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Old 02-02-2010, 07:20 AM   #1
bhuvana786
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mediaeval numbers in epub

Can anyone suggest me how to get the mediaeval numbers in epub?
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:26 AM   #2
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Can anyone suggest me how to get the mediaeval numbers in epub?
You mean Roman numerals?
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:42 AM   #3
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Even i am not sure. I got the following request:

We’ve done some tests but it seems that the positions of the mediaeval numbers in a fonts are positioned on a space that cannot be reached with html/epub. Is there any way to get this?
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:25 AM   #4
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Perhaps they mean old style figures?

OpenType fonts have the option of having several varieties of numerals, which are usually:

- tabular lining (numbers which all set to the same width so they line up in tables and reach to cap height and set on the baseline)
- proportional lining (widths vary, reach to cap height and set on the baseline)
- tabular oldstyle (numbers which all set to the same width so they line up in tables and have ascenders and descenders w/ a main height around that of the x-height of the type)
- proportional oldstyle (widths vary and have ascenders and descenders w/ a main height around that of the x-height of the type)

Apparently epub doesn't make accessing opentype features easy, so one would have to use glyph id #s or some such if that's even possible, which will be ugly in the code and may interfere w/ copy-paste.

I just made a quick test in Adobe InDesign, but even though the font was embedded, old style figures weren't used. (124KB file to display 0123456789) --- so I guess this would be another win for .pdf

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Old 02-02-2010, 10:10 AM   #5
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In the future, ePUB might include something like what Prince does for accessing OpenType features: http://www.princexml.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1588
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:35 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by WillAdams View Post
I just made a quick test in Adobe InDesign, but even though the font was embedded, old style figures weren't used.
A very clunky work around might be to define your own font with the old-style numerals in the normal number location and use this font only for the numerals. I think it is possible to subset fonts in an ePub, so in principle this would not make the file much bigger.
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:24 PM   #7
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Please, we already did the separate font for special features thing (which arguably culminated in the ~58 different Type 1 fonts of Adobe Poetica) --- it appears to simply be a limitation in ePub (one not shared by .pdf), so the answer is if one wants old-style figures, use .pdf, or wait until ePub is upgraded to support such basic typographic capabilities, or wait until there's an explanation of how it's done (by setting the numbers using raw glyph IDS?).

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