Alternatives Max Number


I’m considering using Glyphs for a uni project but I’m wondering how many alternatives can I do? For example if I wanted loads of a’s then how many would be the max?


There is no technical limit. If you figure out the OpenType feature code how to access them all you can have as many as you want as long as the total number of glyphs in your font is less then 64000.

Thanks GeorgSeifert, my thought was to create typeface that allowed random alternatives however reading a little more, ive found out that it’s not possible, however I can create a lot of ligatures that would be automatically change if the option is ticked in InDesign.

Having never used Glphys or created an OpenType, how easy is it? Also how many characters can I have in a single ligature?

You can make a pseudo-random alternates, but I think this requires a bit of knowledge. Before doing that, I’d advise you to read online resources on how OpenType works, and Glyphs handbook. The current version of the handbook was written for much older version, but it is mostly relevant.

There is no limit to how many letters will be combined to a ligature.

It seems that there isn’t a limit (below the 64K) on the amount of ligature’s components in OpenType.

But there is a limit on the width of the glyph if you are exporting a CFF-OT.

Also, GlyphsApp will start to stack components in the 20th component or when the ligature reach a width of 6600. @GeorgSeifert, Is that on purpose?
Below, an (47.7 KB) image with 1001 components, the first 20 are placed properly but the rest are staked over the first. Attached font in the mail.

The auto alignment stops if there are more than 20 components for performance reasons, as that would be most likely an pixel font os something like this.