Questions tagged [typesetting]

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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56
votes
7answers
16k 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 mark" ...
48
votes
6answers
189k 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?
44
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5answers
10k 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 ...
43
votes
3answers
6k 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, ai-...
38
votes
5answers
6k views

Is monospacing URLs in academic papers still advised?

When papers are written in the academic world, URLs are often set in monospace. The reason for this seems to be historic and is described in this Q&A at TexSE. It may be summarized as a leftover ...
29
votes
2answers
10k 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?
26
votes
2answers
6k views

Why some fonts have the 'f' and 'i' joined

I noticed today that when I type a word with the character pair fi in it, the f changes when the i is typed to have a longer top and the dot above the i is removed. I was wondering if this occurrence ...
25
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 ...
24
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3answers
7k views

Is that a good kerning?

What do you think of this kerning? What adjustments should I make?
24
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3answers
267k 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:
23
votes
0answers
826 views

Kerning Hebrew diacritics in InDesign

In Hebrew, there are some diacritics which occasionally need to be combined. However, a frequent result is that they will all be centered, leading to a stack of characters which need to be re-kerned. ...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

Typesetting two spaces after the period

The nuns enforced it with a ruler: two spaces after a period at the end of a sentence. I, along with many others do this instinctively. Why is this considered incorrect/improper in printed materials ...
21
votes
3answers
3k views

How could letters overlap in manual typesetting?

Generally speaking, ascenders and descenders should not touch each other in the text body. This is self-explanatory as it could lead to text that is difficult to read. However, Erik Spiekermann ...
20
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5answers
3k 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. ...
19
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3answers
3k views

Why do so many books indent all paragraphs except the first one in each chapter? [duplicate]

I've just looked through every printed book I've bought over the past year and noticed a curious pattern that I'd never given much thought until now (due to currently preparing a manuscript for ...
17
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
3k views

Where and/or why is a slanted hyphen used?

I was reading this version of White Fang and I noticed that the hyphens connecting words are slightly slanted to the left. I have never seen a slanted hyphen before and googling it did not yield any ...
16
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Helvetica: trailing leg in lowercase “a”

Why sometimes I find Helvetica with the letter "a" with the right leg straight and other times I find it with the right leg turned to the right: Letter "a" with right leg straight: Letter "a" with ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Typography: First line indent in the first paragraph?

A colleague explained to me that it is a typographical rule to not set an indent for the first line of the very first paragraph of a text, the one that starts right after the headline. Instead, the ...
14
votes
3answers
336 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
547 views

Typesetting: Meaning and use of dashes in publication from 1751

I am in the process of transcribing a text which was type-set and published in 1751. In the original text, I am coming across a lot of dashes in varying lengths which are used all throughout the text. ...
13
votes
1answer
611 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
238 views

Guide to typsetting code for non-programmers

Background I authored a scientific paper containing code and recently received the proofs, i.e., what the journal’s typesetters created from my manuscript. The result was not acceptable: The ...
12
votes
5answers
8k views

Is there a font that has the same height for every character?

It occured to me that in all fonts I know of, different characters have a different height. Why is this so? Are there fonts where all characters have the same height? If so, is there a name for this ...
12
votes
2answers
94k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
748 views

Looking for some simple sans serif book ornaments

We are making the first-ever full size book for a minority language in West Africa. I want this not just OK, but a really nice and well done "real" book. I even found a budget for quality binding. So ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Font that doesn't move when text is edited

What is the characteristic of a font called when each symbol has its own space and it cannot move the other symbols after changing. For example, if I have time in the format hour:minute:second, and ...
11
votes
1answer
296 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
1k 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 (÷)...
10
votes
4answers
7k views

IS ALL CAPS EVER OK?

I'm recreating a Character Sheet for an RPG, but it might as well be a form. In the original sheet I notice that all the text is in capital letters. At first I thought it was in small-caps, but it isn'...
10
votes
1answer
874 views

How to scale a shape to meet a dynamic element?

I have a PDF of a report which uses the above styles for section headings. I want to replicate these in InDesign. I am not sure how the original one was created. The starting point for me seems to be ...
10
votes
3answers
535 views

How are the spaces done in France for ? ! : ; « » in a real-life work-flow?

I have learnt what the spaces need to be in front of ? ! ; » and after « in French texts, namely thin spaces (1/8em). I got that from this question and its answers: Principles of Typography for ...
9
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
1k 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
19k views

Using Google Fonts for print work

My experience with building websites is limited, but i have used Google Fonts (GF) for some basic presentation websites before. I was recently given some branding guidelines built by other providers ...
9
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
161 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
1answer
874 views

Which font is the basis for “1942 report” by Johan Holmdahl?

The TrueType Font »1942 report« by Johan Holmdahl is an equidistant typeface. It resembles the »Makina rough« font by representing the individual letters in an eroded form. Particularly noteworthy are ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

Why is InDesign pushing short words to the next line?

As shown in the image, "the" easily fits on the line above but regardless of what I do, InDesign pushes it down to the next line.
7
votes
4answers
990 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
3answers
250 views

How to vertically space all-caps lines with accented characters like circumflexes

I'm trying to lay out a block of several lines of all-caps copy. I want the lines to be evenly spaced. However when letters such as Ô and È are included in a line, they "collide" with the preceding ...
7
votes
5answers
12k views

How to create a new glyph = letter + ogonek in InDesign

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
554 views

Can a typeface be very thick in “Regular” style, or does that one then need to be “Bold/Black”?

I am working on a typeface and have started with a somewhat thicker style that would usually be called "Bold". Can I make it "Regular" or is it unusual for a certain thickness?
7
votes
1answer
500 views

How can I make a hanging indent where a title is outside of a text frame?

I have a layout with two columns, and I would like the header to go outside of the text frame like this: However this would mean the Header text hanging outside of the text frame. I could achieve ...
7
votes
2answers
248 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
7
votes
1answer
1k 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?
7
votes
2answers
1k 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 are ...
7
votes
1answer
187 views

How to correctly choose protrusion for letters and hanging punctuation?

A small preamble: (mostly technical, can be skipped) I am a mathematician and prepare my documents with LaTeX. The documents made in LaTeX usually have very distinctive look because of the CM font (I ...