The G in Libertine stands for the Graphite font engine that makes all the extra 
features available. The regular Libertine O font doesn't have these features 
(or if it does, I haven't figured out how to access them).

If you have the Libertine G font, then to gain the features, you add codes to 
the end of the font name in the font selection box. I do this at the level of 
"Tools/Options/LibreOffice Writer/Basic Fonts"

For example, mine looks like this:

Linux Libertine G:onum=1&lith=0&itlc=1&thou=0&pnum=1&ss04=1&ss05=1&litt=0&hang=1

The codes mean the following:

"onum=1" -- Turn on old style numbering

"lith=0" -- Turn off the "Th" ligature

"itlc=1" -- fixes the spacing around italics words.

"thou=0" -- Don't place an extra space between every third 0 in long numbers, 
00 000

"pnum=1" -- Turn on proportionally spaced numbering.

"ss04" -- Turn on stylistic alternatives (This one provides a really cool 
ampersand (&))

"ss05" -- Turn on stylistic alternatives (This one provides a Garamond style 
upper case W)

"litt=0" -- Allows the splitting of double "t" ligatures "tt" for hyphenation 
at the end of the line.

"hang=1" -- Turn on hanging punctuation. This gives justified margins a really 
nice professional look. Don't bother if your margins aren't justified.

All of the codes can be found at

Sometimes, you want to apply a specific effect to a word or two, such as 
applying true small caps. It can be a pain to type in the code, so there is a 
Typographic Toolbar extension available that places a toolbar on your screen 
that makes the effects available with a point and click. The extension is 
available at:

At the end of the toolbar is a help button that links back to the 
"fontfeatures.pdf" site for easy reference.

If you don't have the Linux Biolinum G fonts, I highly recommend getting them. 
They can be found at:

I tend to use Libertine for documents that need a professional look. I avoid 
Times like the plague as it wasn't intended for long-term use. It's letters are 
condensed, which provides for "economy of space" in newspapers, for which it 
was designed, but you will rarely, if ever, find it used in book length works. 
Libertine is nice as it has the same general shape as Times, so it doesn't 
stand out as being too different, but it's not as condensed, making it very 
readable. I usually set it at 12 points, which is nice on a letter sized paper 

You might also check out
 It's a nice article summarizing a lot of the details in Bringhurst's book.

Good luck with your thesis.


On 10/11/2016 6:42 PM, Julian Brooks wrote:
Hi Virgil,

Very interesting info, and the tech details are just what I'm after.

Always wondered what the G in Libertine stood for. Like the different font for 
headings and text body too (currently have just the one font). Agree about 
underlining and minimal use of italics (is that what you mean though?).

I'm in Debian rather than Windows.



On 11 October 2016 at 23:32, Virgil Arrington 
<<>> wrote:
I developed an interest in typography when I wrote a legal brief for the U.S. 
Supreme Court and had to deal with it's very specific typesetting rules. (Did 
you know that 11 point Times New Roman really *isn't* 11 points? It's slightly 
smaller and the Court will not accept a brief written in 11 point Times).

Typographically, layout is more important than font. A bad font well laid out 
will be more readable than a good font badly laid out. In terms of layout, the 
biggest mistake most people make is having text lines too long. With letter 
sized paper (8.5 x 11), I'll set my left and right margins *at least* 1.5 
inches each, leaving text lines of 5.5 inches, which is still too long for 
single spaced text. At that length, I'll double space my text. I set a line of 
11 to 12 point single spaced text set at 5 inches.

As for fonts, I like Linux Libertine G for its extra features (automatic 
ligatures, old-style figures, hanging punctuation). I also like how it matches 
well with its sans-serif companion, Linux Biolinum. I will use Biolinum for 
headings and Libertine for text. Libertine has the same general shape as Times, 
but is much more readable as it is not as condensed as Times. I don't use more 
than one or two fonts for a document and I avoid overemphasis. Regular italics 
works nicely. I never underline anything.

Other readable fonts are Palatino, Century Schoolbook, and some versions of 
Garamond. Sadly, if the reader notices your font, then the font has failed its 
purpose. At most, the reader should notice that your text is easier to read 
than someone else's. If you're using a newer version of Windows, you may have 
Sitka Text. I just discovered this font and absolutely love it. While it was 
designed for on-screen use, it prints nicely on my printer.

Many years ago, I bought an outdated copy of WordPerfect. While I don't use the 
word processor, its CD came bundled with hundreds of really good quality 
Bitstream fonts, which are well worth the cost of the CD. Some of my favorites 
on the Wordperfect CD are Iowan Old Style, Century 731 BT, and New Baskerville 

If you want to learn more about typography than you'll ever need, I recommend, 
"The Elements of Typographic Style," by Robert Bringhurst.

Good luck


On 10/11/2016 9:56 AM, Julian Brooks wrote:

Hello again,

Hope this isn't seen as too cheeky...

Does anyone have any templates they'd be willing to share as examples of
decent contemporary layout (for my particular usage, it's a thesis)?

Mines just, well, boring tbh (not far off the LO standard layout, which,
though fine, is just that - somewhat dull and functional.

I don't mean something crazy and snazzy, just a proper solid contemporary
layout by someone who's into graphic design, typography and such stuff,
with a keen eye.

Or, does anyone have any links to, or pointers for, a good place to look
that not only provides examples but clear instructions on spacings,
heights, etc.?

Font-wise, I've been making use of Linux Libertine for many years but even
that seems a bit staid these days (if ethically sound:).

S'cuse the ennui,


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