Slant Guides

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Dave Crosby
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Slant Guides

Post by Dave Crosby » Mon Mar 01, 2004 6:08 pm

Slant Guides

Thanks to an accelerated learning curve with help by Mentors Erwin Denissen, Bhikkhu Pesala, vanisaac, Jowaco, pia frauss and others in these Forums, I’m offering my experiences with Slant Guides also known as Contour Guides, Construction Guides or just plain old Guide lines.

:arrow: Select any two points on the glyph [preferably offset from each other] by using the mouse to left-click and drag a box to enclose the pair, or by holding down the shift key and left-clicking them.

:arrow: Next press the G key. A guide line will appear on whatever angle the points happen to express.
It is interesting to note that the order the points were selected in determines the direction [45 degrees or 225 for example] of the angle.

:arrow: Select the guide line and drag it off the points, then double-click it to open the Guidelines Window and set the angle [the angle box remains unavailable if you leave the line on the original points] to whatever you desire. You can also anchor it to an exact point.

To convert it into a Vertical or Horizontal line, use the Line Type selections at the top of the Guidelines Window.

Caution: leaving the line type selected at Diagonal BUT setting the angle to 90 or 180 degrees messes up the program's trignometric functions resulting in "Out Of Range" errors.

:arrow: Press the G key again and a new Guideline appears.
Repeat as often as you wish as there does not seem to be a limit, but too many lines does make selecting nearby points awkward.
Deselect the two nodes when you have all the guidlines you need.

:arrow: Select one point and press G to get both horizontal and vertical guides centered on that point

:arrow: Select any contour and press G to get contour boundary guides.

:idea: I prefer having 30, 45, 60, and 70 degree lines available most of the time just for references. You may prefer to have just one line and reset the angle for special situations.

:arrow: The guidelines disappear if your cursor moves beyond the work space boundaries as you drag them around.

Or as an ALTERNATIVE to all of the above:
Click on Tools, then Guideline Options at any time to review all of your lines in one fell swoop.
Here you can insert new lines, change their colors, modify the lines to EXACT positions, or delete them.

Image

:D FCP makes it easy to change character slants if the glyphs are drawn with a minimum of on curve points.
The easiest way to select EVERYTHING is to click on Edit, then Select All. Double-clicking inside any contour will select that contour [Contour #, number of points, and contour direction appears at the bottom of the screen], or select any group of contours or points using either/and the box or shift key method mentioned in the second paragraph. Experiment a bit. This is FUN!

Select a point and press the A key to add a point. Press the F key to make it an OFF point. Press the N key to make it an ON point.

"OPTICAL CONTUSIONS" [I enjoy "Malaprops"] are eliminated by pressing the H key to remove all lines as you watch while moving things and decide the best position for each point or group of points in your glyph.

Use the Arrow keys to move 10 positions per key stroke.
Pressing the control key during this process allows movement at one position per stroke.

Additional points may be selected - or deselected - from the group by holding down the shift key and left-clicking [or by "boxing"] the desired points at any time as you slide everything into place and fine tune your masterpiece.

:idea: ONE MORE WORD OF CAUTION: Moving points on the left side of your glyph tend to move the LEFT BEARING at the same time. Saving your font re-sets the left bearing in every glyph to X = 0, [this can be changed by going to TOOLS, OPTIONS, FONT and de-selecting the bottom box] moving your whole glyph with it!

Before leaving the glyph, be sure to move the left bearing near the place you want, then select a single point near the bearing. Clicking on the Magnifying Glass will take you to a magnification of 500, allowing you to accurately set the bearing exactly where you want it. Otherwise you may return to the glyph at some future time and be dismayed to find that it is not where you left it.

Pressing the Fit In Screen button just right of the Magnifying Glass produces your full glyph, allowing you to select a point near the left bearing so you can zoom in and accurately place it too.

Remember, the bearings are not just lines in your glyph, they control the amount of "white space" on each side of your finished character.

Image
Last edited by Dave Crosby on Fri May 07, 2004 2:50 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Slant Guides

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Mar 01, 2004 9:54 pm

davecrosby wrote:Bhikkhu mentioned deleting them with control Z. I can’t get that to work.
Undo (Ctrl Z) will delete nodes you have just created, but not guidelines. I don't think I said that it could do that.

To create a tangential guide:

:arrow: Select a node and press A to add a node.
:arrow: Select both nodes and press G to create a guide.
:arrow: Press Ctrl Z to remove the extra node.
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Dave Crosby
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Location: Enoch, Utah

Post by Dave Crosby » Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:25 pm

Thanks Bhikkhu!

I mis-spoke. :oops:

I have removed the eronious statement and "cleaned up" my language. Your presence is one of the best features of this product!
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