Font Typesetting Function 15: “Expert Forms (expt)”

I would like to talk about an item called “Expert Forms” in the Form Panel Menu of Illustrator and InDesign – what is it? To put it as simply as I can without using technical terms, “Expert Forms” is probably a glyph with the root of the character set formulated and implemented with the intention of “outputting the correct type, not simplified form,” while the JIS character code standard used many simplified forms in the past.

The figure indicates some of the variations for the character “珊” (san) for “珊瑚” (sango). The expert form is indicated on the right. As the type on the left is included in the list of 1,022 non-jōyō kanji (kanji not given in the standard list) commonly used in print in 2000 and the addition of the Jinmeiyō kanji (kanji officially for use in names) in 2004 afterward, there won’t be any occasions to see or use the type on the right in the future. However, I saw this variation often in books when typesetting. Apart from what it is in the origin of a character and the source, personally, I simply like its good-looking shape.


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