Questions about typesetting; the process of creating text by the use of types for printed and digital designs. It's the art of perfecting the position, readability and aesthetics of a body of content such as a heading or paragraph. Ask anything about typesetting for a design project.

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41
votes
6answers
4k views

What’s the right character for an apostrophe?

Many times I encounter the so called "typewriter apostrophe" (Unicode character U+0027 and HTML symbol ') to represent an apostrophe: But on the other hand, the "right single quotation ...
39
votes
3answers
4k views

Why should I ever use Unicode’s special characters for Roman numerals?

This is to answer a question which arose in the comments on this question on the Unicode characters for Roman numerals: Why is this necessary or preferred over the usual way of typing ai, ai-ai, ...
37
votes
6answers
6k views

Aligning letters “Wrong” appears more “Right”

I'm currently working on a logo for a client. Here is the work in progress. It seems obvious to me that the S should align with the line above. I feel that the best way of aligning it however is to ...
36
votes
6answers
112k views

What font types are good for a technical document?

What are some good fonts to use for a highly technical document? Is there any specific type that should be used/avoided?
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Where should drop cap be suitable?

I wonder where drop caps should be used. So far, I only see them in column of newspaper. Are there any cases which drop caps shouldn't be used, like in scientific papers or brochures?
21
votes
1answer
1k views

What are standard ratios for typography on the web?

In laying out a web design, I often try to make sure that my typography is proportional and consistent. However, I haven't been able to find any definitive articles or resources on what ratios and ...
14
votes
3answers
139k views

Flip type when its on a path, AI CS5

I'm putting some type on a path, a circle; but when I do it, the type is upside down. How can I flip it so it reads the right way up? See image below:
13
votes
3answers
307 views

Is it possible to tell from a printed sample what software/layout algorithm was used?

Is there a way to determine, or at least hazard a guess at, which page layout engine was used in the preparation of a given print publication? I've spend awhile looking at some quirks in the Times ...
13
votes
2answers
306 views

Good strategies for typesetting bilingual books

I’m currently laying out and typesetting the second edition of an academic book about European fisheries and their status in the current EU climate. The book is bilingual, with all articles appearing ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Principles of Typography for different languages

Sometimes German students ask me how to do the typesetting of documents in English, French or Spanish. I'm not able to help them because I never learned to speak or write French or Spanish. ...
11
votes
1answer
302 views

When and why do I use “s”-shaped quotation marks?

When and why would you use quotation marks that are the superscript of the letter "s"? It looks like this: In case you want to look it up yourself, I've seen it in a recent book by the philosopher ...
10
votes
1answer
173 views

Is it ok to mix fonts in Japanese documents?

If careful, reading, understanding, and form can be improved when mixing fonts carefully. For example, using carefully matched sans-serif fonts for titles with serif-fonts for text can achieve a ...
9
votes
3answers
410 views

Typesetting acceptance of spacing slashes?

In UI design, one often has to work in the confines of limited space and/or simply try to reduce overly excessive descriptions and such. Often, this results in using slashes a lot. This/that type of ...
9
votes
1answer
157 views

What’s the right character for a minus sign?

Almost everywhere I see the so called hyphen-minus (Unicode character U+002D and HTML symbol &#45) used as a minus sign, which is actually the standard hyphen character (Unicode character U+2010 ...
8
votes
8answers
1k views

What's with all the Lorems and the Ipsums?

Is there a better way to represent text in a layout or design? "Lorem Ipsum" is good at taking your attention away from the text to showcase the design as a whole but I think it looks unnatural for ...
8
votes
1answer
121 views

How wide should the word space after nobiliary particles be? (von, de la, …)

Is it preferable to write a thin space after nobiliary particles (von, de la, …)? Does for example Miguel de\,Cervantes y\,Saavedra look better than the standard width spaced equivalent?
8
votes
2answers
61k views

Footnote/Endnote references before or after punctuation? (comma, full stop/period, semi-colon…)

Simple question: what's the convention (or, if there's disagreement, guiding principles) for where to place reference, footnote and endnote numbers that apply to a clause leading up to a punctuation ...
7
votes
4answers
479 views

Proper typesetting guide

Is there a typesetting guide for English on the web somewhere, whether UK or American or both? I’m thinking of something with rules for correct hyphenation, punctuation, dashes, commas, correct ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the purpose of typesetting a Word document with InDesign?

We have a bunch of Word documents that people create using a template that matches our business's look-and-feel. When we're done writing the content, we send it to a designer than the typeset the ...
7
votes
2answers
864 views

Typesetting tools other than LaTeX

I come from a Computer Science background and i'm used to write my reports/documents in LaTeX. They look great and things like Hyphenation and kerning (using microspace package) are automatically ...
7
votes
2answers
198 views

What is the name for the long dashes that sometimes replace the inner letters of a name?

What is the name for the long dashes that sometimes replace the inner letters of a name in older printed texts, and what is their purpose? Image source: Wikimedia Commons
6
votes
2answers
232 views

What are the origins of the commercial minus sign (⁒)?

While reading the Wikipedia article about the Plus and minus signs I found the so called commercial minus sign (Unicode character U+2052 and HTML symbol ⁒). It looks similar to an Obelus ...
6
votes
1answer
309 views

How long of a name do you budget for in a template?

I'm designing a name overlay for a series of videos and I'm curious how long of a name I should budget for without knowing what ones might come my way. As it's for a video it should be reasonably ...
5
votes
5answers
610 views

What should I use for filler/placeholder text?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut ...
5
votes
4answers
694 views

What characteristics are common to well-designed and well-formatted textbooks?

