In May, we announced a complete overhaul of our custom sample text toolbar. Phase One included the introduction of our sample text selection menu, and our new color selector. Today we’re happy to introduce Phase Two: OpenType Feature Controls.
In the sample text toolbar on any page displaying font renders, you’ll now see a new gear icon. Upon clicking the gear, a control panel will be expanded, as seen above. This panel includes a predefined list of OpenType features most commonly included in OT fonts, as well as a few dropdown menus containing additional features that are grouped by relevancy. Note that on single font pages, like that of FF Chambers Sans OT Regular, features that are not included in the font will be grayed out and unselectable.
To view your sample text with an OpenType feature applied, simply select a checkbox or menu item. The rendered image will automatically update with your OT feature applied, if any applicable characters are present in the sample string. FF Chambers Sans OT Regular, for example, contains Swash caps alternates:
Please note that not every selectable OpenType feature will affect your rendered sample. Most OT features only affect a subset of characters within a font, and if they are not present in your sample string, no glyph replacement will take place. You can view which glyphs are included in each OpenType feature by clicking the Character Set tab on a single font page and selecting a feature from the list. You can also learn about each feature by hovering over the feature name.
Just as with the color selector, the OT feature controls can be collapsed using the Hide Controls button. Unlike the color selector, your selections will not be persistent when navigating through to other font pages, as each font will have differing available OT features.
While we’re very happy with the status of the OT feature controls and wanted to let you all get your hands dirty with it, we are still working out some of the kinks. If you notice anything awry, let us know in the comments.