Position to guideline

Got a request? Post it here. Please do not post bug reports here.
Post Reply
vanisaac
Posts: 337
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2003 1:33 pm
Location: Washington State, USA

Position to guideline

Post by vanisaac » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:24 am

In the spirit of crazy ideas that I come up with, I guess I should put out this one:

It would be handy to be able to move a point vertically or horizontally to a guideline, or to the intersection of two guidelines, with the transform toolbar. This would require allowing non-funit values in the Transform:Position:X position and Y position fields, as well as labels for guidelines. My suggestion would be to have short labels for the standard metrics - lsb (left side bearing); rsb (right); xh (x-height); wina (WinAscent); wind (WinDescent); cap (Cap Height); Hn for any horizontal guidelines (where n is a decimal number, valid only for Y position); Vn for vertical guidelines (valid only for X position); and Dn for diagonal guidelines. Just like the current functionality, if you only enter a value into one of the X/Y fields, the other remains unchanged, with the guideline moving horizontally or vertically to the given guideline or metric line. If you enter two guidelines, it moves the selected point to the intersection of the two.

Any thoughts?

vanisaac
Posts: 337
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2003 1:33 pm
Location: Washington State, USA

Re: Position to guideline

Post by vanisaac » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:29 am

A second idea is to have a check-box under the radio buttons on the Transform:Size, Skew, Rotation, and Scale tabs labeled X, Y that replaces the 3x3 radio buttons with X and Y position boxes that would allow you to size, skew, rotate, and scale in reference to a point not at the middle or center of the contour bounding box.

Erwin Denissen
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 7784
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2002 12:41 am
Location: Bilthoven, The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Position to guideline

Post by Erwin Denissen » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:36 am

Thanks for letting us know about your ideas. I do see room for enhancing the transform functionality, but I'm not sure if and when to start wit it.

I'm curious about what others have to say about your requests. Would they help a lot with designing fonts?
Erwin Denissen
High-Logic
Proven Font Technology

Dave Crosby
Typographer
Typographer
Posts: 784
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 1:13 pm
Location: Enoch, Utah

Re: Position to guideline

Post by Dave Crosby » Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:47 pm

I think they are good ideas.
I have made some fonts that I would like to make variations in x height for example.
Aut nunc aut nunquam

Mike Thompson
Top Typographer
Top Typographer
Posts: 408
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2004 11:10 pm
Location: Massachusetts
Contact:

Re: Position to guideline

Post by Mike Thompson » Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:05 am

Difficult for me to evaluate the usefulness of these complex suggestions.
Instead here are some related features that I have often felt a need for in my work.

Save and restore guidelines in a named file. I need a different set of guidelines for
each font and get tired of recreating them.

Multiple selection of guidelines.
Shift selected guidelines horizontally. This would allow me to position
a 'scaffold' of guidelines over glyphs that have similar construction but different side bearings.

An easy way to create two parallel guidelines with a fixed separation and then move them
together. Useful for constant width strokes.
Mike Thompson
Hebrew Font Design
http://hebrew-font-shuneet.com

algrass
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:02 pm
Location: West Midlands, UK
Contact:

Re: Position to guideline

Post by algrass » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:00 pm

I am working on two sets of fonts simultaneously and I find it distracting, as well as frustrating, to have to change some guidelines according to which set I am working with. A saved guideline file would be very desirable and very easy to implement. Also, the opportunity to change individuals guidelines with a specific colour attribute would also be useful rather then the common colour choice that is available in the previous and current version.
These would ehance productivity.
Regards
Al

Bhikkhu Pesala
Top Typographer
Top Typographer
Posts: 7889
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 5:28 am
Location: Seven Kings, London UK
Contact:

Re: Position to guideline

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:11 pm

algrass wrote:A saved guideline file would be very desirable and very easy to implement.
Guidelines are saved in %ApplData%\FontCreator\guidelines.dat

You could copy that to a backup file for each font that you're working on. Just copy the file on exiting from FontCreator, and rename it to MyFont1.dat etc., so that you can restore the guideline set the next time you edit the font.

Obviously it would be much better to have the guidelines set saved with each font, but that would need project files like other font editors and would be a major change in the way that FontCreator works.

It might be easier to have different guideline sets saved in XML files, then load them when the font is loaded.

I would like to see changes to the vector tools so that we don't need to rely on guidelines so much. For example, like the Free Draw Too, but a vector line tool with width and pen angle attributes, which remains as an editable vector line until the contour is applied. See Spiro Curves
My FontsReviews: MainTypeFont CreatorHelpFC11.5 Pro + MT8.0 @ Win10 1809 build 17763.379

algrass
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:02 pm
Location: West Midlands, UK
Contact:

Re: Position to guideline

Post by algrass » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:54 am

Hi Pesala,

I tried your suggestion of renaming the guideline.dat file but it does not work. Even by removing the older file guideline.dat from the roaming folder and replacing it with the renamed one, after due corrections to the new guidelines, then on relaunching the program the previous guideline.dat I had removed reappears inside the folder. I guess there must be a section of the program which recalls it or regenerates it. Have you tried it yourself?
In any way it is a cumbersome procedure and in my view the simplest approach is to create a saved file. I think you should consider reviewing the program on this point as it is very limited right now. Out of interest, I am curious to know how Fontlab manages this feature. I am not a programmer so I cannot comment further. My last programming skills were in Fortran when I was an undergraduate and you had to punch the programming cards to run on the mainframe. And wow did I use to jump up with excitement when those simple and complex equations gotted plotted out!
A lot of time and programming languages have come to past since those days. Erwin, go for the trivial solution: a saved file.

Best regards
Al

Bhikkhu Pesala
Top Typographer
Top Typographer
Posts: 7889
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 5:28 am
Location: Seven Kings, London UK
Contact:

Re: Position to guideline

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:27 am

It works for me. This is what I did to test.
  1. Set up some guidelines in FontCreator
  2. Closed FontCreator
  3. Made a copy of guidelines.dat
  4. Relanuched FontCreator and removed the guidelines
  5. Closed FontCreator
  6. Deleted guidelines.dat
  7. Renamed "Copy of guidelines.dat" to "guidelines.dat"
  8. Restarted FontCreator — the previously saved guidelines were restored
I agree that its not very practical, but one could find an easier workflow such as copying guidelines.dat to a project folder for each font, then copying it back again to work on that font.

AFAIK FontLab uses project files, then exports to Truetype format, but FontCreator edits TrueType font files directly and doesn't use project files. Settings are saved with the application, not in the TTF font file, which does not support guidelines.
My FontsReviews: MainTypeFont CreatorHelpFC11.5 Pro + MT8.0 @ Win10 1809 build 17763.379

Post Reply