When Windows 2000 launched, there was a new typeface included called Palatino Linotype. What was special about it? Quite a bit actually. The description that comes with the typeface explains why.
“Palatino Linotype is the definitive new version of Hermann Zapf’s Palatino, which since its design in 1950 has become one of the world’s most widely used typefaces. For this new digital version, Professor Zapf has drawn numerous additional characters to include an extensive range of ligatures, numerals, fractions and support for Cyrillic and both monotonic and polytonic Greek. Special care has been taken to enhance the quality of the letterforms when displayed on the computer screen, ensuring that Palatino Linotype is highly legible whether displayed on the screen or in print. This typeface is ideal for use in extended text settings such as books, periodicals and catalogs.”
Palatino Linotype was the first western OpenType font Microsoft shipped. It has built in support for more sophisticated typography, including the ability to set ligatures, true small caps, different numeral styles, and a variety of special alternate characters, such as the swash Capital Qu combination, as seen in the sample above. I will be following up in future posts on the typographic power of OpenType which is now fully supported in Windows Presentation Foundation. For an online demo of the font in action, please visit Tim Sneath’s site here, where you can also view some of the markup in XAML, showing how the OpenType features can be specified.
Update: To view the online demo, you will need to be running Windows Vista, or to view on XP, the .NET Framework 3.0 should be installed.