Font UPM size like in FontLab?


After exporting my font and comparing it with an existing one, I realized mine was too big. I was wondering if there is a way to rescale all of the glyphs at once? Resizing glyphs one by one can be time consuming and I would lose a lot of hours of work.

In FontLab there is an option in Font Info where you can “Scale all glyphs according to UPM size change”. Is there a similar thing in Glyphs? I can’t find anything…

Thank you,

Either File > Font Info > Font > unitsPerEm, and the scale button next to it. Or you use the Scale to UPM custom parameter in your File > Font Info > Instances.

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I actually found both unitsPerEm and Scale to UPM in Instances. Which is more suited?
I tried Scale to UPM and put in a value and exported again but the font size is still the same. How can I activate the parameter?

Let’s say you are designing a font in 1000 UPM.

Scale to UPM changes the resolution of units. If you scale it to 2000, the outline that was 1000 before scaling becomes 2000, and the visual size at given font size stays the same. If you scale UPM to whatever value in instance, it will look of the same size, only different in outline quality (try scaling to 50 to see what I mean).

UnitPerEm does not change your outline or metrics. If you simply change UPM to 2000, that 1000 unit outline stays 1000 unit, effectively reducing its size to half. And after export, your font will look half as big.

Let’s say your font looks 20% too big.

Non-destructive solution (preserving outlines in your source file):

  1. Set File > Font Info > Font > unitsPerEm to 1200.
  2. Add Custom Parameter Scale to UPM with value 1000 to your instances in File > Font Info > Instances

Destructive solution (scaling outlines in your source file):

  1. Set File > Font Info > Font > unitsPerEm to 1200.
  2. Press the scale button (double arrow symbol) next to it, and scale to 1000 UPM.

Thank you for the detailed replies. I am learning type design and how to use Glyphs app by myself and your explanations are very helpful! I will understand all this soon enough, cheers.

I guess a good analogy might be Resize Canvas or Scale Image in Adobe Photoshop. You may want images to be bigger by 500 pixels, but how do you want to achieve that? By adding a blank or fitting the original image to the new dimension (=destructive)? Only difference is that changing the canvas size in a font editor does not trim your images.

To ElsaH,

How are you drawing your type is it inside Glyphs or software like adobe illustrator or inside photoshop.
I create my letterforms in adobe illustrator then place these into glyphs but some would say its better to use glyphs only as you have more control of vectors and any paths.

ahhhhh I see, thank you!

Since this was my first time using glyphs app, I had already drawn everything in illustrator and am now transferring them to glyphs app.
But as said in this post it is best to upload your rough sketches into glyphs app and draw directly with their tools because you have more control over the curves for example (which is what I will be doing next time).
Oh and never in photoshop! photoshop is for image editing not for vector drawing (Ai) nor for type design (glyphs app)

Illustrator doesn’t have enough control over Bézier curve. It’s just a multi-purpose app that’s supposed to be good with Bézier but not really (good enough for most people to be honest).

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I find illustrator has more control of Bezier curves for graphic design it’s harder to draw letterforms inside Glyphs for me, as the software does not seem as refined as illustrator when drawing a typeface design.

Can’t say I would call it a '‘multi-purpose app’ as it can be very technically advanced when used correctly.


I would be interested what you prefere on drawing with illustrator. Did you watch the drawing video in the Getting Started page?

And multiple purpose implies that it can get technical. Otherwise it would be an entry level app.

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Bézier is just one of hundreds of other things Illustrator has to do. There are less options regarding node control in Illustrator than in font editors, and it’s really not that good for precision drawing. Trust me, I was all for Illustrator when I started type design years ago, but after I learned well about both, I noticed that Illustrator was overrated and no longer became an option.

I draw my letterforms by hand than place these into illustrator it works for me at present.
As I see it Glyphs can make the process of drawing redundant because you can just place
straight lines or bezier curves before even seeing or working from any sketches or drawings.

Maybe I’m missing something here but I like the process of drawing first and refining later.

I second Tosche’s remarks because I too thought Illustrator was the best primarily because I was so used to it for many things. As of today I haven’t used it to draw any glyphs in years. Glyphs has it beat hands-down.

It is the same in Glyphs too, I sometimes scan my drawing and trace it in Glyphs (just like you can in Illustrator). There is no difference in the process, it’s just that Glyphs is a better Bézier tool for drawing typefaces.

Would you or others like to share workflows at present in the forum.


I can share two tutorial posts “Drawing good paths” and “Sketching”, and a video that explains more or less the same “Working with paths”.

I might be too late to the party and, for some history might be redundant. However, FreeHand was a better Bézier tool. It wouldn’t allow fills in an open path and you couldn’t join two paths without correcting their direction. Which, of course Glyphs does automatically. I switched to Illustrator in 2003 and still hate it like the day one.