>Alternatively you could use Quirk on a PC which sets "proper" fractions
>by the simple expedient of hitting alt+0188 ( quarter - ?) and alt+0189
>(half - ?).
>By golly it'll even manage ? (three-quarters) with alt+0190.
>Ah, the magic of the PC! :o)
And what do you do if you need some one quarters, some halves, and
also sometimes a fraction like "231/2470"?
The problem with the latter is that the "build fraction" utilities
available for QuarkXPress, PageMaker, etc. use the superscript and
subscript type attribute, that is, they take the same font that the
rest of the sentence is set in, reduce the point size of the numerals,
and adjust the baseline for them. This looks fine until you stick a
real ?, ? or ? using the Alt+code in the same line. The fractions made
with the Alt+code look darker and more professional.
Try this on a Windows machine: Using a font that has an expert set,
set the ?, ? and ? using the Alt+code in the base font, followed by
the same fractions using the "build fraction" utility. You'll see what
I mean that the "build fraction" utility doesn't match. (You may have
to make a printout to see it clearly.)
Now set the ?, ? and ? with the Alt+code again. But this time follow
them with the same numerals using the superscript and subscript
numerals from the expert set font. And use the special slash
(virgule?) in the expert font too. Now you will discover that the
characters all match. The superscript and subscript numerals in the
expert set are designed to match perfectly the ?, ? and ? in the base
font. (At least this works for all fonts that I use where I have an
And now, if you need to set "231/2470" you can do so to match the ?, ?
or ?, and look totally professional as well. I find the easiest way to
do this is to use Character Map. I just double-click on each numeral
from the expert set to create them all in the window in Character Map,
then copy and paste the whole fraction into the document.
Unfortunately, I usually use InDesign these days, and copying from
Character Map does not retain the font selection. So the pasted text
comes in as the base font, which gives me a bizarre set of characters
until I select them all and apply the expert font to them. It's dumb
to have to go that extra step.
I'm sure someone could write a script to automate using the true
superscript and subscript characters from the expert font. As far as I
know there are none available for the major layout apps that do so,
however. They all just fake it from the base font.
Don't reply to the e-mail address in the header. It's bogus. But
I read the newsgroup every day so post here.