A couple of minor feature requests (tab interface)

Hello! I’ve been with Glyphs for almost a year now, although this is my first journey into the forum. I’ve been working with Glyphs a lot lately (finally getting all of my work out of .vfb format…) and have been enjoying it very much. Here are just a couple of features that, at least for me, would make Glyphs even a bit more efficient.

I’ve had a bit of trouble getting used to the tab-oriented workflow in Glyphs. It’s not the idea of tabs but navigating them. For one thing, they seem a little small to me; it takes me longer to get my mouse on the exact tab I want here than in other apps. (I do know about the keyboard shortcuts, but I’m usually using my mouse when I want to switch tabs). That said, here is one possible alternative for tab navigation.

In FireFox, with the Tab Mix Plus plugin, you can cycle through tabs by pointing to the tabs bar and scrolling the mouse wheel. I would really like to see that in Glyphs–I usually find that it’s the fastest way to find the tab I’m looking for. (Often in Glyphs I’ll point and scroll, and then realize that nothing happened.)

Here is another interesting navigation feature: in TypeTool (and Fontlab, I would guess), holding Command while scrolling cycles through glyphs. I realize that in Glyphs this functionality might be more difficult to implement since each tab can show more than one glyph at a time (and the modifier keys are already used for mouse-editing shortcuts).

Both of these are very minor requests, but they’d make nice touches, I think.

How many tabs do you have open at a time? And to achieve what?

I’m not sure what OP means but I would like to be able to cycle through tabs with Ctrl+Tabs actually,

I generally have between five and ten tabs open, some with one glyph each and others with multiples. That way I can, for example, see ‘aacute’, ‘eacute’, etc. in one tab while having the component glyphs (the letters and the diacritics) open in their own tabs for individual edits if necessary. I also use multiple tabs when I want to refer to more than one glyph when building a new one without putting too many outlines into the background layer. I suppose that’s just how I work, and it may be unusual to have many tabs open at one time. But if you have any suggestions for a more compact workflow, I’d be glad to hear them! As I mentioned in the original post, I know these are minor requests. They might be better “fixed” by changing my work habits instead of changing the interface.

You can double click a component, and the original gets inserted before the compound glyph and immediately activated for editing.

Personally, I think it’s much more efficient to have multiple glyphs in one single tab, and cycle through the sample texts (cmd-opt-F). You can have multiple lines in one tab too, you know.

I sometimes see users with dozens of tabs, each of them only displaying a single letter, forfeiting the advantage of editing letters in a word context.

What do you use the background layer for? And how do multiple tabs help you with the background layer?

I had been missing out on a lot here! I didn’t know about the component editing or multiple lines. And using sample texts that way had never occurred to me! (I guess I’m more stuck in the old TypeTool mindset than I thought.)

I use the background layer for different reasons depending on the situation. Simpler ones would be using ‘n’ to draw ‘m’ or ‘r’. It gets more crowded when I draw alternates (I like to draw my initial sketches all at once before placing them in separate glyphs) or want to try out multiple shapes for a particular curve. That way I can see the current outline on top of other iterations.

I use extra tabs when I want to, for example, test a curve shape in multiple glyphs–although I probably won’t do that now with your advice.

To conclude, it looks like my requests were unneeded. A better Glyphs workflow obviates the need of any extra tab navigation. Thanks for your help!

Yeah, it also took me a while to get Fontlab out of my system. But now I am a free man :slight_smile: