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Release notes for FontLab beta

11 July 2022

Draft & draw

Soft Brush and soft Pencil

New The Brush and Pencil tools now have a Soft toggle in the toolbox.

If you turn it on, the Brush and Pencil tools will have some inertia as you draw with it. When you draw with Soft Brush or Soft Pencil, FontLab ignores small jiggles of your hand so the resulting curves are smoother. The Soft mode of the Brush and Pencil tools also helps you make corners more pronounced, and produces fewer unintended line segments.

Smart Pencil

New If you turn on the Smart Pencil toggle in the Pencil toolbox and draw, the Smart Pencil performs simplification of the curves that you draw, so it produces smoother curves with fewer nodes, longer curve segments, and nodes at extremes.

If you turn on both Smart Pencil and Soft Pencil, the curves will be even smoother, but Smart Pencil may produce line segments if make drawing moves that are close to straight lines.

Preview next segment with Pen

New The Pen tool now has a Preview next segment toggle in the toolbox, which changes how the basic Pen tool works (if the first four Pen sub-tools are turned off).

If Preview next segment is turned on and you’ve started drawing, the Pen tool previews what will happen if your next action will be a click (but does not show what will happen if you click-and-drag).

  • If you’re drawing a line segment (the previous node was sharp and had no handle), Pen previews the line segment.
  • If you’re drawing a curve segment (the previous node was smooth or had a handle), Pen previews the curve segment that will be created if you click. The incoming handle of the next node will be similar in length and angle to the outgoing handle of the previous node.

If Preview next segment is turned off, Pen shows no preview. If you’re drawing a curve segment, and you click, the incoming handle of the next node will be retracted.

If your next action is a click-and-drag, the segment will be a curve segment regardless of the toggle. The node will be a smooth node with symmetrical handles defined by the drag. To create a sharp node with separately defined handles, hold Alt while you’re dragging.

If one of the first four sub-tools is turned on, the Pen tool always previews the next segment.

Edit & refine

New Contour tool toolbox toggles

With the Contour tool, you can achieve different goals when you click, double-click or drag a node, handle or segment, and additional functionality is available if you hold Shift (typically aligns to horizontal or vertical), Ctrl (typically disables snapping), Alt (various alternate functionality) and, on macOS, also Cmd. Yet different functionality is accessible when you hold multiple modifier keys.

Hold F1 or FnF1 over the Contour toolbar icon to see a compact description of the Contour functionalities, or tap ShiftF1 or open Help > Help Panel for a more detailed description.

Harmonized drag

With the Contour tool, you can drag smooth and sharp nodes in a special “harmonized” way. Previously, harmonized dragging was only available on macOS.

If you hold CmdAlt and drag a node:

  • If the node is smooth, FontLab changes the surrounding curve segments so that they form a smooth shape, slides the node along and nudges the handles of the surrounding nodes.
  • If the node is sharp, FontLab dynamically changes the handles around the node, so that they point towards the surrounding nodes, producing a harmonized corner.

New Now, you can turn on the Harmonized drag toggle in the Contour toolbox, and drag any node without using any modifier keys: FontLab will use harmonized dragging. This now also works on Windows!


When you hold ShiftAlt and drag a node, the node “slides” along a curve: moves along the curve while the shape gets preserved. When you drag a sharp node or a start/end node beyond the curve with ShiftAlt, FontLab continues (extends) the curve smoothly.

New Now, you can turn on the Slide toggle in the Contour toolbox, and drag any node without using any modifier keys: FontLab will slide the node, and will preserve or continue the curve.

Test & adjust

Delta filter

New Click a unidirectional move delta to convert it to a bidirectional move delta. Click it again to make it a unidirectional move delta. See Test & adjust for a revised description of the Delta filter.


.glyphs format

New The built-in .glyphs export profile now uses version 3 of the format by default. To export into .glyphs version 2, go to File > Export Font As, choose Glyphs, click Customize and turn on Use legacy format version. Change the Profile name from Glyphs (clone) to something like Glyphs v2, click OK and export the font.

New When you open or export a .glyphs version 3 format, FontLab reads and exports tags.

Bug fixes

  • Fix If you cut a portion of a contour with Edit > Cut or CmdX or CtrlX or you delete it with Del or FnBkSp then FontLab no longer converts some smooth nodes into sharp nodes in the remaining contours.
  • Fix If you cut or remove a line segment in a triangular contour, FontLab now keeps the remaining arms of the triangle as expected, as it did in FontLab 7.