I'm looking for inspiration on how to make my book appear more professional with regard to typesetting and page design/layout (although of course these alone don't make it more professional). I found ...
5
votes
1answer
387 views

Textbook layout including examples of two different computer programming languages?

I am currently producing a new edition of an old book of mine; this new book will incorporate code samples from several different computing environments. What I want to know is: what is the best way ...
5
votes
1answer
190 views

Are there typographic methods of rendering a document traceable?

I seem to recall an anecdote on how one branch of the British government had designed a way to circulate seemingly identical for-your-eyes-only documents to a small circle of high-level collaborators, ...
5
votes
1answer
655 views

What does “letterfit” mean?

I started reading The Elements of Typographic Style and found the term "letterfit". I'm unsure as to what it means. It doesn't appear in the glossary of terms of the book. Is it related to kerning?
5
votes
2answers
334 views

Are there “bi-form” fonts that don't have descenders?

Is there a font that displays the entire image of each and every one of the 52 English alphabet shapes ➝ and ➝ above (on) the baseline? Clarification: Examples of shapes that ...
5
votes
1answer
624 views

How to OTF export the font I created in Indyfont?

I've created a custom made bullet and used the indyfont script to set up the export but I'm not able to click on the the OTF export button. I'm not sure what to do.
4
votes
3answers
13k views

In InDesign is it possible to find and change uppercase to lowercase?

Is there a way to find and change uppercase letters of a certain character style and change them to lowercase within InDesign?
4
votes
2answers
239 views

Small caps in names as part of an adjective

I know many scientific publications tend to write the names of authors, or names of people in general, in small caps. I quite like this idea, since it helps readers not to try and understand a word ...
4
votes
1answer
161 views

where do you get your type inspiration or how do you decide for the right type?

I was wondering where do you guys get your inspiration for Type and How you decide the right Type Face for your projects. thanks!
4
votes
2answers
67 views

Font weight considerations (printing cost, ergonomics, etc)

I'm curious if there are any known ergonomic effects of font weight choice. I already understand, for example, that the relative contrast of font color and background is important to reduce eye ...
4
votes
2answers
87 views

Is kerning also applied when there is a space between characters?

The Wikipedia article stats that kerning is the process of adjusting the spacing between characters in a proportional font, usually to achieve a visually pleasing result. For intance when we ...
4
votes
1answer
259 views

Maths + Graphic Design - Did somebody try that?

Hello and wish you a nice day to all. I'm working on project of visualizating math formulas into such form that it would be easily comprehensible and readable, simply beautiful to look at. I've been ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

How to typeset units in HTML

What is the correct way to set type units in HTML? Stuff like 2km Do I just put the unit right after the value as above? Or is there a special short space? If so how do I prevent a line break ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Improving readability in MS Word

When using MS Word is an absolute requirement to create a long text document, I usually suggest the following to any given user: Flush-left since MS Word doesn't allow the kind of ...
3
votes
4answers
6k views

Right-aligned tabbing not working as expected in InDesign

Working on creating a table of contents. It's right aligned, and since the page numbers go into double digits, I wanted to have a tab in between the page number and the page title so I know that the ...
3
votes
2answers
103 views

How to typeset a missing word correctly?

What is the typographically correct way to typeset a missing or left out word in a sentence? For example, "You should brush your ——— every morning!". Where "teeth" would be the word intentionally ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

What are diacritical marks?

I've seen symbols with accents which are often referred to as diacritical marks. But what are they exactly? How many such accents even exist? And how do current typography tools (fonts, word ...
3
votes
4answers
451 views

Remove extra space in front of the text without outlining it? [Illustrator]

Did anyone figure it out on how to remove that little extra space in front of the text?
3
votes
1answer
187 views

Determining Relative Font Width (Proportion)

I am working on a web application that sends print data to a newspaper system - we do not actually load and store font information we just create an approximation of the article to be printed. I am ...
3
votes
1answer
187 views

CharterBT/CMSans complementary monospaced font

I am writing a technical documentation in LaTeX which will also include code listings and in-text keywords set in Monospace. After reading this post i chose a combination of CharterBT for text and ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

What is it called when you place text over an image?

For example, in this album cover: Is the text "imposed" over the image? What is the right word for placing one layer of design on top of another?
2
votes
3answers
472 views

what software to use to transcribe a book ?

I have an older book (it isn't copyrighted), and as a certain tribute and preservation, I'd like to transcribe this book to a digital form. I was wondering what application to use to do this. I don't ...
2
votes
1answer
444 views

Footnote/Endnote reference characters before or after an ellipsis?

I was checking guidance on where to put footnote or endnote reference characters relative to punctuation and found a really clear answer for everything except an ellipsis. It's pretty unlikely and ...
2
votes
2answers
586 views

Photoshop: Does creating a work path from type lose quality?

In Photoshop there is a menu option to create a vector from a text layer: Layer > Type > Create Work Path. Does this lose any quality over leaving it as a text layer, such as font hinting?
2
votes
2answers
203 views

How to move footnotes to next column?

How can I move footnotes to the next column? I need the vertical space at the bottom for a table, otherwise it gets split in 2. I tried the footnote paragraph's Keep options and it didn't pan out ...
2
votes
1answer
305 views

Photoshop - How to Create Overlapping Stroke on Font?

I want create a type in which the letters overlap each other (let's say -200 VA setting), and then make a stroke that will be overlapping. Letters themselves shouldn't be filled with any color, but ...