[XeTeX] Res: small caps not searcheable

David Perry hospes.primus at verizon.net
Tue Aug 4 18:52:54 CEST 2009

First, let me say that I misunderstood what Peter meant by "faulty," so 
ignore that part of my previous message.  (Not that using Word's fake 
small caps is a great solution for people who care about excellent 
typography, but they are certainly searchable.)

Thanks *very* much to Jonathan for clarifying this so well; it should 
also answer Flavio's questions.

Now if someone has a new Adobe font and could test whether the PDF is 
searchable, that would be great.  Jonathan's right that it will depend 
on the glyph names.

 > I expect this is a legacy of the days before Adobe had any OpenType
 > feature support in their apps; they wanted to make the small caps
 > accessible, so they encoded them in the PUA
Absolutely so.  When I started making my Cardo font ten years ago, I 
used PUA small caps since at that time there was exactly one app 
(InDesign) that could use OT features, if I recall correctly.

 > the world of Unicode and OpenType, that is the wrong approach, as
 > confirmed by the fact that they've stopped doing this in newer fonts.
For the long term, certainly not using PUA values is right.  I'm still 
not sure what to do right now, given the small number of OT-capable 
apps.  I think (but now need to confirm) that PDFs produced by InDesign 
(and perhaps other programs) can be searched even if they are dealing 
with a font that uses PUA values.


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