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Tech: A font for your song book.

Bert 19 Mar 14 - 09:54 AM
Jack Campin 19 Mar 14 - 10:07 AM
GUEST,leeneia 19 Mar 14 - 11:09 AM
Jack Campin 19 Mar 14 - 11:23 AM
GUEST,Grishka 19 Mar 14 - 12:38 PM
Joe Offer 19 Mar 14 - 12:44 PM
Jack Campin 19 Mar 14 - 01:19 PM
IanC 19 Mar 14 - 01:36 PM
GUEST,Grishka 19 Mar 14 - 02:30 PM
JohnInKansas 19 Mar 14 - 06:26 PM
Bert 19 Mar 14 - 06:41 PM
GUEST,leeneia 20 Mar 14 - 10:32 AM
Bert 20 Mar 14 - 01:03 PM
Bill D 20 Mar 14 - 01:18 PM
Andrez 21 Mar 14 - 03:57 AM
Bert 21 Mar 14 - 05:46 AM
JohnInKansas 21 Mar 14 - 01:24 PM
Jack Campin 01 Apr 14 - 11:11 AM
IanC 01 Apr 14 - 11:52 AM
Tootler 01 Apr 14 - 02:21 PM
Susan of DT 02 Apr 14 - 07:16 AM
GUEST,Grishka 02 Apr 14 - 08:51 AM
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Subject: Tech: A font for your song book.
From: Bert
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 09:54 AM

As I know someone with dyslexia, I installed open dyslexic on my computer and set it up as my default font.

It is a little unusual at first but quite a pleasant font. I have been using it for some time, but it wasn't until I was looking for another generic font that I realized how easy it was to read.

It is great when trying to read something a little too far away, so that makes it a great font for song books as it can be more easily read from your music stand.

You can find it here


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Subject: RE: Tech: A font for your song book.
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 10:07 AM

I've always found Comic Sans works pretty well for that - my vision isn't that great. It has a good reputation for readability by people with visual problems.

Have you tried any objective tests to compare them?


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Subject: RE: Tech: A font for your song book.
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 11:09 AM

Hi, Bert. Thanks for the info.

Can you post something on the Mudcat in the font?

For example, here's a post I would glance at and never read, because the sentences are too long and the type is too packed together:

"I'm half wondering from a cursory first scan whether this is not so much a study of some of the nature of its purported subject as a plea for a wider abstraction of the corpus of folk music as a whole: he doesn't seem to have got much further than we have in the question of what is folk music, for starters. I kept picking up major threads such as uncertainty of the objectivity of the Rous taxonomy and the untapped wealth of sources coming online, not only from the RVW Library but also from the British Library's huge broadsheet collection, and in a way the analyses he does on just a couple of Anglo-Scottish ballads, fascinating and amusing though they are, appear to simply be pathfinder samples in addressing the wider question of what the heritage tells us"

Can you post that in OpenDylsexic so I can see if that makes it bearable?


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Subject: RE: Tech: A font for your song book.
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 11:23 AM

You aren't going to sing that, I hope.

It isn't likely that a the best font for blocks of prose would also be the best one for lines of song text. (I find Palatino the best for prose on paper, Georgia for prose rendered by browsers on screen).

The font is free, and only you can know what font works best for you on what material.


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Subject: RE: Tech: A font for your song book.
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 12:38 PM

Leeneia, you are quoting an anonymous guest who obviously intended to parody the "scholarly" language of a book description contributed by Jack Campin (- hopefully quoted from somewhere else). The adequate font is Comic Sans, as Jack pointed out before.


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Subject: RE: Tech: A font for your song book.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 12:44 PM

This, if it works right, is Comic Sans.
Don't think we can post in dyslexic here.

Font Face:

You can set any font you like using face attribute but be aware that if the user viewing the page doesn't have the font installed, they will not be able to see it. Instead they will default to Times New Roman of your font with size attribute. See below few examples on using different font face

Example:

<font face="Times New Roman" size="5">Times New Roman</font>
<font face="Verdana" size="5">Verdana</font>
<font face="Comic sans MS" size="5">Comic Sans MS</font>
<font face="WildWest" size="5">WildWest</font>
<font face="Bedrock" size="5">Bedrock</font>


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Subject: RE: Tech: A font for your song book.
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 01:19 PM

The only thing wrong with the text Leeneia quoted was that the sentences were too long. The meaning was clear enough and I doubt it was meant to be a parody. (There is a way of making long prose sentences more readable, which has been tested by 300 years of experience and doesn't involve font design: lay it out in narrow columns).

