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New in FontLab 8: Formats

Batch-export many fonts into many formats. Open and export the .glyphs format in version 2 or 3.

Open FontForge SFD files, bitmap BDF fonts and multi-flavor color fonts. Use improved VFJ, UFO, VF support. Export WOFF2 color web fonts.

Opening files

Opening OpenType

When you open an OpenType font, FontLab now:

  • New Assigns tags to alignment zones, so only relevant zones appear in various glyph groups. For example, the uppercase top zone only shows up in uppercase glyphs. Turn off Preferences > Map zones to specific glyphs using tags and open the font to see all zones in all glyphs, or change the zone tags in Font Info > Zones.

Opening TrueType-flavored OpenType (.ttf)

New If Convert TT curves to PS curves and Round coordinates are turned on in Preferences > Open Fonts, and you open an OpenType-TT font, FontLab no longer shows the Round coordinates dialog. Instead, FontLab opens the font with integer coordinates. #6043

Opening variable OpenType

New If you open a variable OpenType font that contains multiple axes in the fvar table that use the same axis tag, FontLab now correctly produces unique axis codes for every axis. Such fonts are used for HOI (higher-order interpolation).

New FontLab opens variable OpenType fonts with many masters over 10× faster.

Opening color OpenType+SVG

New If you open an OpenType+SVG font in which different glyphs use different parts of the same SVG document stored inside the SVG table, FontLab now opens the font correctly. FontLab does not retain the native SVG content in this case, but instead automatically converts the glyphs to editable elements (same as Element > Image > Make SVG Editable). Previously, FontLab could not open such fonts correctly.

Opening color OpenType+COLR with gradients

New You can now open OpenType+COLR fonts with the COLR table version 1, introduced in the OpenType 1.9 specification. Glyphs in such fonts may be filled with gradients, in addition to solid colors. You can edit the gradients visually.

Opening color OpenType+sbix

New You can now open OpenType+sbix fonts that contain embedded images in the emjc flavor that uses LZFSE compression. One such font is the Apple Color Emoji font bundled with iOS. #5802

Opening multi-flavor color OpenType

New You can now open color OpenType fonts that contain multiple “flavors” (technologies for storing multi-color glyphs). For example, if you open a font that contains a COLR table and an SVG table, each glyph will contain multiple layers:

  • The default layer (typically named Regular) contains the COLR content, so it may include components.
  • Additional layers may contain the variation masters if the COLR content is variable.
  • The SVG layer contains the SVG table content, either as native SVG elements or as editable elements
  • The bw layer contains the fallback monochrome contours.

If the font also contains an sbix or CBDT table, each glyph will also contain a ppm.NNN layer with the bitmap content, where NNN is the pixel-per-em size of that content.

Decompiling features for complex-script fonts

New If you open OpenType fonts with features defined for scripts such as Bengali, Devanagari, Kannada, Malayalam, Sinhala, Telugu or Tibetan, FontLab now decompiles the feature definitions more correctly.

Opening .glyphs

FontLab now correctly imports many additional aspects of the .glyphs font format, both version 2 and version 3.

.glyphs format 3

New You can now open .glyphs files in version 3 of the format. FontLab does not yet read the .glyphspackage format.

New FontLab imports _corner, _segment and _cap components from .glyphsas Skin filters.

New FontLab converts color layers named like Color 0, Color 1 etc. into multiple colored elements.

New FontLab converts the .glyphs stroke assigned to a path to a FontLab stroke. #6093

New FontLab converts the .glyphs format 3 glyph tags into FontLab glyph tags.

Restore tabs

New If Preferences > Open Fonts > Glyphs > Restore tabs is turned on and you open a .glyphs file, FontLab reads the text tabs stored in the file and turn them into tabbed Glyph windows.

