties’ provides the ability to deal satisfactorily with a wide variety of typesetting problems in a unified framework, using a single algorithm that determines optimum breakpoints. The algorithm avoids backtracking by a judicious use of the techniques of dynamic programming. Extensive computational experience confirms that the approach is both efficient and effective in producing high-quality output. The paper concludes with a brief history of line-breaking methods, and an appendix presents a simplified algorithm that requires comparatively few resources. 

 

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23 hours ago, Fixx said:

Read Bauke's post earlier in this thread. Shortly, Publisher hyphenates & justifies using algorithm that optimizes one line at the time in a paragraph. More advanced algorithms optimize whole paragraph at one go, resulting better typesetting.

I did, but I didn't get the central idea. Your explanation made it clear to me, thanks.

22 hours ago, semio said:

A little more on the subject if you wish to dig deeper — Donald Knuth (of TeX fame in the typesetting world) & Michael Plass published an article in 1981 called Breaking Paragraphs into Lines. Here is the Abstract:

Using LaTeX all the time anyway, I will in fact read that paper. Thanks for the reference!

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