Names not exporting to OTF correctly

Glyphs 1.4.3 (575) OS X 10.8.5

When exporting an OTF font and testing it in InDesign CS6, all of my characters with the .alt extension show up in the InDesign Glyphs palette with the name “NULL”. They work correctly when selected from the palette.

In addition, U+20BD, Ruble Sign, shows up with the name “unassigned”. Since this is a new character in Unicode, I think it is an issue with InDesign rather than Glyphs because it is in the GlyphData file correctly.

Indesign does not uses the names from the font but generates them from the Unicode and the features. If a glyph is not accessed by a feature it does not have a name. So your fonts are perfectly fine.

Georg, another user on another forum posted something related to this same issue, and below I quote one response:

"… Ultimately, InDesign seems to have to associate a character name with a Unicode number. If a glyph itself does not have a Unicode number, it needs to use a feature definition to so associate.

We’ve have trouble with this issue. Take a font where the lining numbers are not the default – that is, don’t have any Unicode number. If they are not hooked up to the numbers with a feature – say lnum, they wind up with the name NULL in the InDesign pallet.

Worse, if you enter one via the glyph pallet, it will give you the right character on that machine only. Put the file on another machine, and all NULLS being equal, there is no telling what you’ll get, but it likely won’t be what you want.

We helped a customer track down a problem with a jacket they had prepared that had just this problem. Took me a while. Actually, all I really know is that as soon as I associated the glyph with another glyph that had a Unicode number via a OT feature, the problem went away. Take out the feature, it came back. QED…"

The most important thing he says is that glyphs with the “NULL” name will likely only work correctly on the machine they originate on. So it seems an association needs to be made through Features to resolve the problem.

I’m wondering if the glyph name you are using complies Glyphs’s recommendation. What glyph wind up NULL in your case?

Just .alt versions of various glyphs. I don’t change base names.

I’ve done some testing.
The ones mentioned in calt is basically shown as NULL in the Adobe glyph palette, unless calt is mentioned in aalt feature. Could you auto-generate aalt and export the font again?

[Edit]: other features don’t seem to need to be referred in aalt.

OK, going by what the poster in another forum said, I referenced all my .alt glyphs using salt rules so now they all appear in InDesign’s glyph palette. Good.

Bad, though, is the fact that two standard Unicode characters still show up as NULL: dieresis and dotaccent. Their Unicode values are there and correct but they don’t export as legitimate named characters according to InDesign CS6.

This is something I think Georg will have to fix in the app and the way it translates names.

They both (of all fonts generated from Glyphs) appear with proper glyph names in my environment.

I discovered that the GID shown in InDesign was different from the ID in Glyphs’ List view so it was actually macron.alt and ogonek.alt that was showing up as NULL. This happened because I had a group of characters marked to not export which was throwing the ID numbers off. Once I noticed that, I was able to fix the NULL glyphs showing up in InDesign and Illustrator.

All problems fixed now. Time to test in more apps.