Re: Medievalist ligature character in the PUA

From: Karl Pentzlin (
Date: Tue Jan 26 2010 - 19:17:42 CST

  • Next message: Asmus Freytag: "Re: Medievalist ligature character in the PUA"

    Am Dienstag, 15. Dezember 2009 um 02:34 schrieb Asmus Freytag:

    AF> I'm surprised that nobody has produced a nice blackletter/Fraktur font.
    AF> That typestyle requires the use of many ligatures (at least in some
    AF> languages) ...

    There are a lot of nice Fraktur fonts available, e.g.:
    Delbanco at
    Lindenthal GbR at
    Gerhard Helzel at
    which all offer high quality Fraktur fonts containing all ligatures.
    (Unfortunately, none of these suppliers seems to have an English
    version of their site.)

    However, virtually all of these fonts employ a proprietary encoding
    (mostly following some private standards which have survived from the
    MS-DOS area), requiring special code points for the ligatures.
    (As you may know, Fraktur rules at least for German require some
    ligatures like [tz] or [ck], with the exception that these ligatures
    are forbidden at the constituent borders of compound words.)

    An important reason is that widespread software like Microsoft Word
    (up to Word 2007) simply ignores liga and rlig instructions in OpenType
    fonts. (Word 2010 at least does it for some fonts, and only if the
    user has requested it within a second-level menu, what is an erroneous
    behavior regarding rlig instructions.)

    Attached, I have included a freeware Fraktur font found on:
    which I have reworked to be Unicode compliant: I have given the glyphs
    their correct encodings (overwriting the original proprietary encoding
    which e.g. mapped the long s onto "\"), have added a rlig table, and
    habe added a zero-wide ZWNJ glyph to accommodate rendering systems
    which require a glyph rather than performing a function.

    I have tested with some current software, using the test text
    (brackets shown where ligatures are required by Fraktur rules):
    Ka[tz]e, [ſi]eh, gu[ck]! Brot(ZWNJ)zeit!
    The expected result using the font is shown as attachment.
    The result was:
    Microsoft Word 2007: No ligatures shown.
    Microsoft Word 2010 Beta: No ligatures shown, whatever "ligatures"
     were enabled.
    Quark Xpress: No ligatures shown; ZWNJ appears as .notdef glyph.
    Adobe InDesign CS4: All OK! At least one company apparently has
     done their homework. (However, it does not work with one of their
     own fonts I had the opportunity to test with:
     WittenbergerFrakturMTStd.otf from Adobe Font Folio 11.)

    - Karl


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