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*To*: fontinst@cogs.susx.ac.uk (Fontinst)*Subject*: Re: superior numerals*From*: "Melissa O'Neill" <oneill@cs.sfu.ca>*Date*: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 13:03:08 -0700 (PDT)*In-Reply-To*: <Pine.LNX.3.96.980707090504.993F-100000@ricardo.ecn.wfu.edu> from "Allin Cottrell" at Jul 7, 98 09:06:17 am

[Thierry Bouche and Allin Cottrell vigourously discuss titling numerals vs. text numerals, and lining numerals for superscripts vs. hanging numerals for superscripts.] I don't see any great crime in using the lining numerals or hanging numerals for superscripts -- properly set, each can look elegant. Each choice can be justified. However, it's important to realize that not all lining numerals are titling numerals. The numeric glyphs in the superior set for Adobe Kepler, for example, are three-quarter-height lining numerals. I use the font designer's `onesuperior' etc. glyphs for several reasons (in no particular order): - I use titling numerals in numbered lists, including section headings, and footnote lists (*), thus lining numerals in footnote superscripts are consistent with the way those numbers appear in the footnote list. (BTW, I consider it wrong to set the footnote numbers superscripted in the footnote list itself, since they should be *easy to read* there, rather than unobtrusive.) * It may in fact be typographically wrong to mix titling numerals and text numerals as I do, I'm not sure. My idea is that if I were using roman numerals, sometimes I'd use uppercase roman numerals and sometimes I'd use lowercase (or small-caps) ones. Titling numerals correspond to uppercase roman numerals, text numerals correspond to lowercase roman numerals, and the rarely seen three-quarter-height lining numerals (such as those found in Bell and Trajanus) are probably the ideological equivalent of small-caps roman numerals - The numerals are optically scaled correctly, eliminating the need to do such scaling myself. I can rely on the careful judgements of the font designer. - I `get my money's worth' by using more of those expert set characters I paid for. ;o) Since I use a multiple master font (with weight, width, and optical size axes), I could in fact generate a correctly optically scaled set of superior numerals that are text numerals. So, I'm not saying that superscripted hanging numerals can't be done nicely, just that I'm happy with superscripted lining numerals. As someone else pointed out, Karl Berry (at my request) has now extended his fontname scheme with the codes `0' and `1' for inferior and superior character sets respectively. One of these days, I'd like to make some three-quarter-height lining numerals (that aren't superscripted), just to see how they compare to (hanging) text numerals. With a multiple master font, it should be quite possible to produce an optically correct set. Of course, then we'd need a Karl Berry code for them too. Melissa. P.S. This talk really belongs on the tex-fonts mailing list since it is not fontinst specific.

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