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Re: Tip of the Day

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:50 am
by Bhikkhu Pesala
Alternate and Winding Fill

FontCreator 10.1 added a new option to use Alternate or Winding fill in Tools, Options, General. Glyph Outline Fill Mode.

I just came across a bug in one of my fonts that I might have spotted sooner if I had not enabled the Alternate Fill mode. There are pros and cons of each fill mode. Using the Font Validator or Validation Toolbar will catch this kind of error, but I did not use either in this case.

The white outline of the contours with incorrect direction that you see in Alternate Winding Mode in FontCreator do not show up in an exported font.

Re: Tip of the Day

Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:46 pm
by Bhikkhu Pesala
Trimming Kerning Pairs

Now that one can add loads of kerning pairs by using kerning classes and autokern, fonts tend to get bloated with a lot of pairs that are too small to be worth keeping. For a standard font with 2048 funits per em, a kerning value of less than 10 or 20 is barely noticeable. Fortunately, the OpenType Designer has a way of removing these small values quickly.

  • Run Autokern
  • Manually check for positive values. There's no reason not to use positive kerning, but they are often an indicator that side-bearings need some attention.
  • Fix the side-bearings then run Autokern again.
  • Export the OpenType Layout Definition script from the OpenType Designer to preserve all of the kerning classes and kerning pairs.
  • Optionally, remove any unused classes from the Class Manager
  • Right-click on the Pair Adjustment lookup, and select Trim
  • Select the value that you want to trim. Both positive and negative values. Values equal to or greater than the chosen value will not be trimmed.
Trim Settings.png
Trim Settings.png (3.43 KiB) Viewed 697 times

In my test, 25,672 pairs were trimmed to 25,379.

Re: Tip of the Day

Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 7:48 pm
by Bhikkhu Pesala
Adjusting the Accent Position

Accents should be designed in the correct vertical position for lowercase glyphs. When the Complete Composites feature is used, they are raised for Uppercase glyphs by the distance between x-height and CapsHeight.

Accents for Small Capital glyphs are centred vertically on the CapHeight. To adjust the vertical position of accents for Capitals or Small Capitals, temporarily edit the CapHeight in font properties. One can use the Calculate button to reset it to what it should be after using Complete Composites.

In this screen shot I have manually changed the CapHeight from 1493 funits to 1550 funits to raise them by 57 funits over Small Capitals glyphs.

Adjusted CapHeight.png
Adjusted CapHeight.png (41.79 KiB) Viewed 672 times

Re: Tip of the Day

Posted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 1:08 pm
by Bhikkhu Pesala
Aligning Accents Using Guidelines

Complete Composites will align accents correctly for most glyphs, but some glyphs have an optical centre that is different to the geometric centre, and all glyphs should be checked visually for the best results.

Adding a Diagonal Guideline for an Italic Font

Diagonal Guideline.png
Diagonal Guideline.png (29.82 KiB) Viewed 667 times

  1. Drag a guide out from the ruler
  2. Holding down the Shift key while dragging the placed guide to rotate it
  3. Double-click the guideline to open the guide dialogue
  4. Enter 90° minus the diagonal angle for the font (found in Font Properties, Identification).
  5. Drag the guide to position it to the optical centre of the current glyph
  6. Move the accent using the cursor keys + Shift or Ctrl to centre it on the guideline. Acute accents should be 1/3 to the left and 2/3 to the right of the guide. Grave accents should be 2/3 to the left and 1/3 to the right of the guide.

W Grave.png
W Grave.png (18.74 KiB) Viewed 666 times

Re: Tip of the Day

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:47 pm
by Bhikkhu Pesala
Tagging Multiple Glyphs in Several Fonts

I am currently working on a set of eight font styles and wanted to check several glyphs across all ten type styles. Currently, tags cannot be copied from one project to another. Here is a method to work around this using the Glyph Transform wizard.

Selecting the Glyphs in one font for Tagging

  1. Scroll through the entire font adding glyphs that need attention to the Preview Toolbar using the shortcut Shift P.
  2. Copy the glyph names from the bottom of the Preview Toolbar, using End, Shift + Home, Ctrl C
    Select Glyph Names for Copying.png
    Select Glyph Names for Copying.png (8.71 KiB) Viewed 650 times
  3. Paste into notepad, and replace / with a space
  4. Open the Glyph Transform Wizard from the Tools menu and add the feature "Override Range by Glyph Name(s)" to the script
  5. Paste the glyph names from notepad into the list of glyph names
  6. Save the script, and then run it.
Select Narrow Glyphs.png
Select Narrow Glyphs.png (18.36 KiB) Viewed 655 times

Tagging the Glyphs
All of the named glyphs will now be selected. Use the Ctrl 1 shortcut to tag the glyphs as "ToDo" (or use any of the other four tags).

The script can then be run to quickly tag the same glyphs in other typeface styles or fonts.

Tagging More than 256 Glyphs

The number of glyphs that can be added to the Preview Toolbar is limited to 256 at a time. However, there is no obvious limit to the number of glyph names that can be added to the "Override Range by Glyph Name(s)" feature. I tag over a thousand glyphs in my large fonts for exclusion from the Web and WOFF versions. Now that I have saved a transform script for tagging glyphs I can easily edit the list, or tag another font or type style in the same way.

Re: Tip of the Day

Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:06 pm
by Bhikkhu Pesala
Autokerning Large Fonts

It can take a few minutes to autokern a large font. Here's a way to speed up the process.

  • Add a new pair adjustment lookup
  • Add just a few kerning pairs to the lookup
  • Run Autokern with different glyph spacing values until you are happy with the result
  • Run Autokern on the full pair adjustment lookup that the kerning feature uses
  • Kerning pairs can be copied from the “PairAdjustmentTest” lookup table to the “PairAdjustmentLatin” (or whatever you have named it) lookup using the Code Editor (use the button at the bottom of the OpenType Designer dialogue, not the icon at the top, which only edits the current lookup).
  • Try the other route too: copy the new kerning pairs from the PairAdjustmentTest lookup table using the icon at the top, then paste them into the PairAdjustmentLatin lookup using the same icon with that lookup selected. They can be pasted at the beginning. When the changes are accepted, FontCreator will sort the pairs and strip any duplicates.

Autokern Test.png
Autokern Test.png (53.18 KiB) Viewed 551 times

Re: Tip of the Day

Posted: Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:35 am
by Bhikkhu Pesala
Finding Glyphs in Large Fonts

Display the Preview Toolbar (F8) and enable various OpenType features to test them.

To locate any glyph displayed in the preview toolbar, simply click on it. The glyph will be located in the glyph overview.

Find Glyph.gif
Find Glyph.gif (933.26 KiB) Viewed 524 times

Re: Tip of the Day

Posted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:02 pm
by Bhikkhu Pesala
Creating an All Caps Font

Some fonts have no lowercase glyphs. It is easy enough to copy the 26 capital glyphs and paste them into the lowercase glyph code-points. However, there is a much better way.
  • Copy the lowercase glyphs: a-z
  • Select the Capital A
  • Paste Special, code-points only, add code-points
Add Mappings.png
Add Mappings.png (5.5 KiB) Viewed 105 times

Each glyph will now have two code-points, e.g. A will be both 65 and 97 decimal ... and Z will both 90 and 122 decimal.

The advantages of this method are: 1) the font will be smaller as it contains fewer points and contours; 2) maintaining the font is easier — if a glyph needs editing, you don't need to remember to copy and paste it again to the lowercase code-point.