Separate Variable Font Family Name

Is there a way to provide separate family names, or ideally suffixes, when exporting variable fonts?

For example, I would like instances to show up in the font menus like this:

  • When exporting OTFs: ‘Kicker Bold’
  • When exporting Variable Fonts: ‘Kicker Variable Bold’

Is there a custom parameter for this, or do I just need to manually change the family name at the time of export.

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I don’t believe there’s a way to do that, right now. A custom parameter such as Variable Font Family Name might be something to consider adding to Glyphs to allow that capability. Note: that parameter does not exist; it’s just something for @GeorgSeifert to consider (and there might be a better way to consider implementing for managing this).

Another thought, without having tried it or thought it through much (that might not work): setting the font-level Family Name to your variable name, e.g., Kicker Variable. Then, have instances that set the familyName to Kicker in each instance for your OTFs. If that actually works, I’d consider it a bit of a hack as the Variable Font export mechanism does consider defined instances for writing named instances into the fvar table, so you’d want to keep that in mind in defining the instances.

I avoid custom parameters with the family name in them partly to make it easy to change the name. I just add “VF” to the family name on the “Font” tab when I’m going to generate a variable font, then delete it when I’m going to generate a conventional family. Another possibility, in addition to what composerjk suggests, might be to have entirely separate instances for variable and conventional fonts.

Thanks for the tips. A Variable Font Family Name parameter would be great. I’ve just been renaming before export as you describe Peter. But I often forget to change and have to re-export. It’s not a huge thing, and surely there are more pressing priorities. It would just be nice not have to remember, especially when testing, which sometimes means opening up the fonts folder and deleting misnamed font files.

Ha! I do exactly the same thing, over and over.

composerjks suggestion should work. But the custom parameter is a good idea.

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Sorry for resurfacing this old thread … but is there any better workaround by now?

Setting up a different family name with a custom parameter is not really an option, as I’m working with versions in the family name in the design process and then again I would need to update it in the Variable setting each time the version goes up.

FamilyXyz v0.83 Bold
FamilyXyz v0.83 Variable Bold

So ideally a custom parameter called “familyNameSuffix”. Or possibly being able to call the family name as a variable, e.g. to be used in the Localised Family Name.

familyNames = ( {language = dflt; 
value = $familyName + " Variable";

Or even much simpler: making the current ‘Name’ field for a variable font in the Exports tab to acts as described above. So if I enter “Variable” in that field, it gets added to the family name on export as a suffix to the family name.


You can use this token in the properties. {{{version}}}. It will be replaced with font.version.

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Thank you Georg!
Thats a perfect hack for now. Great.

{{{version}}} doesn’t work for postscriptFullName + postscriptFontName (and possibly other name fields)

(Glyphs 3113)

Fixed it.

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In which build is this {{{version}}} variable supposed to work? I am on 3125 and i cannot get it working still. Same as in 3124. Just add it in the Localized Family Names CP of any exported Instance?
Glyphs shows the “{{{version}}}” in the instance names as well as in the file names.

I’m currently on 3144 and can’t get this “{{{version}}}” trick to work on the Localized Family Names field, would be very useful to have this feature! Is there any possibility to have this feature back (or any other methods to implement this function)?
Thanks in advance!

There are indeed several places where the tokens are not applied. It is improved a lot in the code for Glyphs version 3.2.