New in FontLab 8 since FontLab VI¶
We love type design and font making, and we love our users. We’re listening to your feedback, and we keep making FontLab better every single day. It has been the go-to app for pro typeface designers to make smooth and consistent curves, comfortably tweak, space and kern a typeface, and then export technically solid fonts in any format. In 2017, we released FontLab VI, which was long in the making, but was still far from perfection. We worked hard for the next two years to improve FontLab, and we finally published FontLab 7 in December 2019.
Over two years later, in June 2022, we released FontLab 8. Thanks to years of intense daily development, and thanks to the active participation of our users, FontLab 8 is the best and boldest upgrade ever!
Download the free fully-functional 10-day trial of FontLab 8 for Mac and Windows! Works on all macOS systems since 10.14 Catalina, and on all Windows since 8.1.
A new lifetime license for FontLab 8 is US$499, but if you have FontLab VI, FontLab Studio 5, Fontographer 5, TypeTool 3, RoboFont or Glyphs, it’s US$459.
Below is a list of the 100 most important changes since FontLab VI, but this is only a scratch of the surface. Read about the detailed changes in FontLab 8 below.
Since FontLab VI, we’ve greatly expanded our learning materials. Check out the brand-new text tutorials by Dave Lawrence, and our extensive collection of video tutorials!
To find your way in the user interface, hold F1 over any user interface item to read Quick Help. Tap Shift+F1 to open the context-sensitive Help panel. For in-depth knowledge, read the extensive FontLab manual.
FontLab 8 had a long beta period with an incredibly active group of font professionals who had been using pre-release builds in production for over six months. They, and others, say FontLab 8 is really good!
FontLab 8 highlights since FontLab VI¶
Explore & prepare¶
- Rock-solid, 100s of bugs fixed, and up to 30× faster performance!
- New dark and refined light interface theme.
- Group panels into a scrollable panel dock.
- Adjust numeric values with sliders and calculations.
- Hold F1 / Fn+F1 over a user interface element to see Quick Help explanations.
- Change opacity of guides and font dimension lines.
Draft & draw¶
- Draw calligraphic letterforms with new Power Stroke or improved Power Brush.
- Modulate thickness visually with new Thickness tool.
- Draw fluently with Pen and Rapid toolbox sub-tools.
- Draw polygons and stars with Rectangle tool.
- Better copy-paste and import of AI, PDF, SVG vector artwork, as simple contours, or with stroke and color.
- Better Autotrace bitmaps into contours.
Edit & refine¶
- New Rotate, Scale and Slant tools.
- Make slanted selections, keep selections as you switch masters, and store them in Selections panel.
- Smart Power Nudge and Nudge dragging, with a toolbox toggle.
- Lever precision dragging of nodes, handles and selections with Cmd or Ctrl without the need to zoom in.
- Easier curve cleanup with Eraser toolbox.
- Adjust curve tension numerically.
- Align and collapse points.
- Reverse contours with Fill tool.
- Sort contours.
- Paste to replace selection.
- Fine-tune individual ink traps and smart corners.
- See handles in Mask and inactive layers.
- Move anchors together with contour selections.
- Add simple ink traps and unlink smooth nodes with Scissors.
- Duplicate nodes with Knife.
- Harmonize Handles to get G3-continuous, ultra-smooth nodes.
- Better control the appearance of corners with looped corners.
- Improved Remove Overlap.
- View details across glyphs.
Consistency & precision¶
- Study the numeric values of your stem widths, segment lengths, curve tensions and corner angles with Auto-meter.
- View thickness and centerline between opposing segments or within the whitespace, with Quick measurement.
- Visualize the thickness change with a colorful rainbow.
- Hold G to temporarily view additional measurements.
- Snap to continuation lines, perpendicular lines and centerlines.
- Draw consistent glyphs with Suggest Stems and improved auto stem detection.
- Adaptive freeform grid with Suggest distance.
- View relative node offsets, length of diagonal handles and line segments.
- See coordinates for key nodes only.
- Per-font rounded or fractional coordinates.
- Manually add hints with the Magnet tool.
- Edit visual TrueType Hinting like never before.
Build & assemble¶
- Powerful attached and variable components.
- Convert selections to components or elements.
- Add decoration and attach shapes to nodes or segments with updated Glue filter, or with .glyphs-compatible Skin filter in segment , dash , corner and cap modes.
- Use clipping groups to mask out areas.
- Use text shapes to re-use scaled words or phrases from your font in existing glyphs.
- Add a glyph to your font with the simple New Glyph command.
- Use custom or dynamic auto layers, toggle them for all masters and multiple glyphs.