OpenDyslexic looks at first glance like it would give me a headache. I'm shortsighted and presbyopic (very little accommodation left) and it isn't aimed at helping my problems.

The Chalkboard font you get with Macs has a lot of the advantages of Comic Sans - not quite as readable, but snooty graphic designer types usually haven't heard of it, so they won't make annoyingly ignorant comments about you using it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: A font for your song book.
From: IanC
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 01:36 PM

Looks pretty bad to me too. Too bottom-heavy.

Is this based on anything scientific?

Ian


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Subject: RE: Tech: A font for your song book.
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 02:30 PM

Jack, we will only know if that GUEST comes out. Whether or not it was so intended, that was a good parody: perfectly correct, still "comic". The long sentences are hard to read, but more significantly, their informative content is much shorter. Scholarly thoughts can be complicated enough; scholarly language should not be any more complicated than necessary.—

Fonts: yet another tragedy, this time of technology. Web pages can specify arbitrary font names such as "Irrealis lightweight condensed" - the receiving browser is likely to be dumbfounded and simply use its standard font instead. There are techniques of specifying a "font family" or alternatives, very awkward and unsafe for lack of consistent standardization. As a last resort, websites can instruct the browser to download a font file and install it temporarily - rarely worth the Internet traffic caused by it.

Most browsers allow their users (sc. those on whose computers they run) to choose a default font and size. Since Mudcat pages normally do not specify a font, that default font will be used - often "Times New Roman" 10 points.


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Subject: RE: Tech: A font for your song book.
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 06:26 PM

As has been pointed out, your browser can only display text using fonts that are installed on your computer. You can specify a font (typeface) for something you post, but the person reading what you post will see it that way only if they have the font on their machine.

If you really want to show someone here what your version of something looks like, about the safest way to do it would be to post a .pdf of it somewhere, and then post a link to the .pdf file here.

Some programs allow you to "embed fonts" so that the font you want the reader/receiver to use is part of the file, but so far as I've seen html doesn't allow that; and even if you copy from a .doc that has the font embedded, when you paste to an html post the "embedded font" information is lost.

With WinXP, I believe, Microsoft came up with a "new typeface" (TrueType) that was supposed to be better for web display, and it should be on almost everyone's computer. Unfortunately I haven't used it much so I'm not sure what it was called, although it might have been Calibri(??). My link to where Microsoft gave their information on that preference apparerently disappeared when Microsoft decided "our users are too stupid to use anything complicated so we won't tell you this," and deleted their "Knowledge Base."

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: A font for your song book.
From: Bert
Date: 19 Mar 14 - 06:41 PM

Jack, If I remember correctly, all of the dyslexic fonts were developed from Comic Sans.

I didn't purposely try any comparative tests, I just used it as my default font for a while and didn't think much about it until I was trying to find alternatives for my .css file. Then I noticed that the alternatives that I was looking at didn't seem so easy to read.

Leeneia, You would have to download it to your computer to be able to see it. There is nothing that I can do from this end. It is free so it would be worth a try.

As Jack says, the sentences are too long in your piece of text. Drop it into Notepad, set word wrap and then make your window narrower.

IanC, yes it is bottom heavy. As I said, it is a little unusual at first. I don't know if anything scientific has been done on dyslexic fonts. I would suspect that most of their development has been empirical. If you don't like it, don't use it.

Grishka, Yes that is a problem, especially for website developers. I use font-family: "OpenDyslexic", "Comic Sans MS", Arial; in my .css file. But as I said, the font must be on your machine for you to be able to see it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: A font for your song book.
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 10:32 AM

One thing I like about the Dyslexic font is its openness. I once read that good readers use the empty space around the letters as much as the actual letters themselves, and the font doesn't stint on that space.

(Reading that made me understand why I hate to read music with chords shown as stacks of notes. Stacking them eliminates space around the middle noteheads.)

But about Dyslexic: it bothers me that the letters seem to fade out on top. They look like they were printed on a faulty printer.

To judge the font, we need to hear from a large number of dyslexic people, and dyslexic people are unlikely to be hanging around the Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Tech: A font for your song book.
From: Bert
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 01:03 PM

It is bottom heavy, I don't know why, maybe it anchors the letters a bit.

But I wasn't proposing it for dyslexia, just that after using it for a few months, I noticed a great difference in readability when switching back to a more common font. I also find that my song book pages are easier to read on the music stand.

