There are two hinting methods applied to OpenType-PS (Type 1) fonts: font-level hinting and glyph-level hinting. Font-level hinting is generated automatically in FontLab, so you don’t have to edit it manually. Glyph-level hinting is discussed here.
All important stems in a glyph should have stem hints, a pair of vertical or horizontal lines. The information in the hint includes not just the position of each of the two lines that “build” the hint, but also the position of one (major) line and the width of the hint.
You can declare stem hints in FontLab just by dragging them and modifying their width. Because hints in FontLab are very “intelligent,” they automatically snap to the contour, minimising your work. In most cases the built-in autohinting algorithm produces good results – usually as good as the results of manual hinting.
Autohinting is a good start before you manually add and edit PostScript hints.
To automatically create PostScript hints for the current glyph, choose the Tools > Autohint (F7) command. To automatically create PostScript hints for several glyphs, select them in the Font Window and choose the Tools > Autohint (F7) command. You can control whether autohinting will remove existing hints and convert hints to links on the Autohinting page of the Preferences dialog box.
Editing hints is very similar to editing guidelines. Hints are actually guidelines having width and marked as hints. Like guidelines hints can be locked, named, etc. In contrast to guides, hints cannot be slanted.
To add a new hint:
- Create a guideline by dragging it out of the Glyph window’s Ruler, horizontal or vertical.
- Define the width for the guideline by dragging it with the Shift key.
- Ctrl-click on the guideline and choose Hint in the context menu or click on the Hint button in the Property bar. The guideline will become the hint.
To move a hint:
- Position the mouse cursor on the hint’s main (solid green) line.
- Drag the hint to its new place. Both hint lines will move together.
To change the width of the hint, move the second hint’s (dotted green) line.
While you are dragging the hint and the mouse cursor is within the snap-to distance the hint line will stick to the node. Nodes must be visible.
Hint widths that correspond exactly to stem values defined in Font Info > Master Properties > Stems are rendered bold on screen.
To remove a hint, select it and press Backspace.
To remove all PostScript hints in the current glyph, select the Tools > Remove Hints command.
To remove all PostScript hints in several glyphs, select them in the Font Window and choose the Tools > Remove Hints command.
Note that Remove Hints also deletes links.
Hints transformation actions let you automate some hinting operations. To open the Actions dialog, select the Tools > Actions menu command.
Analyzes a glyph’s outline and generates PostScript hints for the glyph. This is the Tools > Autohint command.
This action removes horizontal and/or vertical PostScript hints and links.