I recently acquired CS6, and am experiencing a strange problem with documents created in the original Indesign CS. I typically leave the ordinal flag turned on in the OpenType menu. This used to work just fine -- it recognized when a string of characters was an ordinal (e.g., 3rd) and when it was just ordinary text. When I load these files into ID6, I find that, seemingly at random, some characters which are just ordinary text (sometimes in the middle of a word) are formatted as though they were ordinal numbers. (See screen capture below.) There is no apparent pattern to when it happens, at least so far as I can tell. I can fix it by manually selecting the problem characters and turning off "ordinals" for those characters, but its quite annoying. Has anybody else had this problem, and can anybody suggest a solution? Thanks.
Are you using the same font and version?
The behavior of ordinals depends on the font (to be precise, on how the OpenType feature has been programmed in). Some fonts use "smart" ordinals, reacting only when preceded by a number -- the very smartest ones only set "st" in superscrpt when preceded by a "1". Others always apply superscript, which I believe is what you see here. (Not all characters are superscripted because apparently this font does not contain a superscript "k", for example. Which characters are considered "ordinals" is left at the discretion of the font designer.)
Additionally, it's entirely possible the Ordinal feature behaves different in different versions of InDesign. Adobe is constantly tweaking OpenType behavior. It's extremely likely the behavior in your original version (the very first "CS") was actually incorrect and was fixed somewhere in one of the next five versions.
All said and done: Ordinals is definitely *not* a feature to always have switched on. You should only apply it to text where you would *want* your ordinals, as in your "90th".
Thanks. I didn't change the font (its Adobe Caslon Pro), but I installed CS6 on a new computer, so I suppose its possible that the version of the font that was included on the CS6 disk was newer than the version that was included as part of the older CS (which was on my old computer).
It sounds like the fact that I didn't have problems earlier was just dumb luck. From now on, I'll leave "ordinals" off except for the specific characters where I need that formatting.