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Old 03-05-2016, 02:03 PM   #1
Hitch
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Fonty-goodness, glyphs, and other strangers.

Hey, gang:

I'm not sure if this should be here, or in the Lounge, but I wnated feedback from my peeps on this, as opposed to every Tom, Dick and Harry that's ever looked at a book.

You may recall (or mayn't) that some time back I decided to stop messing around with fonts, and to get serious about them. I already have Bringhurst, of course, and in pursuit of further enlightenment, I bought Spiekermann and Ginger, Stop Stealing Sheep.

Spoiler:
Irony: I purchased SSS in print, due to the "every-page-has-a-sidebar-layout" issue. The irony? That a book that is about typography, which is, after all, nothing more than the art of using type to make content appropriately readable---is unreadable by me unless read in the brightest light of day. No amount of indoor lighting, reading lamps, etc., make this book readable to me, once dusk falls. The font is simply TOO FRAKKING SMALL. The main narrative is small, the sidebars, captions, etc, even smaller. Hell, some of this crap is at...6pts, maybe 4? What in the name of all the hells were they thinking? What, only 20 year olds with perfect eyes wanted to read this gods-damned book? Thus, my progress through SSS has been decidedly slow.


Some of my journey was prompted by the fact that although I had Typograf, I was not able to easily print out (PDF, rather) a list of fonts, to give to a client. I emailed the developer, who did indeed email me back, but he didn't have a solution and didn't seem that interested in finding one. His answer was "well, you should be able..." Oh, well.

So, I acquired Suitcase Fusion 6 (PC), which was highly recommended, yadda.

But now we come to the next part of the story.

GLYPHS.

Now, as we make-a de books, we have a lot of "fonts" that are really just wingdings, fleurons, etc. I also am a (sucker) buyer of fonts that themselves aren't that great, but have TDF (To Die For) glyph sets. Right?

Now, some fonts that I snag have reliable foundries--or their creators make what I call "glyph maps" or "glyph guides." These are PDF pages that show the glyphs, and their character map. Right? If you get a glyph-heavy font, this is invaluable.

BUT, sadly...other font-makers aren't that cool. You get a font, and the glyphs, and tough s**t if you can't find what you want. I have a font like that now. It contains nearly 1,000 custom glyphs. Yes, a boatload are letter variants, but several hundred are foofs. (Foofs=Hitchspeak for fleurons, dingbats, etc.) I'm trying to sort through the Glyphs for this idiotic font. Yes, Suitcase Fusion has a Glyphs view. It's just not a fabulous view.

I'm wondering--and yes, I'm wondering if I've gone mad, slid down a rabbit hole and ended up in Fontland--do I need a product like...crap, now I can't remember the name. PopChar. It's a program that seems to be completely oriented around glyphs.

I don't care so much about the $30 to buy yet another piece of software. What I do care about is having YET another piece of software, around fonts. I mean..I already have and have somewhat abandoned Typograf, because of the print-to-PDF issue. Now I have the Suitcase Fusion software, which by and large does most of what I want. BUT, the glyphs thing...urgh. I'd ignore it, but obviously, we use this crap all the time.

Any suggestions from the font mavens amongst you? Any suggestions for less brain-damaging font management? (FWIW: just like I have scads of books, which of course, is completely understandable due to my business, I have SCADS of fonts. In my immediate Font Library, I have 408 fonts; another 628 in the System Fonts, and 1,400+ "others." That are just hanging around for that special use. Obviously, I'm in the process of creating some subdirs, folders, etc, to segregate/group fonts by use or type, but that's not done yet simply because I'm still cogitating upon the best way to organize those. )

Thoughts? Anybody?

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Old 03-05-2016, 03:28 PM   #2
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Thoughts? Yes it probably does belong in Lounge. Yes I "mayn't". The quasi-homeboy patois got really tedious and I gave up trying to figure out what you were saying---could you rewrite for clarity? If you insist on using "shit", and I don't think that you needed to, have the courage of your convictions to spell it out in full as the "**" version looks too affected. Carry on "home-skillet".
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Old 03-05-2016, 04:22 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by shall1028 View Post
Thoughts? Yes it probably does belong in Lounge. Yes I "mayn't". The quasi-homeboy patois got really tedious and I gave up trying to figure out what you were saying---could you rewrite for clarity? If you insist on using "shit", and I don't think that you needed to, have the courage of your convictions to spell it out in full as the "**" version looks too affected. Carry on "home-skillet".

