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Intro | Start | Ligatures | Small caps | OS numerals | Case-sensitive | Proofing | InDesign test

Step 5 - Adding case-senstive features

One of the more frequently overlooked details of fine typography is the adjustment of certain letters' placing based on what surrounds them. The most commonly occurring situation of this sort is with text set in ALL CAPS. When characters like square brackets and parentheses are used with text set in all caps, they usually appear too low (since they are vertically aligned to work with lower case letters).

Though desktop typographers can often manually adjust these characters' baselines when necessary, the task is somewhat daunting when one is confronted with many of these situations (as might occur when setting the text of book). But using a combination of the OpenType layout feature <case> and InDesign's 'All Caps' menu option, these sorts of case-sensitive adjustments can be done automatically. In this example, we'll create a <case> lookup to substitute vertically-adjusted square brackets for normal square brackets when 'All Caps' is turned on.

Creating the <case> feature and associated lookup

In the main VOLT window, highlight the 'Default' language and click the 'Add Feature' button; then type in <case> and hit Enter. VOLT will label the new feature 'Case-Sensitive Forms'. Now go to the 'Lookups' pane to the right and click 'Add Substitution'. Give the new lookup a name like 'all_caps_brackets'. After finding and noting the glyph names of the brackets to be replaced and the adjusted brackets (four glyphs total), enter in two substitution lines in the edit window:

    glyph_name_left_bracket -> glyph_name_left_bracket_adjusted


    glyph_name_right_bracket -> glyph_name_right_bracket_adjusted

Once you've added these two lines to the lookup, go back to the main VOLT window and drag the 'all_caps_brackets' lookup to the 'Case-Sensitive Forms' feature. You can of course add as many adjustments to your <case> lookup as you'd like — parentheses and certain punctuation marks can often benefit from being vertically adjusted in all caps settings.

Next section: Step 6 - Compiling and testing your font

this page was last updated 19 August 2000
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Intro | Start | Ligatures | Small caps | OS numerals | Case-sensitive | Proofing | InDesign test
Microsoft Typography | Developer information | VOLT and InDesign tutorial