Compound glyphs

I am creating multiple compound glyphs with components. When I create a component from selected glyph, it carries the glyph metrics(width, LSB, RSB) from the base letter. After I insert the component into a compound glyph, If I change the metrics in component, then the component repositions itself in compound glyph. From my reading in manual, I am required to “lock the component”. With the component locked, If I change the LSB of the component, the component repositions in the compound glyph.

But I am very hesitant now to use components. So, below are my queries.

  1. Components metrics, is it best to set the LSB, RSB to zero?
  2. I have disabled the automatic alignment in “other setttings”. All components added into compound glyph are aligning to RSB of the compound glyph, even if change the order of the components by “Make first”. Is this normal?
  3. is Lock component and LSB = zero, a safe method to retain the position of the component in the compound or should I decompose?

Any additional information or tips or caution around components would be appreciated.

Can you show some examples on how you use the components.

I advise to always activate the alignment. That prevents most miss alignments or shifts when you change the spacing of the base glyph.

Let say, I want to reuse dot across all letters that uses it.

My problem is, if I set the LSB of dot component to match say ja, it will be not aligned with pa both in x and y.

If I set the LSB to zero for dot component, then it sits to the right.
Then, I would have to move it to right position in ja and pa.

Should I use anchors instead?

does these anchors get outputted with the final font?

If you can, using anchors and automatic alignment is the best way. Other than that, don’t change the LSB. For a glyph like the dot I set the side bearings to ‘20’ and leave it like that. Of course, if you use ‘Component from Selection’ you need to reposition the dot after you set the spacing.

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does these anchors be part of final font?

The anchors are ignored when you prefix the anchor name with any non letter. So if you use “#dot” and “_#dot”, then the anchors will not exported. You can use anything that is not a letter, even emoji if you like.

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I will send the cheatsheet for Kannada script later day. I completely forgot.

I have anchor #dot-letter in compound and _#dot-letter in component.
Also enabled “automatic alignment” but component is align to LSB in compound letter not to the anchor.


You need to add the anchors to the base glyphs, not the composite glyph.

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I will use anchor and automatic alignment. This is much safer.

should I also use anchors to place “base glyph” in composite glyph?

Not sure what you mean. Which anchors, and inside which glyph? Usually, the first component determines the metrics (auto-alignment), and all subsequent components depend on the base component through anchors inside the original glyphs.

As George recommended I am using anchors inside the base glyph to place all the subsequent glyphs.

My question, is it recommended to place the base glyph/first component into the main glyph with Unicode value using anchors?

Main glyph with Unicode, anchor (#base-glyph)
Base glyph/first component, anchor (_#base-glyph)

Is this needed?

The base glyph only needs the #base anchor.

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