Color font suggestions

I have a few suggestions related to color fonts.

• It would be nice to be able to add a layer without duplicating an existing layer. Just a + button next to the - button.

• An “Add All Color Layers” feature under the layers gear menu would be a useful.

• A background color custom parameter—for the Glyphs background, not the background layer—would be useful for designing fonts intended to be used on a color other than white. Currently I have to switch to a different color when working on a color font and then back when I’m done.

Will the background color in Preferences > User Settings do for this?

Using the application setting means it has to be changed every time I switch projects—I don’t normally design type with a green background :wink: It’s also not good for collaborating, because then everybody on a project has to switch back and forth, and they might use the wrong background color. Keeping a background color in the file means it only needs to be set once.

It is Master > Master Background Color then.

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I think background colour should be font-wide. Otherwise the background colour will change every time he switches the master and he’ll have to copy the parameter to every master, right?

And I believe this is what he has in mind:

There will be one master in the font (at least in this case). And I think it might be good to be able to have different colors in different masters.

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Sorry that was my poor understanding of colour fonts. Yes, master does make sense.

More suggestions:

Once a color is configured in a master there is no way to read that color’s value via the Glyphs UI. Double-clicking on a color brings up the color palette, but it defaults to black rather than to the previously specified color.

Also, there is no way to rearrange the order of colors in the color menu. Colors have to be deleted and added again. This is especially problematic because the colors values can not be looked up via the Glyphs UI.

I fixed the color editing.

Reordering is a bit dangerous as the layers reference the colors by index. So if you change the order of the colors, all layers will change…

Altering color values is still broken. I can open a color and see the values, but the slider bars appear black. Altering the color values by changing them in the slider menu usually either gives me black or white no matter what values I input. So to change a color I have to memorize the values, switch to the crayon menu, choose a similar color, and then start tweaking in the slider menu.

Also, for the sake of being user-friendly, the colors need names. Designers aren’t going to want to remember which color corresponds with what, which isn’t easy to do in fonts with more than three colors.

This is not out jet.

It is on my list.

Glyphs does not decompose components in color layers when exporting fonts. This results in unusable fonts full of empty layers.

In edit tabs a color layer has to be selected to view the glyph in color. Glyphs does not remember this unless the glyph is input via cut/paste, and it is not preserved in save files. In the font tab color cannot be disabled. I think the best way to handle this would be a global color on/off button that affects both the edit and font tabs similar to the sidebar.

Could you send me a sample of you font? Or a small screencast? It helps to understand how to handle this if I see what you are trying to do.

I emailed you the files.

Here’s a video showing the tedious process of viewing multiple glyphs, in color, in an edit tab:

When a glyph is created with an “=” formula in the Add Glyphs box the result is a glyph containing the target of the component. For color fonts it can be useful to copy the entire glyph so that color layers are also in the new glyph. Adding “==” to make a copy with the name of the new glyph would be an easy way to do this. For example:
bar = I
would create the new glyph with I as a component in the main layer and no other layers.
bar == I
would create the new glyph as a copy of I, retaining all color layers.

There should probably be a way to do this with ranges of glyphs for creating all-caps display fonts that put the uppercase letters in the lowercase glyphs. Something like a:z == A:Z

I think I can write a script for that.

Possible workaround: If you have more or less the same colors in all glyphs, you might as well create a layered color font, which always shows you all layers. There is a script for conversion into CPAL/COLR layers in my repo (Masters > Color > Convert Layerfont).

I think I can write a script for that.

I know, but I think this problem is big enough that it shouldn’t require inexperienced users to go find a script on Github to make color fonts user friendly.