Geometric Transformations»

Transformations done to the geometry of your glyph drawings (scale, slant, rotate and flip/mirror) are called geometric transformations. FontLab has a variety of ways in which you can apply transformations to the glyphs.

Contour-level vs. element-level transformation»

FontLab can apply geometric transformations on two levels: the element level or the contour level.

Element-level transformation»

  • Element-level transformations are performed on entire Elements.
  • You transform the element box itself, not the contents of the element box.
  • The node coordinates inside the element remain untransformed.
  • Transformations applied on the element level are non-destructive.
  • They are visible and editable in the Elements panel.
  • The references to this element remain unaffected (the transformation is only visible in the glyphs where it was applied).
  • In the Gallery panel, elements appear untransformed.
  • You can use Element > Expand Transformation to convert an element-level transformation to a contour-level transformation.

Contour-level transformation»

  • Contour-level transformations are performed on Contours.
  • Every contour is part of some element (they’re the contents of an element box), but in contour-level transformations, you transform the contents of the element box.
  • The node coordinates inside the element are transformed permanently
  • The Elements panel shows no sign of these transformations after you’ve applied them.
  • The node coordinates are rounded if Contour > Coordinates > Round when Editing is on.
  • All references to the element are affected (the transformation is visible in all composite glyphs and auto glyphs).
  • In the Gallery panel, elements appear transformed.

How do I perform transformations?»

While in the Glyph window, you can use keyboard shortcuts to perform Quick transformations: scale, slant, rotate and flip (mirror) your elements, contours or contour selections visually.

You can also use the Free Transform operation to visually perform several transformations at once.

In both the Glyph and the Font window, you can use the Transform panel to perform transformations numerically.

Finally, you can perform geometric transformations to entire glyphs across multiple layers using Tools > Actions, see Basic actions.