Bounding Box for Transformation

I’m currently considering switching from FontLab, and have been trialing Robofont and Glyphs App.

I enjoy editing in Glyphs App as I’ve found it easier to use for my style of editing

Bounding box transformation is on the list but it is not the most urgent thing. It lacks the precision you usually need in type design. If you want to scale imprecisely, you can already use the scale tool, which works like in AI. If you want to scale precisely, it makes more sense to enter the new width or height value in the grey info box of your selection. So, you do not need to calculate anything.

If you, e.g., want to scale an object to a certain height, I personally think it is most intuitive and least cumbersome to simply set the object to that height.

I kindly dissapoint with this opinion. The real advantage of the transformation tool in both ROBOFONT AND FONTLAB is that when you transform a curve you keep the proportion of the handlers, so basically a free transformed curve from a original is a direct sister and you just need little adjustments. IMO it is the best way to create for example a condensed or an expanded, much more intuitive than working numerically. I strongly support this request.

I recently bought Glyphs and is ironical that I still use Fontlab for drawing and Glyphs for superpolation. Move the free transform tool to the top of your development list!!! :smiley:

Maybe I am missing something, but handle proportions are not lost when using Glyphs’ transformation tools. Have you tried the built-in nudge (ctrl-opt-move nodes)?

And for making a condensed or expanded style, it is most important to keep the stems, for which the RMX Tools are the better way to go. A transformation bounding box does not help you with that. The RMX Tools also allow you to bulk-edit any number of glyphs, BTW.

I found the bounding box transformation to unpriced.

Usually it works quite well to just change the width and height values in the info box.

The problem with setting width and height of the bounding box is the rounding errors.

I usually play around until I find the right value, the I undo it and enter the value again in order to avoid rounding errors. They are significant when changinthe width or height by 1 unit at a time so working like this to visually find the right value is not feasible. This is unnecessary hassle.

I’d suggest that glyphs “remembers” the original shape while I am editing the number, and always transforms freshly from the original. This is what the RMX tools do, btw.

For one thing, you can set the grid step to zero, and minimize rounding errors.

And AFAIK, the transformation mechanisms do remember the original coordinates.

I had to look at AI to see what you were talking about and I realized I actually never use the Scale Tool in AI, I always scale via bounding box. I have tried to work with scaling via number values in Glyphs but I'm still finding it interrupts how I am used to editing. Now I have to first find out how tall I want my shape to be if I need it aligned to a certain shape and so on, and sometimes it is not exactly the same height but a little taller.

I have found also that to scale from a particular side of a shape cumbersome as I have to zoom right in and set the scale origin exactly on the point – would it be possible at least to snap to points?

Let’s not make this a theoretical “I am right” discussion. From an everyday, practical point of view, I have not found a scaling functionality that works well for me, and it seems that I am not the only one. Maybe we are all too stupid to use Glyphs?

I am aware of this but no, I do not want to set the grid step to zero. Not in my version of Glyphs (532).

I just tried it again. And you are right. If you change the dimensions very often (> 20) times there are some rounding errors. I try to fix this.

Just uploaded an update that fixes the rounding problem.

Thanks, that was quick!

Firstly, in some cases you already know the value, e.g., the x-height. Nothing beats working numerically then.

Secondly, if you don’t know the value you want, you can use Shift-uparrow/downarrow in the number field to increment/decrement the number value by ten. Try it it, it is really quick.

Thirdly, if you want to scale & align a shape at the same time, the nudging technique may be the better choice: Hold down Ctrl-Opt while dragging or arrowing.

The big advantage in all three cases: you are always precise and have full control of your shapes. Scale tool an AI-style transformation box can only offer approximations, which are good enough for most illustrations, but, I believe, not for type design. Too often, I have seen a lowercase o with two slightly different V stem widths.

Again, a bounding box transformation is in the works, but it will still take some time. However, I still believe that the above techniques are the better solution in all the cases I have seen so far, because they are just as quick and as precise as technically possible.

Looks like the bounding box width and height fields have lost their ability to perform calculations. Can we have that back, please? I found it really convenient.

if you want to transform “imprecisely”, have you tried the “scale” tool in Glyphs?

Thanks, the ‘up-arrow’ in the box is quite good, I didn’t realise this was possible. Yes, my point was that it doesn't allow snapping or scaling from the extremas, such as corners or at least from the center, which I'm finding it hard to do now since I have to zoom in and make sure the scale-anchor is precisely on the right point, or when I scale from the center, I have to do it numerically.


Could you give any details on around when that update will roll out? The scale tool, as it is, is simply not everyone’s thing and precision might not even be the point.

As with all future software releases, it is hard to tell how long it takes.

What exactly are you trying to achieve? Maybe I can suggest a different workflow.

Please, please, can we have a bounding box for transformations. Live transforming by dragging is a vital part of my process. For example, I often want to match an outline to the size of something in the background layer and trial and error is not helpful in this circumstance. Precision is a red herring here, we’re talking about optical adjustments, the mathematical percentages are irrelevant.

Also, for decimals in the UK we use the full stop, not comma. Inputting . needs to be valid, or better, default for the machine’s country/keyboard setting.

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Did you try to use the width/height fields in the gray info box? You can (shift) arrow up/down to increase the size of the selected objects. so you could measure the size of the stuff in the background and use that numbers to scale the stuff in the foreground. I use that all the time. And don’t be afraid of rounding errors if you scale a few times.