Requesting alternate glyphs from plain text

From: William_J_G Overington <>
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2012 10:52:22 +0100 (BST)

An increasing number of OpenType fonts are including alternate glyphs for such characters as lowercase g and lowercase l. Some fonts have many alternate glyphs. Some of those fonts include, for example, a swash lowercase e that may, if desired, be used, for example, at the end of a line of poetry.
I am thinking that it would be good if a request to use an alternate glyph could be expressed in plain text. This would allow text requesting use of alternate glyphs to be interchanged using plain text files.
One possibility would be to allow Variation Selectors to be used for this purpose.
This would mean, for example, that either of two types of lowercase g could be specifically requested, if so desired. It would mean that a poet could specifically request that a swash lowercase e be used at the end of a line of poetry, if such an alternate glyph is available in the font.
Is that possible? Is it desirable? Would it cause problems?
William Overington
21 August 2012
Received on Tue Aug 21 2012 - 04:54:19 CDT

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