There are two ways of laying out numerals in a font: lining figures and text or oldstyle figures. The Former has the height of a capital letter while the latter have varying heights and blend in with lowercase text.

I am designing slides that must adhere to a brand style guide. The guide stipulates that headers are in Corbel Bold and sub-headers are in Corbel Regular. The Corbel typeface provides both forms of numeral layout, lining figures and text figures, but I cannot work out how to access the lining layout form, which I would prefer to use for consistency with the required body font, Segoe Light (which only has lining figures).

lining and text figures

I'm interested in answers that cover any tool, though for practical purposes it would be useful to cover non-professional tools like PowerPoint.

  • 1
    I could be wrong that Corbel includes both, "You're wrong. Corbel only includes text figures" could be the answer.
    – dumbledad
    Nov 13, 2014 at 12:55
  • 1
    What software are you using for setting the font? The answer will vary depending on this.
    – spiral
    Nov 13, 2014 at 12:58
  • 1
    Corbel includes all four combinations of tabular and proportional, and oldstyle and lining figures. However, per the font design, the default is set to proportional oldstyle.
    – Jongware
    Nov 13, 2014 at 13:54
  • @spiral good point - I've added that to the question
    – dumbledad
    Nov 13, 2014 at 14:08

3 Answers 3


For word, you can change the Corbel typeface to lining figures or old style figure by clicking the flyout menu in the font area of Word's navigation. Then click on the Advanced tab and use the drop down menu beside Number Forms. You can adjust ligatures and all sorts here too! It works for Outlook and Publisher too apparently.

Screenshot of advanced font screen in Word

Source: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/13484/use-advanced-font-ligatures-in-office-2010/

  • Thanks Rachel - hilariously funny that you found this when we're only two offices apart at work! Tres nerdy way of communicating.
    – dumbledad
    Nov 13, 2014 at 17:45
  • I've asked where this dialog might be hiding in PowerPoint over on the SuperUser SE
    – dumbledad
    Nov 13, 2014 at 17:58

Those are typically accessed through the Glyphs panel in Adobe applications, usually under Type > Glyphs. This shows all characters in the font file, allowing you to pick and choose. Double click a character to insert it at your text cursor's current location. You can even click and hold a character in the palette when it has a small triangle in the lower right hand corner, to see all alternatives the font offers for that character.

example of a glyphs panel with Corbel regular active

In InDesign, the Glyphs panel has a default shortkey: Shift+Alt+F11. In Illustrator, drop the Alt key. In Phothshop, it's conspicuously absent—at least in my CS6 version.

In other apps, I'd be looking for the insert character or insert symbol functions, or something similar.

  • 2
    For InDesign, no need to hunt-and-pick: the preferred way would be to set it in the OpenType features panel of a paragraph style or directly apply where required through the Character panel.
    – Jongware
    Nov 13, 2014 at 13:50
  • I tried insert symbol in Word, but I could only find the text figures
    – dumbledad
    Nov 13, 2014 at 14:09
  • 1
    If you do have access to InDesign or Illustrator, you can create 'em in there, and then copy & paste. That's how I get them into Photoshop when I need to.
    – Vincent
    Nov 13, 2014 at 14:40

Customize your font! If the conditions are right, it's actually pretty easy.

I just had a case where I needed to use the lining figures of a font for a Web project. However, OpenType features aren't 100% reliable yet. Also, the webfont service that was hosting the font I was trying to use created a subset that excluded the lining figures anyways, so I had to look for another solution.

Enter Font Squirrel's Webfont Generator. Go into the expert settings and look for the "OpenType Flattening" section:

OpenType flattening screenshot

Check "Lining Numerals", and then download your font! You'll get a customized font file that will default to lining numerals instead of old style numerals, so you can use it in any program you'd like!

As FontSquirrel notes, make sure that you're respecting your font's license. Redistribution of your updated font is also something you'd want to look into. Didn't check, but this might not work for Corbel. I am not a lawyer and such.

If you like pain, it's also possible to edit font files in FontForge manually.

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