Skip to content

FontLab version»

24 March 2019

These release notes include release notes from version, which is mostly a bugfix release, and, further down, from version, which added many features and enhancements.

FontLab 6.1.3 Highlights»

  • FontLab 6.1.3 adds many new features, improves speed and functionality, and fixes many issues. It’s one of our most ambitious updates since the initial release!
  • Version fixes some problems found in and adds a few enhancements (indicated with ☆).
  • Note: VFC and VFJ files saved in FontLab 6.1.3 cannot be opened in FontLab 6.1.2 or in earlier versions.

Drawing and editing glyphs»

  • Move nodes or handles with cursor keys after dragging.
  • Edit Tunni lines more freely with cursor keys.
  • Make simple calculations in numeric text fields for widths, coordinates etc.
  • Add nodes or remove nodes, guides, components and kerning pairs using two mouse buttons.
  • Perform direct non-node segment editing with more precision.
  • ☆ Free Transform selections from multiple elements across layers in one go.
  • Instantly scale and flip selections with Selection frame.
  • Easily make slanted glyph guides.
  • ☆ Easily move nodes and handles along the italic vertical axis.
  • Automatically relocate the first node with Set Start Point.
  • Use the new Add Nodes action.
  • Manually add horizontal PostScript ghost hints.


  • Filter and remove elements in the Gallery panel.
  • Easily add new elements/components to a group.
  • Remove or reorder elements/components while in Font window.
  • View component index and coordinates.
  • Copy appearance or element structure when filling a new layer with the content of another font or master.

Metrics, auto layers and expressions»

  • ☆ Edit kerning exceptions more intuitively.
  • Update linked metrics and auto layers live or on demand.
  • Turn auto layers on/off in all masters.
  • Get the right anchors when decomposing glyphs.
  • Easily edit glyphs from the Metrics window.
  • Search for glyphs that contain expressions.

Classes, tags and features»

  • Import and export classes.
  • Import features from multiple font formats.
  • Control what happens when you add glyphs into a kerning class.
  • Use additional virtual tags.
  • View tags in Font window cell captions.
  • Search for partial tags in the Font window.
  • Use tags and virtual tags in feature definitions.

Font formats»

  • Save backups in a subfolder.
  • ☆ Use Sketchboard text frames more easily to edit, space or kern glyphs, save them in VFC/VFJ.
  • Easily customize font export settings.
  • Use hyphens in glyph names.
  • Export single-stroke fonts for engravers and plotters.
  • Countless improvements in exporting instances, handling OpenType color fonts and UFO packages.

Performance and updates»

  • FontLab opens and saves fonts up to 2× faster and consumes up to 40% less memory.
  • Decide if you prefer to get stable or beta updates of FontLab.

Bug fixes»

Glyph drawing and editing, Tunni lines, Smart Corners, flattening of compound glyphs, Paste Special, the Mask layer, Kerning, Element Guides, the Gallery panel, the Font Window, OpenType features, Variations, PostScript and TrueType hinting, Undo, Python and font format support.

New features / enhancements»

Drawing and glyph editing»

Move nodes and handles along the vertical italic axis»

☆ If you have a non-zero Italic Angle in Font Info > Font Dimensions, you can now use the new menu item Contour > Coordinates > Follow Italic Angle to decide how “vertical movement” of nodes and selections works (vertical Shift-dragging or using the / cursor keys).

  • When it’s off, the movement is truly vertical, i.e. happens along the vertical axis.
  • When it’s on, the movement is actually diagonal, i.e. happens along the vertical axis slanted by the italic angle.

If Follow Italic Angle is on, moving a node or selection with / while holding Shift or Cmd will result in diagonal movement. But the results of tapping or without modifier keys depends on the font’s italic angle and the Contour > Coordinates > Round when Editing setting:

When Round when Editing is on, / will move the node or handle by 1 unit up or down. If the italic angle is within ±26.6°, the node or handle will not move horizontally as the vertical movement by 1 unit would result in a horizontal movement by less than 0.5 units. If the italic angle is outside these values, the node or handle will also move to the left or right.

Previously, this toggle was coupled with View > Apply Italic Angle to Grid, but now that three-way toggle lets you only decide between seeing upright sidebearings and grid, slanted sidebearings but upright grid, or slanted sidebearings and grid. Using this setting now no longer affects the contour editing behavior.

Glyph window»

Selection remembered when changing glyphs or layers»

☆ FontLab now remembers which components, contours, or elements you selected in a particular glyph. If you select some things in a glyph layer, then open a different glyph or switch to another layer and back, your previously stored selection will be restored.

Active elements when you open a glyph»

☆ When you open a glyph in a Glyph window that doesn’t have a stored selection, FontLab will no longer automatically make a component or the first locked element active. So when you open a composite glyph, no component is active by default. You can click a component, or use the < or the > key, to select the first component and iterate through the other components.

FontLab will by default make the first unlocked element active, which typically is the default element that holds the glyph’s contours.

Context menu»

☆ The context menu for nodes now includes the commands Duplicate and Retract Handles.

