Ghost hints overlap horizontal hints

Is it okay if ghost hints overlap horizontal Hints? I noticed that the PS Autohinter does it (eg. letter n).
Further, is it recommended to add ghost hints where no alignement zones are usually set (eg. comma)?

To answer your first question: When manually hinting you only place a regular horizontal hint on the top of the letter n. This is because ghost hints are for defining glyph bounds, something that the regular hint already has covered. In a sans-serif, you only require ghost hints on the bottom the n, while a regular horizontal hint will suffice on its top curve.

The autohinter makes mistakes like this all the time Therefore it is up to the designer to manually hint in these cases.


Can you show me what you mean in a quick screenshot.

Ghost hints are not for defining glyph bounds they are there to align an edge to a zone when there is no stem (like the top and bottom of a stem). that should answer you question about ghosts without zones.

Alright. Now, can they overlap, or should they?
I noticed that in some (similar) cases the autohinter does not apply ghost hints when a horizontal hint is already there…

Further, can I leave overlapping (vertical) hints – the autohinter created – or should I remove one of them?
I read in one tutorial that Glyphs creates a replacement rule here when autohinting.
But in the tutorial about manual hinting it says it should be avoided and corrected (figure 8 for example).

I try to find out where I can improve autohinting (in a simple sans serif design for example).
Thanks for tips.

The section about the eight means that you might correct this to not have both stems of the eight attached to a hint because that can several distort the shape (either top part to small (both stems hinted inwards, to big (both stems hinted outwards, or shifted (one stem inwards, the other outwards). So “fixing” the eight is a design decision, not a technical requirement.

If you want both an overshoot and the end of a stem (e.g. at the top of the n) to get aligned with the alignment zone at the x-height, yes.

Please read the PS hinting chapter in the handbook, it is described in detail there. Or the tutorial.

Thanks for your replies Georg and Rainer. I did read handbook and tutorial, of course. But still had doubts about these aspects because the FL autohinter I am used to puts ghost hints also outside alignement zones and does not overlap them with horizontal hints.