Tip of the Day

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Tip of the Day

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Jun 11, 2006 5:54 pm

As this thread is getting rather long, I have added a Table of Contents
  1. Working in Clean Screen Mode
  2. To Quickly Remove Guidelines
  3. Adjusting Geometric Centre
  4. Designing Ligatures
  5. Skewing Contours
  6. Making a Smooth Bracket
  7. Making Stencil Fonts
  8. Changing Straight Lines to Curves
  9. Copy/Paste to Create Composites
  10. Arranging Toolbars
  11. Modifying WOFF Test Text
  12. Rearranging Tabs
  13. Renaming Tags
  14. Editing Glyphnames.dat
  15. Optical Metrics for Superscripts or Petite Capitals
  16. Tagging Composite Glyphs
  17. Exporting Web Fonts
  18. Editing Complex Glyphs
  19. Using A Background Image
  20. Sorting Files on Loading
  21. Using Localised forms for Roman Numerals
  22. Restoring Windows and Toolbars
  23. Saving Font Validation Results
  24. Installing to a Custom Folder
  25. Checking for Errors
  26. Checking Kerning Pairs
  27. Using Shortcuts to Speed Workflow
  28. Scripts, Features, and Lookups
  29. Alternate and Winding Fill
  30. Trimming Kerning Pairs
  31. Adjusting the Accent Position
  32. Aligning Accents Using Guidelines
  33. Tagging Multiple Glyphs in Several Fonts
  34. Autokerning Large Fonts
  35. Finding Glyphs in Large Fonts
  36. Creating an All Caps Font
  37. Adding Programs to the Launch Externals Submenu
  38. Using the Preview Toolbar to Aid Kerning
Working in Clean Screen Mode

In the Glyph Edit Window you can press "H" to hide the screen clutter, but did you know that by pressing "Alter H" you can hide it and keep it hidden?

Image

When you want to focus just on the shapes of the glyphs it helps to hide the guidelines, etc.
  • Hide the floating toolbars
  • Turn off automatic glyph validation to speed up scrolling
  • Display the Status line (F4)
  • Hide the screen clutter (Alter H).
  • Click back in the window to hide the menu
  • You can still select contours with the shortcut keys or mouse. The status line shows the position should you need it.
  • Scroll through the glyphs with Alter left and right
Do you have any more simple tips?
Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat May 26, 2007 11:03 am

To Quickly Remove Guidelines:

Double-click on the ruler and clear all, or select individual guidelines and click on delete.
Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Dec 29, 2007 10:24 am

Adjusting Geometric Centre

When FontCreator completes composites it aligns diacritics on the horizontal geometric centre of a glyph. The circumflex accent will be centred on the Capital E, for example. Acute accent is offset to the right so that its one third point is centred on the base glyph, while grave accent is offset to the left.

On some glyphs, like the capital E illustrated below, this looks off centre because the visual centre is a long way from the geometric centre.

Image
Single Node Contour.png
Single Node Contour.png (213 Bytes) Viewed 14005 times
To adjust the geometric centre of the capital E so that it aligns with its visual centre one can add a single node contour. (Single node, or two node contours won't print. We can use them at the design stage and remove them later by using the font validation wizard). Insert a rectangle from the Drawing toolbar, select three nodes and delete them to leave a single node contour.

Image

Move the single node contour until the geometric centre aligns with the visual centre. You can see where the geometric centre is from the middle handles when all contours are selected. Drag a vertical guideline to where you think the visual centre should be. This is best done with no bearing lines in view to distract you.

Now, when you use Complete Composites, the accents will be aligned optically rather than geometrically, and all other accents over or under the Capital E will be correctly aligned too, because the geometric centre has moved. One can also move the geometric centre of accents in exactly the same way by adding a single node contour.

Image     Image
Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Feb 03, 2008 9:56 am

Designing Ligatures

Select the ligatures in the glyph overview and press shortcut "P" to show them in the Preview Toolbar. Type a few letters to make words and repeat the whole words after the ligatures. Resize the Preview Toolbar so that pairs of words line up like this:

Image

Now, you can easily see if the spacing and kerning are right, and if the design works aesthetically or not in a line of text.

Here is the same text with Pali Italic.

Image

You can tell at once that I forgot to adjust the right side-bearings on the Qu ligature after moving the "u" to join the "Q," and in the fi after moving the i to join the f.

The contour joining the st and ct is too heavy. It should be more like the contour joining the ck.

The sp ligature uses the "p" and "s" from the regular type style, not the italic typestyle :oops: Oh well! Back to the drawing board. :(

After Making a Few Corrections

Image
Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:01 pm

Skewing Contours

Sometimes you don't know the precise angle to use in the Glyph Transform wizard, or the amount of skew to use on the Transform Toolbar. The easiest method is to use the skew handles. Select a contour or several contours with marquee or shift select, and click the selection again to get the skew and rotate handles when you mouse over the selection handles. Carefully grab the skew handle and skew the selection as you wish.

