[Scribus] Typography: numbers

Louis Desjardins louisdesjardins
Thu Apr 7 02:04:00 CEST 2005

>>Hi Christoph,
>>at least for the German users, I read from the latest DIN 5008 that 
>>it is definitely "allowed" to write 10.000 OR 10 000 up to taste.
>>Got this info from working at office's April issue. They had it in 
>>connection with currency, however, i. e. 10.000,00 EUR or 10 000,00 
>>Anyway, these are just recommendations, and as far as I know, in 
>>normal thinking countries (i. e. countries != Germany) they are 
>>taken for that :-)
>Hi Rolf,
>the problem in Germany is, that the "rules" (better: guidelines) for 
>offices and businesses on the one hand and for the "black art" on 
>the other are different. I found the 1000/10 000 "rule" in some 
>typography manuals (a DIN doesn't care about aesthetics).
>I didn't know them before and no one ever complained. But I have to 
>say that numbers in a text which is supposed to be read (book, 
>magazine) really look better in typographical style. I think if 
>you're in DTP, people expect you to make a difference and they want 
>a result which looks better than something written by a clerk with a 
>certain word processing software.

I agree. Plus, numbers have different meanings and thus end up typed 
different ways. The use of dots, commas, spaces, variable or fixed 
spaces, dash, etc. all depend upon what use is made of these numbers, 
what do they represent. A "phone" number is not the same as a "value" 
number, for instance. A date is not the same as a value either. A 
street number neither. And so on. Basically, typography can achieve 
with lots more subtlety the transposition on paper of these 
differences. And this is also, as you point out, a big difference 
between what a word processor and a DTP app can achieve. Not to 
forget the "human factor". The knowledge of the tool plus the 
knowledge of the rules (or guidelines or usage) both make a big 
difference between a nice and raffined typographic work and an 
ordinary publication.

I hope you end up finding what you need. There are numerous books and 
sites on typography. I think the best approach would be to find at 
least a few reliable sources (2 being the minimum) and see on what do 
they agree. Sometimes it's very difficult to find a rule as such for 
a very specific issue. Then, usage can help and I would also suggest 
looking at "serious" or "renowned" publications to see what they've 
come up with in these cases.

It must be aknowledged that some typographic rules have been widely 
forgotten (or dismissed) because of the limitations of big DTP apps 
that have implemented so badly the use of typographic spaces, as an 

When we get there, I'm sure Scribus will do better on that field as well.


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