OTF export from Glyphs mini changes size

Hi everyone,

I’m newly starting with Glyphs mini, which I’m using to design a music font. I’ve made some basic first glyphs, and exported these as an OTF typeface so I can import and use them in my music notation program.

All glyphs display slightly ‘fatter’ than how I drew them. For example, my notehead is 330 by 280 in Glyphs mini, but displays as roughly 333 by 282 in Dorico.

This is not a big difference of course, but still important because everything is scaled to be proportional to a music staff of 1000 high. I don’t think it can be a drawing problem, even the simplest square that snaps to the grid resizes.

Am I doing something wrong on export? Are there any settings I’m missing? Or do you think the problem might be on the music notation program’s side?

Thank you for your help!

Is that on-screen? Fonts are routinely distorted a bit for better fitting a pixel grid. You can minimize the effect by disabling autohinting in the export dialog.

Thank you for your answer! I checked by importing an SVG-slice of my music notation file into Affinity Designer and measured there. The staff (the 5 lines which are drawn using primitives by my music notation program) had not changed size at all, but the glyphs I drew had gotten slightly bigger. The autohinting was turned off, so it shouldn’t be that either.

UPM is 1000 and your font size is 1000pt, and the image is scaled to 1000pt? Possibly the software is measuring font size with a different pt unit than object sizes?

Unfortunately that is not it either I think. The UPM is 1000, and based on that Dorico should scale correctly. In glyphs everything has the right dimensions actually, only after exporting do things shift slightly. But I can’t find whether the problem is in the export or in how Dorico displays the font.

I’ve asked in the Dorico forum as well, perhaps someone there knows what is causing this if it is on the Dorico side of things.

Can you try in another software?

Thanks @mekkablue, I should have tried that sooner. I just never thought about using this font outside of Dorico, as text. If I just type it as a 1000pt text the proportions are exactly as they should be. So the problem must be in my music notation software.

Thank you for your help!

Can you experiment with changing the ‘units per em’ to 1200 or increase the ascender by 200 units to see if that changes the size of you notes?

For a correct display in the music notation software the units per em need to be set to 1000. But you make me think now; since I’m not drawing letters, but music symbols, I have not set normal values for ascenders and decenders. Both my x-height and my ascenders are 1000, and so are my descenders. Since the staff height corresponds to a 1000 this makes it easy to see if I scale correctly. Could the problem be there?

Again, like I wrote, it displays completely fine if I type it as text, only through the music notation program does it get a bit bigger.

Do you know somebody at Dorico? I don’t think we can be of much help with reverse engineering how a third party app implements fonts. Perhaps the app has certain expectations about the fonts it uses, and there is a best practice example? Or a font that works as expected.

Yes, I am writing with some people on the Dorico forum. I hope to find a solution there. Thank you for the help!

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