Image

After skewing glyphs you will see some off-curve extreme points highlighted by the validation toolbar.
Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:31 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:16 pm

Making a Smooth Bracket

Delete any excess nodes at the bracket, leaving only three on-curve nodes, or add an on-curve node if needed. Drag the middle node of the three horizontally in line with the third node until the first node shows as red. The red nodes indicate that an on-curve node is redundant because it is in a straight line with another on-curve node.

Image

Press the "F" shortcut to convert the middle node to an off-curve node.

Image

Now the Validation Toolbar shows a different error — the off-curve node is an off-curve extreme. Click the "Add on-curve extremes" button on the validation toolbar to correct this problem.

Image

The result is a smoothly curving bracket.
Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:05 am

Making Stencil Fonts

Stage 1
Draw a rectangle, select all and centre align middle.

Image

Stage 2

Image

Stage 3
Drag select with the mouse to select the three offcuts, and press delete.
Image

Stage 4
The end result.

Image
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Re: Tip of the Day

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:48 am

Changing Straight Lines to Curves

In the latest version of FontCreator one can simply drag the centre of the line, but one will still have to fix off-curve extremes, so this method is still useful to know.
  • First add a node between the start and end of the line with the shortcut "a"
  • Convert this on-curve node to an off-curve node with the shortcut "f"
  • Select one or more nodes with marquee select (dragging with the mouse), or with the Lasso tool
  • Drag all of the selected nodes with the mouse to reshape the curve or curves together. Hold the shift key while dragging to restrain the movement to horizontal or vertical.
  • Use the keyboard cursor keys to move the nodes a precise distance: up/down/left/right to move by 10 funits. Hold down the Ctrl key to move by 1 funit, or the Shift key to move by 100 funits
Image
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Re: Tip of the Day

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:29 am

Copy/Paste to Create Composites

If you have the Professional Edition, Complete Composites can be used to create many composites, for example to create subscripts from superscripts. However, if the glyphs are not mapped, for example, if you want to create denominators in the Private Use Area from superscripts, or if you're using the Home Edition, then Complete Composites won't be an option.

However, composite glyphs can be created by selecting the glyph members in the glyph overview, copying them to the clipboard, then pasting them into the empty glyph where you wish to create the composite glyph.

To speed up the process of creating all ten denominators from the ten superscripts, copy them all at once, paste them all into the target glyph, then delete those you don't need.

Step One
Select all ten superscript glyphs in the glyph overview using Shift + Click, and Ctrl + Click. They will probably be in the order: 2,3,1,0,4,6,7,8,9 if the font is sorted in the standard order.

Step Two
Insert ten empty glyphs at the end of the font. Denominators intended for use with OpenType Features don't need to be mapped. Or, you can map them to code-points in the Private Use Area.

Open the first empty glyph and paste the ten superscripts from the clipboard. You will see a confused mess of glyphs like this:
Pasted Composite Glyph Members.png
Pasted Composite Glyph Members.png (10.66 KiB) Viewed 8507 times
Step Three

To select the superscript zero cycle through the composite glyph members using the "w" shortcut key — the zero, which is the fourth on the clipboard will be selected with three presses of the shortcut key. Holding shift, press the down cursor about five times to separate the selected glyph from the group. If you get the wrong one at first, try again until the target glyph is separated from the group and in the right position on the baseline like this:
Target Glyph Member.png
Target Glyph Member.png (13.53 KiB) Viewed 8507 times
Step Four

Use the shortcut key "Ctrl T" to invert the selection to get this:
Invert Selection.png
Invert Selection.png (13.76 KiB) Viewed 8507 times
Press the delete key to delete the selected glyphs, and use the shortcut Alt Right cursor to move to the next glyph. Paste the clipboard contents again (Ctrl V), and repeat the process for the next denominator.

Using composites instead of simple glyphs reduces the size of the TrueType font file and makes the font easier to edit. If you later decide that the superscripts need to be bolder, for example, you only need to edit the superscripts, for the subscripts and denominators to be updated too.

Update: If a large numbers of glyphs are pasted, disable Automatic validation, and hide the Glyph Fills (shortcut Ctrl H in FontCreator 9.0.0.1916). Fill Outlines is a global setting that affects all Glyph Edit Windows.
Hide Fills.png
Hide Fills.png (13.24 KiB) Viewed 3647 times
Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala on Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Tip of the Day

Post by Dave Crosby » Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:53 pm

Cool! THANKS!
Aut nunc aut nunquam

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Re: Tip of the Day

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:32 pm

Arranging Toolbars

Here's a tip to maximise working space by arranging a couple of floating toolbars over the otherwise unused FontCreator Window Title Bar to the right of the Help Menu.

