Creating an instance for italics

Hello! :smiley:

I really enjoy Glyphs and for me as a student it´s a great start on font-design since you get into the process of creating quickly and easily.

I recently finished my regular set of characters with Glyphs and decided that italics might be a nice addition to the family. When I´m about to create an instance for it and try to check the is italic flag it says: You only can set the ‘is Italic’ flag, if the style name is not “Italic” or “Bold Italic” or if you do provide a ‘linked Style’.

Besides my confusion about the hint, that I can´t flag something as italic if it is named Italic, how I would set up an instance correctly to create an italic set of characters, I wonder? Or is it better practice to create a new master?

Since I´m fairly new to font-design I might have missed something.

I’m glad that you like Glyphs.

To set up a italic:
Go to the Master tab and set the italic angle according to your design.
The go to the Instance tab, set the Style Name to something like “Italic”, or “Bold Italic” or what describes the instance best.
Select the Weight and Width fields accordingly.

The fields in the Grouping section control the Style linking for windows.
If you select a checkbox at is Italic or is Bold, you tell Glyphs to use the font as a italic or bold version of an other Font that has to be a Regular style.

So if you have a Regular and a Bold (or Italic) face this is easy. You select nothing at the Regular and is Bold (or is Italic) on the other.

But if your “Regular” style is called something else, like “Condensed” and the other Style “Condensed SemiBold” Glyphs can’t connect the two. So you need to put the style name of the “Regular” in the Linked Style field of the Bold.

Do you understand this. If not, can you tell me all style names of all instances that you plan to have and I can explain better.

Georg Seifert


I´m sry for my broken english …

First: Great that Glyphs is out now. I´m testing the latest beta version but I think I will buy the original.

BUT: I don´t understand the settings between/for (German: Master and Instanzen) … a font with different styles.

For example I want to create 3 fonts with each 8 styles:

Font names:
MyFont, MyFont Condensed and MyFont Extended


  • MyFont light

  • MyFont light italic

  • MyFont regular

  • MyFont italic

  • MyFont bold

  • MyFont bold italic

  • MyFont heavy

  • MyFont heavy italic

  • MyFont Condensed light

  • MyFont Condensed light italic

  • MyFont Condensed regular

  • MyFont Condensed italic

  • MyFont Condensed bold

  • MyFont Condensed bold italic

  • MyFont Condensed heavy

  • MyFont Condensed heavy italic

  • MyFont Extended light

  • MyFont Extended light italic

  • MyFont Extended regular

  • MyFont Extended italic

  • MyFont Extended bold

  • MyFont Extended bold italic

  • MyFont Extended heavy

  • MyFont Extended heavy italic

Is this possible? I´ve tried different things but I am really confused.
How must I set the settings?

Sry in German: (It´s to complicated for me to explain)
Also ich bin verwirrt über den Zusammenhang zwischen der Ebenen Auswahl Möglichkeit (in der Werkzeugleiste) und zwischen den kleinen „n´s” links oben die ja über die Schriftinformationen zu erstellen sind.
Der Zusammenhang zwischen Master und Instanzen ist mir auch nicht klar.
Muss ich im Master Proportionen über den Hinzufügen Button hinzufügen … und dann in den Instanzen auch? Try and Error hat mich leider kein Stück weitergebracht. Beim Exportieren des Fonts bekomme ich ständig Fehlermeldungen. (Wegen der Beta?)
Auch schreibst Du (Georg) oben etwas über Windows … (The fields in the Grouping section control the Style linking for windows.) Ist damit das Betriebssystem gemeint?

Ich wäre über eine Antwort sehr dankbar … Vielleicht kannst du die (Vor)einstellungen eines Fonts ja mal anhand meiner oben genannten Namen erklären.
Sind den noch (Video) Tutorials geplant? Vielleicht ist dieses ja ein Thema.

Gruß und herzlichen Dank,

The Masters define what you have in your .glyphs file, the instances define the actual fonts that you want to output. In case of a one master one instance font that seems to be a bit strange but if you use Multiple Masters, it is much more clear.

In your case, I would have six different .glyphs files with two masters each and interpolate the instances. One for the normal width, one for the condensed and one for the extended (and the same for the Italics). You could try to put them all in one but than the interpolation does not work that well.

It seems that you included all Styles as Masters in the font. That is possible but only rarely advisable.

On how to set things up please see the Glyphs help file (Menu > Help > Glyphs Help > Setting up a Multi Layer Font).

To set up the Instances: Put “MyFont” in the Font > Family Name. Then put everything else in the Style name in the instances. For some styles it would be nice to be linked. Mostly you only link a base family. See the Table where to set the is Italic (i), is Bold (b) (or both) and what to put in the Linked Style field.

