I’m an ex-Fontlab and I’ve been using the Glyphs for a while now. What I mainly miss is the numeric precision that Fontlab has. Here’s a few kind requests, these would really help to make more precise designs more quickly. As I’m fairly new to Glyphs, these may be already featured.
-X Y delta values of all movements visible, all the time. When I move something, it shows numerically exactly how many points. Maybe the movement display located in the floating palettes? Also when drawing a box, I want to see exactly how many points its dimentions are at all times. Maybe one could also insert values to the palette.
-vertical+horizontal guides appear at cursor/drag point when dragging a point. Words fail to describe how useful this is.
-EMT interpolate panel / or panel where I can insert numeric values for moving/interpolating stuff around. It must have numeric input. The integrated interpolation feature you have in Glyphs now just isn’t enough. It doesn’t even work properly, sometimes it leaves the handles where they are while moving other points. The whole feature doesn’t feel consistent, so I’m not using it. Can we have the original EMT interpolation panel?
A few reguests concerning guidelines:
-lock guides. By locking guides, I don’t have to watch out for them, which in turn increases working speed.
-name guides or assign colors to guides or preferably both.
-paste local guides to selected glyphs in the font view.
-make a vertical (or horizontal) guideline from the middle point of a component (or any selected object).
-contextual menu: instead of just “add guideline”, it would be nice to have “add horizontal guide” and “add vertical guide”. Why not include both?
-I’d like more control customising how paths points and selections are marked right now. Especially the selections are way too bland for me. I like strong colors and contrasts, it makes the working faster.
-Can I change the Quick Fill Preview from spacebar to < -key (between shift and z) somehow? Also, I’d like to change “Zoom In” to “z” key and “Zoom Out” to “x”.
sometimes i also want to have the filled outline preview not on the spacebar. since it does two things at a time (temporarily switch to the move-canvas and fill preview) it can be dazing under circumstances where you move a lot and the screen is just flashing at you
By integrated interpolation, do you mean nudging with ctrl-opt? It depends on your selection what is being moved and what is being adjusted.
–That is not useful to me. I need to enter straight values to interpolate. It’s faster if you know the right values already.
You can easily switch guidelines between H and V by double-clicking the guideline node.
–I know. It’s faster to select one straight away. Are you saving contextual menu space in the expense of speed?
Centering a guideline on a component can be done through scripting.
What is the point of naming a guideline? Coloring guidelines is too confusing because the colors already have a meaning.
–I use guidelines to keep things consistent horizontally troughout the font. It’s useful to distinquish which guide is which.
Drawing a box precisely: click and enter the width and height. Or draw it any old way and enter the values in the grey info box.
–I was talking about seeing running numbers all the time while drawing AND moving. I use the box drawing also for measuring things. The resulting box is useful as a dummy helper object. Seeing running numbers while drawing gives a sense of proportion and provides exact dimentions right away. Drawing a box, then going to enter the values, then moving the box into it’s right place, then correcting the values, then adjusting the place again - this all takes so much more time. It’s frustrating.
For precise moving, why not use the arrow keys with shift or cmd?
–Entering values is faster.
Automatic guides are already implemented. Do they not show for you?
–Nope. I have the 554 build.
Please make your program more flexible for people who work differently. There shouldn’t be only one way of doing things?
Interpolate between what? I still do not know what you want to achieve. Can you give me an example?
For measuring, I would not suggest drawing a box in the first place. There is the measurement tool: shortcut L or hold down ctrl-opt-cmd simultaneously to temporarily activate it. If you continually need something measured, then set a guideline to measurement mode. And if you know what width you want, you can use the grey info box to set the position and size numerically for any selection.
What heights do you want to keep consistent? This is what vertical metrics and alignment zones are for. And for small caps, you can use the smallCapHeight parameter. It replaces the x-height in .sc glyphs.
Our goal is not to make a copy of Fontlab because Fontlab already exists. Naturally, some things will work differently in Glyphs. And what may at first glance seem necessary after you have gotten used to a Fontlab workflow for years, may be confusing for others. This is why we ask what you want to achieve, which allows to suggest a possible workflow in Glyphs.
Version 554 already has magnetic red guidelines. They should appear automatically if you drag a node. Which OS X version do you have?
Eduaro Manso’s EMT Interpolate Panel script does exactly what I’m looking for. Moving points and scale the handles accordingly. The important thing here is that I can enter numbers to it.
I measure with boxes for two reasons: they give both X and Y values, they can be moved around and rotated easily. Yes you CAN do all of this with the measurement tool, but it’s just not that fast.
With global guides, I can keep all sorts of things consistent - line terminals, gaps between diacritics and base glyphs, punctuation marks, etc.
