Opening font file vs glyphs file

Hi, correct me if I’m wrong please.

I noticed when I open an Arabic font file (otf or ttf) from my font library in Glyphs doesn’t show the components or other categories like farsi or ligatures, I’m assuming that this is normal, because these categories show only in the .glphs file, is this right?

little additional question, is using components recommended for designing Arabic font, or is it completely optional.


  • A

They need to be named right in order to be sorted. There are different naming conventions. You may want to try selecting all glyphs, and then Glyph > Update Glyph Info.

What do you mean by that?

I mean does it really save time to use components and all expert “Arabic” type designers use them or not necessarily.

Appreciate your response guys, in general I’m trying to understand and know what is the best way to start creating font glyphs, I have few fonts (ideas) in Illustrator and want to start building fonts in Glyphsapp, and it seems there is no clear (complete) explaination about workflow from start to end of building Arabic font in Glyphsapp, I know it’s not just one way of developing fonts in Glyphs, but at least there are main correct steps in a correct order, in other words, what is the correct order of the below, and why:

  • generating glyphs
  • naming glyphs
  • setting anchors
  • using components
  • features, ligatures
  • marks
  • hinting
  • exporting
  • testing
  • scripting
  • etc.

I’m trying to open ready professional fonts (made by top font foundries) and see how they are built (I don’t know if this is a good idea), I think most of those who are creating Arabic fonts in Glyphs have previous experience in Fontlab or so which I’m not. but I found this forum a really great source of help for beginners like me, and even for experts I believe. Thanks again!

I didn’t mean what you meant by using components in general.

Glyphs has a quite good list of decompositions for most arabic glyphs. If you have gaf-ar.fina and twodotshorizontalabove-ar it will use components of them to build ngoeh-ar.fina.

The workflow is exactly the same as for any other script. there are several tutorials to help you:

anchors are used for mark positioning and to position components (dots)

There is much more information in the tutorial so have a look at all of them.

Thanks man, great help!

Thank you!