Generating fonts for testing when interpolation layers aren't complete

I have a more-or-less complete regular font, and a few letters of a bold weight in a separate master layer. I have a few different weights set up as instances. What’s the best way to get to generating these fonts for testing?

I tried generating the fonts as-is, but got an error warning about incompatible masters (for the letters I haven’t yet drawn).

I was stuck, but then discovered that I could mark some glyphs not to export. I thought this would be the solution (just marking all not-yet-drawn glyphs as non-exporting). But when I did that, I got a different error on font generation: it looks like class definitions are confused since they refer to glyphs that are not marked for export.

Being able to generate partial fonts is an indispensable part of my design workflow, as I obviously want to see how the weights and metrics work with each other before I complete the full character set. Is there a better way (besides saving the masters as UFOs and generating font files with some other program)?

You’re right. The glyphs should at least export empty. I’ll file a feature request.

As a workaround, why not copy the paths of the regular layer into the (yet empty) bold layer?

Is there a quick way to do that all at once? (Can you copy outlines from one layer to another from the font window?)

Good question. I think that should be Paste Special (cmd-opt-V) with the Replace Active Layers option. But alas, that doesn’t work in this case. I’ll file another feature request.

Let’s see if I can come up with a quick Python solution. Stay tuned.

@eliason: Go to Under ‘Masters’, you will find a Python script called ‘Fill up empty’. Put this File into your Script folder (menu: Script > Open Script Folder), then reload scripts (same menu with option key down).

The script requires Tal Leming’s Vanilla to be installed. If you don’t have it, open Terminal and type:
mkdir ~/svn
cd ~/svn
svn co
cd vanilla/trunk/
sudo python install

Now you can select ‘Fill up empty Masters’ from your script menu. Choose source and target master. The script works only on selected glyphs and only if the respective target master has no paths. The script ignores components.

Hope this helps.

Hey, thank you!
I had a fair number of 1/2-component glyphs (e.g. Q with an O-component and a tail) that I needed to fix, but the script along with that cleanup got me to the ability to generate my instances.
Glad to see here that Georg will address this in the app itself, but in the meantime your script will be useful.

Glad that I could be of help.
And great that Georg is already aware of it, then I won’t need to file those requests. :wink:

I just implemented this. The script is still helpful as you could use the copied path as a starting point for the other masters.

The best way to do this right from the start, is to add the font to itself as a master.