How do you make an inline font?

Is it possible to easily create an inline version of. a typeface with Glyphs? I tried using offset path with the stroke option, but couldn’t get the result I wanted. Here is what I’m wanting to do:

Is the best option just to copy my glyphs into Illustrator, create the inline there, then copy the glyph back into Glyphs?

How do you create an inline in AI?

The problem is a logical one. There is never a unique solution for an inline, and a lot of guesswork has to be done, especially where strokes meet (e.g. in the middle of the M). Therefore it cannot be automated.

What you can do, however is get the middle of two (compatible) lines through interpolation:

  1. On either end of the stroke, select the two end points and Opt-Delete them. This should break the path into two paths.
  2. Double click one of the two paths, so it gets selected entirely.
  3. Right-click and select Reverse Selected Contours from the context menu.
  4. Choose Paths > Selection to Background (Cmd-J).
  5. Press the Delete key to remove the selected path.
  6. Filter > Transformations > Background with 50%, confirm.

Now you have the middle line. Of course, this only works if both halves of the path are actually point-compatible, otherwise step 6 does not work.


Thanks for the reply, I’ll try that out along with Illustrator to see what is best. Either way, there will be some adjusting for the complex shapes. I want to at least get the inline of the curves, since that is hard to do manually.

To do inlines in Illustrator, I think using Blend is one of the best ways. Not perfect, and you might have to fiddle with things. There are a lot of steps, but it’s worth it for me to get those curves exactly right.

and here is a pdf that explains it well

That is exactly what I just described.


I’ve made a script that does the interpolation for me. You need to select a stroke (pairs of nodes), then run it.Used in Wolpe Fanfare Inline.

It’s not very smart at finding pair nodes and you need to fiddle around with start nodes sometimes, so not quite sharable yet (about 90% accurate though). But watch this space!

1 Like

Looks wonderful! I’d love to try it.

Mekkablue, your steps worked great, thank you.

Is there any sort of plugin that could automate part or all of this process? I’m thinking something like Photoshop’s Actions.

@Tosche , is your plugin ready to be released yet? :slight_smile:

@mekkablue: What do you suggest for creating an inline for continuous shapes like the O?

The process above would work for that as well, given inner and outer paths are compatible.

Thank you @mekkablue. I just needed to correct path direction and tidy up paths.

Hi Toshi
Is that script shareable now?

Unfortunately not. It’s a pretty simple script though, mine is not even 100 lines.

@Tosche Do you mind sharing it even though it’s not quite ready for public release? I’m interested in how you wrote the script.

I can write the logic around it: The goal is to find a stroke-like structure and get the average node coordinates. For an outline to be considered as a stroke, it has to be pairs of off-curve and on-curve nodes, and the beginning and end of pairs are straight segments, probably the shortest segments in the path. When given a path, my script starts to look for stroke ends and matching node structures in both sides. Then it takes the average of x and y coordinates of each pair. It means the script assumes that the given path is a stroke but not a combination of multiple; capital H needs to be decomposed into three outlines, for example.