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FontLab VI version 22.214.171.12474»
20 July 2018
- The caret cursor appearance is improved in the Text mode.
- App no longer hangs after opening a Glyph window, with certain fonts.
@character works again as the stand-in for current glyph, in the Context mode of the Preview panel.
- When you open an OpenType font, FontLab stores the kerning in the original binary form, as a decompiled
kernfeature and converts it into visual kerning that you can edit with the Kerning tool. When you modify the visual kerning, the decompiled
kernfeature gets out of sync, so FontLab asks you if you want to remove it so it can later be rebuilt. Previous builds did indeed remove the outdated
kernfeature but still kept the original binary kerning, and when you exported an OpenType font, wrote the original binary kerning instead of the new kerning built from the visual kerning you’ve modified. This works correctly now.
- Remove Overlap works for contours with Smart corners correctly now.
- (Python) No longer crashes when using
- (Python, Windows-only)
FLlegacy module works again
- (Python) In build 6772, certain Python API functions were removed but in 6774 they work again as in older builds.
FontLab VI version 126.96.36.19972»
18 July 2018
FontLab VI 6.0.7 adds several major features: automatic composite glyphs with Auto glyphs, automatic in-context glyph editing with Cousins, pixel-perfect rendering inside the Glyph window, better geometric transformations, and a new Text mode property bar. It also includes improvements in handling Elements, glyph names and Unicode, FontAudit, contour editing, plus user interface tweaks and many bug fixes.
Major changes and new features»
Better Glyph window rendering»
The rendering of the Glyph window is now sharper. The results are most visible on screens with a low pixel density (non-Retina). The improvement also affects high-density or Retina screens, but less obviously.
In Preferences > Glyph window > Outline thickness, you can choose how thick glyph outlines should look in the Glyph window. The default is “normal” but you can make it “thin” or “thick.” (For an even thinner outline, also turn off ==View > Show > Smooth Outline).
The most important change, however, is Preferences > Glyph window > Pixel-perfect rendering (on by default). When this is on, the rendering of all outlines (especially with View > Show > Smooth Outline turned on) and also of all nodes, guides, sidebearings, font metrics and the crosshair will be rounded to full screen pixels, so all lines drawn in the Glyph window will be sharper, especially on “non-Retina” screens. If you’ve ever found the contents of your Glyph window “blurry,” pixel-perfect rendering will make you happy!
We’ve improved the presentation of the Scoreboard that we’ve introduced in 6.0.6. Turn on View > Scoreboard to see a movable, resizable numeric readout that will show coordinates for points, anchors, guidelines etc. as you’re moving them with your pointer. The Scoreboard now uses a monospace font and renders sharper.
Cousins: automatic in-context glyph editing»
FontLab VI has a new View option: Cousins. When you’re designing a glyph in a Glyph window, enable View > Cousins to see a “stack” of visually related glyphs in the background.
For example, the glyphs “b p þ” are visually related, and so are “c e o”. So when you’re working on a glyph in one of these sets, it may be useful to see the others if they are present in the font. In a way, Cousins are like a dynamic mask layer, that automatically provides visual context for your current glyph. In FontLab Studio 5, the equivalent of Cousins were called “shape groups.”
In Preferences > Cousins, you can decide whether Cousins should be rendered filled (with adjustable transparency), or as outlines. You can also decide how the Cousins should be placed in relation to the current glyph: aligned to the LSB, RSB or the center, and optionally shifted by a X/Y unit distance. With Use metrics, the Cousins will be placed to the left or right of your current glyph, shifted by their advance width (this works best if you only have one glyph in your Glyph window).
In Preferences, you can define which glyphs are “cousins” by listing them (a default list is provided), using space-separated Unicode characters or glyph names, one cousin group per line. Enable Double-click to edit the glyph if you want to be able to quickly switch between the Cousins that you’re editing.
Layers and Masters panel»
The Layers and Masters panel has been redesigned: its top section now has a Show layer properties toggle. Enable it to expand the bottom panel section that includes:
- An editable text field for the layer’s name. You can also edit the layer’s name right in the layers list by double-clicking it.
- The Auto layer toggle (that looks like “building blocks”) with an editable text field for the glyph generation recipe. You can use this to turn the glyph into an Auto glyph (see below).
- The layer’s transparency slider that controls the layer’s visibility within the FontLab VI user interface. This does not affect the font export.
Auto glyphs: automatic, live composite glyphs»
This build introduces the concept of an auto glyph: an automatic composite glyph. Auto glyphs are automatically generated and will automatically update whenever you change the contours, element positions, anchors or metrics in any of the component glyphs.
To declare a glyph an “auto glyph” in a particular layer or master, turn on the Auto layer toggle (“building blocks” icon) of a glyph’s layer or master in the top-right part of the Glyph window’s property bar, or in the properties section of the Layers and Masters panel.
With “Auto layer” enabled, the glyph becomes an auto glyph in that layer. FontLab will now use a special glyph generation “recipe” to automatically build the content of the auto layer, and will keep it up-to-date. It will insert the appropriate component glyphs along with the metrics of the base glyphs, will add the glyph guides and it will smartly inherit anchors from the component glyphs. If the component glyphs have anchors, these anchors will be used to position the mark components. So an auto glyph is a “live composite glyph”.
Generate Glyphs, composite glyphs and auto glyphs»
The Auto layer is a property of a particular layer in a particular glyph, so you may have some masters that are auto layers, and some masters that are “manual” layers. If any layer of a glyph is an auto layer, we refer to that glyph as an “auto glyph”. Auto glyphs receive the
auto virtual tag, so you can search for them in the Font window or show them in the Classes panel.
In the Font > Generate Glyphs dialog, there is a new checkbox: Create auto layers. If you turn it on, FontLab will generate auto layers (in all masters or the active master only, your choice). The resulting glyphs will have auto layers where you cannot change the element positions, the advance width, the sidebearings, the glyph guides or the anchors. But if you change the contours, metrics, glyph guides or anchor positions in any of the original glyphs, the auto layer that uses them as components will automatically update.
If you turn off the Create auto layers checkbox but keep Link as references on, FontLab will generate “composite glyph layers with references”. In the generated composite glyph layers, the content (contours) of each inserted element reference (component) will update when you edit the original glyphs — but the positioning, metrics, anchors and guides will be independent of the primary glyphs and will not be automatically updated.
If you also turn off Link as references, the resulting composite glyph layer will not use references, so each element will be fully independent of any primary glyphs.
If you turn off the Auto layer toggle in any existing auto glyph, the layer becomes a composite glyph layer with references, where you can add or remove elements, guides or anchors, change the metrics, draw new shapes and edit the entire content. If you turn on the Auto layer toggle in any existing glyph, the layer will be completely replaced with automatically generated content.
In Preferences > Operations > New Glyphs, if you turn on fill created glyphs with content when available then double-clicking on an empty glyph cell in the Font window will create manual layers with references in all font masters, but if you also turn on create auto layers if possible, then auto layers will be created.
How does FontLab know how to fill an auto layer with content?»
When you generate an auto layer, FontLab uses its Generate Glyphs functionality.
FontLab has a built-in
alias.dat database that, for a number of “known” glyph names includes “recipes” that define how a given glyph should be generated from component glyphs. If you place your own
alias.dat file in the
Data subfolder inside FontLab’s user data folder, FontLab will use that instead.
For example, when you generate the
Agrave (“À”) glyph, FontLab will try to find the recipe that describes the generation of the
Agrave in the
alias.dat file. If it finds one or more such recipes, it will:
- Find the first recipe, and then will find the
Abase glyph, then find the the
grave.casemark glyph, and insert them as components into
Agraveglyph will get the advance width of
Asince that is the base glyph.
- If any of the component glyphs cannot be found in the font, FontLab will attempt a fallback recipe, which is to insert the
Aglyph and the
gravecombglyph. If those are not found, it will try
- If none of the recipes give the full result, FontLab will use the last recipe and build the glyph using as many component glyphs as it can find.
Example: If the
A base glyph has a
top anchor placed somewhere above the letterform, and either the
grave.case or the
gravecomb mark glyph has a
_top anchor placed somewhere below the letterform, then in
Agrave, FontLab will position the
_top anchor of the mark glyph in the same location as the
top anchor of the base glyph. You can use any anchor names as long as the anchor in the mark glyph uses the same name as the one in the base glyph, but with a
_ prefix. If the glyphs don’t have matching anchors, FontLab will use the positioning clues encoded in the glyph generation recipe, which in this case will be “horizontally center the
grave.case glyph” or “horizontally center the
gravecomb glyph and raise it by the difference of the font master’s caps height and x-height”.
All the glyph needs, to be automatically generated, is an appropriate glyph name.
Custom glyph generation recipes»
alias.dat doesn’t know how to generate your glyph, or if you use a different glyph naming scheme, or if you’d like to provide some positioning clues for your component glyphs, you can use custom glyph generation recipes. These recipes use a special syntax that tells FontLab which components it should add to the glyph, and provides clues where to place them. FontLab VI can use one of two syntaxes for custom glyph generation recipes:
- The “legacy” syntax which is compatible with FontLab Studio 5 and can be used in the Generate Glyphs dialog box, in
alias.datand in auto layers
- The GlyphConstruction syntax which can only be used in Font > Generate Glyphs > Custom (but not in auto layers)
You can use the legacy syntax in the recipe text field next to the Auto layer toggle to specify a custom recipe for that auto layer. Then, FontLab will not look up the glyph name in
alias.dat but instead, it will interpret the custom auto layer recipe specified in that text field.
Example: If the
Agrave glyph has an auto layer with an empty recipe field, it will use the
alias.dat recipe, as described above. But if you enter
A+uni0300 in that field, FontLab will use that recipe instead, and build the auto layer from as many component glyphs as it can find in the font.
If FontLab cannot find a component required by a recipe, it will still generate the auto layer, but will print warning in the Output panel. If one glyph’s recipe refers to itself or to a second glyph which in turn refers to the first glyph, FontLab will not generate an auto layer and print a “circular references” error.
The legacy syntax allows you to add a base glyph (which contributes the width) and one or more mark glyphs (e.g.
A+dieresiscomb+acutecomb) and to create ligature glyphs (e.g.
'f_f'_i). You can even shift some components in x and y (but anchor-based positioning will take precedence). Check the details.
So, why not draw
acutecomb as a zero-width glyph and make the
acute glyph an auto glyph with the custom
space+acutecomb recipe, or define
one.tnum as an auto glyph with the custom recipe
Other Generate Glyphs enhancements»
Auto layers and composite glyph layers inherit glyph guides from all component glyphs used to generate the layer. For example: glyph guides present in
acutecombwill be reproduced in
Auto layers and composite glyph layers inherit anchors from all component glyphs used to generate the layer, but without duplicated anchors. When FontLab generates the
Aringacutemanual or auto layer using the
A+ringcomb+acutecombrecipe, and all three component glyphs have a
topanchor, the final glyph will get the
acutecomb, placed accordingly. Anchors not present in
acutecombwill be inherited from
ringcomb, and finally, those not present there, from
Auto layers and composite glyph layers inherit tags from their base component letters.
When you generate glyphs (composite or auto) with Font > Generate Glyphs, you can immediately open them in a new Glyph window for editing. This is controlled by a new checkbox which is on by default.
When Auto Wrap is on, the Text mode now shows where the text will wrap, using a darker background.
Text mode property bar»
We have redesigned the Text mode property bar.
- In the middle of the Text mode property bar, you now see a brand-new thumbnail list of glyphs related to the current glyph (i.e. the glyph that precedes the Text Mode’s text cursor). Click on any thumbnail and the glyph will be inserted at the cursor, or — if you have any glyphs selected in the Glyph window — will replace that selection.
- The Find button at the end of the thumbnail list opens the Edit > Find Glyphs floating dialog that allows you to make a more precise search using different criteria.
- To the left of the thumbnail list, there is a text field that shows the name of the current glyph. You can start typing a glyph name into that field and the thumbnail list will show the results. Click on any result, and the glyph will be inserted, or hit the Enter key while typing the name, and the first result will be inserted.
To the right of the thumbnail list we have:
- Two case buttons: Text to uppercase and Text to lowercase. These change the case of text currently selected (using the text mode cursor), or of all visible text if none is selected.
- The Features button, which opens a floating dialog that allows you to apply OpenType features to the entire visible text. You need to have features defined and compiled in the Features panel. The Features checkbox enables feature processing, which will also activate Right-to-Left and script-specific Unicode processing. With the checkbox enabled, you can choose which features should be enabled.