Opening UFO or DesignSpace+UFO

Storing original UFO folder and filenames

New If you open a DesignSpace+UFO project:

FontLab adds a custom parameter with the key com.fontlab.masterFilename in Font Info > Master Lib. This parameter stores the base filename of the master UFO package (without the .ufo extension).

FontLab also adds a custom parameter with the key com.fontlab.mastersFolder in Font Info > Font Lib. This parameter stores the relative path to the folder in which the master UFOs are stored, if that folder is not masters. If the master UFOs are in the same folder as the .designspace file, the custom parameter stores the value ".".

Single-master axis

New If you open a DesignSpace+UFO project that refers only to a single master, FontLab now correctly reads the axis information. #5758

Caret offset

New If you open a UFO package that contains an italic font (with a non-0 italic angle), FontLab now correctly calculates the caret offset used to shift the sidebearings. #6168

Opening FontForge .sfd files

New You can now open .sfd files created in FontForge.

Opening BDF bitmap fonts

New You can now open .bdf bitmap fonts created in BitFonter 3 and in other bitmap font editors. FontLab converts them into “pixel fonts”, so that each pixel is represented by a small vector square.

Opening Mac Type 1

New FontLab no longer fails when you open certain Adobe-made Mac Type 1 font suitcases. #6025

Revert Fonts

New The File > Revert Font menu command is now always enabled, even if no changes were made to the current font. This way, you can change any Preferences > Open Fonts settings and quickly re-open the current font. #4895

Opening fonts or importing artwork with fractional coordinates

New If you open a font that uses fractional coordinates and Preferences > Open Fonts > Round coordinates is turned on, or if you import vector artwork that has fractional coordinates into a font that has Font Info > Family Dimensions > Round coordinates, FontLab shows a dialog that asks you whether to keep fractional coordinates or to round them. The wording in these dialogs is now improved.

Saving and exporting fonts

Save as VFC or VFJ only

New If you choose File > Save As and choose VFC or VFJ, FontLab remembers the format and keeps saving in the format you’ve selected.

More portable VFJ saving for better interchange

New If your design uses filters or element references, you can now turn on Preferences > Save Fonts > Expanded contours for filters and references. If you save or export a VFJ, FontLab creates a more portable VFJ file that contains simplified contours for each glyph layer in addition to the underlying complex structure.

If you open such a VFJ, FontLab uses the complex structure, but other VFJ parsers may rely on the simplified structure.

Autosave

New When you turn on Preferences > Save Fonts > Autosave, the automatic saving is now more reliable.

Export multiple fonts into multiple profiles in one step

New With File > Export Font As, you can export several fonts that are currently open, and you can turn on multiple target formats (profiles). This can be very handy even with several different profiles that are based on the same format but use different settings

File > Export Font As dialog

New FontLab now remembers the size of the File > Export Font As dialog, and stores it in the app preferences. #6140

Exporting with Same as Source

New If you choose File > Export Font As…, set Destination > Source dialog, and export the font, and you then switch to another font and choose File > Export, FontLab no longer exports the 2nd font to the source folder of the 1st font, but exports to the appropriate location instead. #5759

Save and export confirmations

After you export a font, FontLab shows a confirmation dialog with a link to the exported file. If you click that link, FontLab reveals the file in Finder (macOS) or File Explorer (Windows), and New closes the confirmation dialog.

New If you click Do not show this again in the confirmation dialog and export, FontLab prints a short confirmation to the Output panel. This confirmation now also contains a clickable link.

New If you save a font, FontLab also prints a confirmation to the Output panel with a clickable link to the file path.

Note

If you export or save multiple times, only the last link in the Output panel will be clickable.

Exporting OpenType

Legacy TrueType kern table only includes pairs of encoded glyphs

If you export an OpenType font with a profile that has the option Export legacy TrueType kerning turned on, the font will include kerning in the old-style TrueType kern table. New This kern table now by default only includes pairs for glyphs that have Unicode codepoints. To include all pairs (within the maximum limit defined in the profile), turn off the Legacy kerning only for encoded glyphs profile option. #5825

New DSIG timestamp provider

If you wish to export a digitally signed OpenType font, you should set up your digital certificate in Preferences > Digital Signature. New FontLab now uses a new provider (Sectigo) to generate the DSIG timestamp.

