Tab: make font bold, italic or/and underlined

• Jan 12, 2018 - 21:44
Graphical (UI)
S5 - Suggestion

Tab: add the possibility to make the selected font bold, italic or/and underlined. Especially for people with poor eye sight.



1a) Do you need to possibility to mark individual fret marks as bold / italics / underlined
1b) "Just" turn the whole font bold / italics / underlined?

2) Underline: I would rule it out ruthlessly! Underline has no place in typography, it is an unfortunate left-over of the typing machine time, when there was little else available for emphasis. In particular, in tablatures, the added line segments below the fret marks -- running along the string lines -- would make for a very cluttered and confused output.

3) I have quite a poor sight myself; I doubt that either bold or italics would make the text any clearer in general, and in particular in tabs, where there is no word context to help. The upright normal is, in the great majority of cases, the most readable style of a typeface. If the text is hard to read for a particular usage, the "real" solution is to make it larger, not fancier.

@Saitenpicker : thanks for the additional clarification.

In principle it would be relatively simple to add check boxes for Bold and Italics, pass the additional properties to the font engine and leave to it to sort out the details.

In practice, with the exception of FreeSerif, for which the bold and the italics fonts are installed with MS, for all the other typefaces used in MS tablatures, the bold and the italics would be synthesised by the engine, with quite sub-optimal results (in particular for the italics, which is almost impossible to synthesise decently).

In addition, for the historic typefaces (6 out of 8 currently available) which are exampled on historic sources, those variants would make little sense and would certainly look 'odd'.

With these assumptions, I can probably arrive at an extended tablature configuration dialogue box, but I expect the results to be in most cases unsatisfactory, which would make the change itself debatable and cause for more arguments (and not particularly compelling to implement :( ).

If the main reason for this is reading ease (which I would perfectly understand), I still suggest experimenting with the staff space size (I regularly use 2.0mm for tablatures) and font size (10pt?).

Here is what I did, but your mileage may vary. I right clicked on the staff and went to "Staff Properties". By changing the scale in "Staff Properties", you change the size of whole thing. If you go into "Staff Properties" and then click on the "Advanced Style Properties" button, you can change the font and the font size without making the actually staff bigger. I have just figured this out and am playing around with it, so I don't have it looking just the way I want yet.

+1 for bold TAB numbers option.

Notation already looks bold compared to the TAB numbers bar5-mu.png

For a TAB only score the numbers can be made to look bolder by setting the staff lines, barlines, stems, beams, hooks etc. to grey