ConScripting, Private Use Areas, & the Roll-Your-Own Glyph Data tutorial

I’m building a constructed language with made-up characters. I’ve built the glyphs using the ‘other’ category, since obviously unicode doesn’t have established codes for brand new characters in brand-new languages.

My intention was to then edit the glyphsdata.xml to add entries which assigned codes from the unicode Private Use Area to the names of my glyphs. I had expected, from reading the ‘Roll Your Own Glyph Data’ tutorial that if I saved this file, and then restarted Glyphs, it would then automatically assign my glyphs the unicode codes from the data file.

The edited file is in the correct location to the best of my knowledge (~/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Info/GlyphData.xml). I believe I am using the correct XML and valid naming conventions with no name conflicts, and the names in the data file exactly match the glyph names in the app:

In app: “sl-apa”


The rest of the XML data in the datafile is unchanged.

So, questions:

Can anybody see what I’m doing wrong, if anything?

Does Glyphs support using the Unicode PUAs at all? If so, how do you assign them to glyphs, if not as I’ve described above?

And finally: are there any conlangers or conscripters out there successfully using Glyphs to create fonts for their languages, and if so, what strategies are you using?

As a very, very last resort, I’ll just assign the glyphs to latin characters, and then import the font into FontLab and recode the unicode there… though I’d rather avoid the three months of intensive study it takes to get up-to-speed in that app (the whole point of using Glyphs in the first place).

In ConScript, E000 is assigned to Tengwar Tinco, so the XML entry should look like this:

I tried this line and it works. Your XML sample was missing the script tag. If you do not want to assign a script, use script="".

Also, do not forget to really validate your XML. Small typos slip in easily.


Also, in ~/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Info/GlyphData.xml, you only need to copy the header (the stuff up until “]>”), and

And between these glyph data tags, only enter the new glyph defs you want to add.

You do not need to copy the complete XML. Managing a complete copy is error-prone, and you will miss updates to the internal XML.

And you need to select your glyphs and run Font > Update Glyph info once. That will assign the unicodes.