- The text size selector for the Glyph window. View > Actual Text Size will show the text in that size, other zoom levels are relative to that size.
- Tracking and line height selectors. They are hidden if they don’t fit to the window width.
- The Texts button that opens a floating text editor for the Text phrases. You can apply any of the phrases to the Glyph window using Text > Next Phrase and Text > Previous Phrase, and using the Pairs and Phrases panel.
- The Auto wrap and Show Text bar toggles.
- The Flag selector and the universal Search box (hidden if doesn’t fit).
Contour-level vs. element-level transformation»
FontLab VI can apply geometric transformations on two levels: the element level or the contour level.
- You transform the “element box” itself, not “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 transform “the contents of the element box.”
- The node coordinates inside the element are transformed permanently.
- 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).
- In the Gallery panel, elements appear transformed.
Transform panel in the Glyph window»
If you use the Transform panel in the Glyph window with the Contour tool:
- Horizontal and vertical flip, shift, scale, rotate and slant will be applied on the contour level:
- if you’ve selected any or all nodes,
- if the current element is not referenced in other glyphs (regardless of the node selection),
- if the current element is referenced in other glyphs but you’ve selected all nodes.
- Otherwise, those transformations will be applied on the element level.
Transform panel in the Font window»
When you select multiple glyphs in the Font window, enter a value for shift, scale, slant or rotate in the Transform panel, and click on Apply, FontLab will check if other glyphs use any of the selected glyphs as references. If this is the case, FontLab will show a dialog box asking if you want to also transform references of the current layer, or if you want to transform selected glyphs only.
This has important implications:
If you choose to apply the transformation to Also references (default), then:
- FontLab will apply the transformation on the contour level in all selected glyphs.
- This is similar to how transforming a glyph cell of a contour glyph worked in FontLab Studio 5.
Example: Select the
Aglyph but not
Aas a reference) in the Font window, apply a slant in the Transform panel and choose Also references:
- The contours of the current
Alayer will be slanted.
- The node coordinates will be rounded if Contour > Coordinates > Round when Editing is on.
- You will also see the result of the slanting in
Aacute, but only for the
Aelement — because you’ve transformed “the contents of the element box”, so all references are affected.
- In the Gallery panel, the element will be slanted.
- The contours of the current
If you choose to apply the transformation to Selected only, then:
- For glyphs that are not used as references, FontLab will apply the transformation on the contour level (just like described above).
- For glyphs that are used as references, FontLab will apply the transformation on the element level.
Example: Select the
Aglyph but not
Aas a reference) in the Font window, apply a slant in the Transform panel and choose Selected only:
- The contours of the current
Alayer will not be slanted. Instead, the element inside the
Acurrent glyph layer the will have a non-destructive slant applied (visible in the Elements panel).
- The same element referenced in
Aacutewill remain upright.
- In the Gallery panel, the element will remain upright.
- The contours of the current
Note: If you select some glyphs in the Font window and use the Transform panel:
- Horizontal and vertical flip always work on the element level.
- The dialog box will only appear if the contour-level (Also references) shift, scale, rotation or slant would affect glyphs that you haven’t selected.
- If you select all glyphs, or you select the composite glyphs that use certain references and all the source glyphs for these references, FontLab will perform the transformation on the contour level, and will also shift the elements in composite glyphs according to the transformation.
- If you only select composite glyphs but not the sources of their references, FontLab will perform the transformation on the element level (equivalent to transforming TrueType or UFO components in composite glyphs).
Transformations in the Actions dialog»
When you transform glyphs via Tools > Actions > Basics (Scale, Shift, Slant or Rotate), FontLab will behave as if you’ve chosen the “Selected only” transformation. It will apply the transformation on the contour level if it can, and will use element-level transformation only if contour-level transformation would affect glyphs that you haven’t selected.
The toolbar is more compact, so it fits better on smaller screens. It is also smarter: if it does not fully fit on screen, it hides the the Matchmaker and TrueType hinting tools first, and then the View toggles.
Glyph window property bar»
With the Preferences > Editing > Glyph window property bar setting, you can now decide whether the property bar of a Glyph window should be located at the top or at the bottom of the window. You may find a better visual balance of the window when the property bar is at the bottom.
The Glyph window property bar now first shows the font, then the layer/master switcher, and then the current glyph name. The layer/master switcher no longer moves around when you switch between different glyphs.
Brush tool property bar»
The dropdown list of the brush tool sizes in the Property bar for the Brush tool now includes several standard sizes in addition to sizes that match the font stems defined in Font Info.
- When View > Element Frame is on, the current element now shows a vertical line that goes through its center when you use the Contour tool and the element is locked, or when you use the Element tool. This is similar how FontLab Studio 5 displayed the active component.
- Element guides are now also visible for grouped elements.
- Element > Image > Interpret SVG is now called Make SVG Editable. This more clearly describes the operation. When you import an SVG, FontLab keeps it in its native form, with gradients, transparencies and all sorts of tricks. You can scale and rotate such an SVG but you cannot modify the contours inside it. But when you make an SVG editable, FontLab will convert it into FontLab native elements, composed of images and editable contours. As this conversion is not perfect, in some cases the results may be unexpected, and some properties such as gradients will be lost in conversion. But you will then be able to edit the individual contours.
- Improved algorithm for FontAudit fixing weak inflections. FontAudit now tries adjusting the curve through handle lengths and balancing. (FontAudit no longer adds nodes to fix a weak inflection; previously this often made things worse rather than better.)
- Open contours are now highlighted with a lilac color instead of the circle used in the previous release.
- FontAudit will not perform tests for missing extrema, nearly-horizontal or nearly-vertical lines on an element that is rotated or slanted.
- If the Content selector in the Preview panel’s sidebar is set to Current and you type in some custom text into the panel, the selector automatically switches to Custom, so your custom text is shown even if you change the text in the Glyph window. Switch it back to Current to reflect the contents of the Glyph window.
- If you turn on Show glyph names (the “abc” icon), a glyph names bar will appear at the bottom of the panel. Now you can enter text there, using the glyphtext notation (
FontLab can add, rename and remove guidelines across masters as long as the corresponding option is on in Preferences > Variations > Synchronize in matching masters. Note: Unnamed glyph guidelines cannot be removed across masters. You might consider immediately naming any guidelines created across masters (after selecting the guideline, use the Guide panel, or the property bar of the Glyph window).
When you open a VFC or VFJ font with multiple layers, FontLab will check if any of the font masters has a suspiciously low number of glyphs while another layer has a large glyph set. If this is the case, FontLab will offer to let you decide which layer should be used as a font master, and allows you to rename the new master.
Glyph names and Unicode»
FontLab prevents you from assigning the same Unicode to two or more glyphs, and provides a warning dialog to help you deal with the conflict. (Previously, such duplicated Unicode values were possible, and could cause unexpected glyph renaming/reencoding on export.)
In the Glyph > Rename Glyph dialog, if you enter and accept a new glyph name, and the name change should also change the Unicode codepoint, a new Unicode will be assigned as well (e.g. when you change the glyph name from
If you drag a Font window glyph cell for a glyph with a
uniXXXX-style name to cell that has a different Unicode, the glyph will be automatically renamed to reflect the target Unicode.
TrueType Smoothing (
Handling of the
gasp table settings that are available in FontInfo > Other Values > TrueType Hinting and Smoothing is improved:
- FontLab now correctly adds a
gasptable record with bit 1 off (no smoothing) at the PPM specified in the No smoothing up to PPM setting if that PPM is >0.
- FontLab now correctly adds a
gasptable record with bit 3 off (no symmetric ClearType smoothing) at the PPM specified in No vertical smoothing up to PPM setting. If that PPM is 0, the actual PPM will be auto-calculated.
- FontLab now correctly imports the PPM values for No smoothing up to PPM and No vertical smoothing up to PPM when reading the
gasptable records from TTF, VFB and UFO.
Python installation on Windows»
On Windows 64-bit systems, it is now possible keep FontLab Studio 5 with the 32-bit Python installed and, in addition, install the 64-bit version of FontLab VI along with the 64-bit version of Python. Both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Python can co-exist now.
- When you install the 64-bit version or the 32-bit version of FontLab VI for Windows for the first time, you can configure the path at which its respective 64-bit or 32-bit Python is installed.
- If you already have 32-bit Python installed, and you install the 32-bit Python using the FontLab VI installer, your existing 32-bit Python install will be overwritten regardless of the selected path. Similarly, if you already have 64-bit Python installed, and you install the 64-bit Python using the FontLab VI installer, your existing 64-bit Python install will be overwritten regardless of the selected path.
- 32-bit Python and 64-bit Python are now treated independently, so they may co-exist in the system. For example, you can install the 64-bit Python 2.7 in the
C:\Python27folder and install the 32-bit Python 2.7 in
C:\Python27_x86folder. FontLab Studio 5 (which is 32-bit), FontLab VI 32-bit and FontLab VI 64-bit can all co-exist and use the proper Python version.
- When you install FontLab VI for Windows in the “silent” mode, the installer doesn’t install Python. You should install it separately, if needed.
Path direction remains unchanged, when you use the Transform panel or Tools > Transform menu to flip/mirror a glyph. Previously, when nothing was selected and the whole glyph was affected, path direction would be reversed.
Element transformations are more consistently tracked in the History panel, and updated correctly in the Font window. Undo works more consistently with element transformations, no matter how they were applied.
Element > Expand Transformation can be applied to selected cells in the Font window. Elements having references with different transformations applied are unaffected.
Rotating glyphs 180° in the Font window (using the Transform panel on selected glyph cells) no longer changes sidebearings.
Transformation of multiple selected glyphs in the Font window was improved to avoid “double” transformations.
Contour editing in the Glyph window»
If Preview Rounding is on, moving one handle of a smooth node that is at a non-integer position no longer causes the other handle to change its length.
You can now Alt-drag a retracted handle (a zero-length handle that is on top of a node) from a sharp, smooth or tangent node of a curve segment, not just from a sharp node.
When you retract a handle by ShiftAlt-click, the contour updates immediately.
When you convert a node from smooth to sharp via double-click, the node maintains its most recent sharp handle positions.
If a curve segment has one or both adjacent nodes as “tangent” nodes, ++Alt+-drag on the curve does not changes the tangent node handle direction; it only affects handle length.
When you retract a handle, further operations on neighboring nodes and handles no longer “corrupt” the display of contour and fill.
Alt-drag of TrueType contour with inflection no longer “corrupts” the display of contour and fill.
The large cross cursor (Preferences > Editing > Show cross) updates properly while you are sliding a node via ++Alt-Shift++-drag.
Deleting selected points with the Backspace key removes all the points, even if one is a contour’s startpoint.
Free marquee/selection of adjacent glyphs works, even when the current glyph layer is empty [Windows-only bug]
Doing Contour > Align no longer moves handles to zero position.
The Text Bar is updated correctly after results from the Search box are inserted into a Glyph window.
Changes from the Brush panel applied to a contour drawn with Brush tool: changes can be undone, and appear in the History panel.
Remove Overlap now gives correct results in some complex cases involving both interior counters and three or more contours, when some of those contours touch without overlapping.
Preserving corner tension when converting smart corners to non-smart curves with Apply Smart Corner. In Font Info > Master Properties > Font Dimensions two settings control the appearance of all smart corners in a font master: Corner Tension defines the tension of the smart corners (0 are completely flat corners, 60 is the default, 100 is quite rectangular round corners), and Ink trap width controls the width of the ink traps (2 is default). Previously, the values defined there only worked in the preview, while the default values were used when you converted the smart corners into plain contours using Apply Smart Corner. Now the correct values are used when you apply a smart corner.
Pasting contours to an element with Smart corners is fixed so that the pasted contour can still be selected.
Contour > Remove Smart Corners works on all selected elements, not just the current element.
Rulers, Guides, zooming, measurement»
Rulers now update instantly when you change the zoom, without any lag.
Zoom-in and zoom-out using Alt-scrollwheel when the Pen tool is active doesn’t cause a crash.
Quick measurement line measures the stem thickness on the current layer correctly, even when the mask layer is visible.
We now use the term “guide” more consistently throughout the UI (never “guideline”)
Element guides no longer show incorrect angle values in the Property bar, nor present unexpected results when you edit their Property bar values.
When the selection includes an Element guide, movements made with Cmd-arrow keys still apply the multiplier (defined in Preferences > Distances).
Guides using expressions with the
widthparameter are created correctly, and update instantly.
Tabbing between fields in the Guides panel is faster, and the tab order is corrected.
