Plain text custom fraction input

Marcel Schneider charupdate at
Thu Jul 23 04:11:32 CDT 2015

On 23 Jul 2015, at 10;48, Denis Jacquerye  wrote:

> Many font designers do not differentiate between superscript and numerator, subscript and denominator because it’s easier to design glyphs once and can work fine in some cases.
> In some fonts, the superscript and subscript figures are completely different from the numerators and denominators, or are at different heights, because this is better in some cases.
> In the end it's a design issue but you cannot expect either behaviour in every font.

> Using the recommended figures with the fraction slash will not work everywhere or with every font, but abusing the superscript and subscript will not either.

Is it really an abuse, to use the kerning of the fraction slash? Perhaps should we ask from which point of view it is an abuse. The huge majority of designers having built complete fonts, matched all little digits together, as stated. Giving the fraction slash an appropriate kerning would then be a natural reflex. Font designers who did that, won't probably refer to this usage as an abuse. I'm still afraid that this qualification comes from vendors who represent high-end layout software.

I'm fully aware however that the plain text input method for fractions does not work with all fonts, and that it requires the use of a font that authorizes this usage. This seems however the standard behavior of complete proportional fonts. I'm curious to see a font which has the superscripts differ from the numerators. I see it may be useful, and word processors allow to choose the relative size of the superscript and subscript formatted characters, as well as their position.

Thank you for this hint.

Best regards,

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