The Classes panel Window > Panels > Features helps you define, view and edit the OpenType and kerning classes in your font.
This panel contains a toolbar, a list of classes, a class Preview area, a class Table area, a List sidebar and a status bar.
On the toolbar there are several buttons and fields:
- Local menu - the local panel’s menu including commands for classes import, creation, and other services
- All classes - the menu to filter what classes or tags are shown in the list. For example, you can list only kerning classes, or OpenType classes, or Virtual tags
- Filter - start typing the class name in this field to quickly find classes by name
- Name - use this field to rename classes and tags
- Preview area - the preview of all glyphs included in the class or tag group
- Table area - the table of glyph cells included in the class or tag group
- List sidebar - the list of glyph names included in the class or tag group
Two additional buttons are on the status bar under the list of classes:
- + - creates new class or tag
- – - removes the selected class(es) or tag(s)
Changing the View in the Classes Panel»
There are three view modes in the Classes panel by the following buttons:
The Preview area shows the preview of all glyphs included in the selected class(es). This might be useful for previewing kerning classes. Select the first (left) kerning class and then Cmd-click to select the second (right) kerning class. Both classes will appear in the Preview area:
If kerning is defined for the classes it is applied to the preview. The Classes preview is in sync with the Kerning panel. When you select the pair of kerned classes in the Kerning panel it is shown in the Preview of the Classes panel:
The Table area is the main mode. It shows glyphs belonging to the selected class(es) as usual cells with names in captions. Drag-drop cells here from the Font window to add them to the class. If you select two (or even more) classes you will see glyph cells from both selected classes overlap each other. This might be useful when you build OpenType classes for substitutions:
The third mode is the List sidebar which is actually the list of class names. It can also help to compare and synchronize two or more OpenType classes:
Defining the new class or tag group»
Click on the + button below the list of classes to define a new class. From the dropdown menu select the type of class or tag. Choose Add 1st Kerning Class, for example. You will see a default class name appears in the list of classes and in the Name field:
You can manually enter glyph names that you want to add to the class in the text field under the Table area:
A Agrave Aacute
or you can drag-drop glyphs from the Font window to the Table area to add them to the class.
Tip: Use the Search field in the Font window toolbar to quickly find all glyphs which have names beginning with ‘A’.
When it is time to rename the class, use the class Name field and change “kl” to “kl_A”. Click somewhere to apply changes. Your Classes panel should now look something like this:
Repeat the procedure to define a class for “T”-like glyphs.
Kerning classes have blue and green icons at the left of their names to show which are 1st and which are 2d in the kerning pair. If you want you can make this difference more visible by assigning color marks to your classes. Use standard 5 colors or custom colors:
The result might look like this:
The Import submenu in the local panel’s menu contains names of all opened fonts. Use this menu to import classes from another open font. You can choose what classes need to be imported and how to proceed with existing classes in the dialog box:
Generating Kerning Classes Automatically»
FontLab VI can automatically generate kerning classes for you if you like. Click on the local menu button in the Classes panel to open the menu:
and choose the Generate Kerning Classes command.