Regarding Hatch Outline Filter: Can i use a glyph outline to cut applied shapes e.g. lines or patterns?

We are currently working on a typeface edit where we are testing different patterns and outlines applied to the letters. We are loving the Hatch Outline Filter - an easy way of applying lines to a glyph, and being able to adjust line- weight and distribution.

However, our question is:
Can/could the filter use the Glyph Outline to cut the applied lines?

See images:

Many thanks

Not sure I understand what you mean. Can you draw a mockup of what the final result should look like? Pencil sketch will do.

In the default setting, lines applied cross the outlines of the glyph which they are applied to.
We wonder if there is a way that they can sit within the outline and be cut to the shape of the letter. (Rather than cross the actual outline with a square ending)

Could the actual outline of a glyph be used to cut the shapes at the very end of a line to fit the letter, or does it have to be done manually?

The problem we are facing at the moment is that we have to shape the very end of each line, to fit the letterforms outline. The tiniest error in line consistency across a stem or what have you, seems to create subtle changes in line weight, which in turn affect the line weight consistency when we test print.

The problem is that it will create many extremely small curves, making the outline very complex, potentially causing trouble at exporting. Unless your hatch stripes are only few in numbers and thick enough. And you will run into grid rounding issues.

But yes, that is possible. You need an inverse letter for the Remove Overlap operation. Here is how:

  1. Make your letter inverse by drawing a rectangle around it and correcting path direction.
  2. Copy the rectangle to another glyph (or a duplicate layer) and apply the Hatch filter. It should look something like this now:
  3. Now copy and paste the stripes onto the inverse letter and remove overlaps again:
  4. Now remove the outermost path. Voilà:

As I said, there will be grid rounding issues. They become apparent once you zoom in. You may want to set your subdivision to 100 to avoid the worst:

Finer grids only export into CFF/OTFs though, not into TTFs.

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@mekkablue Thta’s very helpful!
Thank you, and we will try and remember to get back with our results!

Best wishes


If you’re going to do it very often, you may want to consider putting these steps into a script. Or you can use the Inverter plugin (window > plugin manager), to speed up your process.