Exporting color OpenType

Exporting OpenType+COLR

New If the elements in your multi-color glyphs are filled with solid colors only, and your OpenType TT, OpenType PS, Web TT or Web PS export profile has the OT+COLR flavor turned on, FontLab exports the COLR table version 0. If the elements use gradients, FontLab exports the COLR table version 1.

If your export profile has the Export auto-generated dark palette option turned off, the exported -COLR font will include a CPAL table that contains a default palette with all unique colors used in your font.

New If the export profile has Export auto-generated dark palette option turned on, the CPAL table in the -COLR font will in addition contain an auto-generated “dark” palette with the colors from the default palette inverted with FontLab’s built-in perceptual color inversion algorithm. This is the same palette that the Preview panel shows if “dark preview” is active. In supporting browsers, end-users can choose the dark palette with CSS font-palette: dark.

Exporting Webfonts

Exporting variable WOFF2

New When you turn on the setting WOFF2 in the Variable TT or Variable PS export profile, FontLab now exports the .woff2 version alongside the uncompressed version.

Note

FontLab does not export variable fonts as .woff or .eot even if you turn on WOFF or EOT in the profile. This is by design. All browsers that support variable fonts also support .woff2.

Exporting color WOFF2

  • New When you turn on the settings OT+COLR and WOFF2 in an OpenType TT or OpenType PS export profile, FontLab now exports the .woff2 version alongside the uncompressed version.
  • New When you turn on the settings OT+sbix and WOFF2 in an OpenType TT profile, FontLab now exports the .woff2 version.

Previously, FontLab exported .woff2 only for OT+SVG or OT+CBDT if you turned on the settings.

Note

FontLab only exports .woff or .eot for the monochrome fallback font, not for the color fonts, if you turn on the WOFF or EOT settings in the profile. This is by design.

Generating supporting HTML + CSS files

New If you export fonts using the Web TT or Web PS profiles, FontLab no longer by default exports the supporting HTML and CSS files. To export them, customize the profile and turn on the new Export HTML and CSS files profile setting. #5793

Exporting .glyphs

New FontLab now correctly exports many additional aspects into the .glyphs format, both version 2 and version 3.

New When you export a .glyphs version 3 format, FontLab exports FontLab glyph tags as .glyphs glyph tags.

Exporting .glyphs format version 2 or 3

New If you export the font with the Glyphs profile, FontLab by default exports it in version 3 of the .glyphs format.

New 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.

Exporting UFO or DesignSpace+UFO

Better handling of reserved Windows filenames

New If you have glyphs named con, prn, aux, nul, com1com9 or lpt1lpt9 and you export a UFO, FontLab prepends a _ to the GLIF filenames. This is to better handle filenames that are reserved in Windows. #6207

Exporting Current layer or Masters

New If you export the Current layer or Masters and the custom com.fontlab.masterFilename parameter is present in Font Info > Master Lib, FontLab uses its value as the base for the filename of the master.

New If the parameter is not present, FontLab builds the filename from the master name. Unlike previous versions, FontLab now builds the filename of the master from the current VFC/VFJ filename plus - plus the sanitized master name.

Exporting DesignSpace+UFO

If you export the font to DesignSpace+UFO:

New If the custom com.fontlab.mastersFolder parameter is present in Font Info > Font Lib, FontLab uses its value as the folder into which it exports the UFO masters. If the value is ".", FontLab exports them into the same folder as the .designspace file.

If the parameter is not present, FontLab exports the UFO masters into the masters subfolder.

For building the filenames of UFO masters, FontLab uses the method described in the “Exporting Current layer or Masters” section above.