Modern font features

Noel Grandin noel at
Fri Mar 30 02:46:01 PDT 2012

Feel free to log bugs (preferably with test cases), and preferably one 
bug per feature.

Also feel free to submit patches.
It takes a little while to set up a build environment but there are lots 
of friendly people on this list to help out :-)

On 2012-03-30 11:39, Steve White wrote:
> This is to express a general wish, that the word processor be brought
> up to date with respect to typographic features, sucha as are present
> in many modern fonts, and handled by all modern font rendering
> software.
> It's disappointing that LibreOffice (as well as its commercial
> competition) have *poorer* support for these features than the base
> operating system.  That is, a basic text editor, or even a warning
> dialog box, have better support for font features than a big program
> designed to handle heavily formatted text!
> Basic features
> ==============
> (Background reading: search for "typographic features", "font feature
> registry", "layout tag registry".)
> Some features that really ought to be activated most of the time, in
> most scripts
> * ligatures for Latin and most alphabetic scripts
> * localized replacement (based on text language, region)
> * pair kerning
> * mark positioning
> Some of these are deactivated for no apparent reason. (Sometimes it's a bug).
> Finer features
> ==============
> Some features correspond to L/O features, but they aren't properly
> handled by the font rendering engine. For example
> * small caps
> Many fonts contain special glyphs, just for this purpose.  Superior
> applications would first check if the font feature is available and
> use that, before resorting to a crude scaling.
> To be fair, the competition doesn't do this either--but XeTeX does
> (using ICU!!!).
> It would be *easy* for L/O to beat the competition typographically!
> Fancier features
> ================
> It would be cool to provide some interface for such features as:
> * stylistic sets
> * character variants
> * user-chosen alternative forms
> * contextual alternatives
> * historical forms
> * petite caps (and other capitalization-related features)
> * old-style or proportional digits
> * fractions
> * swashes
> The new Millennium
> =================
> While current "desktop publishing" software is stuck in the 80s
> typographically, web browsers are catching up to the font standards.
> (Especially considering that some people use desktop publishing
> software to generate web pages!)
> There are already proposals to give control of such features to web
> page developers.
> Here is an interesting chart of typographic features vs applications.
> ( isn't on the list, for good reason, I think.)
> (it says Word does small caps -- but it doesn't do them right)
> Compatibility
> =============
> Of course there's the argument that LibreOffice should be just as bad
> as the competition.
> (As though at some point LibreOffice ever produced documents that were
> identical with the competition's.  As though the competition displayed
> documents identically on different systems -- of course the real world
> was never this way!)
> But to fill a desire for cozy similarity with the competition, there
> is always the always the option of a compatibility flag, to excise any
> excellence.
> _______________________________________________
> LibreOffice mailing list
> LibreOffice at


More information about the LibreOffice mailing list