[Fontinst] Re: adding bold small caps to an expert font set?

David mantella at earthlink.net
Sun May 16 15:42:51 CEST 2004

J P Blevins wrote:

>Is there any straightforward way to add the bold small caps font from a
>BoldOSF(Expert) font to a virtual font containing a basic expert set
>that contains only roman small caps characters?
>I have set up an expert set with hanging figures for Bembo, using the
>basic set, the expert set and the extrabold set for bold extended. 
Shouldn't extrabold be fontname code x (nfss code eb), i.e. pbbx8a, 
pbbxi8a, etc.
see Lehman's Font Installation Guide at 
www.tug.org/applications/fontinst, p. 84

>is no oblique font (nor any good substitute, as far as I can tell), so
>the obliques have to be faked. But there *is* a bold small caps font in
>the BoldOSF sets. 
Actually, no --- fonts named OsF (from the major vendors---Linotype, 
Monotype, and Adobe) are typically identical to the standard fonts, 
except for having text figures. If there were both smallcaps and OsF, it 
would normally be named foo-smallcaps. Smallcaps and OsF fonts are in 
standard encoding (you can determine the encoding from the afm file: a 
line should say "EncodingScheme AdobeStandardEncoding" or 
"EncodingScheme FontSpecific"), i.e. the smallcaps and figures are 
mis-named: nineoldstyle in the nine slot, Asmall in the "a" slot, etc.

Expert fonts from the above vendors typically contain OsF, superior and 
inferior figures, full f-ligatures (fi,fl,ff,ffi,ffl), odd glyphs 
(ordinals, various currency and puctuation glyphs, e.g asuperior, 
colonmonetary, etc.) and optionally, smallcaps (rare for italics or 
bolder weights), but all glyphs are encoded and correctly named.

>I would be grateful if anyone could suggest a simple
>way to add these fonts to an expert family, since solutions like adding
>the font (pbbbj8r) before the default 'newlatin' below didn't work:
It looks to me like the main problem is finding out whether you have 
smallcaps to install in the first place. Many "expert" fonts do not 
contain the full complement of expert glyphs,* but only some subset of 
it. Check the afm file for pbbb8x: does it have lines like

C97 ; WX 521 ; N Asmall ; B 23 0 498 449       ?

this means character slot 97, width 521 (of 1000),
the Asmall is name of smallcaps 'A' according to the Adobe Type 1 spec,
bounding box with coordinates 23, 0, 498, 449

(See Appendix E of the Postscript Language Reference Manual (in pdf on 
the Adobe website) for the canonical glyphnames for standard and expert 

Alternatively (and often rather important these days, when even the 
"best" vendors misencode fonts --- I recently found an ampersandsmall in 
the currency slot of one of my linotype smallcaps fonts!) you could 
download a font editor, and use it to visually check the fonts .  I use 
fontlab on windows (shareware, but as long as you aren't generating new 
fonts it doesn't time out) or you could use FontForge (unix-GPL).

Afaik,  Bembo only has smallcaps for the regular weight smallcaps,  
regular weight expert,  and semibold expert. For all other weights 
(Bold, ExtraBold), expert fonts only have OsF,  ligatures, and expert 
(non-smallcaps) glyphs. Moreover, the smallcaps font is in regular 
weight only (other weights have only OsF fonts). For  other weights, 
you'll have to be (dis)satisfied with faked smallcaps.

The command you have above


looks to me like it should fake the bold smallcaps, though I don't think 
the expert set is actually adding any glyphs in T1 encoding: the only 
glyphs that it has to add (to T1 for a lining figures family) are the 
lowercase f-ligatures, which aren't used in a smallcaps font. 

You did set a scale factor, e.g.


(change scale factor to taste) didn't you?

See the Font Installation Guide Tutorial V (for the simple expert font 
installation) and VI (for a fancier expert font installation, using both 
expert and sc/osf fonts---adding glyphs from the expert font, but the 
more extensive kerning from the sc/osf fonts; for Bembo this latter 
method is applicable only for the regular weight, which has smallcaps 
both in the expert font and in the smallcaps font).

(Note: while I have Bembo from Linotype, all the licensed versions come 
from Monotype,  so I think the above should be true for the Adobe fonts 
as well---I seem to recall reading somewhere that the only differences 
between vendors is in the hinting and the metrics).

OT:  I think it was Bembo that got me interested in typography, and 
ultimately TeX and friends in the first place. There aren't many fans of 
the digitization---and I'm afraid I have to count myself among the 
detractors (Or maybe I just got sick of that capital R's rather 'kicky' 
leg - after reading a novel with a principal character whose name began 
with R, it always makes me think of a chorus-line dancer a bit too 
fixated on being noticed!). I ultimately ended up buying Polyphilus and 
Blado from Monotype (iirc, Bringhurst called Polyphilus "Bembo in 
bedroom slippers") , but I don't find this entirely satisfactory either. 
I have heard good things about Jack Yan's reinterpretation, Aetna, but I 
haven't tried it (yet).

*even those that follow the adobe postscript standards (Monotype, 
Linotype (usually), Adobe (regularly). Many don't even follow the 
standard at all, e.g. FontFont, which have "expert" fonts containing 
only f-ligatures, glyphs not common to the windows and mac encodings, 
and a few assorted ornaments that could be useful in texcompanion 
encoding--- all misnamed and in adobe standard encoding! Yikes!


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