TrueType hinting – stems that are close to or overlap alignment zones, but shouldn’t be aligned to it

The bottom of my bowl should be allowed to move up in small sizes, but Glyphs automatically (and invisibly) insert an anchor point that locks it to the baseline alignment zone. How should I handle this?

Interpolate or align the point on which you start the stem. Do that before you insert the stem. Order of instructions matters.

Or, when activated, set the stem to interpolate in the grey info box.

That isn’t quite the same, though. A stem hint with “no stem” value still move the next point a minimum of one pixel. Sometimes you don’t want that.

And characters like the hyphen might sit close to an unrelated alignment zone it shouldn’t be aligned to. How do you deal with those?

You can set your own anchor manually, give it a round down or up if necessary. And let the stem hint emerge from there.

Does a manual anchor override the invisible one? I think it is a terrible idea to hide them in the first place. It makes the direction of the instruction unclear, and hard to know if something is aligned to a zone, or not.

Btw, am I right to assume this alignment setting does not tie to the alignment zone?

If the anchor you set is not in the zone, it should be independent of it. Experiment with the settings in the grey info panel when the anchor is selected. There is one setting that tries not to round to a pixel edge.

Consider using a three-point interpolation hint instead of an anchor, if you want to keep the stem at a relative position to other parts of the outline.

No, you need to explicitly select “No zone” in the zone popup.

The popup has one other use case. You can align anchors to a zone that is fare away. That helps to keep accents away from the base glyph.

Ah! That is exactly what I am looking for, but the documentation for this is not in the handbook. No wonder I didn’t understand.

@mekkablue I want the hint to be completely independent of alignment zones and other segments.

Will you consider showing the automatically added anchors? Making them invisible is very confusing.

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I don’t see the confusing part. It is just a bit different and less stuff then your are used to.

That is not true. The instructions are automatically sorted.

The confusing part is not immediately being able to tell what zone they are locked to, nor their direction.