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New in FontLab 8: Metrics & kerning

Use your mouse to adjust metrics and kerning with high-precision Lever dragging. Hide or reduce the visibility of spacing controls for distraction-free spacing and kerning.

Auto-space and auto-kern with one click or tap.

Metrics

Manual editing of metrics

Center glyph in advance width

If the Metrics tool is active:

  • tap { to align the current glyph layer to the left sidebearing, in other words to set the LSB to 0 and keep the advance width
  • tap } to align to the right sidebearing (set RSB to 0 and keep width)
  • New tap | to center the current glyph layer (make both sidebearings equal and keep width)

Metrics lever: precision dragging of metrics

New The Preferences > Spacing page now has a new setting Metrics and kerning editing changes value by 1/n of dragging distance, where n can be up to 100. A reasonable value is between 4 and 10. #6613

In the Metrics mode of the Glyph window, if you drag a sidebearing line or a glyph and n is larger than 1, the change in the metrics is more precise (smaller) than the distance of the dragging on screen. Hold Shift when you drag, and the change in the metrics will be the same as the distance of the dragging.

Tip

Shift-drag far to make larger changes. Then release the button and drag again by a small distance to make a precise adjustment.

Spacing Controls

Rendering of Spacing Controls

New If you turn on View > Show > Spacing Controls and hover over the sidebearings in the editing modes and the Metrics mode, the Glyph window shows a cross at the intersection of the baseline and the sidebearings. This cross is now smaller.

New Also, if you change Preferences > Spacing > Metrics lines to a color with a lighter transparency, FontLab draws the cross more transparent.

Tip

If you want to edit metrics and kerning with your mouse, use Preferences > Spacing > Metrics lines to set the transparency to around 4%, and the spacing controls (sidebearings and the cross) will be barely visible. Also, in the Glyph window sidebar, set a higher linespacing to increase the distance between the baseline and the spacing controls.

Draggable Spacing Controls

The spacing controls (sidebearing lines) are draggable if the Contour, Element or Metrics tool is active, and if View > Lock > Glyph Metrics is turned off.

New If another tool is active, the spacing controls are not draggable.

Metrics line

Measurement line is now renamed to Metrics line

New The Measurement line is now renamed to the Metrics line. If View > Metrics Line is turned on, FontLab shows sidebearing values as the distances between the sidebearing line and the contour at the location of the Metrics line. #5918

Font > Metrics submenu

New The new Font > Metrics now has the Link Glyph Metrics and Remove Metrics Links commands.

New With the new Tools > Actions > Metrics > Remove metrics links action, you can remove all metrics links (expressions) from the specified glyphs and layers, so the sidebearings and widths become simple numerical values. #5578

Auto spacing

Font > Metrics > Auto Space

New Font > Metrics > Auto Space automatically calculates the spacing (sidebearings) for the current layer in the glyphs selected in the Font window or in the current glyph in the Glyph window.

New The auto spacing algorithm is now improved.

To auto space the current glyph in the Glyph window, you can also tap :.

Metrics & Hinting Shadows

New If you turn on View > Metrics & Hinting Shadows in an italic design, FontLab takes the italic angle and caret offset into account when it renders the “shadows” for metrics, zones and hints. #6456

Kerning

Manual kerning

Kerning lever: precision dragging of kerning

New The Preferences > Spacing page now has a new setting Metrics and kerning editing changes value by 1/n of dragging distance, where n can be up to 100. #6613

In the Kerning mode of the Glyph window, if you drag a glyph and n is larger than 1, the change in the kerning is more precise (smaller) than the distance of the dragging on screen. Hold Shift when you drag, and the change in the kerning will be the same as the distance of the dragging.

Shift-drag far to make larger changes. Then release the button and drag again by a small distance to make a precise adjustment.

Tip

If you turn on Preferences > Spacing > Inactive kerning pairs are editable and you turn off View > Show > Spacing Controls, you can rapidly make small kerning changes to all pairs that are part of the current Glyph window text.

Hide pointer as you drag in Kerning mode

If you turn on Preferences > Spacing > Hide cursor while editing kerning, and you drag a kerning pair in the Kerning mode of the Glyph window, FontLab temporarily hides the pointer during the dragging, so it does not obscure your view.

Font > Kerning submenu

New The Font > Kerning submenu is rearranged for better readability.

New FontLab K2 autokerning algorithm

New Click the Auto-kern button in the Pairs & Phrases panel to autokern the selected pairs using the new FontLab K2 autokerning algorithm, or tap ; in the Kerning mode to use K2 to autokern the current pair.

New Alt-click the Auto-kern button in the panel or tap Shift; to autokern using the old FontLab K1 algorithm.