Creating an element using New Element and then drawing with Rectangle, Ellipse, Pen, Pencil, or Rapid tool no longer leaves any extra empty elements in the glyph.
Copying a contour, and pasting it as an element into a new empty glyph, then editing it, no longer causes redraw problems during editing.
With multiple Elements selected, the arrow (cursor) keys still work to move them.
With the Element tool active, click, hold and drag correctly creates a copy of the contour instead of a reference.
Element rotation value does not change randomly when switching between fields in the Elements panel.
The command Element > Combine Contours to Element had its name adjusted (“to Element” instead of “to Elements”) as the result is always a single element.
Doing Element > Remove Filter on an Element referenced by others no longer unlinks those references.
The dialogs for Element > Add Element Reference and Element > Replace Element now remember the last options you used.
Combine Contours to Element operation now preserves Smart corners without applying them.
When Preview Rounding is on, decimal values entered in the Elements panel are converted to integer values upon leaving focus.
The commands =Element > Arrange > Send to Back= (=Cmd+Shift+[=) and =Element > Arrange > Bring to Front= (=Cmd+Shift+[=) can be used more than once within the same glyph without undoing the previous “Arrange.”
Anchors and Pins»
The positions of pins and anchors are updated on the Sketchboard when you drag them.
When a pin is pasted from one element to another, there is no lag before it is visible.
When an anchor is copied from one glyph and pasted to another, it remains an anchor instead of being converted to a pin.
Pins no longer incorrectly replicate across Elements.
Moving anchors using arrows +
Cmdkey now uses the correct multiplier (ten times the
Shift+arrow value defined in Preferences > Distances).
Unchecking the Use anchors checkbox in Font > Generate Glyphs dialog now correctly disables use of anchors.
The glyphs for the characters ĢĶķĻļŅņŖŗȘșŢţ are now always generated using the
commaaccentdiacritic glyphs, regardless of whether the glyph names are in the format of
Some characters that formerly incorrectly got cedilla accents when auto-generated, now get the correct commaaccent.
uni0189are now generated correctly.
Metrics and Kerning»
When you bind sidebearings, they are updated instantly when elements are moved (for example, glyphs composed of multiple elements with pins). You no longer need to use the Update Metrics command in such cases.
The Measurement line can be moved, and turned off, in all editing modes.
When the Measurement Line is visible:
- sidebearing values shown in the Glyph panel are now correct.
- the Metrics Table shows the correct sidebearing values in all modes (metrics, kerning, and editing contours).
Changes made to font metrics (ascender, descender, caps height and x-height) in the Glyph window by dragging can be Undone.
Accessing the Adjust kerning dialog from the pop-up (“hamburger“) menu of the Kerning panel works again.
Automatic metrics linking (Font > Link Glyph Metrics…) is smarter about which glyphs it picks to link to.
Changing the background color for the Kerning mode in Preferences > Spacing is saved correctly.
Kerning some glyphs containing bitmap images does not crash.
Variations & Layers»
Building a glyph by manually adding elements now affects only the current master/layer. Other masters/layers do not get added elements.
Variations compatibility options in Preferences > Variations are now off by default, so editing one layer does not automatically affect other layers in a Variable Font.
When you duplicate a layer:
- Expressions used at glyph-level (such as in anchors or glyph guides) are fully preserved.
- No unexpected additional pins appear.
Position of the Remove Layer dialog was adjusted to always fit window boundaries.
Lock, service, and wireframe options for layers work correctly in the Layers panel, even when the panel is docked horizontally and the names of the layers are very long.
When you turn off a filter on the Font window, your default sorting criterion (specified in Preferences > Font window) is applied.
When the glyph name implies one Unicode (e.g. “uniE0123”) but the actual assigned Unicode is different (e.g. “E0765”), this no longer “confuses” the Font window into showing glyphs in an incorrect order, or multiple times.
Copy-pasting a glyph in the Font window, and then Undoing it, no longer erases guides. (Yes, this was the most bizarre bug found and fixed in this release.)
In Preferences > Font window, three incorrect tooltips were removed.
Fixed a delay in Font window preview when new contours are pasted in a glyph.
When a VFC file is opened, the Font window sorts glyph cells correctly, according to the view settings (Encoding, Codepage, Script etc.) saved in the VFC file.
Compiling and decompiling OpenType features»
When compiling OpenType Layout features that have no
languagesystemdefinitions, FontLab automatically inserts
languagesystemdefinitions for all Unicode scripts covered by the font’s character set. (This feature was temporarily broken on Mac.)
Custom names for stylistic set features which include the quote symbol are compiled correctly.
markfeature is improved.
When opening OpenType fonts, decompiling
GSUBtables succeeds with more fonts.
Opening a VFJ file containing extra spaces and/or tabs no longer causes a crash.
Another VFJ-opening crash was fixed.
Saving and exporting fonts»
When a custom export profile turns off PostScript autohinting, FontLab no longer ignores this (turning off autohinting is now successful).
If you have a Save As dialog and cancel the save, FontLab presents only one warning dialog, no matter how many files would have been generated.
FontLab no longer crashes when exporting an OpenType PS (.otf) font instance from certain multiple master fonts.
The Preview panel no longer jumps to the first glyph when you switch editing tools.
Applying an Action to a glyph built from multiple elements does not cause a crash.
Resetting preferences to default, or applying a saved set of preferences, does not change View options.
Using the Text tool on the Sketchboard no longer causes a crash.
Undo/redo now works properly for the text strings entered in Preview panel.
Live preview (Preferences > Editing > Live preview) is now faster when editing curves with arrow keys
Opacity of artwork imported to the Sketchboard and set to zero is correctly remembered, even after the app is relaunched.
Tabs no longer “hide” after docking windows. This issue only affected Microsoft Windows users who had Preferences > General > Windows and tabs configuration on the second or third option.
FontLab doesn’t hang when opening certain VFC files with multiple Glyph windows opened when you have Preferences > General > Windows and tabs configuration on the third option, Fonts and glyphs open in windows (Windows-only).
Switching from the Text tool to the Contour tool no longer opens a new Glyph window unexpectedly. (Windows-only)
FontLab VI version 188.8.131.5222»
30 May 2018
FontLab VI 6.0.6 is even a bigger improvement than 6.0.5, with some 180 improvements (80 new features or enhancements, and 100 bug fixes)! Among others, 6.0.6 allows you to automatically synchronize editing operations such as adding or removing nodes across matching masters, brings major improvements in the Metrics and Kerning workflows, and some important enhancements in variable fonts handling. Plus, FontLab VI now supports the UFO3 format!
New and improved features»
New Convert to smooth curve segment operation: you can instantly convert any line segment to a curve segment, and make the surrounding nodes smooth with ShiftAlt-click on the segment (so you’ll get an actually curved curve segment). (If you just want a curve but not smooth connections, use Alt-click.)
The Rectangle tool has a new “eraser” mode. If you enable the eraser mode in the Property bar and draw a rectangle over an existing shape in the current element, the filled portions of the existing shape covered by the rectangle will be instantly removed (trimmed).
In Contour mode, ShiftPage Down or FnShiftDown will select additional nodes and handles along the contour (in the direction of the contour) and ShiftPage Up or FnShiftUp will select additional nodes and handles in the direction opposite to the contour direction.
When you create overlaps by connecting two nodes using the Scissors tool, the results were often incorrect especially if the nodes were adjunct to curve segments or line segments at different angles. The results are much better now.
Grid and Guides»
When you have two nodes selected, choose Tools > Add Guide to add a glyph guide that goes through those nodes.
If you have a non-zero italic angle specified in Font Info > Font Dimensions, you can slant any guide to that angle with the guide’s context menu entry Slant to italic angle
If you have non-zero grid slant angle specified in Preferences > Grid (with the Follow the font’s Italic Angle setting disabled), you can slant any guide to that angle with the guide’s context menu entry Slant to grid
You can show or hide the Measurement Line with the CtrlAltL keyboard shortcut
The setting Preferences > Grid > On-curve nodes always snap to the grid is now called Round nodes, guides and anchors to grid points. With this setting on, snapping to the grid becomes “strong” i.e. nodes, guides and anchors (but not handles) snap to it immediately.
FontAudit has a new test Open Contour for any open contour. This test is disabled by default but you can turn it on in the FontAudit panel. If you choose to fix an Open Contour, FontAudit will close the contour with a line segment.
New Glyph > Fix FontAudit Problems command will fix the FontAudit problems in the current layer for the current glyph, or (in Font Window) for selected glyphs. You can control which problems will be fixed by enabling/disabling tests in the FontAudit panel.
Variations, masters and layers»
View > Masters relations now shows the Master relation lines more clearly for selected nodes.
The color-coding for master matching used in the Layers and Masters panel is now also used in the Master switcher in the Property bar of the Glyph window. The inactive masters are shown:
- on a pale red background if they don’t match (aren’t point-compatible) with the current master and cannot be interpolated
- on a pale yellow background if they partially match with the current master (they have the same number of elements, nodes and contours but the ordering, contour direction or point types mismatch
- on a pale green background if they fully match with the current master
Copy Outline to Mask is renamed to Copy to Mask and now works for image elements as well as outlines
When you add a new layer in the Layers panel and enable Fill new layer with content of this font, you can choose the master of that font.
Synchronize editing operations in matching masters»
If you enable Edit Across Layers and Edit Across Elements and make several layers or masters visible in the Layers panel, and then you can use various editing tools to edit contours in the current layer or master and in all other visible layers or masters at once — as if these layers were one layer. This setting works regardless of whether the masters match or not, and does not guarantee that you will get matching masters as a result. For example, you still need to add or remove a node in all the contours from all the masters — you can just do it faster.
Now, we’re introducing a new series of settings: Preferences > Variations > Synchronize in matching masters. With these settings enabled, you can perform a certain operation in the current master, and the same operation will be “repeated” in all other masters that match the current master. Non-matching masters, masters that are set to non-interpolable in Font Info > Masters, and other layers are not affected.
You can enable the following Synchronize in matching masters settings:
- Delete node: when you delete one or more nodes, one or more segments or even contours in the current master, the corresponding objects will be deleted from all other matching masters
- Insert node: when you add a node (using CtrlAlt-click with the Contour tool, a click with the Knife tool or a click with the Pen tool) or multiple nodes (drag with the Knife tool) in the current master, nodes will be added in analogous locations on all other matching masters
- Rename node: renaming a node in the current master will rename the corresponding node in all other matching masters
- Add and rename guide: creating a guide in the current master will create corresponding guides in all other matching masters, and renaming will work similarly
(Note: There are several additional settings in the preferences which are disabled, because they are not yet implemented).
Keep in mind that Synchronize in matching masters and Edit Across Layers work separately. For example, if Edit Across Layers is on, you can drag the Knife tool to add nodes across contours belonging to different masters. But if you also have Synchronize in matching masters > Insert node on, then FontLab:
- will insert some nodes in the contours of the current master
- will then repeat inserting of the nodes in the contours of all other matching masters in analogous locations
- will then insert nodes in some contours of the other masters that you’ve dragged the Knife through
In the end, the other masters may get more nodes inserted, and as a result, the masters will become incompatible. Therefore, we recommend using either Edit Across Layers or Synchronize in matching masters but not both.
To help you distinguish between a font that has multiple masters and a font that has a single master, the title bar of the Font Window:
- for a single-master font shows an icon with four rectangles followed by the font’s Full Name
- for a font with multiple masters shows an icon with vertical stripes followed by the font’s Family Name, and, after a colon, the name of the currently active Master
When you create a font with multiple masters (e.g. via Font > Merge Fonts to Masters or by adding a master in Font Info), FontLab automatically adds an axis. It will make an educated guess whether to create a Weight or a Width axis. You can always change the type of the axis in Font Info > Axes. Previously, the Weight and Width axes would sometimes be implicit, i.e. they were not added in Font Info.
When you add an axis with File > Font Info > Axes > +, you can choose from a set of predefined axes or create a custom axis.
When you rename a master using Font Info > Names > Master name, the changes are instantly visible in the Font Info master switcher.
The Map view of the Variations Panel has been redesigned:
- if the font has no axes, the map view is blank
- if the font has one axis, the master locations are arranged horizontally (and not diagonally), and the location is shown only once
- if the font has two axes, the Map view shows the 2D view of the location; you can choose which axis should be shown horizontally and which vertically
- if the font has three or more axes, you can choose which axis should be shown horizontally and which vertically; additional axes are then shown as sliders below the map
When you choose a dynamic instance in the Variations Panel (by positioning the blue dot in the Map view, by choosing a combination of sliders in the List view or by picking a predefined instance in the Instances mode of the List view), you can click on the Generate instance as master or font button (top-right of the panel) and choose:
- Add as Master to add the currently selected instance as a new font master in the same font
- Create as Font to create a new single-master font that has the contents of the currently selected instance (similar to Generate Instance in FontLab Studio 5)
This functionality is also available as Font > Generate Instance, and both places now use the same terminology. .
