Stylistic sets

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What are Stylistic sets?


Over a year late, but:

Stylistic sets are a feature of some digital fonts. Usually, the stylistic set permits wholesale substitutions of sets of glyphs with alternates. A common use is a stylistic set that replaces a font's "double-story" 'a' or 'g' with a "single-story" version. Stylistic sets can be much more ambitious too: replacing caps with decorated initials, or implementing alternative contextual glyph substitution rules.

Only OpenType format fonts can have stylistic sets, and the font's programming must be sound for it to work. The feature programming seems to be finicky. I've found Scribus often recognizes that a stylistic set is available, but activating it does nothing. TextEdit (macOS's basic text editor) only sometimes recognizes that stylistic sets exist at all; FontGoggles recognizes the feature, but can sometimes only activate a stylistic set if the text direction is set incorrectly (e.g. top-to-bottom); and Dinamo's FontGauntlet recognizes the feature, but is spotty on whether activating it does anything.