1. Salamahtype
  2. »
  3. Blog
  4. »
  5. How To Use The OpenType Feature In Any Software

How To Use The OpenType Feature In Any Software

March 21, 2024

opentype in font

OpenType is a font format developed by Adobe in conjunction with Microsoft, Apple, and others. It is an advanced font format that allows the addition of hundreds of “features” to a font. Have you ever wanted to use the OpenType feature in any software either Microsoft Office or Adobe Acrobat but didn’t know how? This article will briefly explain the OpenType feature and how you can use this feature in Microsoft Office or Adobe Acrobat Version 8.0 or higher.

What Are OpenType Features?

OpenType features are advanced typographic features that can be used in any application that supports OpenType fonts. They provide an easy way to apply styling effects and make the text more readable for your users. Here are some examples of common OpenType features:

  • Stylistic Sets: These are sets of characters with alternative designs, such as bold, italic, and small caps. The feature defines how the character should be displayed based on what type of font is being used. Stylistic sets often contain different versions of the same letters or glyphs, such as the lowercase ‘a,’ and they are activated by selecting a Stylistic Set to use manually.

  • Contextual Alternates: Alternates are glyphs that can be used in place of another glyph. They can be used to create a more prosperous typographic design or just add variation to your text. However, Contextual Alternates are similar to Stylistic Sets in that once enabled, the wide varieties of glyphs are automatically swapped out based on context, such as the first or final letter of a word having extra flourishes.

  • Ligatures: Ligatures are two or more characters combined into one glyph, usually to avoid collision between letters in different words. Professional calligraphers have designed many ligatures over the years, but computers create them automatically when they recognize words that collide. Some examples of ligatures include fi and fl, which are commonly used in Latin-based languages like French, German and Spanish.


Opentype Fonts Support

Opentype fonts are commonly used in web design. This is because they allow you to create more complex, impossible designs with the .ttf (True Type Font) format.

OpenType fonts are cross-platform; they may be used on both a Mac and a PC. OpenType features can also be utilized in any text-creation desktop software on your computer. Please keep in mind that not all programs support the Opentype Feature.

As a result, most software lets you utilize a font’s basic character set (Ex: ABC, 123). However, not all programs will instantly enable you to use complex OpenType features (such as alternates, ligatures, or swashes).

Using the Opentype Feature in Any Software

Using the OpenType feature in any software is easy and takes only a few minutes. Let’s look at how you can use this feature in Microsoft Word, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, and more.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is the most popular word-processing program. It’s used by everyone from students to business professionals. This software can create and send documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. To use OpenType capabilities in Word, pick the text and go to format> Font, then go to the Advanced tab and select a Stylistic set from the menu or enable Contextual Alternates.

Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop is an extremely powerful tool for making changes to your text. You can change the font and style with just a few clicks and adjust the alignment and spacing. However, there are times when you need more control over your text.

The OpenType functionality in Photoshop may be found in the Character panel, accessed via the Window menu. There are various useful shortcuts in the main panel (highlighted below) and a list accessible via the top right menu icon.

Adobe Illustrator


Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphic design software that allows users to create digital graphics and logos. It will enable users to create typefaces with OpenType features, such as ligatures, fractions, and small caps.

Illustrator differs from Photoshop in that the OpenType functions are not in the Character panel but rather in their own OpenType panel, which may be reached via the Window > Type menu. This will display all of your options for that text box. Select “OpenType” from the options menu, and you can choose from several different fonts that include OpenType features.


InDesign is a very popular software for printing and creating documents. It has a feature that allows you to use OpenType features, which are not available in other word processing and desktop publishing programs.

InDesign OpenType capabilities are activated using the Character window. Unlike Photoshop, there are presently no shortcuts in the main panel, so you must get to OpenType by clicking the menu button in the upper right corner of the window.


A sketch is vector-based software that allows you to create beautiful and professional designs. It is one of the most popular programs for UI/UX design, website design, and graphic design. You can use Sketch to create your projects’ logos, icons, and other graphics.

Sketch also uses the usual macOS Fonts window, although, unlike Apple programs, it is accessed through the View > Show Fonts menu. Display the fonts window, then click the small gear icon button and choose Typography to see a list of possible capabilities.

Apple Apps

Apple’s Pages and Keynote are excellent tools for creating beautiful documents and slideshows. But they also have features that will help you create better documents. OpenType capabilities are supported by all native Apple programs, including Pages, Keynote, Numbers, and TextEdit.

To begin, open the Fonts window, which may be accessed via the Format menu or the keyboard shortcut CMD+T. Then, select Typography from the drop-down menu. A list of possible features will appear.


OpenType features are an exciting and powerful tool, but they may seem a little intimidating to the unfamiliar user. Once set up, they can make all the difference in your design process. Whether you’re using a PC or Mac, many applications support OpenType features; luckily, setting them up is easy. With just a few easy steps, you can unlock the power of numeral forms and ligatures for any project!

Share :

Related Post

Scroll to top