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Macro Substitutions

Tuesday February 17th, 2004, par Rich Hopkins

Just as proficienty in search-and-change word processing capabilities is very useful, likewise it is most helpful to know and understand how to create macros for automated character substitutions. The first and most important issue relates to font variations (bold or italic, and small caps). When working with a computer, the system actually designates a second font file when italics or boldface are called. If such a font is not available, the computer creates sloped roman characters for italics, and undersized capitals to represent small caps, and it "heavies up" letters to make them bold. Generally, the computer manipulates the capitals, shrinking them proportionately, when small capitals are called. These computer calls are most helpful in allowing you to see what the finished text will look like. But after most decisions on line endings, font changes, etc., are made, then everything must be converted into hard characters within the single MacMono font you have created for the job.

I have written four macros to handle font issues.

(1) Quotation marks macro This macro searches the entire text for opening and closing double quote marks, and also opening and closing single quote marks, as well as apostrophes. I have written simple logic into the macros so that if a space preceeds the quote mark, it’s converted into a fixed single opening quote mark from the Monotype die case. If it’s a double quote mark, it puts two opening quote marks into the file. Likewise for closing quotes (if followed by a space, preceeded by a period, etc.). This logic of replacements is an over-simplification, but the macro’s replace- ments always can be changed after the macro runs wherever an inappropriate substitution has been made. There always are instances where you’ll have to inter- vene and physically place the proper mark in its place in the file.

(2) Italics This macro searches for every capital, every figure, and every lowercase letter designated as italic by the word processor and converts those characters to the italic characters included in the special MacMono font. Likewise it searches for f combina- tions and substitutes ligatures, and it replaces the four common Monotype italic punctuation marks (;:!?), while leaving all others as roman.

(3) Small capitals In straight typing, these are lowercase letters. So when changed to small caps by the word processing software, it’s merely a code. This macro searches for all lowercase characters designated with a small cap code and replaces them with the actual small capitals within the MacMono font. The small cap ampersand (&) is a problem for it generally cannot be designated in a computer font. I have found, however, if the standard ampersand is included in the small cap text with the small cap designation activated, my macro will take that character and turn it into a true small cap ampersand.

(4) Ligatures Finally, all text which has not been converted is scanned for f combinations (and other special characters if they’re available in the Monotype font) and those replacements likewise are made.



Dans la même rubrique :
Getting A Bit More Technical
Text Formatting Macros
Physical Changes to the Caster
How MacMono Works
The MacMono Interface
Technical Computer Details
Overview of How Files Are Prepared
Overview of the Composition Caster

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