Creating Fantasy Alphabet/Ligature Question [New to Program]

Hi there,

I have an odd question and hope someone with more experience with the program would be able to guide me in the correct direction.

Essentially I am trying to use the program right now to create an alternate alphabet for a game and story with my friends and the language has vowels in the location of accents/diacritics, above the letters. Initially I tried to simply use the glyphs for diacritic components (acute, grave, circumflex, etc.), however because the database doesn’t seem to have many consonants with the same accents/diacritics, I instead tried to use Ligatures. In other words while T and E would have their own glyphs individually, but T_E would appear as the T glyph with a diacritic above it.

I got this to work fine in the program by following the ligature tutorial. However I tried bringing it into MS Word and it did not take, only typing in “T” and “A” separately. I did also make sure to check in Word to see that Ligatures were turned on but it did not help.


Why do you substitute T+E instead of using a mark glyph for that?
Could you post some screenshot from the glyphs and the ligatures. It is easier to understand what you are trying to do.

I am not sure I really understand what you are trying to do. Can you send me the .glyphs file? To support (at) (this website without www), please. I will have a look.

Let me give a little more detail, I will also send the .glyphs file to the support email.

My first instinct was to use a mark glyph. If I understand the process correctly this basically is to use the combination components such as “dieresiscomp, circumflexcomp, etc.” This part worked well when things like “ecircumflex” exist in the program so readily. However the irony is that I’m using these diacritics to represent vowels and most of these diacritical combinations exist for vowels. (i.e. there is an “Aacute” but no “Bacute” or “Kacute”) I did try to add these combinations through unicode, but couldn’t quite get the hang of it, so I’m not sure if this way is still viable. I tried adding name like “Bacute” in hopes the combination would naturally happen, but it doesn’t seem to add the Unicode number and simply goes unused in the Other tab.

After looking through some more tutorials I thought ligatures may be able to work in place of diacritic combinations, and when I type in the glyphs app, it seems to work, but does not transfer over to programs like Microsoft Word.

For reference, each base consonant is considered a “Consonant+A” sound, so the “R” glyph by itself represents the “RA” sound. Each mark above the letter would change or remove the vowel sound as follows:

E, Single upwards right stroke. (Currently glyphed to "acutecomp & “acute”)
I, Single upwards left stroke. (Currently glyphed to “gravecomp” & “grave”)
O, Double upwards right stroke. (Currently glyphed to “dieresiscomp” & “dieresis”)
U, Double upwards left stroke. (Currently glyphed to “circumflexcomp” & “circumflex”)
Silent [Removes “A” sound] (Currently glyphed to “ringcomp” & “ring”)

I have one test ligature, “t_e.liga” which look correct in the program, but as I said earlier doesn’t transfer out well.

This is not an issue if you are using Mark Positioning rather than precomposed diacritics. What you need is a keyboard layout that allows typing combining accents (that is why their names end in comb, not comp).

Since you are creating a new alphabet, I recommend:

  1. Take a section in the Private Use Area, and repurpose the codes there for your fantasy alphabet. This has been done before.
  2. Create a keyboard layout with Ukelele for the same code points. It is pretty easy.
  3. Make sure you define your base letters as letters, and your vowels as marks. Consider creating your own GlyphData.xml.

None of this is rocket science, but that would be the most correct way to deal with it, because you are not only creating new glyphs, but new characters. Make sure you understand the difference.

Perfect, thanks for all the help!