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  #1  
Old November 9th, 2013, 10:51 PM
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Default [Freelance Traveller] November 2013 is ready for download!

The November 2013 issue is ready for you to download!

This month's featured Adventure is "All in the Genes", by Timothy Collinson.

The usual assortment of rules, characters, scholarly articles, stories, reviews, and so on round out this issue, four years after our first eight-page sample issue.

You can download this issue in the usual place, http://www.freelancetraveller.com/magazine/ - our mirror site at Downport seems to be completely broken at this point, and the webmaster has been notified, but we couldn't post the update there.
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Old November 10th, 2013, 04:31 AM
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Jeff, I'm on a whole other computer these days, and I still see the odd characters in the font you're using. Remind me again why you're using that font?
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Old November 11th, 2013, 11:15 PM
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Palatino (Palatino Linotype) has a lighter "visual color" than Times (Times New Roman), and is a better complement to Optima (Zapf Humanist) as a titling font. Those odd characters are an artifact of Publisher's support for Advanced OpenType Features (specifically, ligatures), and I'm busy tracking down how to selectively turn off the historical ones; I don't want to turn them all off because the "standard" ones (like fi, ffi, ffl, fl) really do look bad if unligated. I'd rather have the annoying ct, st, sp historicals than lose the standards.
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Old November 12th, 2013, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by FreeTrav View Post
I'd rather have the annoying ct, st, sp historicals than lose the standards.
???
Are there other publications that have them?
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Old November 13th, 2013, 10:10 AM
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Have which - the standard ligatures, or the historicals? The historicals are vanishingly rare in modern publications, but the standards are quite common - you just don't notice them unless you specifically look for them, and when you do, they pop up in unexpected places. Their specific purpose is to eliminate ugly collisions between letters (similar to kerning), so when they're doing their job, the text "looks good" and you don't notice them.

Titling fonts almost never have them - and almost never need them. Body text, however, uses them quite commonly in print publications; it's only comparatively recently that online publication (other than PDF) has been able to support them - WordPress recently came to my attention as an online-publishing system that supports advanced typographical features.

The most common ligatures in English are fi, ff, fl, ffi, and ffl, but Th isn't unknown, and in some European languages, fj and ffj will also be ligated. Other fonts and other languages may have different ligatures and needs for them; for example, in German, text set with a Fraktur font will invariably ligate ch, ss, sz, and tz, with the three latter being the actual origin of the modern 'sharp s', ▀.
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Old November 13th, 2013, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
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Have which - the standard ligatures, or the historicals?
Just any PDF that's been uploaded in the last year to the Interweb. Or in the last 10 years. Do I need to post a picture of your text so you know what it looks like on a Windows computer?
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Old November 13th, 2013, 10:36 AM
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I couldn't answer that; I haven't actually been checking. It really depends on what software the preparer uses, and how careful and painstaking s/he wants to be in their use. I believe that it would be more likely if the PDF is also being prepared for professional printing; that's a level of quality I like to strive for. The vast majority of nonprofessional publications likely won't, simply because most amateur "publishers" aren't aware of the possibilities and don't understand the fine points - or how small changes like ligatures can make a potentially big difference in appearance. Just changing the body font from Times 12 to Palatino 11 made a significant difference in the appearance of Freelance Traveller, and one that I think was for the better - or I'd have reverted it.

The thing is, though, that ideally you-the-reader don't notice the typography, and in using the historical ligatures, I've erred in that I've forcibly brought it to your attention. That's not good; it's a distraction from the content. Hopefully, it's not enough of a distraction to badly impair the experience, but I'm still looking for the setting to turn off just the historicals.
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Old November 13th, 2013, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeTrav View Post
I couldn't answer that; I haven't actually been checking. It really depends on what software the preparer uses, and how careful and painstaking s/he wants to be in their use. I believe that it would be more likely if the PDF is also being prepared for professional printing; that's a level of quality I like to strive for. The vast majority of nonprofessional publications likely won't, simply because most amateur "publishers" aren't aware of the possibilities and don't understand the fine points - or how small changes like ligatures can make a potentially big difference in appearance. Just changing the body font from Times 12 to Palatino 11 made a significant difference in the appearance of Freelance Traveller, and one that I think was for the better - or I'd have reverted it.

The thing is, though, that ideally you-the-reader don't notice the typography, and in using the historical ligatures, I've erred in that I've forcibly brought it to your attention. That's not good; it's a distraction from the content. Hopefully, it's not enough of a distraction to badly impair the experience, but I'm still looking for the setting to turn off just the historicals.
You edit the font on your layout machine, deleting the ligatures.
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Old December 9th, 2013, 06:11 PM
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Nope! I find the setting hidden a couple of layers deep in the style dialogue box, and set the style "Body Text 2" to use only the Standard and Discretionary ligatures, not the Historicals. It's done for the just-posted December issue, and will stay that way for future issues.

There are actually times when, for sylistic reasons, I might actually want those historical ligatures, so editing them out would be a Bad Thing (not to mention a technical violation of the license); it just so happens that Publisher had a poorly-chosen default for that font. I think it's because Micrsoft wanted to show off the 'smart typography' features with their Gabriola decorative font.
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