OpenType Alternate Character Tutorial

Posted by: Cameron Sweeney | Date: Saturday, 12th December, 2009 | Filed under: Blog

Opentype Alternate Characters

Some of our fonts contain alternate characters. This tutorial shows how to access them using Adobe Illustrator.

The reason I have chosen Illustrator to demonstrate this is because, I think it remains the best program for small amounts of text as everything remains vector and therefore the best possible quality. In addition, Illustrator (and InDesign) allow for much more powerful text editing over Photoshop.


Step 1 – Create your text

Open Illustrator, create a New Document and add your desired text using a well designed typeface. For this example, I have chosen the RipeType logo, which uses the Ripe family.

Opentype Alternate Characters Tutorial step one


Step 2 – Select the character that you want to change

Once you have added your text, select the character that you would like to change. As you can see from the image, I want to change the default lowercase “y” to the one with a loop in the descender.

Opentype Alternate Characters Tutorial step two


Step 3 – Open the Glyphs window

From the top menu, click the “Type” menu item, then click the “Glyphs” submenu item. This will open the Glyphs window.

Opentype Alternate Characters Tutorial step three


Step 4 – Insert Alternate Character

In the Glyphs window, find the character that you want, and double click it to insert it. Because the “y” is selected in your text area, it will replace it with the new character.

Opentype Alternate Characters Tutorial step four


Step 5 – The end result

The end result shows exactly want we wanted to achieve with the RipeType logo.

Opentype Alternate Characters Tutorial step five

In closing, Glyphs are a very powerful typographic feature, especially for titles and logotypes so try it out for yourself, some fonts contain wonderful surprises! Enjoy!



About the Author

Cameron Sweeney is a freelance type, web and graphic designer from Hobart, Australia.



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One Response to “OpenType Alternate Character Tutorial”

  1. Enlaces en mi del.icio.us, 4 03 2010 | Vectoralia
    March 5th, 2010 at 2:16 am

    [...] OpenType Alternate Character Tutorial | Ripe Type. High quality, affordable OpenType typefaces. – [...]


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