Release notes for FontLab 184.108.40.20620 beta¶
5 July 2022
Edit & refine¶
Contour > Overlap operations¶
With the new commands available in the Contour > Overlap sub-menu, you can perform Boolean geometric “path finding” operations on the closed contours in the current element: Subtract, Intersect and Exclude. This is similar to Geometry operations in Affinity Designer, Pathfinder operations in Adobe Illustrator, or Path Operations in Adobe Freehand.
The Contour > Overlap operations are immediate: they directly produce the final contours. FontLab has alternative techniques for achieving the same results in a non-destructive way.
Choosing the “front” and “back” contours¶
FontLab needs one “front” and one “back” contour to perform the Contour > Overlap operations.
If you select one or more contours and perform a Contour > Overlap operation, FontLab combines all selected closed contours into one “front” contour, and combines all unselected closed contours into one “back” contour. If you don’t select any closed contours, FontLab uses the last closed contour in the element as the “front” contour, and combines all other closed contours as the “back” contour.
FontLab performs Contour > Remove Overlap in the “front” contour, and does the same in the “back” contour. Finally, FontLab performs the chosen Contour > Overlap operation between the “front” and “back” contour.
Contour > Overlap > Subtract¶
If you choose Contour > Overlap > Subtract, FontLab uses the “front” contour to “punch a hole” in the “back” contour, or in other words: subtracts the “front” contour from the “back” contour. The result is the “back” contour, with overlaps removed, and the content of the “front” contour removed. FontLab removes the original “front” contour.
This is similar to Subtract in Affinity Designer and Adobe Illustrator, and to Punch in Adobe Freehand.
A non-distructive alternative to Subtract is the Fill tool: click the intersecting areas that should be kept, Alt-click the areas that should be removed. You can edit the contours. To produce the final contours, choose Element > Expand Filters.
Contour > Overlap > Intersect¶
If you choose Contour > Overlap > Intersect, the result is an intersection contour that contains the overlapping areas of the “front” and “back” contours. The original direction of the “front” and “back” contours doesn’t matter. FontLab removes the original “front” and “back” contours.
This is similar to Intersect in Affinity Designer, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Freehand, and is, in a way, the reverse of FontLab’s Contour > Remove Overlap.
A non-destructive alternative to Intersect is the Fill tool (see above), or Element > Clipping Group: select the “front” contours and choose Contour > Convert > To New Element and click Create, then activate the Element tool, select the new “front” element and the previous element, and choose Element > Make Clipping Group. You can still edit the contours of the “front” and “back” elements. To produce the final contours, choose Element > Expand Filters.
Contour > Overlap > Exclude¶
If you choose Contour > Overlap > Exclude, the result is a union contour, which contains the union of the “front” and “back” contours (same as the result of Contour > Remove Overlap), and an intersection contour, which contains the overlapping areas of the “front” and “back” contours (same as the result of Contour > Overlap > Intersect). The intersection contour has the opposite direction of the union contour. The original direction of the “front” and “back” contours doesn’t matter. FontLab removes the original “front” and “back” contours.
This is similar to Exclude in Adobe Illustrator.
A non-distructive alternative to Exclude is the Fill tool (see above).
Protecting contours from Contour > Overlap operations¶
FontLab performs the Contour > Overlap on closed contours in the current element, removes overlaps in the “front” and “back” contour before the operation, and always ignores open contours even if they’re selected.
To “protect” contours, that is, to exclude them from being merged into the “back” contour (especially: to protect them from overlap removal), you can do one of two things:
- Make each contour that you wish to skip an open contour: right-click a node on the contour and choose Break, then perform the overlap operation. Next, use Contour > Join to close it again.
- Move all contours that you with to skip into a new element: select the contours and choose Contour > Convert > To New Element and click Create, then activate the previously selected element and perform the overlap operation. Next, activate the Element tool (second arrow), select all elements, choose Element > Contours > Combine to Element, and activate the Contour tool (first arrow).
Improved Font Info > Other Values and File > Export Profiles¶
We’ve improved the tabular user interface of the main area of the Font Info > Other Values page, and of the File > Export Profiles dialog:
- If you click a row that has a checkbox, FontLab doesn’t immediately toggle it, so you can read the description at the bottom. To toggle the checkbox, click the actual checkbox.
- If you hover over the property name, the tooltip that appears with a description of the property is now more readable.
- If you click a row that has a dropdown list, the list now shows a check mark next to the entry which is selected.
- Values in numerical fields that have more than 3 digits now show a thousand separator.
Consistency & precision¶
The Measurements panel is a table in which you can record numeric values for design features of each master of your font, for example the vertical dimensions, contrast, overshoots or stem thicknesses. These values don’t need to correspond to technical measurements in the Font Info dialog. Quite often, the technical measurements need to comply with some software requirements, while the values in the Measurements panel do not. FontLab does not export these values into the final font formats.
FontLab can automatically calculate many values in the Measurements panel: click any cell in the panel, press CmdA or CtrlA, and click the Recalculate button.
The Measurements panel now has new icons that illustrate the design features.
- Fixed additional problems that occurred when you disconnected external monitors when the computer was hibernated.
- Fixed other problems reported by users, including some crashes.