Old style figure
Old style figures or Minuskelziffern have - unlike Majuskel- or lining figures - upper and descenders as lowercase letters and variable, adapted to the character shape Dickten . They therefore fit harmoniously into the body of the text . The digits 3, 4, 5, 7 and 9 usually have descenders, while 6 and 8 usually have ascenders and 0, 1 and 2 are at the x-height, i.e. are the size of lowercase letters.
Old style figures were used in the 12th century when the Arabic numerals , the Roman began to peel off. Uppercase digits were initially only used in tables ( tabular digits ) because their uniform width makes them more suitable when numerical values are to be right-aligned below one another. Since the 19th century, uppercase numbers have also become common in paragraph text . Old-style figures are still used today for sophisticated typesetting .
In English - and thus sometimes also in the German-speaking area - old-style figures are also referred to as non-aligning , text figures or old-style numerals .
- Robert Bringhurst: The Elements of Typographic Style . Hartley & Marks, Point Roberts, Vancouver 2005, ISBN 978-0-88179-206-5 (English) .
- Friedrich Forssman, Ralf de Jong: Detailed typography . Verlag Hermann Schmidt, Mainz 2004, ISBN 978-3-87439-642-4 .