Re: Font points per Inch?

Discussion in 'Photoshop Tutorials' started by Tacit, Aug 5, 2003.

  1. Tacit

    Tacit Guest

    >Can anyone tell me how to calculate number of points per inch font type?

    There are 72 points to an inch[1]. One-inch type is 72-point type.

    But Photoshop lets you specify font sizes in pixels; no unit conversion
    necessary.

    [1] Historically, a typographer's point has been slightly smaller; thee are
    72.27 points to an inch. For reasons of simplicity, Adobe has defined a "point"
    for the purposes of computer design as 72 points per inch, a standard which has
    become widely accepted in the prepress industry.

    --
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    Tacit, Aug 5, 2003
    #1
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  2. Tacit

    J C Guest

    On 05 Aug 2003 22:00:35 GMT, (Tacit) wrote:


    >
    >There are 72 points to an inch[1]. One-inch type is 72-point type.
    >


    But, to further clarify just because 72 pts = one inch does not mean
    that the height of any particular letter set in 72 pt will actually
    measure one inch.

    Even if you set the word "Pig" for instance in 72 pt, then I doubt
    that the vertical measure from the top of the "P" to the botton of the
    "g" would be 72 pts. And in some fonts the dimension would be less
    than others.

    Just thought I point that out.


    -- JC
    J C, Aug 6, 2003
    #2
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  3. Tacit

    Tacit Guest

    >But, to further clarify just because 72 pts = one inch does not mean
    >that the height of any particular letter set in 72 pt will actually
    >measure one inch.


    Correct. The point size of a typeface is measured from the height of the
    tallest ascender to the bottom of the lowest descender; so, for example, a
    capital letter set in 72-point type will not be 1 inch tall.

    --
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    Tacit, Aug 6, 2003
    #3
  4. Tacit

    J C Guest

    On 06 Aug 2003 15:19:09 GMT, (Tacit) wrote:


    >
    >Correct. The point size of a typeface is measured from the height of the
    >tallest ascender to the bottom of the lowest descender; so, for example, a
    >capital letter set in 72-point type will not be 1 inch tall.


    That's not correct.

    I cannot think of a font in which the above would be true. Having
    survived from the days of repro and using wax, boards, and matte
    knives to slice lines of type, and cursing when what was ordered is
    not what you thought you'd get, I can tell you that there's usually
    empty space above the tallest letter and below the lowest decender.
    Additionally, not all descenders descend the same amout (a "g"
    sometimes goes lower than a "p" for example)

    Test for example 72 pt Times and Helvetica. Type the word "High" in
    both fonts at 72 pt with 72 pt leading and measure (you don't even
    have to print it, you can simply measure it in Pagemaker by drawing
    guides one inch apart). From the top of the "H" to the bottom of the
    "g" measures less than 72 pts. The vertical measure of the word in
    Times is 9 pts less than 72 and Helvetica's measure is about 4 pts
    less.


    -- JC
    J C, Aug 6, 2003
    #4
  5. Tacit

    Xalinai Guest

    On Wed, 06 Aug 2003 17:21:55 GMT, J C <> wrote:

    >On 06 Aug 2003 15:19:09 GMT, (Tacit) wrote:
    >
    >
    >>
    >>Correct. The point size of a typeface is measured from the height of the
    >>tallest ascender to the bottom of the lowest descender; so, for example, a
    >>capital letter set in 72-point type will not be 1 inch tall.

    >
    >That's not correct.
    >
    >I cannot think of a font in which the above would be true. Having
    >survived from the days of repro and using wax, boards, and matte
    >knives to slice lines of type, and cursing when what was ordered is
    >not what you thought you'd get, I can tell you that there's usually
    >empty space above the tallest letter and below the lowest decender.
    >Additionally, not all descenders descend the same amout (a "g"
    >sometimes goes lower than a "p" for example)
    >
    >Test for example 72 pt Times and Helvetica. Type the word "High" in
    >both fonts at 72 pt with 72 pt leading and measure (you don't even
    >have to print it, you can simply measure it in Pagemaker by drawing
    >guides one inch apart). From the top of the "H" to the bottom of the
    >"g" measures less than 72 pts. The vertical measure of the word in
    >Times is 9 pts less than 72 and Helvetica's measure is about 4 pts
    >less.


    How about accents as in "É" or "Â" ?
    ....from the tallest ascender to the lowest descender....

    Michael
    >
    >
    >-- JC
    Xalinai, Aug 6, 2003
    #5
  6. Tacit

    J C Guest

    On Wed, 06 Aug 2003 19:50:31 GMT, (Xalinai) wrote:

    >
    >How about accents as in "É" or "Â" ?
    >...from the tallest ascender to the lowest descender....
    >


    Good question, try setting a line of 72 pt Helvetica with all the
    "A's" that contain accents and mysteriously you will find out that the
    distance from the accent mark on a capital letter to the lowest
    descender on a "g" is MORE than 72 pts. Something that just should not
    be.

    But then again, back in the old days when the original point size
    convention was created, English language font sets did not include ANY
    letters containing accent marks (search "California Job Case" on
    Google and take a look at the layouts).

    Back in the days when type was metal and each letter forged as a
    separate bit and all those little pieces were held in California Job
    Cases, the point size designation was the size of the metal slug. The
    actual font forged on top never reached all the way to the edge.
    (Rumor has it that this protected the edges of the type from becoming
    worn/chipped when loose type was handled and when leading bars were
    placed between lines fo type. Whether that's true I'll leave to better
    historians.)

