Fonts with Mellel
A new and wonderful video is here — and it’s all about fonts. You can view it using the link below:
Following is a transcript of the video:
Hi and welcome to a Mellel quick tutorial. In this tutorial we’ll discuss fonts, how to install them, and how to use them in Mellel.
What are fonts
Fonts are components used to display text on a computer screen or with a printer. The font is essentially a collection of images called “glyphs” which represent the text characters, punctuation marks, and symbols. The glyphs in the font usually share a common design aesthetic.
Most fonts come in several varieties called “faces” which share the common design of the font but with a different weight or slant. They are intended to look different for the purpose of emphasising certain words or indicating a quote. Faces such as bold, italic and condensed are quite common with many fonts but not all fonts have all the variations. Some fonts have many faces and some fonts will only come with one. One of the faces is usually designated as the ‘normal’ face and is called “regular”.
Applying a font
Every character in a Mellel document is drawn using a font, you can see which font is used to draw a specific range of text by selecting a piece of text and looking at the Font popup menu in the Character palette. Click the Font popup menu to see the list of available fonts. Choose a different font name to apply that font to the selected text.
Right below the font popup menu you will find the “Face” popup menu. This menu shows you the current face used in the text. Clicking the Face menu will display the faces available for the selected font. As mentioned earlier, the variety of faces changes from font to font. For example, a font like Helvetica Neue comes with 14 faces, but a font like Times only comes with 4 faces. Some fonts, like Impact, come with only one face. Choose a different face name to apply that face to the selected text.
When applying a font to a range of text, Mellel tries to map the faces used in that range. For example, the following text is set in Helvetica Neue and uses the regular, bold and italic faces. Applying Times on that text will preserve the bold and italic distinction by using the Times Bold face and the Times Italic face. This is possible because Times has a bold and italic faces but if we tried to apply a font like Zapfino, which only contains a regular face, the bold and italic distinctions will be lost.
The list of available fonts is quite long by default, and as we’ll see later, installing additional fonts is easy — and installing them will make the list even longer. To help navigate through this long list of fonts you can use the following tips. First, if you know the font name you can simply type it. Click the font popup menu to open it and start typing the name of the font. As you type, Mellel will quickly scroll to a the font that most closely matches what you type. As you type more letters Mellel can pinpoint the exact font. Once the right font is selected you can press return to choose that font or you can select a near-by font by clicking its name.
Another useful tip is the recent font list. As you apply fonts in the document, Mellel will keep a list of the last five fonts you chose at the top of the font list. For example, let’s choose Times here. As I did not choose Times in this session, I will need to locate Times in the list, I’ll type T – I – M and here it is; type return to choose the font. Now lets apply Times again, click the Font menu again, and as you can see, Times is right there at the top of the menu.
Mellel also gives you an option to apply the common font faces using a keyboard shortcut. To apply the bold face on some text select it and type command+B, Mellel will apply the bold face. Typing command+I will apply the italic face. If you type command+B on text that is already using the bold face Mellel will revert the face to regular.
The list of fonts in the font popup menu is long and there’s a good variety of fonts for many uses and languages. But sometimes we might need or want to add fonts to the list. For example, look at the following text: בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית בָּרָ֣א אֱלֹהִ֑ים אֵ֥ת הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וְאֵ֥ת הָאָֽרֶץ. This is the first verse of the Hebrew bible and is the most complex type of Hebrew text as it contains both vowel marks and cantillation marks (which are also called “taamim”). Using a built-in font like Arial Hebrew or New Peninim doesn’t produce a proper rendering of the text and cantillation marks and vowels run over each-other. The solution is to use a font which contains the necessary knowledge to render this type of text.
Luckily for us the Society of Biblical Literature provides a very fine Hebrew font, for free, for this explicit purpose. The font is called SBL Hebrew and a quick internet search will quickly lead us to their site. Let’s click download, approve it, and here’s the font.
To install the font, double-click the font file and a little preview will appear. Click Install Font. Now that the font is installed we can use it with Mellel, select the text and click the Font popup men. The font name is “SBL Hebrew,” but the font is missing from the fonts list… Why is that? Well, that’s because Mellel builds the available fonts list when you run it. It cannot detect additional fonts while it’s running. So, let’s quit Mellel and launch it again. Click the font popup menu and type “sbl”… here it is. As you can see the font looks very nice and the cantillation marks now don’t run over the vowel marks.
Here’s an interesting question. What happens when you install a font on your computer, use it in a Mellel document and then send the document to a colleague that doesn’t have the font installed? In other words, what happens when a font is used in a document, but the font itself is missing from your computer?
Here’s a document using the font “Antaro”, among others. This font has a distinct design so it will be easy to see what happens. I’ll disable the font on the computer and run Mellel. A quick look in the font menu reveals that the font is not available.
Now let’s open our document. As you can see, the text that was set in “Antaro” is still there but it is not displayed using “Antaro” but rather with Helvetica. The font has been replaced. Now, let’s have a look at the font popup menu, it still shows “Antaro” but notice that the font’s name is parenthesised. The font has been replaced on screen but Mellel still remembers that this text is using that font and this distinction is not lost. Not only that, I can now select some text and apply “Antaro” to it. The text is still shown in Helvetica but the font menu shows “Antaro”. What’s the point? Let’s see what happens when we open the document after enabling the font again. As you can see, “Antaro” is now shown in the document, even for the text we applied it to when it was missing. The meaning of all that is that if you use a special font, and then open the document on a computer that doesn’t have the font, your document formatting will be preserved. You can feel confident opening and editing your document on any computer.
That’s it for this quick tutorial, thanks for watching. Let us know what you think in the comments and don’t forget to like the video, and subscribe to our channel.
We’ll see you next time.