Power Guides»

Power guides are special guidelines, metrics or alignment zones that are linked to nodes on contours. As a result of this linking, when you move a Power guide, the nodes linked with it move along with it, maintaining the distance between them. Power guides can be used for a range of purposes, from manipulating the height of elements/glyphs in relation to font metrics like x-height, to rescaling glyphs while preserving key stem widths. Power guides can be created or manipulated using operations from the Glyph menu, or using the Magnet tool in conjunction with guides/metrics/zones.

From Preferences, you can choose what guidelines, metrics or alignment zones can be used to make Power guides. There are five options:

  1. Only element guidelines
  2. Element and glyph guidelines
  3. Element, glyph and font guidelines
  4. Element, glyph and font guidelines and zones
  5. All guidelines, zones and metrics

Links between nodes and Power guides are represented as dashed green lines joining them, with an arrow pointing at the latter. You can show/hide these links by the View > Show > Node Links command.

Creating Power Guides»

FontLab can automatically create power guides for all horizontal and vertical stems in the current element (as required for scaling glyphs while preserving stem widths), or you can use the Magnet tool to manually link nodes to existing guidelines, metrics and/or alignment zones of your choice.

Adding Power guides automatically»

  1. Open the glyph where you want to add Power guides.
  2. Select the Add Power Guides command in the Glyph menu (CtrlP).

This will automatically add Power guides to the horizontal and vertical stems, using existing guides/metrics/zones or adding new element guidelines, as required. Each stem will have a Power guide that will be linked to a node from either side. If guidelines/zones/metrics were not visible before this operation is run, FontLab will make them visible if any of them are converted to Power guides.

Scaling glyphs while preserving stem widths»

To scale a glyph with help from Power guides, the glyph must have appropriate Power guides. FontLab can create these automatically, or you can add them manually. If you are creating Power guides manually, you need to add a Power guide for every stem. For a horizontal stem, this needs to a horizontal power guide; and for a vertical stem, it needs to be vertical. The Power guide also needs to be linked to a node from either side of stem, as shown below:

To resize horizontally, move the vertical power guides. Similarly, to resize vertically, move the horizontal power guides: