Drag & Drop Samples

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Brother Gabriel-Marie
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Drag & Drop Samples

Post by Brother Gabriel-Marie » Mon May 06, 2013 8:11 pm

The Samples panel is a very handy window where we can store our most-used and favourite shapes. We can drag things out of that panel onto our workspace.

It would be nice if we could drag new samples INTO that panel.
And we should be able to delete things in that panel too by pushing delete and clicking yes for confirmation.

Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Drag & Drop Samples

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon May 06, 2013 8:27 pm

How's that going to work? The samples toolbar uses an existing font.

You can open your samples font and modify it to add or delete glyphs to leave just what you actually use.
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Brother Gabriel-Marie
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Re: Drag & Drop Samples

Post by Brother Gabriel-Marie » Mon May 06, 2013 8:40 pm

I know it uses an existing font. Perhaps there could be a way for FC to import the dragged vector pattern. Dragging and dropping is much more intuitive than opening another font file.

Right now, if you want to edit the sample font, you have to go find it in the file system, which is not nice on your workflow - maybe a simpler solution could be to provide access to it from a menu. But FC would have to know that it had been changed and would reload it automatically without interrupting workflow by restarting FC. Maybe FC can be made to know when the sample font is being edited by detecting that the file has been changed when it is saved.

Another idea is to allow for several sample fonts to be available from a dropdown menu.

Dave Crosby
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Re: Drag & Drop Samples

Post by Dave Crosby » Tue May 07, 2013 12:45 am

You might find these articles helpful:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=986

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1409
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Brother Gabriel-Marie
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Re: Drag & Drop Samples

Post by Brother Gabriel-Marie » Tue May 07, 2013 1:19 am

Thanks - I wasn't asking for help though - I don't have a problem to solve - that's why I posted this in "Requests and Enhancements"!

Am I doing wrong to post here?

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Re: Drag & Drop Samples

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue May 07, 2013 6:37 am

Brother Gabriel-Marie wrote:Am I doing wrong to post here?
Nobody's wrong to post here. That's how good ideas get refined and bad ideas get discarded.

If users make feature requests its sometimes because they don't have much experience with the program yet, while experienced users have found other ways of working. I almost never use the samples toolbar, and I wonder how you use it to build fonts.

I sometimes copy contours from one glyph to another to ensure that serifs or stroke weights match other glyphs.Some definition in CompositeData.xml, e.g. for the € sign were also designed with that in mind.

Dragging and dropping contours from a different font just wouldn't work for maintaining consistency. I suppose one could create a custom samples font with "Shapes" to add to the rectangle and ellipse with Serifs, Triangles, etc.
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Brother Gabriel-Marie
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Re: Drag & Drop Samples

Post by Brother Gabriel-Marie » Tue May 07, 2013 2:07 pm

Thanks, Mr. Pesala, for listening and discussing - it's just what I wanted (I completely understand that ideas need to be flushed out and understood before they can be of any value - if they can be of value).

I (would) use the samples panel to store commonly used shapes so I don't have to remake them all the time or hunt down a font that has a similar shape - say a ring, which is actually in the samples panel - but one that is a certain size - or maybe two or three rings already set to the sizes I want.

The way the samples work even now is that you drag and drop contours from a different font.
Say, you are building a set of fonts and need to constantly reuse certain glyphs or parts of certain glyphs from one of the fonts. Sure, you could copy and paste glyphs, and then pick and choose the parts you need - but it would be easier if you could store them all in a temporary "clipboard" of shapes - which is what I consider the "samples" panel to be.

What if you could select from several different "sample" fonts (or visual contour-clipboards, as I think of them) from a menu? And what if you could just drag shapes that you like right into one "clipboard" or the other? Wouldn't that be an intuitive approach to storing and re-using your custom contours?

This way, with your set of fonts, and your stored custom contours, you don't have to go hunting through your font's glyphs to find what you want to reuse. And you could have different storage "fonts" for different project sets - available without navigating the file system.

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Re: Drag & Drop Samples

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue May 07, 2013 2:21 pm

If I was working like that, I would simply copy bits to my "Samples" font open in another tab. After a while, I would have everything I needed regularly, and the Samples toolbar would then have just the shapes that I needed, and nothing else.

The samples font doesn't need to be installed. Any changes that you make to it are updated the next time you start FontCreator.

Here's one I made earlier when I was writing Transform Scripts, and needed glyphs of different PANOSE weights. I have now saved it as a project file, set the export settings to overwrite the TTF, and disabled hinting and OpenType features for that font as they would not be much use.
Attachments
Panose Template.ttf
(23.12 KiB) Downloaded 196 times
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Dave Crosby
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Re: Drag & Drop Samples

Post by Dave Crosby » Tue May 07, 2013 2:33 pm

I almost never use the samples toolbar, and I wonder how you use it to build fonts.
Many free fonts consist only of upper case letters. You have lots of choices to complete it.
1. Make it the sample and drag them into a new font with Include Outlines and the job is nearly done.
2. Make some other font the sample and drag what you want into the existing font to complete it.

Say you wanted to make a font representing a ransom note.
Start a new font, and often switch the sample font to get all kinds of non-matching glyphs.
In point mode make alterations.Change to contour mode and stretch the characters any way you wish.
Drag in another sample font on top of a font and "get union of contours."
Imagination is the only limit.
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Re: Drag & Drop Samples

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue May 07, 2013 2:58 pm

Dave Crosby wrote:2. Make some other font the sample and drag what you want into the existing font to complete it.
Wouldn't it be much quicker to open the other font, copy the glyphs that you want to copy, and paste them all at once, complete with metrics and postscript names into the new font?
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Re: Drag & Drop Samples

Post by Dave Crosby » Tue May 07, 2013 3:28 pm

Possibly. I've never tried that method. Changing samples works fast and allows a visual of what you will get on the fly.
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