Newbie Q's about Glyphs Mini

I’m new to Glyphs Mini. I’m an old Fontographer user with very little FontLab Studio experience. I’m fairly sure I’m missing the obvious, but I’d sure appreciate the help.

(1) How do I adjust or drag out the Bézier control point handles for a given node, a corner point? I’ve tried Option-click-drag, as well as Command, Shift, Control, and combinations. I must be missing the obvious. How do I change the point type from corner to curve or tangent, or does that matter; and how do I drag out the Bézier control points / handles to adjust them?

(2) I use Dark Mode; I’m vision-impaired. The main font map window pane automatically adapts and shows white text on a black background, as desired, but how and where do I tell Glyphs Mini that I want that dark page background and light text / stroke foreground and fills for the paths in the glyph / character editing window, please? An automatic or user-switchable Dark Mode option there would be very useful for me. – So would thicker stroke outlines and the baseline, x-height, cap-height, ascender, descender, and side-bearing guidelines. Thanks in advance. (If those are not available in Glyphs Mini 2, is there a possibility they could be added in version 3, I hope?)

I am still finding things in the app. Some things still puzzle me. Others, I have found, and there are things I like a lot that the program does, either by default, or once the user adds them in.

(3) Does Glyphs Mini not export .vfc and .ufo files? This would make a round trip between Glyphs Mini and FontLab Studio much easier, back and forth. – It looks like there will be no more updating and support for Fontographer, and FontLab has been updated from 6 to 7 with a surprise fee they don’t warn you about, if ask for the automatic update. I’m expecting to migrate to Glyphs Mini, and later I may get to upgrade to Glyphs’ big brother / sister, but for now, I’m with Glyphs Mini and still finding my way around.

Thanks so much for a good, affordable alternative.

I think you can double click to convert between corner and curve. Not sure about the handles, but you can use TAB and Shift-TAB to move around the path, and then use arrow keys to reveal. I think the many keyboard actions are probably worth learning but it takes time if you’re used to other apps’ settings.

  1. With the arrow tool, opt+click a line to make it a curve. And delete a handle to make it a line.
  2. you can set the background color in Preferences > User Settings.
  3. It doesn’t support vfa/b nor ufo. But there is a script that can read .glyphs files in FontLab Studios.

Aha! Thank you both. Georg and the development team, sincerely, thank you!

I’ve found the Glyphs Mini manual and tutorials and will be checking those out.

@Georg and Team – I’m using Dark Mode on the current Glyphs Mini and the most recent macOS update, Catalina, I think, on an iMac that’s about three years old. Although the font character / glyph map tab and the font info tab use Dark Mode, the glyph editing tabs do not; I get a white background with very thin strokes for the font glyph outline, colored nodes when selected, apparently hollow (white or whitish) when not selected, and the BCP handles are also colored when selected, white when not selected. I’m vision-impaired and those unselected nodes and handles are very hard to see. The stroke would be easier to see if it were a bit thicker.

I realize that any changes aren’t likely to appear for us users until some future update, but oh, it’d be nice if that could be soon.

I found how to change the segments from lines to curves and then edit the BCP handles, thanks to Georg’s and cormullion’s advice. Thank you both!


I’ve set a major division for the snap-to grid in the Font Info tab. I haven’t tried the subdivision to see if that easily lets me snap to those. If there are grid lines, like on quadrille graph paper, I either haven’t found those or cannot see them. I also don’t see the baseline, ascender, descender, cap-height, and x-height guidelines. Or do I need to add those manually somehow?

Thanks, I will be reading the manual and watching the tutorial videos, rather than asking a bunch of newbie questions on the forum. – If I find something that seems particularly non-obvious as a new user, I will try to point that out in a useful way, without too much clutter. (I do tend to write long posts, sorry.)

Glyphs (full) has much better support for dark mode.

In Mini, you could set the background color to black and that almost works but it doesn’t switch the foreground color. I’ll have a look.

Can you check if View > Show Metrics is set?

And you can add guide from the context menu. And if you have two point selected, the guide will go right trough them.
Change the angle of the guide by dragging it when it is selected or by typing the angle in the info box. Or double click the guide knob.

Yes, View -> Show Metrics is Checked (ON).

I’ll set up Guides from your instructions – thanks. :slight_smile:

What values do you have in the metrics settings in font info.
Can you send me the file?
And what version of Glyphs Mini and macOS do you have?

Georg et al., I’m sorry I didn’t see this sooner. I’ve been busy and haven’t finished reading the manual yet. Wow, I did not expect this forum would be so fast to reply and so busy! (Ahem, the FontLab forum is much less quick to respond.)

I have now seen that (sometime? always?) there is a delay when, for instance, dragging out a new rectangle or ellipse/circle, but that it will show some values (probably height and width) but these are too small and low-contrast for me to read.

I do have the info (metrics?) panel at the bottom of the glyph editing window, which shows side bearings, glyph width, and lets you edit in a tic-tac-toe (naughts and crosses) “#” form for corners, Top/Bottom, Left/Right, and H/V center, and other values.

If you want to see files from me, how should I send them, in a Private Message attachment from the forum, or via email to a support email?

I am still figuring out some things, and others I have now learned. My eyesight is getting in the way of usability on some things which would have been easier before. (I’m legally blind / vision-impaired, plus I have cataracts developing. Thanks to the USA’s crazy health care / insurance system, I am in the process, but still missing out.)

So there are things I could do in Fontographer that Glyphs Mini can probably do easily, but I haven’t learned the interface, or sometimes have trouble with it. Dark Mode support in the glyph editing window, in some future update to Glyphs Mini, would be a godsend. (To be fair, FontLab 6 and 7 do not do this well either.) I was able to use Fontographer, but I would agree that interface improvements were needed, and so far, it looks like I can use Glyphs Mini. I’m still trying to evaluate both to see which is more usable for me.

I will be checking the forum much more often from now on, and thanks again!