[scribus] tone marks - first follow up

John Jason Jordan johnxj at comcast.net
Tue May 21 14:54:05 UTC 2013

On Tue, 21 May 2013 14:13:24 +0200
Peter Nermander <peter at nermander.se> dijo:

>> Rolf, are you saying that there is no way,
>> that present-generation Scribus can handle combining characters
>> properly?

>From what I understand: No.
>Currently Scribus places glyphs one at a time on the canvas and
>Scribus does not support placing one glyph on top of another to
>combine them.
>I also think that is in line with unicode: Each glyph used should have
>it's own code. How would otherwise things like sorting work?

I use combining diacriticals constantly for work in linguistics, where
I must enter characters from the IPA. Some fonts have pre-composed
glyphs for some of the characters, but no font has pre-composed glyphs
for all characters that I need.

For those who do not understand what I am talking about here is a
simple test: Type an n (in your favorite text editor or in Scribus) and
then (assuming you are on Linux) type Ctrl-shift+u and when the cursor
changes type 329, and then a space or enter. You should get a diacritic
under the n that looks like a short vertical line. (This is called the
syllabic mark, and it means that the n is acting as a vowel, as it
often does in English, German, and a number of other languages.)

Having done that, repeat the exercise with an m. Now you will see that
the syllabic diacritic is not centered under the m as it was with the
n. For a further exercise, repeat with an l, which will further
demonstrate the problem of centering the diacritic. 

I understand that recent versions of InDesign understand that the text
contains a combining diacritic and will automatically center the
diacritic. There is no such feature in Scribus or LibreOffice. I once
had to do some transcriptions in Scribus where I needed a lot of
diacritics and I had to kern each one manually to get the diacritic to
line up. After doing a few I made myself a table of what fractional
point values I needed in order to kern each different character and its
diacritic. It was a PITA. 

I don't know how InDesign does it, but I imagine one could write a
script to accomplish the same thing in Scribus. All you'd need is a
table for all possible character combinations and then do a "search and
if found, kern," and run the script on the entire text. This would not
solve Martin's problem, as he is looking for a way to type them
correctly on the fly. I don't even know if I understood his problem

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