Precision & Visual Grid

#1. I need precision and a visual grid at the same time. For me the grid is important, but offset is equally important.

#2. Hand tool and preview at the same time is bad idea. It ads a flicker effect which leads to lost focus.


what do you mean with offset? You might try to navigate with the mouse wheel - shift + scroll moves horizontally.

I want to be able to move with precision without “snapping” – keeping the visual reference of the grid. Or snap when close to the grid line.

Sorry, I’m not used to articulate this problem.


”Mouse wheel - shift + scroll” is one way to go, but I sometimes work with my Intous pen & tablet. The pen is not set for scroll, which means I have to put it down, grab the mouse and do the scroll (unless I can endure the flicker, and thus lose in focus).

For me, the hand tool, just like the pen tool act in the same dimension. I don’t want the pen tool to preview when I draw, just like I don’t want the hand tool to do either.


Every node of a font is traditionally placed on the integer grid, and that is simply how you do it. It is possible to disable the grid (which also hides it), but that’s advisable you are designing something unusual, like super thin typefaces for example. Otherwise you’d better get used to grids. Even if you want to disable it, I don’t see why you still need to see the grid. Its presence may give you the sense of precision, but I think it’s superficial.

What grid width do you use? If it is 1, Tosche is right. If you have a bigger grid, you can add smaller steps by setting the grid subdevision.

That’s it! :slight_smile:
I only want snapping to occur in accordance to the integer grid. However, for planning and grouping I want to be able to define a grid with subdivisions that gives me a sense of measure for what I’m designing for.

For example: let’s say I’m designing a 10-point alphabet and use an UPM-size of 1000 units, and then a grid spacing of 100 units would represent 1 point for visual reference, this doesn’t mean I want the grid to only snap at 100 units. Now, if want subdivisions, a 100 divisions (which is the integer grid resolution) is good for snapping, but too trifling for a visual reference, let’s say I want 4 subdivisions (or 25 units) this would give me a visual reference of 0.25 points, but this is too clumsy for snapping.

By the way, this is how I’d like to set up:

UPM: 1440
Gride spacing: 60 units (1440/24)
Subdivision: 6 units (60/10) or 12 units (60/5)
Integer grid: 1 unit (1440/1440)


Snapping is determined by the combination of both values. In your case, I would recommend to only use the Grid Spacing value for your design needs, and then set the Subdivision to the same value.

I think using tablet to design a typeface is not a good idea. It’s good for drawing, but controlling bezier points is very different and requires more precise tool, like a mouse. I guess this is why you have to zoom up so much in order to move nodes accurately with the pen, so much that almost the whole screen turns bright when you switch to hand tool. It’s only my view, so please feel free to correct.

For what you are doing, while I get the point, I think setting grid spacing to 100 or 60 and subdivision to equal amount, just as mekkablue suggests, is good enough.

I have set the grid spacing to 60 and subdivisions to 60, guess I will get used to it.

Tablets are great for designing type! I use both mouse and pen …

… Glyphs is challenging 20 years of vector based workflows for me

I guess it’s a good idea to implement new scroll shortcut, like Shift+Space to scroll while outlined?