Hey, give it a try, if you don't like it, then don't use it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: A font for your song book.
From: Bill D
Date: 20 Mar 14 - 01:18 PM

Even though one has to have the exact font on the computer in order to see it (Comic Sans is usually one of the standards), it IS fairly easy to choose a size and even display it as bold. I would think it should be possible see almost everything in the font YOU prefer. Specifying a font, as Joe just did, is to make it what everyone sees.
I usually choose Palatino linotype as my display font. (I have thousands to choose from)


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Subject: RE: Tech: A font for your song book.
From: Andrez
Date: 21 Mar 14 - 03:57 AM

Hi folks, if anyone is interested there is a font specifically developed for vision impaired people by the American Printing House for the Blind. I came across it while looking for a font suitable for use in developing resources for people with Acquired Brain Injuries.

The link to the site and a sample of the font is below. See what you think.

APHont

Cheers,

Andrez

PS: The font is free for non commercial purposes.


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Subject: RE: Tech: A font for your song book.
From: Bert
Date: 21 Mar 14 - 05:46 AM

Thanks Andrez,

A choice of font is often a personal thing, some people like one particular font, others prefer a different one. APHont looks very readable. The more we share these things the more likely there is of someone finding one that they like.

I used to like Goudy, but it seems to have gone out of style lately.


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Subject: RE: Tech: A font for your song book.
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 21 Mar 14 - 01:24 PM

There are lots of books "about fonts" but for the most part they're just collections of "bunches of them," sometimes with claims about what the designer was trying to accomplish but with little about whether it worked.

That probably just suggests that most of the designers have been "artists" rather than "scientists." (?)

The very scant information on what makes a font more or less legible does suggest that for "dense type" as in a newspaper or magazine, a serif typeface is more legible since the serifs add information. The classic Times New Roman was designed specifically for newspapers, (including the ability to be "justified" so that both sides of the column are mostly straight) and it or very similar faces have been prefered by many for a very long time.

For a more "open type" the sans serif fonts may be more comfortable to read. The relatively low resolution (96 dpi?) for most optical display screens, compared to stuff printed on paper (1200 dpi for good book priners?) might make the sans serif styles better for your computer.

For dyslexics, it would be only a guess but a font with fairly strong "directionality," as with "bottom heavy" or a suggestion of right/left "lean" or "weighting" (lopsidedness?) might be a help, although I haven't seen more than casual mention of any strong opinions.

A lament frequently expressed by the designers is that, according to the books, you cannot copyright or patent the shapes of the characters (the design) but you can copyright the name you use for it. This leads to multiple versions of typefaces so closely similar (or identical) to each other that you can't really tell them apart, but with each version called by a different name.

As the web seems to have a support group for just about everything, there almost certainly must be sites for discussion of nearly any vision impairment that's been named, and those might be places to look for comments on what's helpful; although even on those kinds of sites finding why tit is better than tat is probably unlikely to produce much that's very well documented.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: A font for your song book.
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Apr 14 - 11:11 AM

Here's an organization that has decided to take this issue seriously:

CERN press release, 1 April 2014


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Subject: RE: Tech: A font for your song book.
From: IanC
Date: 01 Apr 14 - 11:52 AM

Is this significant ...

"The changes will take effect 1 April 2014"

I was looking for a font which looks bigger than it is so that I could use it for songs as a PDF on my kindle (these are too small for songs, really).

I usually use Comic Sans for this but I went on a comparison site and found that Franklin Gothic is smaller (i.e. you can get more letters in at the same font size) but looks pretty much as big.

It seemed to be the best of the "regular" fonts, so I'm using it and I'm quite pleased with it.

I wish they would make Kindles in a larger size, though.


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Subject: RE: Tech: A font for your song book.
From: Tootler
Date: 01 Apr 14 - 02:21 PM

Was that CERN announcement posted by Avrille Poisson by any chance?


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Subject: RE: Tech: A font for your song book.
From: Susan of DT
Date: 02 Apr 14 - 07:16 AM

I was fond of Ariel Rounded Bold for my songbook, but the print-on-demand people I use to print it did not have that unless I embedded it (which I do not know how to do), so I use Ariel Bold in 12. Bold helps to see it. Since most of what is in my songbook are long ballads, it is important that lines fit on one line - the book is 350 pages already. It is a compromise between big enough to see and keeping the ballads to no more than three pages.


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Subject: RE: Tech: A font for your song book.
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 02 Apr 14 - 08:51 AM

Susan, fonts will be embedded if you convert ("export") your document to the PDF format, as offered by many up-to-date word processors including LibreOffice.

If avoiding unnatural line breaks is the main concern, using a "narrow" or "condensed" font may be preferable to reducing the font size altogether.


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