I like the option of copying a glyph to try alternate forms. Is it possible to use this paralel in several masters in the text view ?
I will give you an example. Imagine you want to try out a variation of lc ‘a’. You make the variation in the light extreme and in the bold extreme. When you change the textview using cmd-1, cmd-2 etc., the copied glyph stays in the original weight.
I tried stuff like giving it the same name, of adding an number in brackets. But nothing helped. Is there another solution ?
You can have any number of layers in a glyph. If you want to see the layer, and it is not a current master, then click on it in the layer palette. If you pick a layer for a glyph this way (choosing it with the mouse in the layer palette), it stays on, for that glyph only, even when you change the master with cmd-1, 2, 3.
If it is a variation with many changes, I would create a different glyph, e.g., a.ss01.
Instead of making the alternates layers in the same glyphs, you could make new glyphs.
An easy way to do this is to copy and paste a glyph onto itself. (e.g. select /a/ in the font view and hit Cmd-C and Cmd-V.) That will create an a.001.
Then in the edit view you can make your edits to the master layers of a.001. It will then switch weights like a regular letter with Cmd-1,2,3. So it saves a little hassle there, though if you choose the alternate to be the default it’s slightly more complicated than the “choose this layer as master” route of using layers within the same glyph.
I think those are your two options; there isn’t a way to have Cmd-# switch between non-master layers.