Non-linear axis mapping»
You can now define non-linear axis mapping for each variation axis. You do this by specifying the external number, an equal sign, and then your internal number: e.g.
700=230 to make an external number of 700 equal your internal number of 230.
If you use your own design locations (for example your Width axis uses the stem thickness) but wish to export a variable font with standardized user locations (going from 1 to 1000, with Regular at 400 and Bold at 700), go to Font Info > Axes and in the “axis instances” area (large text field at the bottom of each axis definition), use the following syntax:
"Extra Light" 100=16, (Regular) 400=80, Semibold 600=150, Bold 700=230.
With this syntax, you specify “axis instances”, i.e. special locations on the axis, that have a name and two sets of locations.
The axis instance names such as “Extra Light”, “Semibold”, “Bold” are elements from which FontLab builds style names when you use Font Info > Instances > From Axes.
"Extra Light" is in quotes because it consists of two words.
(Regular) is in parentheses because it’s an elidable name element, i.e. it will not be used when the complete style name is built, if there are elements beyond “Regular.” These names may in future also be used to build axis value names in the OpenType
STAT table (but this is not yet implemented).
The number after the
= is the design location, i.e. the location on the axis as you see and use it within FontLab VI.
The number before the
= is the user location, which is used as follows:
- When you create predefined instances in Font Info > Instances > From Axes, the user locations for the Weight axis are used to automatically build the Weight class style attribute (
OS/2.usWeightClass) when you export the predefined instances as traditional static fonts.
- For all axes, when you export your font as OpenType Variations, FontLab will create mapping points between each design location and a user location along the axis. This way, you can control the speed of the end-user’s slider on each segment between these mapping points. If there are more than 3 axis instances, FontLab will automatically create an
avarOpenType table as required by the spec.
- For all axes, when you export your font as DesignSpace + UFO, the mapping between design locations and user locations will written into the
.designspacefile as the axis map.
Font > Generate Glyphs no longer removes an inactive layer/master when the Active Master Only setting is on.
Generating a glyph generates not just font masters, but also glyph masters, if any source glyph had them
Classes, Metrics (Spacing) and Kerning»
When in Font tab/window with one or more glyphs selected, you can open them in a Metrics tab/window (i.e. Glyph tab/window in Metrics mode): click the Metrics tool on the toolbar or Cmd-double-click (Mac) / Cmd-double-click (Windows) on the selection.
When in a Glyph tab/window, press ShiftAltCmdM (Mac) / ShiftAltCtrlM (Windows) or choose Window > New Metrics Tab or …Window to open a new Metrics tab/window with the same text contents. This also works with the Font window selection.
The Metrics mode of the Glyph window/tab now has a custom pointer (cursor)
You can customize the background color for the Metrics mode separately from Kerning mode in Preferences > Spacing
In the Metrics mode of the Glyph window:
- When the Pairs and Phrases panel is invisible, you can:
- use Up or Ctrl[ to go to the previous line in the current text
- use Down or Ctrl] to go to the next line in the current text
- use FnCmdUp+ (Mac) or CtrlPage Up (Windows) to go to the previous text phrase
- use FnCmdDown+ (Mac) or CtrlPage Down (Windows) to go to the next text phrase
- When the Pairs and Phrases panel is visible, the behavior changes slightly:
- use Up or Ctrl[ to go to the previous line in the current text, and if you’re in the first line, to the previous text phrase
- use Down or Ctrl] to go to the next line in the current text, and if you’re in the last line, to the next text phrase
- When the Pairs and Phrases panel is invisible, you can:
(Note: if the Pairs and Phrases panel is set to Pairs, pair phrases will be used instead of text phrases.)
When in Font tab/window with one or more glyphs selected, you can open them as a Kerning tab/window (i.e. Glyph tab/window in Kerning mode): click the Kerning tool on the toolbar, AltCmd-double-click (Mac) / AltCmd-double-click (Windows) on the selection.
When in a Glyph tab/window, press ShiftAltCmdK (Mac) / ShiftAltCtrlK (Windows) or choose Window > New Kerning Tab or …Window to open a new Kerning tab/window with the same text contents. This also works with the Font window selection.
The Kerning mode of the Glyph window/tab now has a custom pointer (cursor)
You can customize the background color for the Kerning mode separately from Metrics mode in Preferences > Spacing
The Semicolon key applies autokerning to the current pair in the Kerning mode of the Glyph window.
The settings for autokerning are now in Preferences > Spacing.
In the Kerning mode of the Glyph window:
- When the Kerning panel is invisible, you can:
- use Up or Ctrl[ to go to the previous line in the current text, and if you’re in the first line, to the previous pair phrase
- use Down or Ctrl] to go to the next line in the current text, and if you’re in the last line, to the next pair phrase
- use FnCmdUp+ (Mac) or CtrlPage Up (Windows) to go to the previous pair phrase
- use FnCmdDown+ (Mac) or CtrlPage Down (Windows) to go to the next pair phrase
- When the Kerning panel is visible and the Pairs and Phrases panel is invisible, the behavior changes slightly:
- use Up to go to the previous line in the current text, and if you’re in the first line, to the previous existing kerning pair
- use Down to go to the next line in the current text, and if you’re in the last line, to the next existing kerning pair
- use FnCmdUp+ (Mac) or CtrlPage Up (Windows) to go to the previous pair phrase
- use FnCmdDown+ (Mac) or CtrlPage Down (Windows) to go to the next pair phrase
- When the Kerning panel is invisible, you can:
(Note: if the Pairs and Phrases panel is set to Texts, text phrases will be used instead of pair phrases.)
In the Classes panel, you can select two classes and then edit the contents of both classes side-by-side. When you’re kerning, the Classes panel automatically shows the appropriate 1st and 2nd class.
You can copy-paste multiple classes between font masters or different fonts.
When you delete a kerning class in the Classes panel, FontLab will flatten the kerning pairs that use that class.
When kerning class is cleaned using the Clean Up Class operation after glyphs deletion, kerns that use those deleted glyphs are also removed
The Reset command in the Classes panel local menus is now called Remove All Classes.
Browsing through the kerning pairs in the Kerning panel by clicking or using Up/Down now puts the current pair into the Glyph Window. When you select multiple pairs in the Kerning panel, they will be placed in the Glyph Window in multiple lines.
When you click on the small gray rectangle left of a class-based pair in the First column of the Kerning panel, or you Ctrl-click on the pair in the panel, the Glyph window will show all glyphs from the 1st class kerned against the 2nd glyph (or a representative glyph of the 2nd class).
When you click on the small gray rectangle left of a class-based pair in the Second column of the Kerning panel, or you Alt-click on the pair in the panel, the Glyph window will show the 1st glyph (or a representative glyph of the 1st class) kerned against class kerned against all glyphs from the 2nd class.
When you Alt-click on either of the small gray rectangles, the Glyph window will show all glyphs from the 1st class kerned against class kerned against all glyphs from the 2nd class.
You can use Left/Right to increase or decrease the value for all kerning pairs selected in the Kerning panel.
When the “HOH” toggle is enabled in the Kerning panel and you choose a kerning pair, the Glyph Window will show that pair in context, i.e. surrounded by some glyphs that are selected automatically.
In the Kerning panel, you can now copy and paste kerning pairs (between masters or fonts).
The “eye” button at the bottom of the Kerning panel shows and hides the kerning pair preview in the panel.
The Remove Pairs… command (available from the Kerning panel’s local menu, previously named Filter) is improved:
- The option to remove kerning pairs below a given value now uses the less or equal to operator, allows the value 0, and can preserve small numbers when they are exceptions.
- There is a new clean-up option to remove pairs for non-existent glyphs or empty classes.
The searches using the Filter box and the dropdown selectors (All glyphs, Selected Glyphs, Glyphs in Encoding) work faster. Remember that the Filter box accepts syntax such as
*means “any glyph’.
You can now apply color flags to kerning pairs in the Kerning panel. If you’ve also applied color flags to classes in the Classes panel, the resulting color flag will be a mixture of the class color flag and the pair color flag. Note: you may need to enlarge the panel to see the UI elements for applying Color flags.
The Reset command in the Kerning panel local menus is now called Remove All Pairs.
Other improvements for Kerning»
When you generate or export instances from a multiple-master font, kerning pairs with the value of 0 are removed.
FontLab now suggests you to remove the
kernfeature from the Features panel if you modify the font’s visual kerning. You can rebuild the
kernfeature using the Features panel local menu command. When you export the font, FontLab will generate the
kernfeature (according to the setting in the export profile).
When you remove all kerning with Remove All Pairs in the Kerning panel’s local menu, FontLab will asks you if you want to remove the
kernfeature if it exists. If you choose Yes and then undo, the first Undo will restore the
kernfeature, the second Undo will restore the kerning.
Glyphs and Elements»
Copy-pasting a glyph in the Font Window pastes an independent glyph, rather than an Element Reference
You can now duplicate one or more glyphs in the Font Window using Edit > Duplicate, and assign a glyph name suffix in the dialog that opens.
You can now add or remove tags from multiple selected glyphs in the Font Window, while preserving all other existing tags for these glyphs. To do this, select the glyphs and, in the Tags field of the Glyph panel:
- prefix the tag with
+to add it to all selected glyphs (e.g. type
+tofixto add the
tofixtag to the glyphs)
- prefix the tag with
-to remove it from all selected glyphs (e.g. type
-tofixto remove the
tofixtag from the glyphs)
- if you omit the
+you are replacing all tags in the selected glyphs with the new tags
- prefix the tag with
In the Gallery panel, you can Alt-drag-drop one Element onto a second Element: FontLab will then ask you if you want to replace all references to the second Element by references to the first Element in all glyphs of the current master.
Files and Formats»
When you’re closing a font that you’ve modified, FontLab asks you if you want to save the changes. You can now choose Don’t Save by pressing CmdD or CmdDel (Mac-only).
You can now choose the human-readable text-based “FontLab VI JSON (VFJ)” format in the File > Save As… dialog. However, all subsequent saves (using File > Save) will be done in the FontLab VI (VFC) binary format. If you want to keep saving the VFJ format, you can now enable it in Preferences > Save Fonts as an additional save format — then, on every save, both VFC and VFJ will be created.
The autosave is improved. With Preferences > Save Fonts > Autosave opened fonts enabled, when you create a new font or open a font in any format and modify it, FontLab will start automatically saving a copy in
~/Library/Application Support/FontLab/FontLab VI/Autosave (Mac) or
C:\Users\YOURNAME\AppData\Roaming\Fontlab\FontLab VI\Autosave (Windows) using a unique filename, in the frequency specified in the Preferences. Previously, some files were not autosaved.
Note: FontLab will remove the autosaved files if you close the font or quit the app. If FontLab crashes and you restart it, it will ask if you want to recover the autosaved files.
UFO version 3»
FontLab VI now has preliminary (“beta”) support for the UFO version 3 interchange format.
Since UFO3 support is still in beta, the default export profiles (UFO Package and DesignSpace + UFO) still use UFO2. To export UFO3, go to File > Profiles, select the DesignSpace + UFO or UFO Package profile, click on the + button and in the profile properties:
- Change the Profile name (for example to UFO3 Package or UFO3 + DesignSpace).
- Disable the Use legacy format version setting. This enables UFO version 3.
- Optionally, change the Profile subfolder to something else. This string will be used to form the subfolder name if you export the font with the Subfolders by: Profile setting enabled.
Note: FontLab VI treats UFO as an import/export format, so it’s not fully round-trippable. FontLab supports practically all of “standard” UFO3 constructs, but it does not read custom font or glyph lib properties, and does not export color glyphs into UFO3. Glyphs that use filters such as Power Brush, Smart Corners or Glue, or compound elements, are exported as plain outlines.
When opening a VFB, FontLab will convert Metrics classes into metrics expressions where appropriate. If you used “Metrics Assistance” in FontLab Studio 5 to copy some metrics from a source glyph to some target glyphs, FontLab VI will form expressions in those target glyphs only if their metrics are still identical to the source metrics. If the target metrics differ from the source metrics, FontLab VI will use the numerical values.
