Spectral, a Serif font full of variants

Today’s font was commissioned by “the big G” for its online office solutions, but was released with an open license (SIL-OFL) and can be used without problems on any document:

Spectral by Production Type

As you can see from the first screenshot, in addition to the four classical “shapes and weights” (normal, italic, bold, and bold italic) there are more options, each one as an independent font, from “extra light” up to “extra bold.”

The OpenType feature set is not big, but it’s not small either, with real small caps in all its variants, different numeral styles, true fractions, sub- and superscripts, stylistic sets (even if I do not understand the third and the fourth), etc.

With an “angular” design and a well balanced contrast, this font looks right on all sizes.

The project is relatively new (the repository was created on June 2017) and still does not offer (at the time of this writing) any “stable” release, but it’s possible to download the last development version with the “clone or download” button.

LyX 2.3.4 released

It’s available the fourth point release in the 2.3 series of this awesome graphical interface for LATEX / XƎTEX.

This version brings many bug fixes, not only to the UI but also in the documentation and in the processing of imported documents. You’ll find all the details in the announcement.

As always, openSUSE already have it from the publishing repository.

RegExp in Writer: Unicode Properties or How to Look for Uppercase Only Text

Image we have a Writer document with some text as the following example:

It’s possible to fin text ONLY IN UPPERCASE by using the “Unicode Character Properties”

and that we need to select only the text in uppercase. In the Search&Replace tool we need to activate the option to distinguish between uppercase and lowercase, under “more options” select “regular expressions” and finally, in the search box we need to write

(\p{Lu}){2,}

The \p is used to specify “Unicode character properties,” here denoted by L (Letter) and u (uppercase).

As always, you can find more information about the RegExp system used by LibreOffice in the documentation page for the ICU project (not all the expressions listed there work in LibreOffice) and in the dedicated chapter of a certain book 😉

Two LibreOffice extensions: Creative Commons Clipart Gallery & LibreSymbols

Let’s start this new “publication season” with easy. This short article is to introduce two gallery extensions for LibreOffice. The first one makes the creation of Creative Commons licensed documents easier:

Creative Commons Clipart Gallery

The extension gathers all the images (version 2.0 was updated in April 2017), related to the CC licenses. To use the images, we only need to drag them from LibreOffice’s gallery and drop them where needed.


The second extension is for Draw and provides several predefined shapes to build electric circuits

LibreSymbols

Each element can be used just by dropping them in the document and can be connected to others through the use of Draw’s connector tools.

The authors recommend a change in Draw’s settings: under Tools → Options → LibreOffice Draw → Grid, set both, the horizontal and vertical resolutions as 0.25 cm and to change the subdivision to just 1 “space.”

Just remember that the extension can be used only to draw circuits, it’s your responsibility to make sure that the circuit you are drawing makes sense!

The extension is available in English and in German.

Happy Holidays!

We are again at this time of the year when I drink a lot of hot chocolate, eat a lot of unhealthy stuff and enjoy a lot with family and friends. And that means that I’ll take a break on the publishing schedule.

In the meantime, take care of yourself, enjoy this holiday season and we’ll read us again in January.

Happy Holidays to all!


From 2020, there will be a change in the publication dates: the articles will be published on Thursdays, not Mondays. The (slow) rate of publishing every two weeks is maintained. The first article of 2020 will arrive on January 16.

LyX: another example of the use of the “caption” package

In chapter 14 of my book about LYX I explain some examples of the use of the caption package to set the captions of figures and tables.

Following a question from a reader, today I want to show you how to add a line below the figure captions. The idea is simple: to add the \hrulefill as follows

\usepackage{caption}

\DeclareCaptionFormat{myformat}{#1#2#3\hrulefill}
\captionsetup[figure]{format=myformat}

Let’s suppose we now want to modify that line to make it thicker and of a different color:

\usepackage{xcolor}
\definecolor{rojito}{rgb}{.8,.2,.1}

\usepackage{caption}

\DeclareCaptionFormat{myformat}{#1#2#3\color{rojito}
    \def\hrulefill{\leavevmode\leaders\hrule 
        height 2pt\hfill\kern\z@}\hrulefill}
\captionsetup[figure]{format=myformat}

Of course, this can be combined with all the other stuff I comment in the book. I’ll let you with the details (Spanish screenshot below)


NDISCOVERED free fonts

Natanael Gama is a type designer that offers several free fonts in his site

NDISCOVERED

I’ll discuss two of those fonts today. The first one, and the most complete, is a Sans font called EXO 2:

The font offers several weights from light to black. Be aware that they are so many that LibreOffice will miss several of them, so in order to be able to access all those weights you need to use a different software.

The second font is a decorative one, presented in two “styles” with three weights each (no italic, though), ideal for fancy headings: Cinzel

This font does not offer OpenType tables, but it doesn’t need them: it’s not intended for long texts, just use it for special purposes.