[scribus] Kerning with combining diacriticals

John Jason Jordan johnxj at comcast.net
Mon Aug 10 16:57:25 CEST 2009

On Mon, 10 Aug 2009 14:27:55 +0200
Pierre Marchand <capparis at free.fr> dijo:

> Vous (John Jason Jordan) avez écrit :
> > Using 1.3.5 Rc3 on Jaunty.
> >
> > I do work in linguistics which requires frequent use of combining
> > diacriticals. Unfortunately, the combining diacriticals are spaced so
> > they are pretty well centered on letters like n or x, but not on a thin
> > letter like an l or a thick letter like an m. To see what I am talking
> > about. type "l n m" and after each enter the combining diacritic for
> > voiceless, which is Unicode 325. If no diacritic appears switch to a
> > font that has combining diacriticals. The voiceless character is a
> > small circle that should appear centered under the letter.
> >
> > If you followed me so far you should see that the circle is centered
> > under the n, but not under the l or the m.
> >
> > If I am just doing a quick and dirty term paper I don't care. But when
> > I am preparing a book that I intend to sell I want perfection. I can
> > kern the character using Story Editor so the diacritic is perfectly
> > centered, but then the letter and its combining diacritic are both
> > kerned so they appear incorrect next to adjacent letters.
> >
> > As an exercise to see what I am talking about, type "plosive" and put a
> > voiceless diacritic under the l. Now kern the diacritic and the l so
> > the diacritic is centered (about -8% should do it). The diacritic will
> > be centered, but the l will suddenly be spaced too far from the p. That
> > is because to select the diacritic you also have to select the l.
> >
> > I've tried everything I can think of, but I can't get it to work right.
> > Does anyone have any suggestions?
> Composite  glyphs are well composed by means of mark to mark (mkmk) 
> positioning feature, which Scribus does not support atm. Your best chance is 
> to get a font having all glyphs you need accessible through the regular 
> Unicode cmap.

Unfortunately, such a font does not exist.

There is a PDF here which shows all the diacritics that I need:


I have several fonts that have all the combining diacritics. Using the
diacritics I can create any character. But for a font to contain every
possibility as individual glyphs would exceed the number of slots
available in Unicode. Even if such a font existed it would be
impossible to locate the individual glyph you need.

I need to study more how composite glyphs work. Maybe I can figure out
a workaround.

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