How to Access OpenType Features in Any Software

Typography is more than just letters on a screen; it’s an art form that can enhance your design’s impact and message. OpenType fonts, with their rich set of features, offer a world of creative possibilities. From ligatures that improve letter combinations to swashes that add flair, OpenType features can truly elevate your design. But how do you access these features in various software applications? Let’s dive in and demystify the process.

1. Understanding OpenType: OpenType fonts are versatile and come packed with features that go beyond the basics of type design. These features include alternate characters, ligatures, stylistic sets, swashes, and more. They provide designers with an array of design choices to tailor the typography to their unique style.

2. Selecting the Right Font: The first step is choosing an OpenType font that suits your project. Look for fonts that offer the specific features you want to use. Many foundries mention OpenType features in the font description, making it easier to select the perfect one for your project.

3. OpenType Features in Adobe Creative Suite: Adobe software, like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, makes accessing OpenType features relatively simple. Once you’ve selected your text, navigate to the “Character” panel. Look for a small box with an arrow in the corner – that’s your OpenType features menu. Clicking on it reveals the available features for that font.

4. Microsoft Office and OpenType: Even in Microsoft Office applications like Word and PowerPoint, you can harness the power of OpenType features. Highlight your text and head to the “Font” menu. There, you’ll find a “Typography” section that lets you toggle ligatures, stylistic sets, and more, depending on the font.

5. Web Design and OpenType: Bringing OpenType features into web design requires a bit more work. Utilize CSS and the font-feature-settings property to activate specific features. For example, to enable ligatures, use:

font-feature-settings: "liga" 1;
6. OpenType in Other Software: Not using Adobe or Microsoft Office? Don’t worry – many design and text-editing software applications offer support for OpenType features. Check your software’s documentation to learn how to access these features within the program.

7. Exploring and Experimenting: The best way to learn about OpenType features is through exploration and experimentation. Take a playful approach and experiment with different features to see how they transform your text.

8. Enhance Your Design with OpenType: OpenType features offer a treasure trove of design options, from elegant ligatures to decorative swashes. By incorporating these features, you can give your typography a distinct and refined look that captures your design’s essence.

In a world where design possibilities are endless, OpenType features empower designers to add a touch of sophistication and personality to their projects. So, explore, experiment, and embrace the artistry of typography with OpenType features – regardless of the software you use. Your creativity knows no bounds!