Computing Fontographer: I had dabbled with Fontcreator a few years earlier, but that program wasn't cutting it on a new project, for which a lettering artist was sending me new glyphs to improve a typeface with the consent of the typeface's designer. Fontcreator had a really hard time importing certain Illustrator vectors, and I didn't find its path tools intuitive. Fontographer was expensive, but it saved the day. After several frustrating sessions with Fontcreator, I find Fontographer amazingly easy to use.
I love this program. For the most part, this page serves as a place holder for Fontographer features that I want to remember. I hope it helps others who may be on the same track. My sessions with the software may be far between, and I am bound to forget some essential information. The manual is pages long. I skimmed it once and would prefer not to have to do it again. Some Basics Translating the Fontographer manual for Windows.
At the time of writing, there was no Fontographer manual for Windows. To translate the manual's Mac commands for a Windows keyboard, it's useful to know what to do with the "Command" and "Option" keys: I couldn't figure out how to do that until I read the manual.
In the vector window "outline window" , I kept trying to grab the vertical guides, which didn't work. In the metrics window, you can pull the "L" and "R" sliding vertical bars to position your character. How to delete points without messing up a path. This question was causing me grief. In the vector window, I would select path points and delete them. This would open the path, and often I had a hard time closing it again in a way that I liked.
Here's the trick: This removes the point from the path without opening the path. A great way to get rid of curlicues. How to add guides. On the typeface I was modifying a script , many characters dipped below the baseline. I wanted a guide in the outline window so I could standardize by how much the characters fell below the baseline. To create a new horizontal guide, click on the word "Guides" in the Layers box the Guides layer should not only be checked, but active, which is the case when the word "Guides" is greyed out.
Pick the selection tool, click on the baseline, and drag it up or down to create a new guide that will appear on all characters. To remove the guide, select it remember to select the Guides layer and drag it back to the baseline. To create a vertical guide, the procedure is the same, just click drag from the vertical "origin line" instead.
How to pull Bezier control points BCPs hiding under a point. Hold the Alt key Option key on Mac while you click-drag the point. How to fine-tune a point's position and BCPs. Kerning Of the several kerning procedures suggested in the manual, here is the one I like the most. In the text box at the top, type two letters, for instance "La". Now click on the "a".
Notice that the "L" and "R" guides have moved from the "L" to the "a". To kern the "La", you move the "K" handle of the "a". Be careful not to use the "L" handle instead of the "K" handle! That would change the width of the a, which would affect all pairs with an "a" at the right. But this is only half the fun. What I love is that you can quickly cycle through all pairs that start with "L".
The second key is the combination is the right square bracket. See how the screen now shows "Lb"? Or quickly cycle through all the "L" pairs by keeping one finger on Ctrl and repeatedly pressing "]". Cleaning up a Typeface before Exporting it The following features seem helpful to me. I might apply them to all glyphs. This simplifies the path when it contains overlapping elements. This optimizes the vector points on the glyph.
To avoid modifying glyphs, under "Simplify Paths", move the slider to "less" value of 1. The "less" settings means that fewer points are removed, keeping the path closer to the original.
In computer fonts, proper glyphs are defined when certain paths are made clockwise and others paths are made counter-clockwise. I don't know the rules this made Fontcreator a pain to work with , but Fontographer does, and this function seems like a good one to use. Fontographer created the font file, but the bottom of some glyphs are cut off If you strech a number of glyphs for instance to increase the contrast between upper- and lower-case letters , when you produce and install the font, applications such as MS Word may truncate the bottom of characters with large descenders, such as "g".
Make sure the "Advanced" button is checked. Click the "Dimensions" tab. In the first box "UPM size" , increase the size of the character by the amount that is missing, or a bit more. I make my glyph size a multiple of Make sure you click the button that says "Retain path coordinates when changing UPM size".
Otherwise, Fontographer will increase the size of the characters at the same time it increases the size of the box, so the characters will still overflow!
Regenerate your font files, and don't forget to reinstall them. Not sure by how much to increase the UPM size? When you open a character in the outline window, you can see the typeface's upper and lower boundary.
Using guides and the measuring tool from the outline window's toolbar , you can estimate how much extra space is needed. Fontographer is beautiful Apparently, the first version of Fontographer was created in It pioneered the path drawing tools now best known in Illustrator which appeared two years after Fontographer and Indesign. I am proud to own that beautiful piece of software. Hope this helps!