makeotfGlyphs [FATAL] unknown file type

I’m running into this error on a font that has a lot of nodes, but it had been working fine up until it hit this wall. I have reinstalled Glyphs, cleared prefs, and the generateFont.command isn’t clear on what an issue may be other than “bad interpreter.”

…/Library/Containers/com.schriftgestaltung.Glyphs/Data/Library/Application\ Support/Glyphs/Temp/Wooderson-Distressed/generateFont.command ; exit;
-bash: …/Library/Containers/com.schriftgestaltung.Glyphs/Data/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Temp/Wooderson-Distressed/generateFont.command: /bin/sh: bad interpreter: Operation not permitted

[Process completed]

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Dang it the topic subject changed on me. This is what is was “makeotfGlyphs [FATAL] unknown file type”. 1Password changed it and I can’t change the subject now.

Clear out your temp folder, and perhaps, restart your Mac into Repair mode with Cmd-R held down, and repair permissions.

You can find you temp folder quickly via Script > Open Scripts Folder.

I’ll give it a shot and get back to you. Thanks.

Permissions repaired and I still get the error. I’ll keep trying other things, but if you have any other ideas that’d be great. Thanks.

I don’t know if this will give you any more info, but whenever I close all the documents open in Glyphs it crashes. Even after the reinstall. I’m using the App Store version.

I finally got it to export. Odd thing is that all I had to do was Round Coordinates on all the glyphs. Maybe it’s a fluke, maybe it’s magic, but either way it’s done and I’m not touching it.

I had the same problem. I was making the font again from some ufos.

There were a couple of glyphs that had some bracket tricks. On the interpolation preview they looked fine, but the brackets weren’t right. So I made them again and then the export worked.

I hope this is understandable, my english still needs some practice.


@Alfonso, your english is perfectly understandable :sunglasses:

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This error most likely mean that the source PostScript font that is used to compile the font is invalid. If that happens again, could you please zip the Temp folder for that export and send it to me?

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Hi Georg,

I’ve also had this error on a font with lots of nodes.
makeotfGlyphs [FATAL] unknown file type [font.pfa]

I’ve sent you an email with the glyph file.

Hi George! I’m really new to the world of font building, and I’m trying to export a font I created and also received the “makeotfGlyphs [FATAL] unknown file type” error. I tried a number of different things, but really have no clue what do… Any chance I could send you the file to see your advice on exporting it to get a usable .otf file?


Is it a font with a complex node structure, or lots of nodes? Avoid hinting, and disable subroutinization with a parameter, clear out Temp, and try again.

hi. I’m a total beginner. Trying to export my very first font from Mini, I got this error message: “makeotfGlyphs [FATAL] unknown file type” I can’t find the Temp folder to clear it. You kindly suggest going to Script > Open Scripts Folder but I can’t see “Script” anywhere in Mini. I also can’t figure out how to disable subroutines. You advised someone to take this route: File > Font Info > Instances > (your instance) > Custom Parameter > Disable Subroutinization > Check, but sadly when I go to Font Info, I don’t see Instances anywhere. I feel like a complete idiot. Can you help me?

What I said above applies to Glyphs, not Glyphs Mini.

Can you send me the .glyphs file please to support (at) (this website without www). I will have a look.

Hello @greenstreet,
I had a look at your file. The paths are very complex for a font. you will have to do some simplification. I managed to export the font with these steps:

  1. Select all glyphs.
  2. Glyph > Round Coordinates
  3. Glyph > Tidy up Paths (perhaps repeat this step 2 or 3 times)
  4. File > Export, but:
  • no Autohinting (impossible for a complex font like this)
  • no Remove Overlap (not necessary in your case, leaving it out speeds up the export process)

Your paths consist of many very small curve segments. The font is therefore likely to cause performance and printing problems. If you run into these, I suggest turning the curve segments into straight segments. This is how:

  1. Open a glyph.
  2. Hold down your Alt (Option) key while you drag-select the whole glyph with your mouse. This selects all on-curve nodes.
  3. Hold down your Shift key while you drag-select the whole glyph with your mouse again. This inverts your selection, and all handles are selected now.
  4. Press the Delete key. Now, all the handles are gone, and your curve segments have turned into little straight lines.

Do this for every glyph. Since your segments are extremely short, you will hardly notice a difference in appearance of your font, but it will cause less trouble (displays faster, especially in Windows, and no PostScript errors when printing).

Hope this helps.


I followed your advice and it worked perfectly. Thank you so much. (I especially appreciate you taking the time to rescue me on Christmas morning!)

I won’t need to worry about Windows or some other aspects of performance, because this font will have only one function: it is for my wife to use in her art. She wishes her glyphs could have a very specific quality of distress, something that a designer might think would be better achieved in some way other than building it into the font. But I like to delight her. About the excessive complexity, yes, I think you will understand if I say that my wife’s character itself has way more nodes per glyph than the suggested 1000 maximum. And man, if you’d seen her smile when (thanks to you) she saw this font working, you’d agree that testing the reasonable limits was the right thing to do.