We have Turkish text that we have to layout Universe 65 Bold. This works for most letters, but not for ğ and a few others.
In Universe LT 45 Light it works.
Now, I went into Word to check out the characterset and neither Bold nor Light actually contains this letter. It is in Arial or in Times.
So we came up with the assumption, that it is a ligature.

And we did enable and disable Ligatures in InDesign for that section, but no change. Now we run out of ideas? What are we doing wrong or what did we miss? How can I create a character like this in InDesign for a new Font?

1 Answer 1


It's not a ligature, it's a character, which is why turning ligatures on and off won't help.

You should have the breve character (Unicode 02D8), though. You can create the character using a standard g and the breve, then kerning the breve back over the g. This is a general solution that works for any diacritics that are missing as full characters in a given font.

Set up a GREP style that looks for the g+breve combination and applies the appropriate kerning value (actually, in this case, you assign tracking). As they say in Facebook, "It's complicated."

  • Set up a Character Style that applies the appropriate tracking so that the breve sits directly over the g.

  • In your paragraph style, set up a GREP style with this code: g(?=˘) and applies your special Character Style.

Any time you now enter the g followed by a breve, the tracking will be applied automatically.

The code uses a Positive Lookahead (the "(?=˘)" part) to find a g followed by a ˘ then applies the Character Style. Geeky stuff, but a godsend when you need it.

  • (a) Couldn't this method be described as creating a ligature? (b) Is there a way of handling this with a backspace character rather than tracking or have I imagined that?
    – e100
    Mar 20, 2012 at 13:19
  • Thanks a lot for your answer. I've actually found this script here: kahrel.plus.com/indesign/compose.html#accents_below It works for some fonts, but not actually for the one I need it for. Anything we could do? And what still confuses me, is that if I look at the character set of Universe LT 45 Light, I don't see the ğ, but still it is not a ligature....
    – Remy
    Mar 20, 2012 at 14:31
  • 1
    @e100 A ligature is a special glyph composed by joining two or more actual alphabetic characters (tying them together, hence "ligature"), such as lowercase f and i where the dot of the i would otherwise collide with the terminal of the f. A diacritic mark such as a caret, breve or dieresis is an accent on the main character. Other than in some specialized contexts such as math notation, the marks we use as diacritics carry no meaning on their own. When you kern a diacritic over a letter, you're creating an accented form of the letter itself. Mar 22, 2012 at 4:33
  • @Remy If the breve mark itself is also missing from the character set, you might want to look for an OpenType version that covers more languages. Fonts with "Pro" in the name generally cover more linguistic territory than "Std", which in turn are better than straight conversions from Type 1 or TrueType fonts. Peter's script only works if the characters you're looking for are in the font. I had no problem creating the g-breve using the GREP style I gave you, but the breve is in the font I tested with. Mar 22, 2012 at 4:38

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