To what/which "quasi-homeboy patois" are you referring? Listen, if you don't want to read it, don't. Don't have input? Don't provide it. Too difficult to read? Pass it over. If "we make-a de books," which has NOTHING to do with homeboys or bruvs or any other urban group , is just too tricky for you then, fine--let someone else respond, and keep on moving down the road.

Asterisms for words that some folks find objectionable? A nod to their sensibilities. Not yours.

Font management is, by and large, technical in nature. It's also directly relevant to eBook-making. if the mods think that this should be moved, fine, I'll delete it, because frankly I don't think it belongs there and I'm unlikely to get the feedback I'm seeking over there. That, however, is up to the mods.

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Old 03-06-2016, 01:18 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by shall1028 View Post
Thoughts? Yes it probably does belong in Lounge. Yes I "mayn't". The quasi-homeboy patois got really tedious and I gave up trying to figure out what you were saying---could you rewrite for clarity? If you insist on using "shit", and I don't think that you needed to, have the courage of your convictions to spell it out in full as the "**" version looks too affected. Carry on "home-skillet".
Hmmm somebody who's been lurking around here for almost 6 years and only has 158 posts to their name decides to break their silence and bestow upon us their brilliance?!?!?! Well, I for one feel really humbled that I could be part of it.
I think I will give him/her some karma....oh wait, heshe has way too much as it is....can I give negative karma??

I for one enjoy Ms Hitch's "patois" and prefer that over the ramblings of an A**hat anyday!
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Old 03-06-2016, 02:49 AM   #5
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Back on topic...

I feel you pain Hitch... Well, at least for a small part since I rarely deal with clients. I have searched long and hard for a good Font library program but never found one I like. It is either an open source one that is quite limited or a very expensive one with also noticeable lacks/omissions. For 'normal' fonts it can be made workable, but for glyphs is a totally different story.

Now, if you wouldn't mind a different program for fonts and glyphs, perhaps the search might be made somewhat easier since a program specialized in glyphs might be found. What are you looking for in a 'glyphs' program?
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Old 03-06-2016, 04:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtle91 View Post
Hmmm somebody who's been lurking around here for almost 6 years and only has 158 posts to their name decides to break their silence and bestow upon us their brilliance?!?!?! Well, I for one feel really humbled that I could be part of it.
I think I will give him/her some karma....oh wait, heshe has way too much as it is....can I give negative karma??

I for one enjoy Ms Hitch's "patois" and prefer that over the ramblings of an A**hat anyday!
Thanks, Turtle. I admit, I was surprised at the bile. Oh, well. Can't please 'em all, eh? (I sincerely appreciate your post. Thanks much. BRO.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxaris View Post
Back on topic...

I feel you pain Hitch... Well, at least for a small part since I rarely deal with clients. I have searched long and hard for a good Font library program but never found one I like. It is either an open source one that is quite limited or a very expensive one with also noticeable lacks/omissions. For 'normal' fonts it can be made workable, but for glyphs is a totally different story.

Now, if you wouldn't mind a different program for fonts and glyphs, perhaps the search might be made somewhat easier since a program specialized in glyphs might be found. What are you looking for in a 'glyphs' program?
Howdy, Tox:

You know...I'm not certain. That's part of the reason why I'm dithering. One of the programs that's mentioned fairly often is Popchar http://www.ergonis.com/products/popc.../features.html

...and I really don't mind the $30. (Plus, hey, I have a coupon for ten bucks off! Wow.)

I guess that's why I'm asking here. While I'm not new to fonts, heaven knows, and Suitcase Fusion is pretty good for that, I have only recently branched out to really embracing Glyphs for decorative fonts and custom fleurons (from those Glyphs). After all, eBookery hasn't really embraced these conventions, nor been able to technically support much of this before now. Ergo, I'm a bit of a babe in the woods about WHAT I'll need in Glyph management.

