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Re: [css3-text] hanging-punctuation:last and western use-cases for hanging punctuation

From: John Hudson <tiro@tiro.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2011 17:47:44 -0800
Message-ID: <4D6072C0.8080502@tiro.com>
To: Koji Ishii <kojiishi@gluesoft.co.jp>
CC: www-style@w3.org
Koji Ishii wrote:

> As "Western use-cases and hyphens" are mentioned in the spec as an issue[1], I then discussed with a guy at Adobe about them.

> According to him, "hanging punctuation" must be distinguished from "optical margin alignment". Wikipedia[2] defines these two a related but a separate concept.

I would classify hanging punctuation as a subset method within optical 
margin alignment. For historical mechanical reasons, it is a method that 
was used independently of other methods that are more difficult, and 
resolved the most grievous problem of margin alignment: the intrusion of 
white space into the text block around punctuation marks.* The method 
works because a small black mark intruding in a large white margin is 
less distorting of the text block than a larger white area intruding 
into the mixed texture of the line of type. More sophisticated methods 
of optical margin alignment also take into account line-ending letter 
shapes. In my experience, such methods really need to be script or style 
specific -- and size specific, obviously --, as optical margin alignment 
algorithms such as that used in Adobe InDesign, while working very well 
for many Latin text fonts, produce the wrong effect for many other 
writing systems and font styles, ironically disrupting the text block 
edges rather than balancing them.

JH


* I remember manually hanging punctuation in PageMaker, using separate 
story items in the margin. It was a major hassle, especially if there 
were stop-presses editorial changes that affected text flow.
Received on Sunday, 20 February 2011 01:48:24 GMT

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