MakeOTF Error when compiling features (trying for contextual alternates)


I’ve sifted through all the MakeOTF posts on this forum, read through that error section of the Glyphs 2 handbook, and read the post “Troubleshooting a Font That Does Not Export.” However, I’m still stuck at this point.

I working on modifying a version of League Gothic, and SIL Open Source typeface. I was following your tutorial “Features, Part 3: Advanced Contextual Alternates.” That functionality looks awesome! Unfortunately, I get blocked at the very first bit, when I attempt to create a “DEFAULT” class.

The error I’m receiving is:

MakeOTF error. 
Error: "syntax error at "A" [features.fea 36" in Class DEFAULT in line: 1

From what I’ve read, this tends to be due to an improperly-named glyph, where there is a space in the glyph name or some other illegal syntax. I’ve checked for this in both the Glyphs interface and in a text editor, but it doesn’t seem to be the case.

glyphs = (
glyphname = A;
lastChange = "2016-02-14 19:13:12 +0000";
layers = (

I receive the same error when I try to export, if I leave the feature there. However, if I remove that feature class, export works.

Oddly, when I follow the instructions of your “troubleshooting” post and open the generateFont.command file, I see no error indicated:

Last login: Mon Feb 15 10:39:05 on ttys003
Stephen-Nixon:~ stephennixon$ /Users/stephennixon/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Temp/League\ Gothic-temp/generateFont.command ; exit;
makeotfGlyphs [NOTE] Wrote new font file '../LeagueGothic-temp.otf'.

Saving session...
...copying shared history...
...saving history...truncating history files...

[Process completed]

I’m not quite sure what to try next. Could it be due to my attempts at modifying an existing typeface? Is it just a bug in the current version of Glyphs? Am I doing something wrong but not seeing it?

Thanks so much for any help!


You should not add the class name in the content text view. Remove the Default:.

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Yes. It should look like this:

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AWWW awesome, thank you! Haha, it seems so obvious now, but for some reason that didn’t occur to me to try. Maybe you might add that image to the tutorial, for just that extra bit of specificity?

Thanks again!