The problem wouldn't exist if these fonts routinely came with the above-mentioned glyph maps. Many do, many don't. I'm not enamored of the idea of having to make these myself for those that don't have a guide/map. Particularly as many of them have hundreds of glyphs (if not more). That one font I mentioned in my opening, so-offensive post, has a glyph set beyond the basic regular, italic, bold, bold-ital faces of 964 Glyphs. Roughly 60-70% of those are letter variants, kerning pairs and the like but the rest are perfectly usable fleurons, swatches, swooshes, etc.

I guess I'm old enough where I think of flipping through a page of glyphs. Then see one, grab it. Not sure how practical that is in my environment. Yes, we use INDD, and some of us have A.Illustrator, etc., but I don't see that being the route to the glyphs, either.

Laura Worthington--who does some fonts I rather like--recommends PopChar, as well as the OS/Free NexusFont and Ultra Character Map. I was thinking of just biting the bullet and licensing PopChar, but that's one of the reasons I posted--I was seeking feedback from the other font folks here.

I suppose I could simply download Popchar's free version. I was hoping to avoid the typical try, buy, cry cycle of software acquisition, <g>.

Thanks. I can say, for anyone else coming along, I rather like Suitcase Fusion for font management. And Typograf's not bad. In hindsight, I think I should have started out with NexusFont, but...{shrug}. I do have to use this commercially, so the easier to manage, the easier to find the glyph/fleuron I need, when I need it...that's a real plus.

Thanks!

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Old 03-06-2016, 05:12 AM   #7
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I know NexusFont (and use it) and I find it acceptable at most. PopChar and Ultra Character Map looks interesting, but are OSX only (so unusable for me personally).

Do I understand correctly that if you get create a PDF with the glyph map, that it would already be a big help?
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Old 03-06-2016, 10:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtle91 View Post
Hmmm somebody who's been lurking around here for almost 6 years and only has 158 posts to their name decides to break their silence and bestow upon us their brilliance?!?!?! Well, I for one feel really humbled that I could be part of it.
I think I will give him/her some karma....oh wait, heshe has way too much as it is....can I give negative karma??

I for one enjoy Ms Hitch's "patois" and prefer that over the ramblings of an A**hat anyday!
That's not really fair, as @shall1028 has posted several times recently -- wouldn't be the only person to leave MR for a while and then come back.

No, my objection to that post is irrespective of how often he posts.
No one here needs people poking their nose in and complaining about purely arbitrary preferences in posting style, especially when it is made semi-obvious that Hitch is looking to hear "feedback from my peeps" (implies regular friends and acquaintances, who are used to her ways), especially when the objections raised are flat-out wrong anyway, and especially when their bile serves no purpose whatsoever other than to stir up trouble in a situation which they clearly had no interest in to begin with.

And... wait for it... looks like we've crossed paths before! http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho....php?p=3244453

@Hitch,

Although I don't really do fonts (I *think* some came preinstalled in the base installation of my OS ) I'm definitely rooting for you. Sorry to see you got such a "warm" greeting.
And FWIW I do think this is in the right forum. It's all about one of the ingredients in an ebook, right?
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Old 03-06-2016, 01:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Toxaris View Post
I know NexusFont (and use it) and I find it acceptable at most. PopChar and Ultra Character Map looks interesting, but are OSX only (so unusable for me personally).
Have checked out BabelMap (Windows freeware). It supports only the following features listed for PopChar, though:
  • Full Unicode support
  • Search for characters by name, by Unicode number or by simply pasting some text from your document into the search field.
  • Font information
  • Magnifier tool provides an enlarged view to see selected characters in full detail.
  • "Reverse search" for fonts that contain a particular character.
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Old 03-06-2016, 02:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxaris View Post
I know NexusFont (and use it) and I find it acceptable at most. PopChar and Ultra Character Map looks interesting, but are OSX only (so unusable for me personally).

Do I understand correctly that if you get create a PDF with the glyph map, that it would already be a big help?
Hi, Tox:

No, wait, there's a PopChar Windows version, otherwise, I would have said in my post, good for iOS, no version for Windows. This link: http://www.ergonis.com/products/popc.../features.html goes to PopCharWin. There's also PopCharOS.

