Simple Asymmetrical Scaling

I am brand new to Glyphs and just feeling my way around now but I’ve worked with vectors a lot in Fontlab and Illustrator. Right off the bat Glyphs scale tool is driving me crazy.

I am just trying to scale a figure horizontally from my own ref point. The scale tool seems to insist on scaling the vertical too. No combination of keys will stop it.

At first I thought the scale tool worked similarly to illustrator’s and I would prefer that to the way Fontlab’s scaling tool works. But it doesn’t seem to work like either. This should be a super simple operation but I am stumped.

I know I am probably missing something really obvious here but I can not figure it out. Really frustrating!

Any tips??

The Scale tool is only for quick rough scaling. Better use the bounding box (you may need to activate it through the View menu), or, if you know the target width, select what you want to scale and type the desired new width in the grey info box (View > Show Info, cmd-shift-I). Open the lock symbol to disable proportional scaling.

I am adjusting to a lot of new information here. But you’re saying the scale tool is basically useless? Wow…

I am used to working more visually. Choosing a reference point and then scaling from that point seems like a very basic vector operation.

The bounding box only gives me the option of left, right or centered ref point. Not very functional for a lot of the things I need to do.

I know Glyphs is a really capable app and you guys do great stuff with it. But forcing me to work like that will require a lot of frustrating trial and error to achieve something pretty simple and really slow down my workflow.

Scratching my head here…

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The highest precision is entering the exact dimensions you need or snap-scaling it with the bounding box, which I assume is quicker than the scale tool in AI, because you will have to do some adjusting afterwards anyway since the ref point is set freehanded.

Can you show me an example of something you want to achieve frequently, that you cannot achieve with the tools in Glyphs?

Not exactly frequently, and perhaps not directly related, but free rotate would be pretty nice (I have to trial and error with rotation angle, undo/redo until things are where I want them.)

Edit: also being able to move the origin point (as with Photoshop layers, dragging the central target) when scaling/rotating.

You seem to know more about Illustrator than me. I just tried the Scale tool in Illustrator CC 2015 and it seems to work very similar to the one in Glyphs. Can you make a screen case on how you use the tool in Illustrator?

Thanks for taking the time for me, Rainer. New apps and workflows are always a little frustrating but I am looking forward to getting the hang of Glyphs. I have read your handbook but I seem to be missing something.

I am trying to make a condensed version of this figure. I want my vertical stroke width to become 220 pts. My box is 220 pts and I want to scale horrizontally from the circled point until it matches up to the box. Seems like a really basic thing to want to do. But the scale tool only scales proportionally and the bounding box only uses left, right or centered ref points.

Does Glyphs want me to punch in an arbitrary number, see if it worked, undo when it doesn’t and repeat that process until I figure out the right number? There is no way to do this quickly and visually?

You could use a guide with measurements to what you need. Then you don’t need to align the transformation with the box. Add a guide, select it and click the small ruler icon in the info box.

In AI, if you pull at a 45 from the ref point with the shift key you get proportional scaling. If you pull horizontally or vertically you get directional asymmetrical scaling. If you don’t hold the shift key it scales both directions, non proportionally.

Interesting. It was always jumping around for me when I pressed Shift. I’ll see what I can do.

Okay. A different way of going about what I wanted to do but it will certainly work.

Thank you!

I am happy to learn the Glyphs way of doing things and I have a lot to learn. But free transform and rotate (from a custom ref point) is kind of something I would expect from a sophisticated vector drawing tool. Just saying…

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Not exactly a solution for what you want do and thus, a little off-topic (my apologies):

This situation, to me, is a classic use case for nudging. I assume the condense-scaled three is also just a step in-between, and will need adjustments, right? Nudging gets you closer to the adjustments thereafter. Try this perhaps:

  1. Paths > Tidy Up Paths (Cmd-Opt-Shift-T) to set the node types.
  2. Right click the middle corner node on the right side of the outline, choose Open Corner from the context menu.
  3. Select the two ‘vertical’ nodes on the right (rightmost extremum points). Ctrl-Alt-move them to the left. See how the surrounding curve segments adjust.

Moving can be done with the mouse (add Shift for horizontal snap) or the arrow keys (add Shift for increments of 10).

You can do the same from the left side towards the right, with both contiguous and non-contiguous selections.

I had a look at the scale tool and I think it behaves much more like Illustrator now. Thanks for the help figuring this out.

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Thanks for getting me across this road block so quickly, guys! I’m moving along pretty well now. I’ll let you know when I hit the next one.

Georg, possibly related to what you saw with AI “jumping around” when holding shift: this happens to me with smart guides turned on, which I believe it is by default. it works as Robby explains with smart guides turned off. I’m not sure if that’s a feature or a bug.

Good to know improvements in scaling can still be made.

I would like to recall a feature suggestion I made a while ago: Slanted scaling. When working on an Italic, it would be nice to be able to scale along the Italic angle or horizontally without distortion.

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