Different font rendering on different Windows computers

This is a real problem, and I’m not sure if it’s related to previous issues I’ve had regarding different output. But that was Mac vs. PC, and this is PC-only.

I’ve opened the same file on two different Windows machines (Windows 10 Pro), both running the same version of Dorico (3.5.11.1054). The font is Swift LT Pro, which I’ve installed on both machines exactly the same way. I’ve confirmed it’s the same font version: 1.100.

Here’s the dekstop, screen-captured in Dorico:

And here’s the laptop (ignore the different size… that was a zoom/capture thing):

You can see that on the desktop, the middle line has uneven baselines (too high), presumably because of the pointing mark I’m using. But on the laptop, it’s correct. Why is it different on different machines??? The graphic PDF export yields the same result.

Current mood: concerned. The first is unfit for print production, and the second looks correct.

File here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/zyd0rz0hpz7m3hy/Font%20baseline%20issue.dorico?dl=0
Swift LT Pro Regular: https://www.dropbox.com/s/34m1wnbmbry9z66/SwiftLTPro-Regular.otf?dl=0

Uneven for me:

Hi Dan,
I get the same on my PC as you.
If I delete the " ᛌ " in Al ᛌ leluia that line moves up.

Thanks to you both! I wonder why the laptop is giving a different result. It’s quite a distinct difference.

I just tried pasting the same text into MS Word on both computers, and the results on both machines matched (both were offset).

I suspect the problem is to do with whatever font you’re using for ‘ACNA pointing barlines’, which I would guess is subtly different between your two machines.

Yep, for me too. On a related note, things like sharp and flat tokens obviously screw up the spacing as well. It would be really useful to have some sort of leading control in text frames, so we could just manually set the leading of any given line of text and not have to worry about adjustments like this.

Thanks Daniel, but the font is exactly the same. It’s Swift LT Pro, version 1.100.

I agree. I wonder if this is related to the way that Dorico calculates lyric baselines: from the bottom edge of the upper bounding box to the top edge of the lower bounding box, rather than from baseline to baseline. I would vastly prefer the latter.

No time to look into this properly at the moment but it looks like you’re using a very obscure character: (U+16CC) Runic Letter Short-Twig-Sol S! Though it appears in Character Map for your font (runes are absent from most others), it’s not usable in Dorico or any other application I’ve tried so far. Substitutions are used and you’re getting random results. I’d certainly use something more mainstream.

[Edited for correction.]

I certainly would prefer to. I looked through the entire font set for something comparable and couldn’t find anything.

I think perhaps the answer is to create your own font containing the specific custom characters you need, and then define a character style that uses your custom font, switching to that character style for the necessary characters. Perhaps you could map them to symbols that are easy to type, like ’ for a short/tick barline and | for a full barline, then ] for a final barline. That should make it easy to type in your text using a single font, then go through and select those individual characters and switch character style to the style that uses your custom font.

Creating a font isn’t as terrible as it sounds. You can even copy the key metrics from your main text font so that your custom font behaves as similarly as possible to your main text font in terms of its line height, etc.

My own font editor of choice is FontLab VII, which is on Windows and Mac and has a free trial. Glyphs is a popular choice but macOS only. The leading open source font editor is FontForge. All of these applications allow you to import graphics in vector formats if you don’t want to learn how to use the glyph editing tools in the font editor.

Thanks Daniel. I still don’t know why different computers are rendering the baselines differently, but creating a custom font sounds very intriguing, especially since I have an increasing number of customized needs for this sort of thing. I’ll try it out.

tristis already gave you the answer:

Though it appears in Character Map for your font (runes are absent from most others), it’s not usable in Dorico or any other application I’ve tried so far. Substitutions are used and you’re getting random results.

Thanks Daniel, diving into FontForge now. I appreciate the time on such an obscure request.

As a feature request, I would still really like to see leading settings in text frames though. As it stands now, accidental tokens can’t be used along with other text because they screw up the spacing. The text below is one solid paragraph but looks like 3 because of the leading:

I assume if Dan could just manually specify the leading like you can in InDesign or Finale (Fin calls it “line spacing”) then he wouldn’t need to necessarily make a new font (although he may still want to for other reasons) because he could set the leading to a fixed amount and it wouldn’t end up varying.

Yeah this is a real difficulty at the moment. Because you can’t just grab line 5 and following and move them up… that gets unwieldy pretty quickly. I agree it would be ideal to set a “fixed” leading.

Also, I’m a bit mesmerized by your Lorem ipsum.

LOL, I think you told me about Bacon Ipsum. This is Hipster Ipsum: https://hipsum.co/