Yes: I think (I believe) that if I had a PDF of the font's glyphs, then that would make it far easier. A "map," for lack of a better word. As an example, Worthington puts out PDFs with her fonts, that show the locations (the Char Map, in other words), along with some samples of how her alternates have been used. I find this helpful. (Think: "Using My Glyphs For Dummies" type thing.) HOWEVER, it's also true that if I were to use the PDF, I'd still have to pop open the CharMap or Font Suitcase, etc., to access and use the Glyph. Thus....I think I need something like PopChar.

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Originally Posted by eschwartz View Post
That's not really fair, as @shall1028 has posted several times recently -- wouldn't be the only person to leave MR for a while and then come back.
True.

Quote:
No, my objection to that post is irrespective of how often he posts.
No one here needs people poking their nose in and complaining about purely arbitrary preferences in posting style, especially when it is made semi-obvious that Hitch is looking to hear "feedback from my peeps" (implies regular friends and acquaintances, who are used to her ways), especially when the objections raised are flat-out wrong anyway, and especially when their bile serves no purpose whatsoever other than to stir up trouble in a situation which they clearly had no interest in to begin with.

And... wait for it... looks like we've crossed paths before! http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho....php?p=3244453
Ah, yes. I recall that now. Thanks, eschwartz. MR is one of the very few places on the Net where, by and large, I go to relax. The other being Straight Dope. I spend all day writing business correspondence. I tend to feel--perhaps mistakenly--that if I want to ramble a bit, here, the earth won't spin off its axis. I definitely can yammer, or go off on "stream-of-consciousness" posts on MR. (Straight Dopers is more...precision debating, using logic/facts. Love that, too.) But if I have to refine my posts into typical, vanilla, personality-stripped prose...it would mean I can't relax here, either, which would be a bummer. I do feel that most MR'ers are "my peeps," so....{shrug}.

(And, honestly: I don't get the patois comment. I realize that everyone here comes from different places on the planet, and are different ages; I guess I'm the only one that remembers the "make-a-de-meatball" shtick from the 70's. Hell, could have been the 60's. Either way, I was a bit surprised at the vitriol. Perhaps it was simply too many commas. Not being snarky; compound sentences are harder to parse. The thread title, including "Fonty Goodness" was a Firefly reference. Thought for certain THAT would have been recognized....)

@shal1028: This forum has a feature by which you are able to "ignore" specific posters--not see their posts. I think we'd both be far, far, happier if you would set yours to not see ME. Thanks.

Quote:
@Hitch,

Although I don't really do fonts (I *think* some came preinstalled in the base installation of my OS ) I'm definitely rooting for you. Sorry to see you got such a "warm" greeting.
And FWIW I do think this is in the right forum. It's all about one of the ingredients in an ebook, right?
Yes, it's for eBook ingredients. That's the point. For the last 8 or so years, the idea of using a swash, or a fleuron (by and large), decorative caps, etc., has been a bit of a pipe dream. Either you had to control the entire user experience so that they couldn't change anything (line-height, font), like print, or you simply didn't do it.

With Amazon moving in the direction of advanced typography, I think that becoming more au fait with the font alternates and glyphs is appropriate. We are one of the very few conversion houses that will even do custom embedded font work, in eBook products.

Now I simply need advice as to the tools that other folks have found valuable to manage font families that are far larger than the simple, "26 uppercase, 26 lowercase, 9 numbers plus 0, and some punctuation symbols" font files. ;-) When I look at my fonts dropbox (where we store all the company fonts, as everyone needs access to them), it seems a teeny-weeny bit overwhelming.

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Originally Posted by Doitsu View Post
Have checked out BabelMap (Windows freeware). It supports only the following features listed for PopChar, though:
  • Full Unicode support
  • Search for characters by name, by Unicode number or by simply pasting some text from your document into the search field.
  • Font information
  • Magnifier tool provides an enlarged view to see selected characters in full detail.
  • "Reverse search" for fonts that contain a particular character.
Nope, but I'll go forth and look at it. Thanks! It can't hurt to take a peek. I know that a few of our fellow eBookers and commenters "do" fonts. Even Wolfie, apparently. I guess I'll just download trials, and, as always, try, buy and cry. I need a "software addict" support group!

Thanks, gang. (Oh, wait...is that patios, too???? EEEK!)

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Old 03-06-2016, 03:47 PM   #11
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On first seeing thread title "Fonty Goodness..." I segued, first to dead parrots, and then to a not so famous hotel in Torquay. Different cultures, different jokes - something the xenophobes and insularities don't appreciate

They don't make postage stamps small enough to contain my dribble of knowledge about fonts, glyphs and such - still less the management thereof.

