accent characters in Window TT fonts (or type 1)

New Here ,
Feb 05, 2009 Feb 05, 2009

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I've always wondered how to use the accent characters included in fonts. I'm working in InDesign on a PC, Windows XP or Vista.

Years ago I typeset foreign characters on phototype systems. We'd create characters not available on fonts by setting an accent (for example a grave accent), then the character (for example an "e"), then either disable the typesetter's horizontal advance after the accent was set, or move the character (like the "e") to the left, so that it appeared under the accent mark. This worked quite nicely, with a little trial and error. [Of course I know that we can get the e with a grave accent over it in fonts--but the example explains the problem.]

For most accented characters I use fonts that have what I need--sometimes specialized fonts that I've purchased. But occasionally I need just one character in a more standard font.

Is there some way in Windows to manually create an accented character by using a letter and an accent on the same font (similar to the above example, perhaps)? If so, how is this done? I cannot find any help on this topic. But since the charcters exist on the font, I'm guessing there is a way to use them. . . .

Any enlightenment would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Explorer ,
Feb 05, 2009 Feb 05, 2009

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I'm a Mac user for which accents are somewhat easier than on a Windows machine. For Windows, you use Alt+nnn or Alt+nnnn where the n digits represent the specific accented letter you're attempting. I found this table: http://www.starr.net/is/type/altnum.htm

Neil

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Explorer ,
Feb 05, 2009 Feb 05, 2009

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I'm a Mac user for which accents are somewhat easier than on a Windows machine. You use Alt+nnn or Alt+nnnn where the n's represent the specific accented letter you're attempting. I found this table: http://www.starr.net/is/type/altnum.htm

Neil

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 05, 2009 Feb 05, 2009

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In those now-rare instances where a font lacks an accented character, you
can create one similar to the way you did formerly by using kerning. Of
course, you run into those cases where the accent just won't fit the letter
properly and you end up spending time adjusting the size and baseline shift
of the accent. I suppose if it is a long composition you could record a
macro and assign a shortcut -- but I'd rather choose a font with true
accented glyphs whenever possible.

Trez

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Guide ,
Feb 05, 2009 Feb 05, 2009

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The easiest way of generating accented and other special characters in Windows (at least since Windows 95) is to activate ( "install") the included US-International keyboard layout. (Yes, I'm forced to use a Windows box from time to time, and I work in eight languages.)

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306560

It's even easier than on my Mac as it came from the Apple factory (on which I use a custom keyboard layout that makes it the easiest way of all. :))

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Guide ,
Feb 05, 2009 Feb 05, 2009

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>In those now-rare instances where a font lacks an accented character

I would just avoid that font. It's very likely to be cr@p anyway.

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Explorer ,
Feb 05, 2009 Feb 05, 2009

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I agree with Ramón on this. Most of the fonts that have been properly constructed by typographic designers will have the Western accents commonly needed. Some poorly crafted fonts don't (which is not the least of the problems they're likely to have).

Neil

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 05, 2009 Feb 05, 2009

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Nobody reads the last few words of a post... ;^)

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New Here ,
Feb 05, 2009 Feb 05, 2009

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Thank you, all :)

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Guide ,
Feb 05, 2009 Feb 05, 2009

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Trez,
>Nobody reads the last few words of a post... ;^)

Oh, I read them. I just didn't give much weight to them. :D

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Explorer ,
Feb 06, 2009 Feb 06, 2009

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Trez,

I read 'em too. But by the importance you gave to the front end of your post, I felt comment was necessary.

Neil

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 06, 2009 Feb 06, 2009

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Hey folks -- I was just joking around using a variant of the perpetual
refrain from the Photoshop forum. I'm glad for the emphasis on using good
fonts with a proper set of glyphs. The alternative is cringe-worthy.

Trez

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Explorer ,
Feb 06, 2009 Feb 06, 2009

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Agreed.

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Explorer ,
Feb 06, 2009 Feb 06, 2009

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>The alternative is cringe-worthy.

Agreed.

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New Here ,
Feb 07, 2009 Feb 07, 2009

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FYI, all, I went with the kerning method, since what I needed was a cap "O" with horizontal line above it (for a Greek word in a heading).

You all are the best, as always :)

--Diana

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Participant ,
Feb 09, 2009 Feb 09, 2009

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For next time, Diana, consider using the overline function of the software to create a bar over a character. It may be too wide on an O, but on narrower letters, it is a quicker fix than kerning an accent.

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