Bracket trick: adjusting metrics


as i just entered the joyfull process of adjusting the sidebearings, i found out that ‘light [180]’ does not automatically use the values of ‘Light’ etc. – i was not aware of that.

Light [180]
Bold [180]
Light [200]
Bold [200]

which leads to the question if there is a quicker way to adjust the metrics of the bracket-tricked layers than typing them in seperately.


Not sure I get this exactly as I wonder how many bracketed layers there could be for individual spacing to be a problem.

That said, being able to set bracket layer LSB and RSB to automatically match that master’s main layer could be quite cool. What about a double pipe scenario, “=||”?

This is a task for a script. Bracket layers can change quite a bit, so it is too dangerous to auto-inherit metrics.

But it gets very easily overseen. I agree there should be a method the make sure the metrics stay the same, or at least a warning, that it is not the same.

Hi there! Two questions concerning the bracket trick:
How do I solve the kerning for the bracket layer, if the value differs from the default layer?
Is there a way to display the bracket layer without selecting it on every letter from the layer? Somehow like I can display the stylistic sets? Just like InDesign would display it.

Thanks in advance!

Then I would switch to a different strategy: Keep a separate glyph that you exchange with a custom parameter. It is described here:

That is why I usually keep them in separate glyphs or use the New Tab with Bracket Layers script in my repo.

This wouldn’t work in a variable font workflow right?
The bracket trick layer metrics also don’t sync with the “Link Metrics with First Master” parameter.

Fix that.

Edit: I just had another look. That is not as easy. Lets say you have a setup like this:


And the Bold has the Link Metrics with First Master parameter. The Regular bracket layer would not be affected because its master doesn’t have the parameter. What should happen is that the Bold bracket layer syncs with the Regular one. But that would only work in this case and not the more common one where you have a Regular [150] and a Bold ]150] layer. Then the plain Bold layer needs to sync to the Regular [150] …