With the FontCreator maximised, its impossible to drag the toolbars to the position shown, but if it is first restored, and moved or resized away from the very top of the monitor, any of FontCreator's toolbars can be left floating with their title just outside the monitor area.

On my 1280 x 1024 monitor, the Glyph, Align, and Standard toolbars will just about fit on one row with a few pixels to spare. The Grid toolbar and he Drawing toolbar can be left floating as shown.
Floating Toolbars.png
Floating Toolbars.png (42.98 KiB) Viewed 6558 times
After arranging the toolbars as you want them, maximise the FontCreator window again. Don't try to move the floating toolbars, or they will snap into a docked state. Double-click the toolbar handle to undock them if you dock them by mistake. They can be moved by dragging the left or right sides to resize them.
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Re: Tip of the Day

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Apr 30, 2013 2:56 pm

Modifying WOFF Test Text

The text used for the Web Font test is not currently editable. Here's a hack that you can use at your own risk to use any text of your choice in the test page.
  1. Browse to the WOFFTest subfolder in the FontCreator 7 Installation folder
  2. Make a copy of wofftest.js
  3. Open the original in a text editor
  4. Search for "abcde"
  5. Change the text for Case 1 from "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz\r\nABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ\r\n1234567890"; to whatever you want to use. \r\n means start a new line. This is the sample text that I useL

    Code: Select all

    "OpenType Features Test\r\nLigatures: ff ffi tty\r\nFractions: 1/2 3/8 11/64 21/128\r\nOrdinals: 1st 2nd 3rd";
  6. On running the test page, select the Preview Text "Alphabet — Numbers"
WebFontTest.png
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Re: Tip of the Day

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:44 am

Rearranging Tabs

Have you ever tried to rearrange the Tabs on the Tab Bar? I am used to this behaviour in Opera browser, and like to keep my fonts in order for quicker selection. In Tools, Options, General, I have the Startup Option set to “"On start open files from last time,” which is a great time-saver when working on a complete set of fonts.

However, the fonts don't always open in the same order as last time. In fact, they open in the order that they were last viewed.

So, to rearrange the tabs:
  1. Click on the tabs in the order that you wish them to be arranged from left to right
  2. Close and Restart FontCreator and the tabs will be arranged in the desired order
Tab Bar.png
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Re: Tip of the Day

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:43 pm

Renaming Tags
Tags.png
Tags.png (3.95 KiB) Viewed 5484 times
The five tags used in the glyph overview panel can be renamed in FontCreator 8.0:
  1. From the Tools menu, open the Options dialogue
  2. On the Advanced tab, click on “Copy Data Files to User Data Folder”
  3. Then click on “Open User Data Folder”
  4. Open “tags.txt” in Notepad and edit each name to whatever you want, like the code shown below
  5. Save the file, and restart FontCreator to see the changes

Code: Select all

;This file allows you to modify the names of the tag categories
;Restart FontCreator after modifying this file in order see the changes

[tags]
;Red
1=To Do
;Orange
2=Recently Added
;Green
3=Experimental
;Fuchsia
4=Digit Width
;Blue
5=Reserved
In FontCreator 7.5, “tags.txt” is in the FontCreator installation folder in C:\Program Files (x86)\. You can still edit it, but you will need Admin permissions to modify it.
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Re: Tip of the Day

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:23 am

Editing Glyphnames.dat
  1. From the Tools menu, open the Options dialogue
  2. On the Advanced tab, click on “Copy Data Files to User Data Folder”
  3. Then click on “Open User Data Folder”
  4. Open “glyphnames.dat” in Notepad and add or edit lines to change the glyph names used in the Overview caption and OpenType scripts
  5. Save the file, and restart FontCreator to see the changes
Many code points in the Private Use Area are used by FontCreator for OpenType glyphs such as Petite Capitals, Discretionary Ligatures, OldStyle Figures, etc.

Glyph names can be changed by clicking the Autocomplete button on the Glyph Properties dialogue, then clicking on Apply. I attach my heavily edited glyphnames.dat file. Extract it to your %AppData% folder to see the effect, or use it as the basis for your own preferred changes.
Autocomplete Glyph Names.png
Autocomplete Glyph Names.png (10.17 KiB) Viewed 4975 times
Autocompleted Glyph Names.png
Autocompleted Glyph Names.png (9.6 KiB) Viewed 4975 times
Attachments
glyphnames.zip
Updated 7/1/2017
(15.82 KiB) Downloaded 17 times
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