Feature request: Non-exporting intermediate instances

Hey there,

To check if different masters are compatible with each other, I often end up adding debugging instances to my files.
Much like with the names of non-exporting glyphs and parts, it would be great to have the option to name them with an underscore at the beginning, meaning they will not be exported.

Would that be possible to implement in a future release?
Do you have other suggestions to such a workflow?
What do others think of this?

I don’t think the feature is an improvement. It’s adding something that already exists, and you still need to add a master and tweak a different bit of UI, only it’s either interpolation value or the name.

I think the best solution is to write a script that adds intermediate, non-exporting masters.

That script exists already. It is called Insert Instances. Find it in my repo.

Maybe I’m talking about something else, but instances can already be set as not active, which means they don’t export. Just uncheck the box:

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Not quite. The instances it adds are not placeholder instances just to check compatibility.

Depends… you can give the instances weird names and deactivate them afterwards.

It’s not quite in the sense that it doesn’t save much labour. You still need to specify values, names, and set them to not export. This problem could be solved inonly one step.

Sorry if my original post caused some confusion, I will try to be more specific :wink:

I have a script that creates instances in MM-files for me to debug potential compatibility issues between masters.

If I deactivate them so they do not export, they are also not shown in the preview panel, which is unpractical in this case.

It would be great (and helpful) for my workflow if I am able to name an instance with an underscore at the beginning so it will be an “active” instance but won’t export, much like glyphs starting with underscore in their name.

There is no special UI or anything else needed, as far as I can tell.

Why add instances? Why not a plugin that tests for compatibility and display a warning or show a (default) interpolation?

I’ve had a few cases where outlines are compatible but the interpolations are wrong (either because of wrong start points, or when interpolation results in unexpected crossing of paths). Being able to see the instances would help this.

I use my dangerous glyphs for interpolation script for that, but in this case, a little reporter plugin could do the job.

I have planed to have two flags for the instances: ‘active/exporting’ and ‘visible’. I think that should do the trick here.


Hello Georg! I was wondering if you’re planning to implement this.

I’m working on a 2-axis family with 16 instances and it gets really impractical to have them all listed in the preview panel. I need all of them to export, but I don’t need to see every single one while drawing.

Is there any other way to accomplish this? I tried to look for a custom parameter, but no luck.

Thank you!

That is planed for a future version.

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