Better tab/window navigation. The Glyph/Font tabs headers are now wide — they take all available space. When you open new tab/window from a tab/window and then close that new tab/window, you are returned to the tab/window that you were previously working on.
Better UI contrast. When Preferences > Glyph Window > High contrast rendering is enabled, more UI elements are now darker, now including Genius and Servant nodes as well as Spacing controls for inactive glyphs.
Scoreboard. The new View > Scoreboard toggle shows a large “numeric readout” that shows coordinates for points, anchors, guidelines etc. as you’re moving them with your pointer. You can move or resize the Scoreboard. Useful if you’re working on a large monitor where the normal UI elements are tiny.
Workspaces. When you save a workspace, additional properties of currently open panels (such as opened panel sections) will be saved.
Icons (with tooltips) have replaced text labels in the Property bar (above the Font or Glyph window), and in the Glyph panel.
Auto Preview in Text mode»
When you activate the Text tool in a Glyph window and then don’t perform any actions, after a few seconds of inactivity the Text mode turns into Auto Preview, and the text cursor disappears.
In Auto Preview, instead of keys producing text, they have the same effect as in other editing modes of the Glyph window: you can zoom in/out using the Z and X keys, pan using the Space key and use other any single-key shortcuts. To activate the Text mode again, click where you want the text cursor to appear.
You can now customize the foreground and background color of the Preview panel (useful for previewing fonts in low-contrast situations)
Cmd-double-click on a glyph in the Preview panel to open the glyph for editing in the Glyph window
In the Preview panel, the Context mode now allows you to change the default string. To do that, open the context dialog with the gear button next to the mode selection. (You can still also change the text temporarily, either by direct typing, or by editing the glyph names bar, but these changes do not affect the default.). Note: in the context string, the
@character stands for the current glyph
The Preview panel now remembers its settings between sessions
Font Info > Unicode Ranges now has complete support for the
OS/2.ulUnicodeRange*fields (the ranges 70-84 and 91-122 were added).
In the Stems dialog of the TrueType Hinting mode, the tooltip for the auto button (diamond shape) now reads Auto-detect stems (was “Calculate Stems”)
Drawing and editing contours»
Tools > Clear Global Mask is now disabled if the global mask is blank
Improved moving anchors with keyboard arrows.
Editing of TrueType curves that include servant nodes is improved.
With Contour > Coordinates > Preview Rounding enabled, both paths and nodes are rounded correctly on screen in Smart Corners.
When you drag an element with the Element tool, or a contour selection with the Contour tool, the Property bar continuously updates the display of the x/y coordinates.
With Preview Rounding enabled, handles no longer change unexpectedly when you move a selection
The Nodes panel immediately shows the results of Preview Rounding.
FontAudit marks on Sketchboard with Preview Rounding enabled are no longer misplaced.
Right-click menu correctly appears for selected curve segment, even when Preferences > Editing > Clicking on outline selects segment is on (Win-only bug)
Alt-dragging a Tangent node now moves the node but keeps the handle in place even when Round while Editing is turned on.
The contextual pop-up menu for SVG elements no longer shows commands related to bitmap images (as they have no effect), and the menu entries in Elements > Image are appropriately disabled
Copy Outline to Global Mask no longer causes a crash when you do it after selecting an element with bitmaps
If you delete the Mask layer, Tools > Edit Mask is no longer checked afterwards
Fixed a three-way interaction between smart fill, smart corners and copy/paste creating unpredictable results
Contextual drop-down menu still available after doing Contour > Simplify
Font Guideline sliders in the Font Info panel work as expected
Context menu for guideline/metrics position works correctly
Nodes can be moved with the right arrow key, even after applying smart fill
Clicking too fast on FontAudit marks no longer causes a crash
After converting a horizontal or vertical guideline to a vector guideline, the defaults in Guidelines panel remain correct/unchanged
Nodes that are linked with magnet to Font Guidelines now move appropriately when the Font Guideline position is changed via Font Info > Parameters, Guidelines panel, or via Property bar
Undoing Transform panel actions in the Font window, on fonts with multiple Masters, no longer creates odd effects in glyph cells
Grid snap behavior of directly editing a segment no longer varies depending on whether you just edited a handle (BCP)
Variations, masters and layers»
Switching masters now centers on the active glyph even if your Glyph window contains a longer text.
FontLab no longer crashes when you edit a glyph that has multiple masters and some of the masters use open contours.
Alt. and Alt, switch layers correctly now even if there are locked layers
FontLab correctly switches to the main layer after deleting the mask layer
Undoing an operation doesn’t change which layer/masters is active
Glyph > Match Masters correctly reorders elements if “Check Masters Geometry” is turned on in the Variations panel
Map view is no longer empty in the Variations panel after Undo
When Layers panel is collapsed/compressed, the button to show layers still works.
When exporting the Glyph window contents in Text mode, interpolation is applied as appropriate
You can now remove one axis after another in Font Info
Removing an axis while in Font Info no longer sometimes crashes
File > Font Info > Instances: The “From Masters” button correctly imports variation locations
The Weight dropdown selector in File > Font Info > Instances correctly shows the current selection
When the preference “Convert TrueType curves to PostScript curves” is turned on, can still open “Bahnschrift” TrueType variable font instead of crashing
When a width axis is added to an existing font in File > Font Info > Axes, default location for pre-existing masters on the new axis is wd=100 (was incorrectly wd=112.5)
Locations (coordinates) of other masters do not change when you delete a master
Predefined instances are respected by the “Generate instance as master or font” operation
The “Attributes” drop-downs in the Font Info panel (not the full Font Info dialog) now work correctly for selecting weight, width and slope
Font dimensions such as x-height can be set differently per master, without glitches
Classes, Metrics (Spacing) and Kerning»
When the Measurement line is visible, the Glyph panel always shows the sidebearings calculated at the Measurement line
The Autokerning button now works correctly in the Pairs and Phrases panel, even for multiple selection
Tooltip for the “preview strings” button in the Metrics bar is corrected
When two or more classes are selected in the Classes panel, drag-dropping of glyphs to the list area respects the column so glyphs are added to the correct class
Opening a font with massive kerning such as Calibri Light (>400K pairs) no longer causes a crash
Editing kerning for inactive pair, when the “Inactive kerning pairs are editable” option is on, makes it active
In the Classes panel, glyphs with same name but different extension (like .case or .smcp) are no longer considered out of sync. For example: if the user select two matching classes, one with uppercase and other with small caps, FontLab will correctly consider them matching.
Using arrow keys to modify multiple kerning pairs selected in the Kerning panel is much faster now.
Activating a pair in the Kerning mode of the Glyph window no longer activates the pair in the Pairs and Phrases panel.
Undoing kerning changes is much faster now.
Measurement line no longer loses its special status and can’t be renamed.
Delete key works when editing kerning values
Glyphs and Elements»
When FontLab opens a VFC or VFJ that has multiple Elements that have the same name, it will rename these elements (if they’re different) or remove the duplicate elements (if they’re identical) and merge all references.
FontLab no longer allows or creates multiple Elements with the same name. It automatically makes Element names unique.
Generate Glyphs no longer wrongly applies color to generated glyphs when one of the source glyphs was a composite glyph
Using the color flag selector in the Glyph panel does not hang the application
The Property bar more consistently shows correct controls when you browse elements with the Element tool
Changing the opacity of an image element on Sketchboard with the slider does not cause a crash
Extensive operations with copying and pasting elements and references do not cause all guides to be removed
Rotation applied to glyphs selected in the Font Window works as expected
When an blank glyph is renamed in place, the change is immediately reflected in the Glyph Info panel
Renaming a glyph in place in the Font Window using the caption works properly, even when the window is in focus and the Glyph Info panel is docked
Typing special characters in Text mode using Alt works correctly (Mac-only bug)
Files and Formats»
When you export color fonts, FontLab will correctly keep transformations (scale, shift etc.) applied to SVG elements.
When opening Noto Sans Thai or Noto Sans Lao, all GPOS features are correctly decompiled into the FEA syntax, not just GSUB features
When multiple save formats are enabled in Preferences > Save Fonts and you Save As the font or Save a new font, the Save As dialog no longer appears multiple times.
The “Save changes to … before closing” dialog no longer shows the current master name
Removed the ineffective setting Preferences > Save Fonts > Save Windows. FontLab now always saves the windows and their contents in the VFC/VFJ formats.
FontLab correctly detects smooth nodes when opening VFB files
By default, FontLab JSON (VFJ) is now exported with indentation. You can turn the indentation off in Preferences > Save Fonts.
When you Cmd-click on a Font tab/window title, FontLab now shows a file icon that reflects the file format in which the current font is saved.
On UFO Package export, the
data/com.fontlab.v2.otl.ttx.xmlis not written if it is empty.
When you export PostScript Type 1 fonts, the exported AFM now includes all appropriate fields in its
When you export a font in the All Masters mode, and the Profile has the Remove Overlaps setting enabled, the overlaps are actually removed.
When you open a UFO on Windows by opening the
metainfo.plistfile and then export the font, the filename for the exported font will be equal to the Full Font Name and not the word
When exporting DesignSpace+UFO, masters are fully included.
File > Import > Artwork shows the open dialog instead of failing
Both font export, and remove overlap on all glyphs in a font, work more reliably even when glyphs have many hundreds of nodes
Custom font export profiles for color fonts work more consistently
Keyboard shortcut for Import Artwork (Ctrl+D) still works when used repeatedly
Embedding setting is correctly saved to VFC
OT features can be exported to .fea file (File > Export > Features), without opening the Features panel first
The toolbar is now intelligently sensitive to screen resolution. With a vertical toolbar, if there are not enough pixels to show the whole toolbar (for example, in 1280 x 800 or 1440 x 900 resolutions), the set of view buttons is hidden. If resolution is increased, the buttons will automatically be shown again.
Search field in Preferences pane no longer loses focus when typing certain phrases
The Preview panel with Preferences > Editing > Live preview enabled works much faster (no longer lags) when you move points with arrow keys.
In Text mode (when you use the Text tool in the Glyph window), the glyph before the text cursor automatically becomes the “current glyph”, so panels and other UI elements show its appropriate info.
App does not use excessive CPU cycles when inactive
Editing Commands immediately after editing Workspaces no longer crashes
No erratic crash from selecting Tools > Actions
No crash when closing fonts from an Adobe Type Reunion-compatible PostScript Type 1 font for Mac
When automatically calculating values for Font Info > BBox, fractional/decimal values now always round up to larger absolute value. For example, -350.4 rounds to -351.
Tags applied to stems in the TrueType Hinting dialog are preserved when the dialog is closed
FontLab VI version 184.108.40.20675»
12 April 2018
FontLab VI 6.0.5 is our biggest “dot release” to date, with over 100 improvements (40 new features or enhancements, and 60 bug fixes)!
New Features and Enhancements»
Autosave and Auto-Recovery»
When you enable the new option, Preferences > Save Fonts > Autosave opened fonts every … minutes, FontLab VI will automatically keep saving a backup copy of your working files as you work. You can set the frequency of autosaving in minutes, but you can also use fractions, e.g. if you enter
0.1, FontLab will autosave every 6 seconds.
The autosaved files do not overwrite the location where you are manually saving the file. Instead, they are stored in the
~/Library/Application Support/FontLab/FontLab VI/Autosave folder on macOS and in
C:\Users\USERS\AppData\Roaming\Fontlab\FontLab VI\Autosave on Windows.
When you close a file or quit FontLab normally, and choose to either save or not save the opened file, the autosaved file will be deleted. But if your FontLab crashes and you start it again, it will detect the autosaved files and offer to automatically recover (reopen) them.
Note: We recommend the following Preferences > Save Fonts settings:
- Ask for the font file name — when you first save your font, FontLab will ask for the location and filename to save, subsequent saves will be done in the location you’ve chosen.
- Existing font files is set to Rename. Then, whenever you manually save a file (for example
YourFileName.vfc), the previously-saved version will be renamed to
YYMMDD-hhmmis the date and time of when it was renamed. This serves as a series of auto-backups — you can always open any of the earlier versions if you’ve changed your mind about some edits.
- Autosave is enabled and set it to some reasonable setting. For example,
1will autosave (in the special folder) once a minute,
0.1autosaves once every 6 seconds (1/10 of a minute).
You may also enable any of the Save VFC and also options, but note that this will make your saves and auto-saves slower—especially if you’re saving UFO packages.
