Plus/minus keys to adjust handles?

Would it be possible to add functionality so that pressing plus or minus would extend or reduce curve handles? When working on for example an O or zero, rather than selecting the four lower ends of vertical handles and pressing the down arrow to lengthen, and then the upper handles and pressing the up arrow to lengthen them the same, it would be faster to select all eight handles together and extend/reduce them simultaneously to keep things symmetrical. Or even to select all sixteen handles together and extend/reduce them in one go, rather than selecting the ones which should go left, then the ones which should go right, then up then down. I think it would be nice for plenty of other glyphs too, when wanting to alter the curve tension equally.

Have you tried Fit Curve?

1 Like

Yes. That’s a bit different though. I find I want to extend or reduce such handles by 1 unit or by 10 units at a time, gradually/incrementally. Fit curve snaps the curve instantly, and I can’t see a way to know how many units are being added by it.

EDIT: Also, doesn’t Fit Curve operate on both horizontal and vertical handles simultaneously? It’s often the case that you need to extend horizontal handles without affecting the vertical ones, and vice versa.

Hold down your Alt key while pressing the arrow keys, and the handle orientation is preserved. Also works with multiple handles selected. Shift key gives you steps of 10 (approx, give and take a few because of rounding errors for handles that are not completely V or H).

If you expand the Fit Curve palette to 2 dimensions (click on the little triangle to the left), you can differentiate between incoming and outgoing handles.

1 Like

Still only moves selected handles in one direction at a time, no? What I’m visualising is to select all horizontal handles and have them all lengthen or shorten, so some will go left and some will go right.

Yes, this really confuses me, I understand how it’s supposed to work, but wouldn’t it be more useful for the two axes to be horizontal and vertical handle length, rather than first and second handle of a curve? Currently it means that contours going in opposite directions end up with horizontal and vertical tension reversed when Fit Curve is applied. Choosing one amount of vertical tension and one amount of horizontal tension would seem more logical, since then the resulting curves (on an O again for example) will be have reflectional symmetry, rather than rotational symmetry.

1 Like

Try ctrl+opt+arrow keys.

I must be doing a horrible job of explaining myself lately. I’ll have to think of a better way to describe what I’m visualising.


Ctrl-Opt-Arrows. Direction depends on the first selected handle, I think.

That seems to go part of the way towards what I’m thinking of, but it doesn’t work that way when I select handles on both the inner and outer contours of shape with a counter.

I’d like to be able to lengthen/shorten handles for any of the selections I make here (ignoring nodes I guess, so plussing or minusing would affect just the handle length and not move the whole thing):

Not sure why my GIF is so slow, sorry.

  1. It is only for symmetrical handles.
  2. Therefore you only need to select the handles facing left, like you did at the beginning of the GIF.

I am in your vicinity next week. Shall we meet and work something out together?

1 Like

That sounds like a really useful idea, @Bendy! Now that I think of it, I do a lot of redundant handle selecting that could be prevented with this feature. And I think you’re explaining yourself quite alright, actually. The plus and minus would simply be used to adjust the curve tension of any selected curve(s). It would be most awesome if the increase/decrease in tension could be distributed proportionally (depending on handle length) between the vertical and horizontal handles.

Would be nice if this could be implemented without having to install a plugin, or a script. Since plus and minus are not in use currently, I don’t see why it couldn’t be implemented exactly the way Bendy suggests it.

1 Like

This is that the Tunni Lines make with SuperTool plugin.

1 Like

Beautiful! I now remember having seen this before, and it seems like a great plugin.

However, I would like to maintain that a plugin should not be necessary for this kind of procedure (doesn’t Fontlab VI have Tunni lines standard included in the interface?). Furthermore, what this plugin does not seem to allow for, is the adjustment of several tunni-lines at once, which could be used to increase/decrease the overall curve tension in an entire area/glyph (maybe even character set?).

SuperTool don’t allow modify all tension curves at same time yet.
This is an feature included in FLVI as you say.


It’s the same kind of operation as using the arrow keys, isn’t it?

Because it’s a kind of operation that I’m sure everybody performs. It’s not unique to any specific workflow.

Besides, shouldn’t the argument be the other way around? Why should it not be included as a standard function in the app?

Perhaps this method could be help you.

  1. Select the handles.
  2. Choice the the point from the handles will be scaled. This is corner that is in the projected lines by the handles.
  3. Link the H and V values for scale proportionally and change it from the numeric palette until desired tension.

Thanks, but I think this would only be effective on a single segment. It also requires the extra steps of selecting the transformation origin, and locking the aspect ratio, as well as knowing how much length is needed, or trial and erroring until the right amount results.

My original intention was to be able to adjust handles on several curves at once, nudging them one or ten units at a time. The arrow keys of course force a direction rather than just an increase/decrease.

The question is what you are trying to achieve that cannot be better done with Fit Curve. And I would like to know that before we implement a pretty abstract addition. Let me stress that, with all due respect, ‘it would be nice’, ‘I think everybody needs it’ and ‘software X does it’ do not answer this question.