Author Topic: How to get “old style”, or “lowercase” numbers?  (Read 4991 times)


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How to get “old style”, or “lowercase” numbers?
« on: November 15, 2011, 12:11:28 pm »
I am using Palatino Linotype for my font, and I would like to use “old style” numbers, i.e. the numbers that are staggered instead of in a straight line.  By default, Palatino Linotype uses the in-line numbers, but I know this font has the old style numbers capability.

How do I tell Scribus to switch the number style?

Thanks in advance.

Meho R.

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Re: How to get “old style”, or “lowercase” numbers?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2011, 01:25:28 pm »
Three serious typographical flaws of Scribus still unsolved are:
1. automatic activation/deactivation of ligatures,
2. mechanism to automatically switch between upper/lowercase letters and Small Caps (I mean "real" small caps provided by fonts, not these terrible "poor man" faked ones you get by pressing "Small Caps" button in "Properties" palette), and
3. automatic replacement of lining figures with text figures (i.e., old style numbers).

So, you have two options:
1. To manually enter text figures using Insert > Glyphs dialog, or
2. After you've finished editing your document, use Search-Replace for every number. Note that this works per linked text frame, meaning if you have unlinked text frames, you'll have to do Search-Replace for every single one of them.

There are another two possibilities:
1. Use fonts which have text figures activated as default numbers, while lining figures must be activated explicitly (e.g., most fonts made by Type-Together and exljbris foundries).
2. If the licence allows, you might edit font files and replace lining figures with text figures. However, this might not be an optimal solution since kerning might get messed up.

Greg P

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Re: How to get “old style”, or “lowercase” numbers?
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2011, 01:55:23 am »
If you did this quite a bit, you could write a script to manage this.
To get some idea how to write such a script, look at the Autoquote script included with Scribus, where the logic and commands for searching for a particular character are shown, as well as replacement technique. You wouldn't of course need the part that deals with selecting a language or making a decision about whether the character precedes or follows a space, so it should be simpler in that regard. What would be more tricky would be the number of characters to replace (digits 0-9), and depending on your usage, I don't know if you would want it to be fully automatic or have a capacity to approve changes before they happen.