In short: with this release, you can have:
- manually saved files (in the location you pick)
- automatic backups of your manually saved files (in the same location)
- the last autosaved version (in the special folder)
Drawing and Editing»
Easier editing with integer coordinates»
You can restrict FontLab VI to always work in integer coordinates. The new submenu Contour > Coordinates give you full control over integer coordinate rounding.
If you have fractional coordinates in a glyph, Apply Rounding will round them to integer coordinates in the current glyph layer, or (when used in Font Window) to all contours in the current glyph layer.
With the new Round when Editing setting, any editing (moving nodes and handles, scaling glyph content using the Free Transform tool) will produce integer point coordinates (like FontLab Studio 5). This setting will not modify your existing contours (for that, you need to run Apply Rounding, but with the setting on, your editing actions in the Glyph Window will always produce integer coordinates (except in the case described in the note below).
Note: Applying Rounding and Rounding when Editing will currently work only if the glyph does not use transformed elements. Currently, when you use the Transform panel or any transformation Action, FontLab VI will apply a non-destructive “element transformation” to any elements that have references (i.e. they’re in a composite glyph or they are used as a component in a composite glyph), and will apply a “contour transformation” only if an element in a glyph does not have references. The integer rounding always works on the contours in an element before their transformation is applied. We’re looking into how we can make the way transformations work more intuitive.
The Preview Rounding setting will also preview rounded coordinates within transformed elements — which is the result you’ll get after you export your fonts into font formats that use integer coordinates.
Other drawing and editing enhancements»
Preferences > Glyph Window > Show node name has a new third option, never. This option only affects Glyph Window viewing, node names will still be displayed in the Nodes panel.
During Free Transform, Undo cancels the transformation process in the same way it did in FontLab Studio 5, and does not undo the previous action
Glyphs are created in all masters»
FontLab will now always create master layers if you create or generate a glyphs — for all font masters defined in Font Info.
Previously, when you had multiple font masters defined in Font Info, then adding a new glyph via double-click in the Font Window on a blank glyph cell, via Font > Generate Glyphs or Font > Add Glyphs behaved differently depending on whether a generation recipe glyph was present in the bundled
When a glyph could be “generated”, its contents would be created for all font masters, but if the resulting glyph would be blank, then no masters were created in the glyph.
The new Font > Generate Instance command will allow you to choose any of the predefined instances or use sliders to precisely choose your instance and then:
- Add as Master — add the instance as a new font master to the current multiaxis font in the axes location of the instance
- Create as Font — create a new “static” font from an instance; the font will open as a new font in FontLab, so you can perform some post-production and save or export it
Previously, this functionality was only available in a limited fashion under the top-right button of the Variations panel.
Masters and axes sorting»
In Font Info > Font Properties > Masters, you can now sort your masters automatically and manually.
Clicking on the header above the font sample will sort the masters according to the way the axes are sorted, and then by the location of each master on an axis (you can sort your axes manually via drag-and-drop in Font Info > Font Properties > Axes).
Clicking on the Name or Location header will sort the masters alphabetically by the content of these fields. Click once for a descending sort, click again for an ascending sort.
You can also sort the masters manually via drag-and-drop.
Click on Apply or OK, and the sorting of your masters will be reflected in the Layers and Masters panel and in the masters switchers on top of the font and glyph windows. The order of the masters also is used when you switch the masters with Alt,/Alt., or with the Alt1 to Alt9 keyboard shortcuts.
The order of Axes in the Variations panel is now in sync with the order defined in Font Info.
Initial default sorting of axes when opening an existing font for the first time is improved.
#instancelayer can be turned off in Preferences > Variations
Preview of the
#instancelayer is now live while you are editing a contour
Improved “Match Masters”»
The Glyph > Match Masters operation has been improved:
with any number of masters, when Sort contours and start nodes is on in Font Info > Axes or in the Variations panel, Match Masters will sort the contours and start nodes in a simple way
with any number of masters, when Check masters geometry is on in Font Info > Axes or in the Variations panel, Match Masters will sort the elements, and will perform more thorough geometry checking (including checking angles and rotation) when sorting the contours and start nodes, and will also will correct the contour direction if needed
with two masters, it will also attempt to “blend” the outlines i.e. automatically add or remove nodes on the contours
Other variations enhancements»
Extended parameters control. The Parameters tab in the Font Info panel / dialog now includes all values that can act as a parameter: font dimensions, font guides and user variables.
Font Info panel: Tooltips in the Parameters tab of the panel show correct information.
Hiding a layer also hides that layer’s associated Mask layer
Turning off Append master fonts removes the
#instancelayer from affected single-master fonts
FontLab VI uses the a newer build (3.24.3.dev0) of the fontTools library to export OpenType Variations TT (.ttf) fonts
Elements and Guidelines»
In the Element panel, when an element is locked, users can no longer do drag-drop reordering of contours within the element
Edit > Invert Selection (CmdI) works with the Element tool at the level of element selection (not only for contours)
Guideline panel (metrics, hints, alignment zones)
when a guideline that represents one of the font metrics (ascender, descender, caps heigth, x-height, baseline) is selected:
- just two fields are active in Guideline panel, Position and Expression, as no other value is editable for font metrics.
- an option to lock/unlock the font metrics is available
When a hint is selected in the Glyph window, the prefix “H” is shown in the Guideline panel
when an alignment zone is selected in the glyph window, the prefix “Z” is shown in the Guideline panel
when hints, links or alignment zones are selected in a Glyph window, the Properties controls in the Guideline panel are disabled as they aren’t applicable.
Classes and Kerning»
With one or more classes selected in the Classes panel, you can now click on the Select glyphs button in the panel’s lower-right portion to select (in the Font Window) all glyphs that belong to the selected classes (like FontLab Studio 5).
This way, you can quickly assign a color flag to those glyphs (using the color flag picker in the Font Window).
You can also easily merge classes — select multiple classes, click on the Select glyphs button and then click on the
+ button in the bottom section of the middle part of the Classes panel. The selected glyphs will be added to the first class that you’ve selected, and — if this was a kerning class — they will be removed from the other kerning classes of the same type.
The Classes panel hamburger menu item Clean up selected classes will remove any glyphs from selected classes that are not present in the font (remember that classes can be defined using glyphnames and not all glyphs must necessarily exist in the font).
Note: In FontLab VI:
OpenType classes are defined once per font, and the order of the glyphs inside these classes matters.
Kerning classes are defined per master, but when instances or variable fonts are exported, classes from the main master are used (you can set the main master in Font Info > Masters using the blue radio button). To ensure that you have the same kerning classes in all your masters, visit each master and use the hamburger menu of the Classes panel to Import Classes, picking the main master each time.
When building variable fonts, kerning pairs that don’t exist in corner masters are assumed to have the value 0 but kerning pairs that don’t exist in intermediate masters get the interpolated value.
Kerning values that involve classes are stored with the class, not with the “key glyph of the class” as they were in FontLab Studio 5.
The Kerning panel has a few new operations in its “hamburger” menu (the popdown menu with three horizontal lines):
With Import Kerning you can import the kerning pairs and values from another open font or another master of your current font
With Flatten Class Kerning (previously: Expand), all kerning pairs that involve classes (class-to-class, glyph-to-class, class-to-glyph) are converted into a large flat list of glyph-to-glyph pairs.
With Compress to Class Kerning, you can convert your flat kerning into class kerning “safely” — only pairs where all class members have identical flat kerning values will be converted into a class kerning pair.
With Extend Class Kerning, you can convert your flat kerning into class kerning “more aggressively” (see notes below). This operation is great when you’ve kerned individual glyph pairs already (using flat kerning), and then you’ve created some classes or added glyphs to classes, and you want the glyphs in the new classes to inherit the kerning of the previously-defined individual glyph kerning pairs.
When you run Flatten Class Kerning, the kerning classes aren’t removed. They are simply not used because the kerning pairs are now associated with glyphs.
In this build, when you run Flatten Class Kerning, the list of flattened kerning pairs will include kerning pairs for glyphs that are defined in the kerning classes but aren’t present in the font. This is a bug — please select all classes in the Classes panel and choose Clean up selected classes before flattening kerning.
The difference between Compress and Extend is the following: if you have two kerning classes (
VW) you have two flat kerning pairs (
AW) with the same value, but there are no flat kerning pairs that involve the
- Extend Class Kerning will produce one kerning pair between the
AÁÄclass and the
VWclass; so after the operation, the glyph combination
ÄVwill have the same effective kerning as
- Compress to Class Kerning will produce one kerning pair between the
Aglyph and the
VWclass; so after the operation, the glyph combination
ÄVwill have no effective kerning.
- Extend Class Kerning will produce one kerning pair between the
The Flatten and Compress operations are fully reversible. When you have flat kerning, create some classes, then Compress and then Flatten, you’ll end up with the same number of pairs as you had before.
The Extend operation is more aggressive. When you have flat kerning, create some classes, then Extend and then Flatten, you’ll end up with more pairs than you started with. When there are some flat kerning pairs with one value and some flat pairs with another value, but glyphs that are kerned that way belong to the same kerning class, Extend will choose the more common value as the class kerning value, and the less common value as a series of exceptions.
New Font Window options: Unicode Categories, Scripts. Now the Font Window can be organized by Unicode Categories (Uppercase, Math Symbols, Punctuation, etc.) and Unicode Scripts (Latin, Cyrillic, Greek, etc.). This is in addition to the previous Encoding, Unicode, Codepage and Index viewing. The same viewing options are available in Font > Add Glyphs for adding new glyphs.
Preferences > Font Window now has options to set a default mode and default glyph sorting order (in addition to the default encoding).
The File > Font Info dialog box now has an Apply button which applies the ongoing changes to the currently opened font. Note: you actually need to click on Apply if you add, remove or rearrange axes in Font Info, only then the changes are visible in the Masters section of Font Info.
Renaming a master in Font Info > Master Properties > Names > Master name is instantly visible in the top and left-bottom master selectors.
Enterkey works for dialogs just like the main
Preview panel automatically scrolls as needed to show the current glyph
Weight, Width, Slope and “Other” style attributes are referred to as Attributes in the Font Info panel. Previously, they were called “Parameters” but that term also was used elsewhere for another purpose.
Running the operation “Glyph > Add Power guides” makes font metrics and alignment zones visible, if they are made into Power guides and were not set to visible before. It also connects nodes from both sides of horizontal stems, not just one side.
In Tools > Actions > Effects > Engraving it is now possible remove the image selected as a background (not only to add it)
The Features panel hamburger menu items Import Features File… and Import Features (from another open font) works even when the feature definitions reference glyphs that are not present in the current font. This way, you use a larger, pre-defined feature definitions file but create just the features your font needs .
The Preferences > Autohinting section now has two options for PostScript autohinting:
When Remove existing hints when autohinting a glyph is on, and you do Tools > Autohint or press F7, FontLab will remove the existing glyph hints before calculating new hints.
When Convert hints to links when autohinting is on, and you do Tools > Autohint or press F7, the hints will be subsequently converted to links (same as Tools > Hints to Links). Links are “dynamic hints” — when you move nodes, the links will follow your design changes. This is particularly useful when you use View > Show > Hints or View > Metrics and Hinting Shadows as a visual design aid.
When View > Show > Hints is on, hint thicknesses that correspond exactly to stem values defined in Font Info > Master Properties > Stems are rendered bold on screen.
In the TrueType Hinting tool, the popup for the Single Link command now has a Reverse button which reverses the direction of the link.
PostScript Type 1 font export now generates fonts with “custom encoding” instead of “standard encoding”, and the
%!Windows Charset:238special keywords in an
.encfile are processed correctly. In this build, all Type 1 fonts will get custom encoding. In a future build, encodings will
%!Windows Charset:0will get standard encoding again.
Automatic Unicode assignment based on glyph names no longer assigns the Unicode values for phonetic small caps to glyph names such as “Asmall”. These names were standard for Adobe Expert Encoding, where they were typographic small caps. The phonetic small caps are not a complete set (not even A-Z) and cannot be used meaningfully for typographic small caps.
Drawing and Editing»
Convert line to curve works even when a line is bracketed by two tangent nodes
Creation of handles by Alt-dragging a node is now more reliable
Open contours can be joined with the Pen tool
Edit > Find Outline replaces contours correctly, even when replacing multiple instances of the same contour
Pressing spacebar changes the cursor to a grabber hand (to pan the canvas) even when Brush tool is selected
Snap to grid continues to affect Pen tool even after switching to Contour tool, moving handles, and switching back to Pen
Snap to grid works even if grid opacity is set to zero
Guidelines now snap to the Grid if View > Snap to > Grid is on
Node coloring becoming solid when perpendicular continues to work even when handles are close to the node
Snap-to-node works even when dragging a point to a node that is on a guide
Activating Power Nudge temporarily by holding the
ckey and using shift-arrow key combinations with it does not cause Power Nudge to get “stuck” on.
