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Chapter 16. Typography Controls > Open Type Categories

Open Type Categories

Feature nameCommentsExamples 
All CapsChanges text to uppercase letters. Also changes punctuation and spacing. Notice how the question mark and hyphens are raised in the OpenType all caps formatting.Manually typed all caps
OpenType all caps
Small CapsChanges lowercase text to small capital letters. More appropriate weight for the letters compared to the fake small caps created electronically.Electronic small caps
OpenType small caps
All Small CapsChanges all text, including uppercase characters, to small capital letters. Use for acronyms such as FBI, CIA, and PDF. The advantage to this setting is that you do not have to retype uppercase characters to make the conversion.Without small caps
With small caps
LigaturesApplies the special letter combinations such as fi and fl. Other ligatures, such as ffi, ffl, and ff may be present in most Adobe Pro OpenType fonts.No ligatures
With ligatures
Discretionary LigaturesApplies both discretionary ligatures and historical ligatures. These ligatures should be used sparingly as they are not common in contemporary text.No discretionary ligatures
With discretionary ligatures
FractionsConverts numbers around a slash into numerator and denominator characters and changes the slash to a virgule. Settings for Numerator and Denominator also use the fraction glyphs.Manually styled
OpenType formatted
OrdinalsConverts the characters to the superscript position. Like fractions, the OpenType version is faster to apply and has a better weight than electronic styling.Manually styled
OpenType formatted
SwashSubstitutes a stylized alternative for the ordinary glyphs. Swashes are usually found in the italic version of a font. They are contextual and are inserted at the beginning or end of a word.Without swash
With swash
Stylistic SetsSubstitutes sets of characters that are applied depending on their context in relationship to other letters. Visible in the Glyphs palette.Without stylistic set
With stylistic set
Contextual AlternativesSubstitutes specially designed characters that are applied depending on their context in relationship to other letters.Without contextual alternatives
With contextual alternatives
Stylistic AlternativesCreated by the type designer, these alternatives are inserted as alternate choices to the selected glyphs.Original character
Stylistic alternative
Superscript/SuperiorSubstitutes proper superscript or superior characters for ordinary glyphs. Limited to numbers, punctuation, and a selected set of letters.Manually styled
OpenType formatted
Subscript/InferiorLike superscript, this substitutes proper subscript characters for ordinary glyphs. Limited to just numbers and punctuation, not letters.Manually styled
OpenType formatted
Slashed ZeroSubstitute a slashed zero for the normal character. Used in scientific and mathematical writing.No slashed zero
Slashed zero
Figure (number) typesThere are four categories of figure types.

Tabular figures have fixed widths and are used particularly where the numbers need to line up under each other.

Proportional figures have variable widths. Use these unless it is necessary to line figures up into columns of tabular data.

Lining figures have a uniform height. Use them with all cap text or for a contemporary look.

Oldstyle figures have unequal heights. Use them with mixed-case text or when a more traditional look is desired.

Default figure is the category that the type designer has designated as the default. This is usually tabular lining.
These are the four types of figures:
Tabular lining
Tabular oldstyle
Proportional lining
Proportional oldstyle



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