[scribus] old style numbers - any fonts in the standard collection????

John Jason Jordan johnxj at comcast.net
Fri Jun 8 15:39:13 UTC 2012

On Fri, 08 Jun 2012 08:37:34 -0400
Gregory Pittman <gpittman at iglou.com> dijo:

>so does this mean you have monospaced numbers in an otherwise 
>proportional font?

I use the free open source font Junicode as my workhorse font because
my work is in linguistics and it is one of the few fonts that contains
a complete set of glyphs for the International Phonetic Alphabet. It
was also lovingly designed by Prof. Peter Baker with an amazingly
complete set of glyphs for professional typesetting, including old
style numerals, special super- and subscripts for fractions, ligatures,
true small caps, and many other special glyphs not available in most

As to the numerals, it has lining numerals and old style numerals, both
in proportional and monospace versions. 

You can download it from Sourceforge as straight TTF files that you can
install on whatever operating system you use. If you have Linux many
distributions package the four fonts into a package that can be
installed with your package manager.

Regarding automatic substitution, let me add a bit of history. For a
long time in the computer world there were Type 1 and TrueType fonts,
each of which came in Mac and Windows versions. Because each platform
required a different font format vendors had to have two versions of
each of their fonts. In the 1990s Microsoft teamed up with Adobe to
create the OpenType format which would work on either system. OpenType
is really an enhanced TrueType format, but it can also be used as a
wrapper around a Type 1 font.

When the OpenType specification went public in 1996 Adobe was still
selling all their fonts only in Type 1 format. They quickly converted
all their font offerings to OpenType. At that time Adobe InDesign was
under development, and Adobe planned to include a feature where
automatic glyph substitution for features like old style numerals,
ligatures, fraction numerals and true small caps could be enabled as a
text or paragraph style. To make this work the alternate glyphs have to
be in the font, of course. But Adobe wanted to encourage all their past
font customers to buy an upgrade from their original Adobe Type 1 fonts
to the new OpenType versions. To accomplish this they coded InDesign
(originally released in 1999) so that the automatic glyph substitution
would work only with OpenType fonts. (In fact, it may require the
features of the OpenType specification; automatic glyph substitution
with other formats may be impossible or very difficult.) In any event,
if you have a TrueType or Type 1 font, even if it contains the alternate
glyphs, InDesign will not do automatic glyph substitution.

Automatic glyph substitution is on the Scribus road map, but I don't
know exactly how it will be implemented. I do know that my favorite
Junicode font has all the glyphs for it and, if converted to OpenType
(I did so with FontForge), Adobe InDesign will happily do automatic
glyph substitution. 

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