Transforming selected contours doesn’t change node types
Glyphs, Elements and Color»
When a sticker is applied to a glyph, and the VFC file is saved and closed, the sticker is saved
An element with smart fill filter rotates and moves correctly now
Dragging an element to an empty glyph cell no longer crashes the app, and does not cause a name/Unicode conflict when the glyph is created.
Copying an element from one glyph slot to another
no longer changes the element location within the glyph
no longer creates a new separate element with a conflicting name
Element frames are slightly more visible now
Doing Font > Detect Element References does not break ability to move a selected node with the arrow keys
When you have two or more elements selected, and they belong to a larger group, you can still nudge or drag all the selected elements (not only the last one selected)
Tools > Remove Font Guides no longer removes zones as well as font guides
Adding a new font master filled with an existing layer does not break the element references on that duplicated layer
Element references are not displaced when adding a layer that duplicates the contents of another layer
Font > Detect Element References does not remove element guides
Element > Expand Filters can now be Undone
Element > Expand Stroke can now be Undone without creating duplicates
Expand Stroke respects stroke end caps, even when applied to multiple glyphs
Elements > Expand Filters works even when the Contour tool is active
Some stroked elements were previously rendered incorrectly
Apply buttons in the Colors and Swatches panels are enabled after the Glyph window closes
Anchor cloud (from View > Anchor Cloud) from only the current master is shown in the Glyph window
Masters for blank glyphs such as
spaceare shown as compatible in the Layers & Masters panel
Exporting a master does not break the family name
Fixed problem where “Check masters geometry” could prevent interpolation
Adding axes in Font Info > Axes no longer adds duplicate axes especially after master switch
Exporting TTF from VFB source with manual TrueType Hinting created in FontLab Studio 5, preserves that hinting properly
Export of variable fonts works again
Kerning is correct in all masters exported from a variable font.
Glyphs using multiple instances of the same element no longer lose any of them on export
When a Type 1 font’s glyph has a BBOX of 0, a generated AFM file still gets correct semicolon line ending
Generated AFM files use LF for line endings instead of (old-school Mac OS) CR
You can export a completely unhinted Type 1 font (autohinting only kicks in if you tell it to do so)
Transformations applied in the Elements panel become instantly visible in the Font Window
No crash from using Tab to show/hide panels
The very last changed field in FontInfo keeps its changes after you click OK
Trying to close a file while in the middle of saving it does not abort the save, nor crash the app if done repeatedly
When a color flag on a glyph is removed, and the VFC file is saved and closed, the flagging remains removed when the file is reopened
Copyright symbol in Font Info > Legal > Copyright is now displayed correctly
Fixed intermittent crash when using Add Power Guides
Undocked toolbar is no longer cut off when app window is resized
Preview panel still shows the correct layer after Contour > Apply Rounding
Fixed crash that happened when switching layers/masters in the Layers & Masters panel, in some circumstances
You can still rename glyphs in place in the Font Window when == Preferences > Font Window > Caption content is editable== is set, Unicode > 1F00 Greek Extended is selected in
Encoding, and other panels are open.
When a vector guideline is selected, the position icon in the Guideline panel changes to the point of origin icon
Glyph is no longer re-centered unexpectedly unexpectedly when working on a master that is specific to just the current glyph
Edit > Copy now copies text correctly in the text mode of the Glyph window
Using the “Center in Metrics” button in the Elements panel doesn’t crash
Using Font > Link Glyph Metrics with “Apply to entire font” on very large fonts no longer causes a crash
Closing the Font window now closes the font when needed (if Preferences > General are set to “Font has at least one Font window”)
Wacom tablet: canvas now auto-scrolls properly when drawing
Arrow keys work reliably in pane with glyphs (invoked with the
Font Info > Master Properties > Other Values are saved to vfc files
“Unsaved” marks in Font Window don’t disappear right after save
Guideline panel: The prefix “H” is shown in the panel, when a hint is selected in the Glyph window; and the prefix “Z” when an alignment zone is selected.
Other minor/cosmetic UI issues
FontLab VI version 220.127.116.1134»
9 March 2018
New preview build of FontLab VI for Windows x64»
This is for Windows users only: Today, we’re releasing a preview build of FontLab VI for Windows x64. Most Windows users can continue to use the 32-bit version of FontLab VI, which works in both 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows 7, 8.x or 10, and which is available via the Install Update at the bottom of the FontLab VI built-in auto-update dialog.
But if you’re interested in testing the preview-quality native 64-bit for Windows, visit the FontLab Forum.
Note: If you’re a Mac user, your FontLab VI is already 64-bit and you can completely ignore the above.
In the Glyph Window, use View > Text Bar to show or hide the Text Bar, a horizontal text field at the top of the window. There, you can edit the “source” of the text that is shown in the Glyph Window. The text bar works the same way as the text field in the content sidebar of the Glyph Window, but some users will find it more convenient to work with the content sidebar closed but have the text bar visible.
On the right side, the text bar has a dropdown menu that allows you to choose one of the texts predefined in Preferences > Texts. This is the same dropdown available under the Text button in the content sidebar.
The text bar uses the “glyphtext” notation, so you can input Unicode characters directly (
AÄĄ etc.), or you can input glyphnames using the
/glyphname format (e.g.
/A/Aacute/Aogonek), or hex Unicode codepoints using the
\uXXXX format (e.g.
\u0041\u00c4\u0104). If you want to enter an explicit Unicode character right after a glyphname or a hex codepoint, enter a space first (e.g.
/glyphname format allows you to input alternate glyphs, small cap glyphs etc. explicitly — even if you don’t have any OpenType features defined in the Features panel. But if you do have features defined, you can compile them in the Features panel, and then also access alternate glyphs by entering normal Unicode text and enabling features in the content sidebar.
Import features from open fonts»
The Features panel now has the Import Features submenu that allows you to import the feature definitions from another currently open font.
If you’re working on a font family or a variable font, and have a font with multiple masters:
Generate Glyphs works for all masters»
In Font > Generate Glyphs, you can choose to generate the glyphs in all masters or only in the current master. Previously, glyphs were generated only in all masters.
Synchronize sidebearings or widths across masters»
With the new action Tools > Actions > Metrics > Synchronize sidebearings, you can copy either the advance width or the sidebearings from the current master into all visible layers or into all masters. This will copy the actual numeric values, not the expressions. You can copy the absolute values or the values calculated at a certain
y coordinate (Use the measurement line).
This is particularly useful when you’re working on a font family or variable font where metrics are supposed to be identical across masters. This is also useful if you want to use one master’s metrics as the starting point for spacing another master.
Note: You may choose if you prefer to link the metrics to another master using the expressions (so any future metrics changes in one master will propagate to the linked ones), of whether you use Synchronize sidebearings which just copies the values without linking.
Customizable background color per master»
In the Layers and Masters panel, you can assign a custom color to any master.
Using the new Preferences > Variations > Preview master color setting, you can view the custom master color as a thin colored line on the top of the Glyph Window, or as a “pale” background color of the entire Glyph Window (with customizable transparency).
Now you can easily differentiate which master you’re currently working on, so you won’t make changes to the wrong master by mistake. This is particularly helpful if your master designs only differ slightly (for example, in the length of the ascenders), or if you’ve duplicated a finished master and are adjusting (condensing etc.) the new one.
Previously, the master color was only used if you declared a layer or master “wireframe”. Then, in the Preview panel and when using Quick Preview (Space key), the contours of that layer or master were rendered as outlines colored in the custom color (rather than being rendered filled).
Keeping References on instance generation»
When you use one of the two top-right buttons in the Variations panel to add a glyph master (1st button), add a Font Master (2nd button, 1st option), or create a standalone font (2nd button, 2nd option) based on the instance that is currently selected in the Variations panel, FontLab will now:
- keep the element References (composites). Previously, references were kept when exporting the font but not when using those buttons.
- keep the glyph color Flags
- keep the kerning classes and pairs.
Better export of OpenType Variations TT (.ttf)»
FontLab VI uses the a newer build (3.23.1) of the fontTools library to export OpenType Variations TT (.ttf) fonts. The exported fonts will have the
STAT table, and some variations-related tables are optimized thanks to the excellent work of the fontTools maintainers.
Design workflow enhancements»
Mirroring glyphs in Font Window also mirrors anchors and sidebearings»
The commands Tools > Transform > Flip Horizontal and Flip Vertical can be triggered from the Glyph Window or from the Font Window. If you invoke these commands from Font Window (with one or more glyphs selected), the transformation will now also affect anchors and sidebearings, producing a complete mirror result. This is useful for building glyphs which are flipped versions of others.
Easily add nodes at extremas using the Knife tool»
When your contour lacks an extrema and you activate the Knife tool (tap or hold J), you can also then press Shift. With Shift pressed, when you move the pointer over the contour, the Knife tool will suggest the node insertion at the closest extrema rather than at the exact pointer position.
Easily duplicate TrueType off-curve points»
With TrueType outlines, CmdD / CtrlD now works to duplicate TrueType off-curve points the same way as on-curve points.
Curvature for all elements with Edit Across Elements»
When both View > Show > Curvature and Edit > Edit Across Elements are on, the curvature is now shown for all elements, not just for the current element.
Index mode of the Font Window appends glyphs»
In the Font Window in Index mode, CmdV / CtrlV appends glyphs instead of overwriting them, like it did in FontLab Studio 5.
Mask layer shown in Preview panel and Quick Preview if active»
When the Mask is active, the Preview panel and the Quick Preview (activated with Space) shows its contents and not the normal layer.
User interface enhancements»
Customizable color of baseline and sidebearing lines»
View > Show > Spacing Controls shows and hides the Metrics lines (the glyph’s baseline and the sidebearing lines) in the Glyph Window. Now you can customize the color and transparency of the Metrics lines using Preferences > Spacing > Metrics lines, so you can make them appear darker, lighter, or give them another color altogether.
Better closing of Glyph tabs»
When you have multiple fonts open, and you close a glyph tab, the font tab corresponding to the closed glyph will be activated. Previously, the last active font tab was activated, which did not necessarily correspond to the glyph tab you just closed.
Note: The Python API is still under development and is subject to change.
Use of anchor array in scripts. The anchor array is now working correctly, including fonts imported from FontLab Studio 5. Note that your script need to check the validity of any “global” object (like
flContour) by calling
.isValid() method before using them, as in this sample script:
import fontlab as vi font = vi.CurrentFont() for fg_glyph in font.glyphs: fl_glyph = vi.flGlyph(fg_glyph, font) if fl_glyph.isValid(): activeLayer = fl_glyph.activeLayer if activeLayer.isValid(): anchors = activeLayer.anchors
- Copy Outline to Mask works even when Mask is not empty
- Generate Glyphs no longer crashes when Link Shapes option is off
- Undo works in Transform panel, without requiring you to click in the glyph window first
- Doing more than one Set Startpoint in a single glyph does not crash the app
- Copying an element reference and pasting it into a new glyph no longer causes a crash
- When adding a new OpenType class in the Classes panel, the initial report on number of glyphs is correct instead of always being zero
- Tools are disabled in the Font Window when the selected cells do not contain existing glyphs
- In the search panel invoked by the / key, gesture scroll works as expected and the start focus is at the first result of the search
- When the only reference of a named element is deleted from font, it is immediately removed from Gallery panel. Note: removing a reference of a named element that has additional references in the font will not remove it from the Gallery
- Date in text of compiled features is correct
- Remove button on Brush property bar works in cases it didn’t before
- Opening certain damaged VFC files no longer crashes the app
- Tools > Actions > Metrics > Set Width option to center elements works more consistently
- Hitting Enter in a FontAudit interactive dialog now fixes the problem rather than just closing the dialog
- In Kerning mode, corrected tooltip for the Remove Pair button
- When working with strokes on contours, metrics and sidebearings are still calculated correctly
- Fill tool works as expected even with very complex nested fills-inside-fills-inside-fills
- Changing text size in the Metrics/Kerning modes respects the Center on Glyph option of the Metrics tool Property bar menu
- In text editing modes, the dynamic glyph filtering in the insert dialog (triggered by the / key) correctly filters names that include a period (such as
- The numbers in the tracking field of the custom sidebar can be used to set a negative tracking value; the tracking field in the custom sidebar now displays negative values correctly
- Pen tool coordinate display starts when the tool is selected, not only after the first node is placed
- If View > Show > Grid and Preferences > Grid > On-curve nodes always snap to grid are both activated, Rapid tool no longer shows fractional values before the first node is placed
- If a font metric is selected in the Glyph window, the Guideline panel only shows its name (not editable), position (editable) and the option to lock it. Things that don’t work on font metrics such as color, width, tags and marks are no longer shown
- Submenu entries of the Help > Commands dialog now correctly show as Import/Export Custom Shortcuts. Note: Only customized shortcuts are saved in the data file, which confused some users who thought all shortcuts are being saved
- Fixed focus problems in Glyph Info panel, which could lead user to think app was locked up
- Undo now works on Tools > Remove Glyph Guides
- Fixed bug with Contour > Preview Rounding that caused incorrect rendering of TrueType outlines
- Switching to Text mode and back no longer hides guidelines, zones and font metrics
- PostScript Type 1 fonts (.pfb) can be saved even when the path contains non-Latin characters
- After you move the Metrics table to the top of the window, you can move it back to the bottom if you wish
- Mac-only: Fixed redraw issues on Sketchboard when Preferences > General > OpenGL is off
- Windows-only: Keyboard shortcuts for editing left sidebearing work correctly
- Windows only: the font size for captions in the Gallery panel is now smaller
- Windows-only: Resetting keyboard shortcuts in the Help > Commands dialog no longer displays/creates incorrect
Metakey shortcuts in menus
FontLab VI version 18.104.22.16811»
7 February 2018
New Features: User interface»
New Commands dialog & custom keyboard shortcut editing»
The new Help > Commands dialog box lists all commands available in the main app menus, including custom workspaces and scripts.