- Better manage elements in the Elements panel, copy-paste them from Gallery.
- Quickly select composites, components and related glyphs.
- Use the same element for filled shapes and for unfilled counters.
- Combine and join contours across elements.
- Customize appearance of anchors and pins.
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 ; key tap.
- Easily copy-paste sidebearings and kerning values in Glyph window.
- Link metrics for many glyphs in the Glyph panel.
- Easily link a sidebearing to the opposite sidebearing.
- Easily remove metric expressions across masters.
- Kern glyphs like other glyphs with Set Kerning Classes.
- Define both-sided kerning classes.
- Find visual conflicts (clashes) in class kerning and convert them into exceptions with Audit Kerning.
- Kern most popular “kernable” combinations and easily manage word lists with the Pairs & Phrases panel.
- Access common Metrics and Kerning operations from Glyph window context menu.
- Write interpolable GPOS features with Font Info > Parameters (cpsp, contextual kern).
- Better export and management of classes.
- Better Metrics Table.
Families & variation¶
- Quickly make variable fonts from static fonts.
- Define custom per-glyph variation axes.
- Re-use live interpolated instances to build glyphs with smart variable components.
- Set start points and reverse contours in all masters.
- See contour matching and node numbers, make contours compatible with improved Matchmaker tool.
- Group layers visually.
- See layers that are present in only some glyphs.
- Reinterpolate master from other masters.
- Draw with multiple masters shown as colored wireframes for easy reference.
- View all masters while editing with master Cousins.
- View multiple masters in the Preview panel, as lines or glyphs.
- Preview interpolation steps.
- Export intermediate glyph masters into Variable OpenType fonts (e.g. :wt=650).
- Export conditional glyph substitutions (rvrn/rules) with tilde glyph tags (e.g. ~wt>850).
- Sort masters and instances flexibly by axis or name.
- Easily rename masters in Font Info > Masters.
- Change interpolation coordinates per axis, and other info, for multiple masters or instances at once.
- Map your interpolation coordinates to Variable OpenType user coordinates (avar) with all-new Axis Graph.
- Use named locations on each axis (axis instances) to create a variable STAT table, or to build a “matrix” of predefined instances.
- See glyphs with non-matching masters in the Font window sidebar.
- Keep stem thickness when changing width or height.
Test & adjust¶
- Print waterfalls or interpolations from Preview panel.
- Batch-run selected FontAudit fixes in glyphs and masters.
- Find and fix uneven (irregular and uncommon) stems with FontAudit.
- Find nearly flat curves and convert them to lines with FontAudit.
- Create, save and run action sets that combine multiple actions.
- Batch-adjust stem widths in a master.
- Adjust by variation to replace contours with a different dynamic instance.
- Perform complex non-destructive contour transformations with new Delta filter.
- Annotate your glyphs visually with simple stickers.
- Test language-dependent OpenType features (locl).
- Fill elements with gradients or solid colors.
- Copy-paste color fill and stroke between glyphs.
- Import drawings with gradients.
- Open and export better OpenType+SVG and new OpenType+COLRv1 fonts.
- Export an automatic dark-mode color palette.
- Overlay multiple layers into color fonts.
Glyphs & fonts¶
- One-click automatic generation of OpenType features.
- Visual proofing and better editing of features.
- Microsoft VOLT integration for complex-script OpenType development.
- Exclude glyphs from export into final formats.
- Quickly create new glyphs with common suffixes.
- Clean up classes when removing glyphs.
- Copy-paste classes between fonts or masters.
- Friendly glyph names and batch glyph renaming.
- Choose between replace or append when pasting in Font window.
- Copy glyph names and recipes with new Copy Text As
- JSON-based human-readable clipboard format.
- Copy-paste Font Info between fonts and masters.
- Edit Font Info in a concise tabular Overview.
- Edit and export the PANOSE identifier.
- Export and import Encoding files to create custom Font window filters.
- Font window filtering by flag and name suffix.
- Choose how FontLab decompiles OT classes and substitutions.
- Refined Font window scrolling.
- Drag-drop .glif files.
- 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 (2 or 3), variable font support.
- Export WOFF2 color web fonts.
- Export OTFs with only y-direction (horizontal) hints.
- Open and export CFF2-based Variable PS (.otf) fonts.
- Keep older copies in Trash / Recycle Bin when you save or export.
Scripts & integrations¶
- Write and use Python 3 scripts.
- Seamlessly interchange with other font editing apps like Glyphs or RoboFont.
- Perform global transformations with the powerful TypeRig library that facilitates batch work with layers, contours, metrics, anchors, guides and texts.
- Create fonts for the entire Unicode 14 standard.