Good luck with the search for software, but take courage: I think I've settled on a desktop search tool that isn't just another 'me too' - X1. Not cheap and at times it looks a bit lego-ish, but has the features I want. Sadly the only worthwhile thing Yahoo ever started was their desktop search - - then they discontinued it, been looking ever since.

BR

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Old 03-06-2016, 05:20 PM   #12
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On first seeing thread title "Fonty Goodness..." I segued, first to dead parrots, and then to a not so famous hotel in Torquay. Different cultures, different jokes - something the xenophobes and insularities don't appreciate
You know, maybe I'm a weirdo. (resist the urge, people.) If someone makes a pop-culture or other reference that I don't "get," I look it up. I've picked up some lovely colloquialisms and naughty bits that way. (Like that, in fact--"naughty bits." Definitely more UK than US.)

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They don't make postage stamps small enough to contain my dribble of knowledge about fonts, glyphs and such - still less the management thereof.
Wow, you mean you don't know everything? Zoiks, Red, I was sure you had some font-wrangling in your history. Not kidding you. You're usually a wellspring of information on "stuff."

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Good luck with the search for software, but take courage: I think I've settled on a desktop search tool that isn't just another 'me too' - X1. Not cheap and at times it looks a bit lego-ish, but has the features I want. Sadly the only worthwhile thing Yahoo ever started was their desktop search - - then they discontinued it, been looking ever since.

BR
Do you REALLY like it? Does it really deliver for you, beyond what you can do with Google, or DuckDuckGo? What do you get, for the $50-$70 that you don't get with the usual suspects? (note for the posting-crispness police: that's a pop culture reference. SEE: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0034583/?ref_=nv_sr_1 or http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114814/?ref_=nv_sr_1 )

Y'know, Red...I was hoping for help with narrowing DOWN, winnowing my software-addiction. Now I'm craving the X1. Dammit, Red! ;-)

Will await your detailed report on the X1. Meanwhile...

My only real "worry" about PopChar is, will its automated functions (like the char map, or the popup/sidebar that works with other programs) conflict with Suitcase Fusion? SF already does some of the things that PC does. {sigh}.

Screw it. I'll dl it and see if it does. I would say something infamous here, like, "what's the worst that can happen," but, BTDT. ("Been There, Done That.")

Thanks, guys.

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Old 03-06-2016, 11:36 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Hitch View Post
You know, maybe I'm a weirdo. (resist the urge, people.) If someone makes a pop-culture or other reference that I don't "get," I look it up. I've picked up some lovely colloquialisms and naughty bits that way. (Like that, in fact--"naughty bits." Definitely more UK than US.)
Fellow weirdo here re 'looking it up

Your reply prompted me to search for Yahoo Desktop Search (YDS) to try to find out it's date of demise - answer ~2006/7.

But, it's little wonder I like X1 today, apparently YDS was X1 Lite ==>> Yahoo! Desktop Search

BR

Last edited by BetterRed; 03-06-2016 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 03-07-2016, 01:12 AM   #14
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Fellow weirdo here re 'looking it up

Your reply prompted me to search for Yahoo Desktop Search (YDS) to try to find out it's date of demise - answer ~2006/7.

But, it's little wonder I like X1 today, apparently YDS was X1 Lite ==>> Yahoo! Desktop Search

BR
I know what you mean. It's odd to look back at the early Net, and the early GUI Net...see all the things that have come and gone. Anyone remember the Internet Directory? Christ, it feels ages ago. DMOZ? Man. And here's something interesting--to this DAY, DMOZ carries big time SEO credit. From Goog. Weird.

So, I still wanna know, Red, about the X1. How much do you love it?

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Old 03-07-2016, 06:05 AM   #15
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So, I still wanna know, Red, about the X1. How much do you love it?
Not sure its enough to blow AU$70. Most discount coupons don't work down here - which says not a lot for the AUS-US so-called Free Trade Agreement. I'd rather give the $70 to the Fijians.

Maybe I could crowdsource the AU$70 :lol:

Vaguely remember Internet Directory - also remember Gopher, WAIS and WISC.

BR
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