  • MyFont light

  • MyFont light italic

  • MyFont regular

  • MyFont italic i

  • MyFont bold b

  • MyFont bold italic i b

  • MyFont heavy

  • MyFont heavy italic

  • MyFont Condensed Light

  • MyFont Condensed Light Italic

  • MyFont Condensed

  • MyFont Condensed Italic i Condensed

  • MyFont Condensed Bold b Condensed

  • MyFont Condensed Bold italic i b Condensed

  • MyFont Condensed Heavy

  • MyFont Condensed Heavy Italic

  • MyFont Extended Light

  • MyFont Extended Light Italic

  • MyFont Extended

  • MyFont Extended Italic i Extended

  • MyFont Extended Bold b Extended

  • MyFont Extended Bold Italic i b Extended

  • MyFont Extended Heavy

  • MyFont Extended Heavy italic

Does this help?


No sry I´m more confused now.

Hmm. In my case you would set 6 different .glyphs files. So I have:

  • MyFont.glyphs

  • MyFont-Italic.glyphs

  • MyFont Condensed.glyphs

  • MyFont Condensed italic.glyphs

  • MyFont Extended.glyphs

  • MyFont Extended italic.glyphs


And you would set to every .glyphs font the Instances: light, regular, bold, heavy?

So you would set to „MyFont.glyphs” two masters … But which?

Sry I`m total confused …

The masters are the most extreme weights you have.

I made a sampel font. Does this help you?


Oh thank you :slight_smile: Great!

Thats what I thought after you last explanation and what I wanted to do.

But … as like with your font. I can´t export the files. (Cause of the Beta Version I use??? (Version 0.8.7 (0.8.7) on 10.6.6))

So you only draw 2 styles (the lightest and heaviest?) and the rest is done (or can be done/generated) by the instances?
Is that a normal way to create fonts? Or is it better to draw every Style?

The font is not complete and was only to show how to set up the instances.

Yes, for the most projects you can use interpolation to generate the intermediate styles. The heavier style should not be to heavy as is disturbs the contrast.


Ok … I made a new testfont … and it works!

I have to test more for better understanding.

Thank you really much for your help!


Got the italics working and the Multiple Master Example is quite useful, too … thanks for the help! :smiley:

But it seems that now is the time to pay for the programme, since I can´t save anymore … I know that Glyphs is rather inexpensive compared to other software, but is there any chance you would offer a student discount or a limited time license as Type Supply Tool Dept. does for Metrics Machine?


Just realised that there actually IS a student discount … happy, happy, joy, joy! =D

I have set up my masters and instances and when I export them it seems to export each instance correctly. I have two otf files

When I import them into my font manager it still shows both fonts as active, but when I try to used both weights in any Adobe or Microsoft applications it only gives me the option to use Myfont-inline.otf, and it actually is showing the Myfont-fill.otf instance.

I am using the trial version. Does that make a difference here?

Thank you!


do you have an example file for Glyphs 2? This seems pretty old and the link is not working anymore…

I’m interested in a way to advance as far as possible with only 1 file and how to setup italics for a 2 masters font (light and bold).


Have you set up one of them as the Bold or Italic of the other one? Then you access the one by selecting the other and pressing the B or I button, respectively. This is documented in the handbook.

@Gabi: Take a look at the Multiple Master chapter in the handbook. There is a section about style linking.

@mekkablue Yes, I have a light and a bold masters and 5 instances. So, i’m generating 5 weights. Now i want to make the italic version for each of them and since my font is minimalistic and geometric, a simple shear at 10-15 degrees would be enough.

I’m a process maniac and I try to keep my files as much editable as possible and since this is my first font, I’m afraid of taking the wrong way making the things uneditable or hard to edit & manage…

So, I wonder if is possible to have only 2 masters (ligh & bold) and automatically generate for each of the 5 instances the italic version without creating new masters or new files.

I’ll also look again in the handbook :wink:


That is possible, you can add the Transform filter as a custom parameter. But 10-15 degrees is lot. You will run into stem distortions, i.e. Some stems will thicken, some thin out in the process.

Hey @mekkablue, thanks for your help!

I created a new instance, named it “italic”, added: Custom parameter > Filter with the value: “Transformations; Slant:10;”, I closed the window but in the preview nothing happens. What I’m doing wrong?

Regarding the angle i saw that helvetica’s italic is sheared by 12 degrees.


1 Like

Filter parameter description says: Triggers Glyphs filters. Currently, only the Offset Curve, Remove Overlap and Round Corners filters are supported.

I guess slant function is not implemented.

The Transformation filter is fully supported as a Filter in custom parameters (only the background interpolation does not make sense).
The filter dialog has a gear button that gives you the filter representation of the current settings to copy it in the instance settings.

Hi Georg, im trying to learn multiple master and a sample font could be very helpful to understanding well, do you have an updated link this one seems expired.

Have a nice day.