Use CmdShiftP to open the dialog, and type in a phrase to locate a command.
Then, navigate to the command with cursor keys and press Enter to execute that command. Inspired by similar solutions in apps like Sublime Text or Atom, this is a very fast way to invoke various commands which does not require to use the mouse or to remember keyboard shortcuts.
And (yes!) you can also customize (assign and change) the keyboard shortcuts associated with any of these commands. Use the shortcut field below the command list to remove an existing keyboard shortcut or assign a new one.
Note: there are some keyboard shortcuts, e.g. the single-letter keystrokes used to invoke the tools, which are not customizable. But most menu commands are now customizable, and you can export and import those customizations easily.
New Features: Drawing»
Swap Outline with Mask»
Tools > Swap Outline with Mask (CmdAltH Mac, CtrlAltH Windows). Added this command familiar to FontLab Studio 5 users
Node coloring for vertical and horizontal handles or line segments»
Under Preferences > Glyph Window > Node Style there is a new setting (in the middle), which is also the new default. When this “auto fill” setting is selected, nodes will be rendered as fully filled (darker) or semi-transparently filled (lighter), depending on the position of the node and its handles.
If a node is between curve segments and its handles are aligned perfectly vertically or horizontally, the node is fully filled (darker in color). If a node is between line segments and both segments are perfectly vertical or horizontal, the node is also fully filled. Otherwise, the node is semi-transparently filled (lighter in color).
This helps identify points that are not quite where you intended, or are not quite proper extrema.
Shift-double-click to align nodes and handles»
If you have a node or handle that is nearly aligned (in either X or Y) with an adjacent node, this will shift it to become aligned. When applied to extrema nodes with handles that are not perfectly aligned to X or Y direction, shift-double-click will fix that.
New Suggest Guides option»
When View > Suggest > Suggest Guides option is activated, hidden guides, hints, zones or font metrics temporarily appear when you move a node or contour near them. This only works with guides/hints/zones which have “snap to” allowed (View > Snap menu or in the View panel). This allows you to keep a clean workspace where guides, hints, zones or metric lines are invisible, but they become visible just when you need them.
This feature combines well with View > Metrics & Hinting Shadows option for easier navigation.
Nodes on alignment zones are optionally highlighted»
If you move a point into an alignment zone, the node is highlighted with a light gray circle if the node is on the edge of a zone or with a light gray rectangle if the node is inside the zone.
This behavior is on by default, but can be turned off as the fourth option under Preferences > Editing > Highlight nodes on alignment zones.
Snap to glyph metrics»
This new option under View > Snap > Glyph Metrics causes snap to sidebearings, and applies to all operations where snap works.
New Features: Languages and Production»
Import Ikarus (.ik) Files»
Support for import of Ikarus font files (which typically come with .cha file containing glyph names and Unicode indexes) is back in this build of FontLab VI. To keep precision of the source data, low-error-tolerance approximation is applied to Ikarus contours when they get converted to cubic Bezier splines. This results in high accuracy but more points; consider Simplify or Clean Up operations after the import.
Codepages & Unicode ranges»
Font Info now has two new sections for setting code pages and Unicode ranges, much like FontLab Studio 5. You can still use the “auto” (diamond) button to have FontLab generate what it thinks are the right flags, and you can set them manually. The information will be stored in the
OS/2 table of the exported OpenType font.
CID-keyed glyph names»
When importing CID-keyed PostScript fonts, there is a new option for whether glyphs should be named based on FontLab’s regular glyph naming heuristics, or by CID number, in Preferences > Open Fonts: “Change CID names to Unicode names when Unicode index is known”. This preference is on by default.
- Previously, with mask layer visible and Edit Across Layers mode off, nodes from the mask layer were visible while editing outlines on another layer. Now, if you select nodes on the mask layer and switch back to another layer with Tools > Edit Mask, the associated handles from the mask layer are still visible (as in FontLab Studio 5). Handles on your drawing layer can then snap to the handles from the mask layer.
- Edit > Find Outline search can be done for all glyphs or just for glyphs with a given tag.
- Contour direction no longer affects the reported angle of node handles (visible on mouse hover or when handles are selected).
- Free Transform now has a proxy to select the origin of the transformation, like the other transform modes/tools.
- You can now select different elements with the Guide tool, which is useful for quickly editing element guides.
- When Element tool is active and Edit Across Elements mode is on, all element guides are visible.
- FontLab applies strokes to elements after element transformations, similar to most drawing programs.
- Expand operation produces more predictable results, works with element groups, and can be applied in the font window.
- New Element > Remove Stroke command will remove stroke from the currently active element, or from all glyphs selected in font window.
- No longer causes a crash
- Importing SVG artwork into more than one glyph cell at a time no longer causes a crash.
- Tracing some particular image elements no longer causes a crash.
- Repeatedly deleting elements no longer causes a crash.
- Removing glyphs from an OpenType class no longer causes a crash.
- Scripts listed in Scripts menu work properly, including submenus for folders.
- When opening an existing font in OTF format, FontLab maintains the existing glyph index (GID) order.
- In text sidebar, fixed interaction between escaped glyph names using “/” in main area, and glyphs entered in “left” and “right” fields.
- Preferences for distances moved by cursor keys now also apply to moving guides, anchors and pins.
- Right handle for sidebearing shows the resulting metrics live, while it is being moved.
- Tags for guides are properly saved with the font, avoiding changes in guide colors.
- No crash when adding several tags to guides using pop-up field from property bar.
- Copy and paste are accepted in guide tag fields.
- Typing is not slowed in guides pop-up field from property bar.
- Element guides don’t move while editing contour.
- Glyph position and zoom in glyph window are better preserved while cycling between glyphs with comma and period keys, including blank glyphs.
- Zooming/scrolling in the glyph window works correctly even with unusually large elements.
- Recompile OpenType features works even when
ssXXfeatures are named.
- PythonQt nested widgets within widgets now have correct behavior for error messages and print commands, in the inner widget (directing
- An “Instance font” created in variations panel retains glyph flags.
- Text no longer “jumps” when its size is changed in a glyph window in metrics mode, but remains more centered/visible.
- Improved centering of glyph when cycling through different glyphs in a Glyph Window.
- Changing the OpenType class of a glyph is saved correctly in VFC files.
- Changing glyph advance width to zero is saved correctly in VFC files.
- Minimized glyph window does not become unreachable.
- Edit > Paste Glyph Reference now correctly pastes a glyph reference instead of an unlinked glyph.
- Placing a guide over a locked alignment zone no longer allows the locked zone to be moved.
- Unusual/arbitrary weight values (usWeightClass) such as “401” are preserved in exported fonts.
- Improved/fixed snap behavior with vector guides.
- Glyph metrics now processed correctly when horizontal mirroring is applied to glyphs in the Font Window.
FontLab VI version 22.214.171.12478»
6 January 2018
As a special gift for the New Year, we extended the trial period for this build by ten days. Enjoy!
Crosshair cursor (FontLab Studio 5 style) is available as an option while using Contour, Pen and Rapid tools. It can be turned on in Preferences > Editing > Show cross.
- “Open Glyph Panel” command added to contextual menu in Font Window and Glyph Window.
- Copying a selection of glyphs in the Font window gives a list of glyph names on the clipboard (for pasting into other apps)
- In the dialog that appears when closing an unsaved font, the option “Don’t Save” can be triggered by the keyboard shortcut Command-Delete (Mac-only).
- The New Layer dialog sets and maintains focus in name field.
- Encoding menu of Font Windows remains open while handling groups of encodings.
- Enter key triggers the OK button in more dialogs (excepting the most complex ones).
- Placeholder characters are shown in Font Window after new blank glyphs are created.
Fixes in the 6.0.2 release include the following issues:
- Some hints/links are lost when opening a MM font in VFB format.
- FontLab VI sets itself as the default application for OTF and TTF files.
- Brush tool is not using a high resolution cursor.
- Arrow keys cannot move the contour while Free Transform is being used.
- Actions do not work for the artwork on the Sketchboard.
- Under certain conditions, a pasted contour is scaled up and flipped vertically.
- Paste Special for metrics doesn’t change glyph status to edited.
- Assigning OT class in Glyph panel only works on one at a time.
- Cannot apply custom encoding not belonging to any group.
- Cannot add glyphs to classes using the Classes panel.
- Python scripting: .index attribute in CurrentGlyph().index of fgGlyph().index causes a crash.
- Color transparency has no effect in Preview window.
- Horizontal scrollbar does not work properly in Glyph Window.
- Incorrect curve tension is applied in exported TTF fonts.
- Generate Glyphs does not create non-standard ligatures.
- Non-ASCII characters in the path prevent variable font to be exported.
- Hebrew and Arabic placeholder characters are missing in Font Window.
- Script chosen in the Preview panel is not remembered.
- Glyphs named Tcedilla, tcedilla, Tcommaaccent and tcommaaccent are not handled correctly.
- Element > Separate Contours to Elements disables Undo.
- Tooltip for text size in Window bar uses a different format than default tooltips.
- Bezier handles are reset when using arrow keys.
- Open kerning window with several glyphs causes a crash.
- Profile dialog always shows information from the first one.
- Custom profiles are not properly saved among sessions.
FontLab VI version 126.96.36.19958»
15 December 2017
Use the “AAA” toggles on the right side of the masters list in Font Info > Masters to indicate which masters should take part in interpolation (creation of instances). If the “AAA” is shown, a master takes part in interpolation. If the “AAA” is hidden, the master does not take part in interpolation.
Paste and Duplicate»
Use the new Preferences > Paste & Duplicate section to control the offsets (x/y shift) for the Duplicate and Copy/Paste operations offsets and decide how imported or pasted artwork is scaled.
Fixes in the 188.8.131.5258 release include:
- Change tooltip from “Add layer instance” to “Reset location to default” in the Variations Panel
- Cmd (Ctrl)-scroll should give next/prev glyph in the Glyph window
- Color marks (flags) are lost in vfb
- Copied font guidelines are pasted as glyph guidelines
- Crash on pasting a glyph in new font
- Create Parallel Contour generates double points
- Export to TTF adds many new nodes
- File > Import > Artwork doesn’t open the dialog box
- Header bar controls inactive for anchor position
- Invalid DSIG when adding a signature
- Missing references from other glyphs when importing Glyphs files
- New updated vendor.dat file
- Open (non-closed) contours are bad in the saved vfb
- Paste Special pastes incorrect metrics
- Selection is resized unexpectedly when using the link/unlink button
- Show Rulers are always on after start
- Sorting of layers when new glyph is created
- Tags causes FL VI to crash in some situations
- The Brush tool doesn’t work when the Toolbar is docked to window
- Undo for Rapid tool is broken
- Unicode codes should use uppercase
- WOFF and EOT export without hinting, regardless of export settings
FontLab VI version 184.108.40.20650»
7 December 2017
- Initial public release.