Font info > stems

I’m ashamed for my ignorance… but don’t worry, in 2 weeks I start a type design master class in a famous design university in Italy. I’ll try to be your Glyphs Evangelist :slight_smile:

In the meantime… I’m trying to use the Vertical/Horizontal stems feature for autohinting but I can’t figure out how it works.
Vertical steams means “Vertical steams width”?
And what about the horizontal stems? I look in my typography book but there is no ention of horizontal stems…
I’ve read your help page but maybe it’s too short… I do not get the association with weight/width and Stems values, that can be more than one (?)

and what about the alignment zones?


Yes, vertical/horizontal stems width are used for hinting. Both are needed.

Stem widths are there to tell the autohinter and the rasterizer about the dimensions of your glyphs. “Horizontal stems” are the bar at the “t” but also the upper and lower “horizontal” part of the “o”.

The Weight/Width values are there for interpolation in Multiple Master Fonts. And you can have several stems. It depends on the design. e.g: The Stems for upper case letters might be wider than the lowercase stems. Or sometimes you define a stem for serifs.

And alignment zones are anther hinting thing. Normally round letters like the “o” are a bit taller than flat letters like the “H”. But in small sizes on screen, they need to be rendered with an equal height. So the alignment zone specifies the area where all nodes will snap to the same height. So you put a alignment zone on the vertical metrics with the position at the vertical metrics value and the size specifies the width of the zone. This should be the amount the “O” is taller then the “H”.

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Ok, so why don’t automatically use the values inserted in the “Dimensions” panel to autohint? These should be the same values that Vertical/horizontal stems, isn’t it?

Sorry but I didn’t undestand your explication about Alignment zone.
My font : Asc. 900; Cap 800; x 500; Desc -314.
My “o” has 508 height (500 + 4 up and 4 down).
Which position/value should I add?

Staying on hinting: in glyph edit panel, if I right-click I see “Add horizontal hint” and “Add vertical hint”. Does it hints my glyphs too?

mumble mumble… I found this

I’ve added my values on Alignement Zones (point 2 of fontlab tutorial).
And next? Does Glyphs do the rest automatically?

by the way, there are still many bugs on the UNdo function. Sometimes Glyphs undos on actions I’ve made on a previous session! (so I keep the errors I made + it undos some older things I’ve made)…

Maybe is the stupid way to doing thing, but I notice that positioning points on even coordinates helps to have clean lines.
However on Photoshop (raster) my lower serif appears always clean, despite of point size, while the upper one sometimes in blurry. Notice I’m working on a straight didone font with identical upper and lower serifs (as a slab).
Any suggestions?

You are right that the values in the Dimensions Panel are mostly the same than the stem values. But they have a different purpose and thous might hold slightly different values. (e.g. sometimes you have a stem value of 80, in the Dimensions panel values for "n" is 78, for "o" is 80 and for "O" is 83) You add the height of the overshot. If the xHeight is 500 and the topmost point of the "o" is at 508 you add a alignment zone with position: 500 height: 8. If you not select the "Autohint All", the manual hints will be preserved. For Multiple Master fonts, it is advised to use autohints as the interpolation of the hints does not work correctly. So for now the manual hints are for measurement only.
I know that and trying to fix this. Never place points to make them long good in Glyphs or even in Photoshop. Because this can only work for some specific font sizes. This kind of display optimization should be done with hinting only.

mhhh so how can I make the upper horizontal serif to be clean (no blur) with hinting? and why it works for the lower and not for the upper serif?
Have I to create an alignment zone for all the serif height?
As I’m already writing… even if I enlarge the Masters window, I keep a scroll on Alignment Zones. And if the standard is 5 zones, it would be nice to have 5 lines without scroll on standard Masters windows size.

can you send me some screenshots? Or the file? Can you send me some screenshots, too?

Ok, I’m going to send it to you by email.