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Biblical Cantillation Symbols (trope) in InDesign

New Here ,
Jun 08, 2021 Jun 08, 2021

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Does anyone have advice for pasting Hebrew Biblical text with cantillation marks into InDesign? We have the Middle Eastern version, and all of the regular Hebrew works beautifully, but the font doesn't seem to recognize cantillation symbols. Changing the font has only been a kerning disaster. Thanks very much!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 08, 2021 Jun 08, 2021

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"Changing the font has only been a kerning disaster."

 

Why? Can you show some sample screenshots?

Text frame selected, invisible characters showing and also the Story Editor Window.

 

Thanks,
Uwe Laubender

( ACP )

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 08, 2021 Jun 08, 2021

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I'm curious about what font you are using, as well as asking all of Uwe's questions.

 

(Also, I'd like to place a small side bet on it being something from the LaserHebrew family from Linguist's Software.)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 08, 2021 Jun 08, 2021

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There are not so many fonts that support cantillation symbols properly, if at all.

The one free one that comes to mind is https://www.sbl-site.org/educational/biblicalfonts_sblhebrew.aspx

When you use that, does copy-pasting work?

Ariel

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New Here ,
Nov 28, 2021 Nov 28, 2021

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I have fonts that use cantilation marks, and have been trying to make it work, but when there is more than one mark per character, Indesign just doesn't know how to handle it. The marks move to weird places. Its not a font issue, because Microsoft Word knows how to handle it correctly with the same exact text and the same exact font. Any suggestions?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 28, 2021 Nov 28, 2021

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Font rendering in Word works rather differently than the way it works in InDesign. I'd suggest that you do what Uwe and Ariel have already suggested;

 

1) Can you post a screenshot of improperly rendered cantilation marks? Preferably with hidden characters visible and the Story Editor also visible, as Uwe suggested.

 

2) Likewise, have you tried it with the SBL Hebrew fonts posted by Ariel? 

 

I also wonder if you'd tried it with both the Paragraph Composer and the World-Ready Composer. 

 

 

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New Here ,
Nov 29, 2021 Nov 29, 2021

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I've been using world ready composer.

I tried the SBL font.

word processes it differently, and therefore what? Word seems to get it right.

I actually figured out how to manually adjust them but that's a huge project for a book, to change each specific one. The program should really display them correctly.

What else do you suggest?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 29, 2021 Nov 29, 2021

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> I actually figured out how to manually adjust them but that's a huge project for a book,

 

Is this something that can be controlled by a character style (Kerning or tracking, perhaps)? If it is you very likely could create a GREP style as part of your paragraph styles to do this automatically.

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New Here ,
Nov 29, 2021 Nov 29, 2021

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Kerning does not effect these marks. It has to be through diacritical positioning.
No way to do it automatically or not one by one as I see it.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 29, 2021 Nov 29, 2021

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word processes it differently, and therefore what? Word seems to get it right.

I actually figured out how to manually adjust them but that's a huge project for a book, to change each specific one. The program should really display them correctly.

 

The way that Word and InDesign handle advanced OpenType features is very, very different. If there's a bug in the way InDesign handles mark-to-mark positioning, it's worth reporting. In my experience, it's usually not an InDesign bug, but an artifact of how font designers cater to the idiosynracies of Microsoft's OT rendering. It doesn't look like that is the case here, though. If you care to post a small INDD here, with maybe a sample sentence of Hebrew rendering incorrectly, with (even better!) the same sample sentence rendering correctly in a screenshot in Word, then I'd be happy to go post it over at indesign.uservoice.com, which is where bug reports for InDesign are posted. It seems that someone has already tried that, but without documentation, and without some additional people whacking that "Vote" button, this particular issue isn't likely to see any developer attention. 

 

(Of course, if you do that it'll give us a chance to play with your sample to see if there isn't some tweak that would get them to render correctly before submitting a bug report, but I'm not too confident that this will happen here. Peter's right, though; if you have a manual fix, it could be generalized by someone here, likely with a GREP style or three, in a way that would get you to a published book without a manual slog, long before the bug was fixed at Adobe.)

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New Here ,
Nov 29, 2021 Nov 29, 2021

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Here is an indesign file and a word file.

Please also find the fonts attached.

You'll notice the Indesign file, all the fonts have overlapping diacritics.

In the Word doc, all the fonts are laid out perfectly.

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New Here ,
Nov 29, 2021 Nov 29, 2021

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I actually just noticed that Word has some issues with certain ones too. But overall, its much better.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 29, 2021 Nov 29, 2021

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Thanks for posting these; I'll examine them and turn 'em into a thread over at uservoice tomorrow morning. 

 

I'm not surprised that Word is better, nor am I surprised that it isn't perfect. OpenType font rendering varies from platform to platform, especially when you get to more advanced methods. When addressing complex script layout, it's not like we can necessarily expect the same OT font to behave the same in every operating system and in every app. Unicode, it ain't. I'm going to take a shot in the dark and guess that these fonts work perfectly... in Nisus Writer Pro. 😉

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New Here ,
Nov 29, 2021 Nov 29, 2021

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Thanks! I would love to see the update and where you post it!

 

hopefully it yields something.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 30, 2021 Nov 30, 2021

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Have you tried Window -> Type -> Diacritic Adjustment? Selecting "OpenType (adjustment from base character)" looks like it mimics the positioning of diacritics in Word almost perfectly. What I've done is this: I've made & attached  an InDesign file with three layers. One layer is your live text (colored red), another layer is your text with OT diacritic adjustment turned on (green), and the third is a PDF I made from Word (black). By turning layer visibility on and off, I can clearly see where diacritics are not displaying correctly (or, in fact, not displaying at all). 

 

Can you take a look at this and maybe identify which fonts, if any, are actually rendering correctly in ID? (I will also go and install the latest version, so that we can see if this was induced in the most recent update to 17.0.)

 

 

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