Creating Master Fonts, Tutorial?

Hi guys,

Having had a play around with some other font software, Glyphs looks very promising and a much more refined software. I have a few questions before I take the plunge.

Can Glyphs Mini create Master fonts whereby I will have the main font and then have options to select additional bold, thin, Italic, etc in the type menu within the host program, for example Illustrator or Indesign.

Can anyone point me to a tutorial on how to create a Master font using the Glyphs software?

My third question is not so much a Glyphs question, but more a general font file question. I need to create a rather complicated dingbat symbol font for use in a large publishing project. It is inevitable that in the future I will come across symbols that I will need to add to the dingbat font. If I have created documents in the past with this dingbat font, but later add more symbols to the font and re-save it, will I have missing font issues when opening documents created using the previous version of the dingbat font? If I keep the font name the same, but just add additional glyphs to the font will it cause issues with the older documents?

Thanks for any replies. :smile:

  1. glyphs mini can not deal with multiple master.
    But you can work with separate files sharing the same font family name

  2. in the Tutorial-section on this site, there are many turorials on how to set up master fonts.

  3. als long as the unicode for the existing symbols will not be altert, you can add new letters / icons without problems

You don’t mean master fonts. Its called style linking or building font families.

As Jakob said, you can do that by using the same Family name in all fonts. There is no magic connection between the style. It does not matter if it comes from one Multiple Master file or from several files.


Thank you for your replies to my questions. So as I understand it Glyphs Mini could handle the creation of the multiple font parts of a family just fine?

So essentially if I create several different fonts. Keep the actual font name the same for all of them, but simply change the sub name to bold, light etc, etc and the host software will think it is the same font family?

Regarding the last question. So if I ensure that the font file name stays the same and I keep all the glyphs I input into a document assigned to the same unicode, but any new glyphs assigned to a different unicode/mapped character in the edited version of the font I should be fine?


Yes. You are fine if you do that.

One thing you only can do in the full version is to interpolate between for example between the light and the bold so that you don’t need to draw the intermediate instances.

I don’t know what you mean by “master font” but it probably means either of these:

  1. Set up a proper link between fonts (make a matrix of Regular, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic) so that the Italic and Bold button in MS Office functions. It’s called style linking and yes you can do it in Mini (you will have to save each glyphs file separately). Download the manual of the full version and read the relevant section.

  2. Draw compatible outlines (e.g. Light and Bold) and automatically interpolate other weights. This is called multiple master, and you can only do it in full version.


Thanks, I didn’t mean a multiple master, but a font family whereby the regular, bold, light, black or any other style are all grouped together under the same font name in for example Adobe InDesign. Selecting the main font family will allow me via another drop down menu to select the regular, bold, light, black or any other style in that family.

I now know that this is possible and how to do it from the welcomed replies above. Thanks. :slight_smile:

This is explained in the handbook and the Setting up instances tutorial.

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