Using glyphs app with multiple monitors

Is it possible to use Glyphs app with multiple monitors? I’ve been thinking of using a second monitor but I haven’t found any mention of this anywhere including the forums.

Is it possible to have a setup like with RF or FL with multiple windows? In Glyphs case, I imagine it be a tab that is detached from the main window (i.e. one tab for text view, the main one for glyph editing)


This question comes up once in a while. It is not possible.

How long did you use Glyphs by now?

I’ve been using glyphs app for 2 years now

I think this is one of the most requested features. I’m praying every night that this will happen soon…

Maybe we should start a MWM (Multiple Window Movement) ! :grinning: It worked for the otf UI of Adobe.


I ask people to try it for a few month with one monitor an then come back if you still think you need it. You are the first to do so. Way more people thanked me to concentrate on one screen – less turning heads.

What exactly do you think would be better with stuff on the second screen?

One thing that I can think of is a full paragraph of text that would update in real time. But that is not going to happen, mostly because of performance reasons. I might be able to implement it for basic latin text (as I did with the edit view). But people will use it for none latin, too. And that needs a proper Layout engine. There is HalfBuzz that can do that. But it needs a proper OpenType font. And I can’t produce new OTFs in real time.

So I could spend time to produce something that would only partially work, or I could do other things…

Too bad there are technical restrictions (at the moment).

I would use it mostly to compare texts in multiple sizes, context and weights (incl. Italics).

So you ask me to implement a complete layout app inside Glyphs?

That is why we propose the Indesign workflow.
You set up your test documents in Indesign, put it on the second screen, export your font and Indesign will automatically update.

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I would just use it with running text and editing glyphs at the same time, sometimes the one line preview doesn’t show enough :slight_smile:

The rendering in Indesign makes the type look kind of patchy and some details get lost, in my experience.

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When I was working with FL, I used to open several windows with text samples in different sizes to see what the effect was on different levels. On different monitors. I am not talking about being able to compare different weights in one or more text samples. That would indeed require a complete layout app.

I had a conversation with Rainer on working with InDesign. I am well aware of the powerful possibilities. If I would have to switch back and forth (and generate fonts, even is this is fast) everytime I would lose a lot of time and more important, the seconds needed to do so would have too much of an impact on my focus. And I would be able to do command-Z without swichting again.

I also have to say I appreciated working with multiple screens in FontLab.

How about offering the Glyphs Viewer for Mac OS?


I had the same issue with InDesign a while back too and I even tried to deal with the problem of going back and forth from detail glyph editing view to paragraph view with a zoom hotkey! :sweat_smile:

I would just use it with running text and editing glyphs at the same time, sometimes the one line preview doesn’t show enough smile

I can see the need for a few words in multiple sizes. But full-force running text, that really is not the task of a font editor, that is the job of a layout app. And it really just takes a second to export and see it update in InDesign. Inside Glyphs, it wouldn’t necessarily be faster.

The rendering in Indesign makes the type look kind of patchy and some details get lost, in my experience.

If it doesn’t look right in InDesign, you know you need to improve your hinting. After all, that is the whole point of a preview, to see how it renders in a real life environment, right?

I still don’t promise to implement it but I’m open to look at some mockups/sketches.


I am not talking about text as long as bibles, but a good paragraph or a little more.

Sometimes one or two units can be a big difference when doing spacing or kerning. If I want to see the before/after effect, exporting and switching to another software is not very effective.

Georg, you know I work with Glyphs for more than a year, I completely switched from FontLab long time ago. I work in Glyphs several times a week for a couple of hours.

And every time I run Glyphs, I miss support for more screens.

In Barcelona, we discussed the possibility to allow users to have at least the Font window on another screen. It’d be helpful to see the overview of all glyphs while editing them. Even that could be a great improvement. Editing on main screen, glyph overview on another one.

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Sometimes it’s too early to start hinting though. I’ll think about proposals and post some!

I would appreciate it too if one could use two screens.
Accessing and keeping the overview of my glyphs while at the same time working on curves and metrics would be great, just like filipdesigniq is suggesting.
Would it make sense to have two possible modes, single and two window mode

Seems like there’s two requests in here for dual screens/windows:

  1. A separate glyph edit view and text view
  2. A separate glyph edit and font overview

Although the text view itself could be a substitute for the font overview window since you could just enter all the glyphs of the font in such a text tab.

Detachable tabs will be great, something similar to the way you can detach Firefox or Chrome tabs.
Instead of jumping aground tabs using cmd+shift+] we can just drag them to other screens.