Missing Special Characters in My Font?

Answered by Jay Nelson, Editor and Publisher, Design Tools Monthly

I have to send out a notice including the name "Antonin Dvorak", and I can't find the special character to make the symbol over the r in his last name r. How can I make the r in Quark?

It’s not a function of QuarkXPress. It’s a function of your font and your operating system. If you’re using a Mac, just type Shift-Option-t. That will give you the top part. Then type an r and kern back under the top part.

If you’re using Windows, try the Glyphs palette in QuarkXPress or in InDesign. That should show you all the characters in your font and you can double-click one of them to paste it into your text.

If that’s not working, then maybe your font doesn’t contain the character you need. If that’s the case, then you’ll need to choose a font that has that character. Windows users can use the “Character Map” utility under Start> Accessories to see the characters in a font. Maybe that will help.

There’s also an open source utility called Quick Key Character Grid that inserts any character with one click: http://nathanaeljones.com/quickkey/.

Also, the AllChars utility provides a quick, easy-to-remember way of creating accents like é Ü ç î æ and special characters like ƒ ² ‰ © £ ± ß ° 1/2 ¿ « » ™ „ in most Windows programs: http://allchars.zwolnet.com/ http://allchars.zwolnet.com/.

In case it helps, here is a table of the Extended ASCII set in Windows/DOS: http://www.ascii-code.net.

P.S. I noticed when I attempted to send this email to you that my email program put up a warning that it would have to send this message with Unicode text formatting. That tells me that the r character isn’t part of the Basic or Extended ASCII character set, but rather is a glyph in the gigantic Unicode set. This means that you need to use an OpenType font (not PostScript or TrueType -- which narrows down the search!). However, not all OpenType fonts include these foreign characters, so you may need to try a few.

This question was answered by Jay Nelson, Publisher & Editor, Design Tools Monthly. We love DTM's tips and advice and think you will, too. For a free sample PRINTED issue, contact Design Tools Monthly at 303-543-8400, e-mail info@design-tools.com, or go to their website: www.design-tools.com.

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