[scribus] feature request for OT "Contextual Alternates"

ZASKE Martin zm at revue-gugu.org
Mon Nov 19 12:53:49 UTC 2018


Please +1 my feature request #0015490.


And here the full Martin-version. Courage...

Dear list,

three weeks ago, during my holiday, I had written about activating the
OpenType feature "randomize" and had no solution from this list. When I
researched some more I found that "rand" is truly an exotic feature.

Then I found that "Contextual Alternates" have already become
mainstream, over 3000 fonts offer those extra goodness glyphs on
MyFonts.com alone.

If you are not yet familiar, you can read a nice intro here:
>From the heading "Substitute — depending on the context!" on.

I will share a brief quote: "Contextual features have opened up a whole
new spectrum of possibilities, enabling you to define very individual
rules on how glyph variants are triggered. They have allowed quite
complex typographic ideas to be tunred into working fonts."

Now, I just submitted a feature request for giving Scribus users access
to this OT feature. The number is #0015490 so you can find it here:

With my last question I did not push too much, as it was exotic. But
with this feature I invite all users who care for "advanced typography"
to give their input, their +1, their "me too", their critique, so that
our muchly busy developers can get a feel for what priority to give this

InDesign and Illustrator can activate this OT feature. Old MS Word 2010
can activate this! XARA Designer Pro X cannot. The latest Inkscape can
do Ligatures but not Contextual Alternates. My old Corel Draw X6 does
mention this feature as "not available" between many other features
which were already available back then. I have no access to a more
recent Corel Draw because I "have gone Scribus" a few years ago. So this
seems to be a non-trivial piece of work for the developers.

Sadly I do not really program, just mess a little with Python.

I found a work-around for Scribus which involves render frames: One
needs to create a new Render Frame Configuration and make it use the
XeteX engine or XeLateX and then use syntax like
"\setmainfont[Contextuals=Alternate]{your-font-name-here}". This works
and is a crutch to show more natural handwriting. But anything TeX is a
pain and having this feature in "real Scribus text frames" would be awesome.

A related problem is this: In other DTP tools, the extra glyphs show up
in the glyphs palette as "unmapped glyphs". This would give another
workaround which would be "more work" but also easier than learning
about XeteX, for example for headings: Insert > Glyph > open the palette
> double-click the alternate character and be happy. Sadly in Scribus I
cannot get the unmapped glyphs to even show up. I know they are there in
my fonts. Other tools like "Fontmatrix" do show them.

Please let me know what you think. And as always: The fact that I
propose one more feature does not mean that I do not like Scribus. I
rather love Scribus as lot, that is why I bother to make it keep developing.

Thank you for your consideration and greetings,


ZASKE Martin
responsable GʊGʊ
BP 50 - Bassila - Bénin
tel GʊGʊ
tel pers

More information about the scribus mailing list