OpenType: Standard vs. Pro

OpenType fonts may contain many levels of intelligence. Most are simply a conversion of their TrueType or PostScript equivalents, with no additional character sets or capabilities.

Adobe calls their brand of OpenType fonts that have no additional features “Standard” OpenType fonts. When additional features are added, Adobe brands them OpenType “Pro” fonts.

Adobe’s OpenType “Pro” fonts have extended character sets, often with true fractions, small caps, additional ligatures, swash characters, dingbats, and more. OpenType Pro fonts also incorporate advanced layout intelligence such as stylistic sets and automatic fraction replacement.

To see how to access alternate characters in QuarkXPress 7 and 8, see Jay Nelson’s post “Apply Alternate OpenType Glyphs“.

To explore any stylistic sets that may be in an OpenType font, first apply the font to some text, then in the Measurements palette click on the “O” button.

Any stylistic sets that are NOT available in the current font appear in brackets. You can pick and choose among the others, combining them as you like.

If a stylistic set has a checkmark next to it, that means that optional characters in that set will be applied to the currently selected text. If a stylistic set has a checkmark next to it, but also has brackets around it, that means that although the current font doesn’t include that stylistic set, if you change the font to an OpenType font that does include that stylistic set, then that set will apply to the text. In other words, these choices of sets are remembered with the text itself.