How to change letters to alternates individually?

Hi there,

I am working on a font where I would like to offer alternates. I give you an example so it will be more easy to understand. Let say I have the word “asana”. I would like to be able to replace the second a of “asana”. If I use a.ss01, all my a’s will change and I just want to change the second one. Then, what should I use and how will I be able to test it?

Thanks for your help,


Have you read the tutorials about OpenType feature? The third and fourth will help.

Hi Georg,

I checked all these tutorials, but I don’t find what I am looking for. I want to go in Illustrator for example, type a word, select a letter, and have below the alternate I designed for that letter. I want to be able to modify it manually. In tutorial 3, it is about creating automatic changes in letters and tutorial 4 is about fina, isol, init which are specific and also automated. I am looking for something really simple. I tried with .alt which would be the more simple solution for it but when I export my font and try to change a letter to the alternate I created, nothing happens.

Try to understand the third tutorial. It will give you what you need.

Ok thanks :slight_smile:

Contrary to your findings in your first post, Stylistic Sets do work that way in Illustrator. Maybe the trick is to first type, then select. Of course, if you start typing right after a ss01 glyph, it will keep the ss01 for what you type.

Can you send a link to the tutorial? I will watch it in detail..…I am getting relevant design skills.

And parts 2 through 4 are linked at the bottom of the page.

Thanks Georg and Rainer for your help. I got my alternates working using Stylistic Set. I could also get my .init and .fina working thanks to the lookups you give in tut3 if I remember.

Now I have another question and I am not sure if it is a problem that can be resolved. Sometimes working with AI, PS or ID reminds me when I was doing websites in IE6, 7 or 8 :stuck_out_tongue:

So. Now I can write a word in these softwares with .init and .fina working fine. Let’s say I call it A.init. I created alternates of the glyph. These are A.ss01.init and A.ss02.init. When I highlight A.init, I have the possibility to change it to A.fina, A, A.ss01 and A.ss02 but not A.ss01.init and not A.ss02.init. Is it normal ? Did I forgot something? Or do I have to do A.init > A.ss01 to get access to A.ss01.init?

Thanks for your help!!


Update 1: I found out how to have A.init > A.ss01.init when I highlight A.init but I cannot get A.init > A.ss02.init.

Update 2: I think there is something I don’t get here. A.init will be automatically replaced by A.ss01.init and I understand that it cannot be replaced by 2 glyphs. But what if I don’t want it to be automatic and let people choose the replacement glyph when they highlight the glyph they want to change?

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Update your aalt feature. InDesign takes the info from there IIRC.

Ok, I figured it out! Now I have another problem. I have A.ss01 and A.ss01.init. In InDesign and Illustrator, when I highlight manually A.ss01, I can choose A.ss01.init. But when in Photoshop, I cannot get A.ss01.init. Is it “normal”? Did I miss something?

Also, should I put the code “sub A.ss01 by A.ss01.init” in feature “init” or “ss01” or both?

Thanks for your help,

Sorry I do not have Photoshop installed and I cannot test PS’s OT capabilities for you.

  • Into init, and it will build automatically if you have name them both that way.
  • and the contextual substitutions (as shown in the tutorial) into calt,
  • and make sure the features are in this order: (1) ss01 (2) calt (3) init.

Ok, no worries, do you know if it supposed to behave the same than AI and ID?

Ok, I am going to check it is in the right order. Thanks!