I’m not asking for a Fontlab copy, I’m very happy about many things in Glyphs. I’m only proposing what I think will make Glyphs better than it is. Or what Fontlab was. A vector drawing program is point-centric by nature, so why not show the dX and dY values for example? If you are afraid of the UI-clutter, make it an View-option for the user to decide.
To measure the x and y distance between two points, I simply select both and then you see the distance in the info box (in the w and h field).
Yes. You end up with a lot of this time savers for specific situations. I don't like to have a context menu with more then 10 or so entries. It means you have to browse through all entries every time to find what you like.
Just as rainer suggested. The Nudge function is build right in. Use the keyboard to move in discrete units.
In Glyphs, you can see that in one glance with the mark cloud.
And once you get used to it, the measurement tool is really much, much faster than moving and rotating a path object around. It is a simply Fitt’s Law equation. You do not need to move precisely with the ruler, you just drag it across, and it will indicate the distances between path intersection.
For precise moving, e.g. 32 units to the left, I select the object (double click in the vicinity of the path, or single click on the component), shift-arrow to the left 3 times and leftarrow twice. This really is much faster than mouse-dragging. Precise mousing to a point is slow, because a specific point is a very small target according to Fitt’s Law. Besides, with using arrow keys, you do not even need to zoom in for better precision.
About those shortcuts, Sys Preferences won’t allow assigning single keys to any commands, it requires key combos. Or do you know a way? Is there menu item for the Quick fill preview (spacebar), I couldn’t find one?
How about this: I move a object by dragging to another location. I’d then need to move other objects in other glyphs by the same amount in X and Y directions. With live dX and dY display, I’d see the change instantly.
The Nudge function doesn’t work reliably for me. If I move one node, it works most of the time. But if I try to move several nodes, what usually happens is that some of the handles stay put.
It depends on what your selection is. If you select a whole segment including handles, they will move along, only the surrounding, unselected handles will be adjusted by a percentage.
As for the dX dY moving indication, perhaps I can write a Palette extension. Would a Duplicate Transformation command like in Illustrator be helpful for you?
Shortcut keys without modifiers for zooming would conflict with many other things, like text input, and could only work in very specific circumstances. Therefore I really recommend getting used to cmd-plus and cmd-hyphen. Many other apps use the same shortcuts.
dX and dY display would be so great. Please do so! Repeating movements was just one example of a function where the display is really helpful, but now that you said it, a specific Duplicate Transformation would of course handle that task even better. Good idea!
Yes I see your point with the zooming keys. I’ve gotten used to the “standard” zooming shortcuts long ago before I started making fonts, but I have to say those three keys were really useful in font design.
When I started with FL, I remember thinking "what a strange choice for the fill preview button”, but after a few days I got it. It’s simply the most intuitive key on the keyboard. When my left hand is on the keyboard, the ring finger is automatically on the button. There is zero effort for pressing it. With spacebar, the effort isn’t great by no means, but it’s there. And the < key conflicts much less with text input than spacebar? Maybe as an option in Glyphs preferences? Just an suggestion.
About the Nudge function, what’s the purpose of moving nodes, but not the handles? Does anyone actually need such a feature? Most of the time I would need the Nudge function is to apply it to one whole side of a glyph: I’d select one half of the glyph with one mouse draw and apply the function. That’s it. Now I have to click-select each node AND to watch out for those pesky handles at the same time.
I use nudge move all the time. It can be used in more situations than interpolation tool is in FLS. You can option+drag the mouse to select on-curve points, if that helps. The change of behaviour in de/selected off-curve points is not hard to understand. I hope you will get used to like you did in FLS.
For zooming, there are more ways in Glyphs. The easiest zooming is two-finger pinch (if you’re using trackpad) or option+mouse scroll; it’s very nice since the zoom step is finer. You can choose zoom from the View menu, use command + or -, or click zoom button at the bottom right. You can even type there. And of course the zoom tool.
Some choices (like spacebar instead of the less key) were made because Glyphs is a good Mac citizen, and a Mac user will be used to or even expect these key combos.
And about Nudge, you can drag-select the segments you want to move and the surrounding handles will be adjusted. You can see an example in the Drawing Paths tutorial video of the Getting Started section of this website.
Are you going to be at one of the upcoming type conferences? Perhaps you want to attend one of our pro workshops.
About the Nudge function: Are you using Version 1.4.2? Georg tried something new with it in that version, but it would not work so great for multiple nodes selected. I suggest you update to the latest beta: Glyphs > Preferences > Updates > Show Cutting Edge Versions. There, the Nudge function works again as expected with a bigger selection.