Free Transform across elements and layers»

☆ When Edit across Elements is on, and if you select contour portions (nodes, handles, segments) from multiple elements with the Contour tool, Tools > Free Transform (CmdT) now works on the entire selection.

If Edit across Layers is also on, this even works across multiple layers. Previously, it only worked on the contours of the active element.

Class kerning with exceptions»

Let’s summarize how class kerning with exception has worked until now in FontLab. Say you have a kerning class _T with the glyphs T Tcaron Tcommaaccent and a kerning class _y with the glyphs y yacute ydieresis ygrave.

If you enter the text Ty, Tỳ, Ťy or Tÿ etc. into a Glyph window and choose the Kerning tool, you can edit the _T _y class:class pair value using the arrow keys, or by dragging the y glyph. In the property bar, _T and _y will be shown in bold black on each side of the kerning value field. If you turn on View > Kerning Classes, the other class glyphs will be shown behind both glyphs in a “cloud”.

If your text is Tÿ, you hold Ctrl and use the arrow keys or drag the 2nd glyph, you’ll create a 1st side T _y glyph:class exception. If you hold Alt and edit, you’ll create a 2nd side _T ydieresis class:glyph exception. If you hold both Ctrl and Alt and edit, you’ll create a “both sides” T ydieresis glyph:glyph exception. The property bar will show a non-bold red glyph name on the side of the exception glyph.

You can change the current glyph that represents the 1st class using Ctrl/Ctrl, or by double-clicking the class glyphs in the cloud behind the T. You can change the current glyph that represents the 2nd class using Alt/Alt, or by double-clicking the class glyphs behind the y.

For example, if you use Alt to change Tÿ into Tỳ:

  • If you keep holding Alt and use /, you’ll create a new _T ygrave class:glyph exception, and set its new value.
  • If you release Alt and then use /, you’ll still be editing the _T _y class:class pair.

When you’re editing an existing exception and would like to switch to the parent class pair or to another exception that descends from the parent class pair, use Ctrl/Ctrl or Alt/Alt to change the 1st or 2nd glyph, then release the modifier key.

Class glyphs behind exception glyphs»

☆ FontLab will now no longer show class glyphs behind an exception glyph if you have View > Kerning Classes on.

So if you’ve created a _T ydieresis class:glyph exception with Alt, and you have the Tÿ text in Kerning mode (so T is a class glyph and ydieresis is the exception glyph), then the _T class glyphs will still appear behind T, but the _y class glyphs will no longer appear behind ÿ. Previously, the contents of a kerning class was shown behind any glyph that belonged to a class, regardless of whether the glyph was part of a class pair or an exception pair.

Editing kerning exceptions»

☆ When an exception pair is active in the Kerning mode, you can now edit its value visually using arrow keys (, , with Shift as accelerator) or by dragging the 2nd glyph.

Previously, arrow keys changed the current exception pair but dragging changed the parent class pair even though you thought you were changing the current exception pair. It was very confusing.

Bug fixes»

Drawing and glyph editing»

  • Remove Overlap. FontLab no longer crashes when you Remove Overlap on a specific glyph and then switch to another layer.

TrueType curves»

  • Converting to TT curves. When you converted PS curves to TT curves, the change is now instantly reflected in the Glyph window.

Glyph window»

  • Nearby nodes. When you hover over a node, nodes that are very close to that node on screen (for example in thin glyphs or in far zoom levels) no longer temporarily disappear.

  • Context menus. If you select a contour or segment and then right-click the selected segment, the context menu now appears correctly.

Font Info»

  • Trailing spaces in font names. In File > Font Info > Instances, FontLab will now remove trailing spaces from any names. Previously, FontLab allowed trailing spaces at the end of Style Group name and other names, which led to problems.

  • Style Group name. In File > Font Info > Instances, the automatic generation of Style Group name no longer occasionally builds the incorrect width portion of the name.


  • Non-matching masters with open contours. When working with open contours and the Fill tool, spurious “ghost nodes” no longer erroneously appear in some glyphs that prevent seemingly matching masters from interpolating.


  • Hinting links. When you move an element, FontLab now correctly updates the position of the hinting links.

Sketchboard Text frames»

  • ☆ We have refined the way zooming and tool selection works and enabled some menu commands that were previously unavailable when you edit glyphs within a Sketchboard text frame.

  • ☆ The Text tool is now available when you deselect a Text frame and you have fonts open.


  • Rounding. When you have hint links attached to unrounded nodes, move the nodes, then choose Apply Rounding or turn on Round when Editing, and then undo, FontLab no longer moves the nodes or links into unexpected locations.

  • Kerning. In Kerning mode of the GW, after you undo a kerning pair change, switch to another glyph, click the kerning field in the property bar and click the glyph again, FontLab no longer erroneously applies the kerning value that you’ve just undone for a different pair.

  • Kerning. In, Undo did not record your kerning edits, so if you edited many pairs and then triggered Undo, you’d end up at the beginning of your edits. This is now fixed — every kerning edit is recorded as a separate Undo step.


  • OT Variations, DesignSpace+UFO. FontLab no longer writes decimal commas instead of decimal periods in some unusual system locale configurations when it writes .designspace files as part of the OpenType Variations or DesignSpace+UFO export.