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VOLT beta available

Redmond, WA. - 10 January 2000
The beta version of Microsoft's Visual OpenType Layout Tool "VOLT" has been made available to members of the OpenType discussion forum. Other font developers interested in participating in the beta program should get in touch.

12 January 2000

OpenType program manager, Apurva Joshi, has provided a number of screen captures.

  • Image 1 - Main window with tree structure for script\lang\features; lookup table list; glyph group list.
  • Image 2 - Main window and 'Edit Base Glyph' window open.
  • Image 3 - Main window and two GSUB lookups open.
  • Image 4 - Main window and one GPOS anchor lookup open.
  • Image 5 - Main window and one GPOS pair positioning lookup open.
  • Image 6 - Main window and two glyph groups open.

13 January 2000

A version of the Mangal font that includes OpenType table source code has been added to the Microsoft VOLT users community. The community was set up in December 1999, and initially hosted an alpha version of the tool. Since the release of the beta its membership has expanded to include VOLT licensees.

VOLT Users Community

Apurva Joshi's Mangal announcement

At Microsoft Typography, we are very happy to release the beta version of VOLT with a sample OpenType font- Mangal.volt.ttf. This font contains OpenType layout tables, constructed using VOLT. We hope you find it useful.

About the sample font:

Mangal has been designed for Devanagari, and supports complex typographic requirements of the script. A non-exhaustive list of such requirements includes:

  • generating ‘akhands’
  • substituting the appropriate Ra vattu forms
  • substituting half forms of consonants
  • selecting appropriate vowel signs to replace the default vowel signs, that go with consonants, conjuncts for syllable formation
  • positioning mark(s)/ vowel signs with respect to base glyphs and ligatures

We would like to mention that this font is essentially a ‘work in progress’ item and illustrates just one of the many ways in which tables for an OpenType font can be built using VOLT. One of our prime objectives in this illustration, is to represent as many features of VOLT as possible. To cite examples here: we have classified glyphs in a large number of groups and provided mark-to-mark positioning using pair-positioning tables. To achieve similar results, you might wish to classify glyphs differently / fewer groups, or use anchors for mark-to-mark positioning. These tables provide a way of seeing and understanding the underlying thinking process for building OpenType tables with VOLT. They are not the ‘typical’ way for creating tables for Devanagari. VOLT provides the OpenType type designer a ‘visual’ tool with a lot of flexibility and options to create OpenType layout tables!

The font itself, has been designed with simple construction in outlines, for use as a sans serif UI font. It is the font that is mentioned in the Appendix of the OpenType Indic spec section on the Microsoft Typography site, which is being provided by us, on request.

Mangal can be considered a flagship Indic font that has full implementation of OpenType from glyph repertoire to tables.

19 January 2000

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article posted 10 January 2000 and last updated 19 January 2000.

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