Snap Grid and Accuracy would be better if not linked

I use multiple grids for design. The only way to get elements to snap to a grid seems to be to change the accuracy, which changes the appearance of the other elements that were placed according the previous grid settings. Also, it is difficult to keep track if there are any permanent changes to elements placed to a previous accuracy grid when changing to a new accuracy grid. It appears that changing the grid accuracy, at least sometimes, doesn’t change the underlying values that were entered according the previous grid accuracy, but it’s not clear that perhaps sometimes the change in accuracy results in a permanent change to previously entered values. It would be better if accuracy and snap grid were completely separate, so that accuracy would be something that applied to the entire file and snap grid only applies to elements as they are being entered (and snap grid not affecting or moving elements that had previously been entered). Many other graphics programs, such as CAD, separate the concepts of snap grids from accuracy, which I find easier to understand and use. Currently, how does changing the accuracy grid affect values entered according to a previous accuracy grid?

Yes. The snapping to the new grid only happens as soon as the outlines are touched one way or another (e.g., moved, or a sidebearing change).

Not sure this would make sense in type design so much. It sounds very complicated. You can already exempt the handles from the grid.

How do you work? Are you using your arrow keys? In which situation would you need that? Can you post an example?

How is that done?

Can I get an answer to my question, above?

  1. Grid step > 1
  2. Subdivision < Grid Step

Thanks. I will try that.

As a followup, FontLab, which is one of the standards of the industry, has accuracy and entry snap grid as two separate concepts as I am suggesting and prefer. The entry snap grid in FontLab is a snap grid that rounds a point to the grid at time of entry or modification, and only affects things at time of entry or modification (it does not control the appearance or export of points that have already been entered by rounding all past points to the grid as Glyphs does). In FontLab, accuracy is controlled separately by increasing or decreasing the UPM (without the additional and improved options of accuracy in Glyphs). The FontLab snap grid also allows different x and y values, which is also useful. Also allowing the arrow keys to use the entry modification grid for entry/modification can also be useful.

To do this in Glyphs, you would keep accuracy control as is, which essentially modifies UPM to be either finer or courser and rounds points to the accuracy grid to control appearance and export, but does not have a visible grid that is snapped to for entry purposes. And implement an entry/modification snap grid similar to Fontlab. It might be clearer if the accuracy fineness grid always controls only UPM fineness and resultant appearance and final export/display, and the entry or modification snap grid always controls only entry/modification points at time of entry/modification.

Of course there are ways to make the current setup work, as suggested by others, and they work fine once you figure them out.

I tried what Rainer suggested above and find that it doesn’t exempt anything from the grid, just just gives finer steps. I did not try exporting a font after trying it but I suspect the finer steps are going to snap to the grid anyway, which they normally do unless one wants to go floating point.

In my case I think I will continue as I have been with a UPM == 2000, Grid == 1, step 1.

I was talking about the grid step you set in font info, which this tread is about, too. Not the CFF unit grid.

We do not add features because FontLab has them. If you can show us what you are trying to achieve, we will think of a solution, which may not necessarily be the one you suggest or other font editor vendors have implemented. Especially not if these solutions overcomplicate things for most other users.

FontLab is a popular app, but not a standard. There is a difference.

I understand that and that’s what i tried. As I wrote above, it doesn’t exempt anything from snapping to the grid, merely does it in finer increments.

::edit:: Later today I will do some more testing involving that.