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Hi, I downloaded a font (via Font Squirrel - Lobster) to see if I could access the ligatures, alternatives and special features in Affinity Designer and I'm puzzled that in the Show Typography palette it shows selections, but some are grayed out. Can someone who has an Open Type font with a bunch of alternatives, and stylized sets, tell me if they are all accessible in Affinity Designer? Not sure if it's the font... or AD, at issue? See the screen shot below for grayed out selections.

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Lobster Two has the Access all Alternates, Ligature (standard) and Stylistic Alternates (SALT) OpenType features. They all work as designed here.

 

There are 38 characters that can be changed in the Access all Alternates feature.

There are 63 characters that can be changed in the Ligature feature--but see below.

There are only 6 characters that can be changed in the SALT feature.

 

As regards the ligatures, they are tied to what is called "chaining context" rules. There are two chaining context features in the ligature feature. These types of features (chaining context) only activate when certain characters are next to each other or otherwise appear in proximity to each other within the same word (they cannot cross word boundaries).

 

Because all the extra characters are not also assigned to the Private Use Area nor many even mapped to a unicode point, they are also likely not accessible in something like Windows' Character Map (I didn't try BabelMap).

 

But that font does work as designed in AD as far as a quick test can reveal. As do all other of my fonts with OpenType features.

 

Mike

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Looking at that screenshot, it's interesting to note that the headings ('Ligatures', 'Alternates', etc) are almost all plural in the Mac version, the exception being 'Figure Position'; in the Windows version, all of the headings are singular. In Lobster 1.4, which is the version I have installed here, the only greyed-out options are under the 'Stylistic Alternate' heading.


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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher for Windows • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.8.4.186 • Designer for iPad 1.8.4.4 • iPadOS 13.7 (iPad Air 2)

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Great feedback Mike! I downloaded another font from Font Squirrel - "Milkshake" and can see additional Stylistic Sets with this font. Also from Mike I learned that some of the sets are grayed out unless certain character pairs are selected and can be modified with these sets. One could in theory have a stylist set on some characters and another stylistic set on other characters and character pairs. There's quiet a bit of options in AD when one has an Open Type Pro font with lots of options/alternatives. Very cool!

Thanks – Timber

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 There's quiet a bit of options in AD when one has an Open Type Pro font with lots of options/alternatives. Very cool!

Totally off topic but this got me thinking about typography & printing in the pre-digital era, moveable type, font foundries, & such, & the realization that in the modern era we take for granted having at our disposal the equivalent of tens to hundreds of thousands of type cases filled with millions of pieces of movable type (which I think are called "sorts").

 

Amazing!


Affinity Photo 1.8.4, Affinity Designer 1.8.4, Affinity Publisher 1.8.4;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 40GB RAM; macOS 10.15.6
Affinity Photo 
1.8.4.186 & Affinity Designer 1.8.4.4 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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