Access Alternate Glyph at Photoshop/ Illustrator

There are three ways to insert alternate glyphs:

  • The Selection in-context menu lets you view and insert glyphs available for a selected character.
  • The Glyphs panel lets you view and insert glyphs from any typeface.
  • The OpenType panel lets you set up rules for using glyphs. For example, you can specify that you want to use ligatures, titling characters, and fractions in a given text block. Using the OpenType panel is easier than inserting glyphs one at a time and ensures a more consistent result. However, the panel works only with OpenType fonts.

Replace a character with on-canvas alternate glyphs

Introduced in Illustrator CC 2017 release

When you’re working on a type object, you can select a character to quickly view alternate glyphs right next to it in the in-context menu. Simply click the alternate glyph to replace the character with it.

In-context alternate glyphs

Note:Illustrator displays a maximum of five alternate glyphs for a selected character on the canvas. If more than five alternatives are available, Illustrator displays the ► icon to the right of the displayed alternate glyphs. Click the ► icon to open the Glyphs panel and view more alternatives.

Glyphs panel overview

You use the Glyphs panel (Window > Type > Glyphs) to view the glyphs in a font and insert specific glyphs in your document.

By default, the Glyphs panel displays all the glyphs for the currently selected font. You can change the font by selecting a different font family and style at the bottom of the panel. If any characters are currently selected in your document, you can display alternate characters by selecting Alternates For Current Selection from the Show menu at the top of the panel.

Glyphs panel
A. Show menu B. Font family C. Font style D. Zoom buttons 

When you select an OpenType font in the Glyphs panel, you can restrict the panel to display certain kinds of glyphs by selecting a category from the Show menu. You can also display a pop‑up menu of alternate glyphs by clicking the triangle in the lower right corner of the glyph box where applicable.

Pop‑up menu for alternate glyphs

Insert or replace a character using the Glyphs panel

  • To replace a character, choose Alternates For Current Selection from the Show pop‑up menu, select a character in your document using a type tool. Double-click a glyph in the Glyphs panel, if one is available.

Note:Additional replacement options are available for Asian glyphs.

OpenType panel overview

You use the OpenType panel (Window > Type > OpenType) to specify how you want to apply alternate characters in OpenType fonts. For example, you can specify that you want to use standard ligatures in new or existing text.

Keep in mind that OpenType fonts vary greatly in the kinds of features they offer; not all options in the OpenType panel are available in every font. You can view the characters in a font using the Glyphs panel.

OpenType panel
A. Standard Ligatures B. Contextual Alternates C. Discretionary Ligatures D. Swash E. Stylistic Alternates F. Titling Alternates G. Ordinals H. Fractions I. Stylistic Sets J. Panel menu K. Figure type L. Character position 

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