[scribus] Searchable old style numbers in PDFs

Meho R. mehor at gmx.com
Tue Jul 26 10:26:56 UTC 2011

On 25.07.2011 16:04, Louis Desjardins wrote:
> 2011/7/25 Meho R.<mehor at gmx.com>
>> On 25.07.2011 15:05, a.l.e wrote:
>>> hi peter,
>>>   You see my point:) This is exactly what I want to achieve. To have the
>>>> outlines, the glyphs of the small numbers but have the real,
>>>> meaningful numbers as text embedded into the PDF. I wouldn't mind
>>>> having some extra work (in Scribus) to insert the glyphs and
>>>> underlying text manually, somehow. What I'd like to have is the final
>>>> effect: opening the PDF in a pdf reader, searching for meaningful
>>>> numbers and having the small numbers highlighted as result.
>>> well, the best way is probably to modify the font in fontforge, replace
>>> the plain number by the "old" ones and embed the font into your document...
> AFAIK Scribus cannot embed OTF fonts and is converting them to outline.
> Correct me if I'm wrong but on top of replacing the glyphs themselves, this
> workaround would mean to also consider changing the format of the font.
> The overall issue is a limitation of Scribus’ capability of handling OTF
> options.
> We have an open bug for this.
> http://bugs.scribus.net/view.php?id=1413
> A developer from the team should be able to give more details about this and
> where we're up to at the time being.

You can try to force embedding by turning off "Subset" checkbox in File 
 > Preferences > Fonts. No need to change font format. Actually, with 
Scribus 1.4.0.rc5 even "outlining" fonts means subsetting them, as 
a.l.e. explained [1], not creating real outlines.

[1] http://forums.scribus.net/index.php/topic,159.msg620.html#msg620

>>> ... if the licence for your font allows you to do so (or if you don't
>>> really care about it...)
>>> ciao
>>> a.l.e
>> It is one solution, yes, but that will probably mess up kerning. I noticed
>> that some designers set OldStyle numbers as default (e.g., exljbris or
>> Type-Together), so that they're searchable in PDF output.
> I am not aware we can set this settings in Scribus. Am I missing something?
> Louis

It's really font designer's decision, no need for any custom settings: 
oldstyle figures in some fonts are default (in Calluna: named "one", 
"two", "three"... in font files), while lining (upshape, "normal") 
figures are set as additional OpenType feature (in Calluna: named 
"one.pnum", "two.pnum", "three.pnum"... in font files). Of course, the 
funny thing here is that with these fonts you'll have the same situation 
with lining figures as you had with oldstyle figures with other fonts. 
You can test it using Calluna [1] (regular is free).

However, note that, when you outline fonts, search and copy/paste works 
for all numbers normally, but when you embed them, doesn't work for 
those inserted manually. Examples attached.

[1] http://www.exljbris.com/calluna.html
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