    BTW, the leading was a flat piece of metal that was placed between
    lines of type. And when done the whole thing was locked in a frame and
    put into a letter press.

    Lastly, back in the olden days, 72 pts was not exactly one inch. For
    simplicity, in the computer age, the point ruler was changed and now
    72 pts equals one inch. But PageMaker, for instance, does give you the
    option of working in the old system (but why would you want to).



    -- JC
    J C, Aug 6, 2003
    #6
  7. Tacit

    Tacit Guest

    >I cannot think of a font in which the above would be true.

    Well....that depends.

    On most typefaces, the glyphs fit into a "block" whose size is slightly larger
    than the distance from the lowest descender to the tallest ascender, though
    this is not true of *all* typefaces; for example, in Emigre's typeface
    "Arbitrary Sans," the glyphs fit within a block beginning at the bottom edge of
    the descender of the letter "g".

    A font's glyphs are not necessarily constrained to this space; in some
    typefaces which contain extended characters, a circumflex over a vowel may
    extend above what should nominally be the top of the box defining the maximum
    height of a glyph. This is virtually impossible to do with old-fashioned metal
    type, of course.

    --
    Rude T-shirts for a rude age: http://www.villaintees.com
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    Tacit, Aug 6, 2003
    #7
  8. "Xalinai" <> wrote in message
    news:-online.de...
    > On Wed, 06 Aug 2003 17:21:55 GMT, J C <> wrote:
    >
    > >On 06 Aug 2003 15:19:09 GMT, (Tacit) wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > >>
    > >>Correct. The point size of a typeface is measured from the height of the
    > >>tallest ascender to the bottom of the lowest descender; so, for example,

    a
    > >>capital letter set in 72-point type will not be 1 inch tall.

    > >
    > >That's not correct.
    > >
    > >I cannot think of a font in which the above would be true. Having
    > >survived from the days of repro and using wax, boards, and matte
    > >knives to slice lines of type, and cursing when what was ordered is
    > >not what you thought you'd get, I can tell you that there's usually
    > >empty space above the tallest letter and below the lowest decender.
    > >Additionally, not all descenders descend the same amout (a "g"
    > >sometimes goes lower than a "p" for example)


    Well, in old days of manual work with those metallic thingies (in case you
    ever seen them) the answer was very simple: the font size is the height of
    that metal character thingie (sorry but I don't know how they there called
    in English). The character itself does not have to fit this size, however,
    obviously, type designers were quite economic so the character came rather
    close to this "bounding box". So, character height depended both on font
    size and particular typeface.

    Ilyich.
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    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ilya Razmanov, Aug 7, 2003
    #8
  9. Tacit

    J C Guest

    On 06 Aug 2003 22:29:07 GMT, (Tacit) wrote:

    > This is virtually impossible to do with old-fashioned metal
    >type, of course.


    Yes, the extended character sets possible in the computer age have
    violated some of the old conventions.

    I've never held a piece of metal type in my hand that was, for
    example, a capital letter with a diacritical mark. I'm wondering what
    the point size designation of an "Å" and a regular "A" would have been
    such that the height of the "A" portion of a 72 pt piece of type would
    have been the same. Or would the "A" with the accept mark been in a
    different point size to accommodate the extra height.

    Anyone know?


    -- JC
    J C, Aug 7, 2003
    #9
  10. Tacit

    Jon Dear Guest

    Thanks for all the response, however something must be wrong with my
    computer. I created a new 4"x4" image, clicked on the Type Tool, set font to
    Times New Roman with 72 points. Actual measurement on screen and printed out
    was a little less than 3/4". Arial font was about the same. My preferences
    set at 300 ppi print resolution and 72 screen res.
    Changed both to 72 and then 300. No difference in size of print. (In so
    doing my original question was answered in the Units and Rulers
    preference,ie, PS Fonts 72 per in, Traditional 72.27per in.) In ideas?

    Jon


    "J C" <> wrote in message
    news:92gyP9X9t5OQOON=dRB=...
    > On 06 Aug 2003 22:29:07 GMT, (Tacit) wrote:
    >
    > > This is virtually impossible to do with old-fashioned metal
    > >type, of course.

    >
    > Yes, the extended character sets possible in the computer age have
    > violated some of the old conventions.
    >
    > I've never held a piece of metal type in my hand that was, for
    > example, a capital letter with a diacritical mark. I'm wondering what
    > the point size designation of an "Å" and a regular "A" would have been
    > such that the height of the "A" portion of a 72 pt piece of type would
    > have been the same. Or would the "A" with the accept mark been in a
    > different point size to accommodate the extra height.
    >
    > Anyone know?
    >
    >
    > -- JC
    Jon Dear, Aug 7, 2003
    #10
  11. Tacit

    Tacit Guest

    >Thanks for all the response, however something must be wrong with my
    >computer. I created a new 4"x4" image, clicked on the Type Tool, set font
    >to Times New Roman with 72 points. Actual measurement on screen and printed
    >out was a little less than 3/4".


    What did you measure?

    The top of a capital letter to the bottom of a capital letter? It does not work
    like that.

    72-point type is one inch from the top of the tallest letter (such as "h") to
    the bottom of the lowest letter (such as "g"), plus a bit more--NOT from the
    top of one letter to the bottom of that same letter!

    --
    Rude T-shirts for a rude age: http://www.villaintees.com
    Art, literature, shareware, polyamory, kink, and more:
    http://www.xeromag.com/franklin.html
    Tacit, Aug 7, 2003
    #11
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