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I've got a font, which doesn't have polish diacritic chars which I need. I'm trying to construct them, by merging two glyphs - a letter and ogonek or acute accent, which are provided by my font.

I can insert any of them separately, and I can make any glyph to be inserted instead of any letter, but I haven't found any way of merging two glyphs together into a new one (for example aogonek from a and ogonek). Could you help me?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The fastest way to accomplish this is to use an OpenType font that includes the glyphs you need, but failing that, the next-fastest way, if you're working with CS4 or later, is with a GREP style for each of the characters you are trying to replicate.

Set up the kerning pairs and Character Styles the way Lauren describes, with this exception: a Character Style doesn't accept kerning values other than blank, Metrics, Optical and None, so you have to do this with tracking rather than kerning. (You'll probably need different tracking values for different letters.) Then, in your Paragraph Style(s), set up a new GREP style for each combination of letter+ogonek to apply the appropriate Character Style.

From then on, InDesign will automatically apply the GREP style every time you have a letter+ogonek combination in the text. You can watch it happen on the fly, as you type!

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  1. Type your letter (c, for example).
  2. Type your ogonek or accent.
  3. Put the cursor between them.
  4. Kern to like -250 — you'll have to experiment depending on your font and the type size.
  5. You may also have to experiment with baseline shift to keep them from overlapping incorrectly.
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Ok, i knew that way, but it is definitely not the most convenient solution. I would like to create a new glyph (and after that I can assign a glyph to a key), or at least insert accent and set kerning automatically. – Rafał Rawicki Mar 19 '11 at 15:30
You can set the kerning and then make a character style out of it, so every time you type the accent you apply the "Kern -250" style. You can also do a search-and-replace for the accent character and have it apply the style automatically. – Lauren Ipsum Mar 20 '11 at 15:05
This has to be done with tracking, rather than kerning, to allow it to be saved as a Character Style. Kerning has fixed values in the Character Style dialog that can't be overridden. – Alan Gilbertson May 17 '11 at 21:45
Yeah, me too. And I trip myself up on this exact point once in a while! :) – Alan Gilbertson May 18 '11 at 4:05
Please note if you do it this method and intend to export as HTML you will have several styles generated with spans and classes. The proper approach would be to find a font that supports the glyph like in Alan's answer. – Darth_Vader Jul 21 '15 at 17:00

I came across this while searching for a solution to a similar problem. Seems to do a good job in automatically building the accented glyphs from the base font. The transformed font seems to include most of the accent characters needed for most European languages, don't know whether it includes the polish glyph that you are after. Anyway it is worth checking out.

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but are the glyphs valid? One issue with InDesign is if you reference the glyph or glyph ID it can be known to produce random glyphs. If you are mentioning a tool and exporting the output and those glyphs aren't valid then the output would be convoluted – Darth_Vader Jul 21 '15 at 16:59
The glyphs are valid and usable. Glyph ID , Glyph name are all seems to be updated correctly for the accented glyphs added. I can say that I had no problems referring to them in the doc and it displayed correctly. – dors Jul 21 '15 at 17:09
Well, it does include ń, ś, ć, ź, and ż; but not ą, ę, and ł, which are all necessary for Polish. So it goes about halfway. (I’m guessing this is because it generates glyphs “using anchors, copying kerning info and anchors with vertical shi[f]t from base letters to accented ones”, and most fonts have no (pre)composed letters using ogoneks at all; ł is, of course, not a (pre)composed letter at all, but one that must be drawn manually.) – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 9 '15 at 13:24

I'd vote for Alan's answer… but I can't since my reputation is to low ;].

Anyway to not to waste this place for trivial chit-chat I'd like to suggest as yet another option.

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