# A measurement problem

When I want to measure the size of the gap in a glyph like this one, I have to start at the tip and move toward the thick stem. However, it’s surprisingly difficult to start exactly at the tip. Instead, it would be nice if I could simply select the node at the tip, and then flexibly point the measurement tool in the direction I need. Is this already possible somehow, or would you consider adding it as a function?

Best,

Jasper

There are a couple of plugins that do that for you.

1. Show Distance and Angle
2. Show Distance Between Two Points

Both can be installed through the Plugin Manager.

Thank you! That’s almost what I need. To stick with the example of the X, the problem is that the distance between those two points is bigger than the distance between the sharp tip and the thick diagonal. I could place an extra node on the thick diagonal, but I wouldn’t know where exactly to put it, plus it seems unnecessarily cumbersome.

What I’m thinking of would work like this:
step 1: I select a node
step 2: I move my cursor around, and I can see the distance between that node and anything in between the node and my cursor.

So, it’s a lot like the normal measurement tool, only the starting point is selected differently. And it could function as an added functionality of the already existing measurement tool.

That is an interesting idea. I’ll have a look at it. Or, you try to make a plugin that does this yourself. Seems to be a simple project to get started

It does look like a nice project to start with python for Glyphs, doesn’t it? I’ll give it a go. Do you have any pointers beside the ‘Scripting Glyphs’ tutorial?

The general scripting tutorials are a good starting points. And try google for more python learning resources.
Then have a look at the other measurements plugins.

Alright, thanks! I’m quite familiar with python already (though not in relation to fonts), so it should be doable

I did a quick test using elements like your /X and find that the plugin from Rafal Buchner, Stem Thickness, will do what you describe. It will measure between nodes or paths, i.e. whatever falls between your cursor and the node/path. Nothing has to be selected, either.

If it isn’t exactly what you want, you could use it as a starting point.

Thank you, I think it would serve as a useful starting point indeed.

Or what about a guide in measurement mode? Double clicking a guide’s knob turns it 90°.

Doesn’t sound very convenient to me

This looks like a perfect example why the measurement tool needs snap to node at least. I miss it every time I need quick precise measurements.

Since my Show Distance and Angle is open source, you could pull a fork, mess around with the given code and add your functionality. Then make a pull request and the plugin can do more instead of adding another plugin which does sth slightly different than an existing one.

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I always find GitHub mighty confusing, but you are right. I’ll try to add it to your plugin, rather than making a new one.

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You can also download the package, and work on it locally. Then let me know if you want to merge and I’ll help you there

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Sounds like a deal
Just be patient with me, it might take a while before I have the time to actually work on this.

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I’ve (sort of) managed to adjust the ShowDistanceAndAngle plugin by @Mark so that it does what I want it to do. The problem is, there are a few bugs, and I have no idea how to fix them. I made a short screencast to illustrate, the code is also included: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1l-1uEXo8KWnvk5qODQDhfu9oZsldYFHa/view?usp=sharing

1. I want to show only the line between the starting point and the first intersection towards the mouse location, which sometimes works (beginning of clip), and sometimes doesn’t.

2. It’s not shown in the video, because I think it’s essentially the same problem, but for some nodes the plugin doesn’t work at all. It just bounces around the starting point as I move, never really getting anywhere.

3. It only works when I really click on a node. Tapping my keypad to select a node doesn’t seem to trigger the plugin. (I didn’t even know there was a difference between clicking and tapping). This one’s not a big deal.

I think I fixed it

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Fir implementation inspiration: The Meter panel in FontLab 3 and up just does that. (showing x, y and distance)

Btw: I improved the measurement tool. It snaps to nodes now.