Hints and components in FontLab

Jeff PetersJeff Peters Posts: 20
edited September 3 in Font Technology
Does anybody know: FL5 seems to pick up the hints from the referenced glyph and give it to the component.
When autohinting the whole font, the components therefore gets no hints of their own.
In FL VI it doesn´t work that way – the referenced elements don´t pick up any hints and no hints are thus exported for the composite characters. Do I need to manually hint every composite glyph? Any insight appreciated!

Comments

  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,092
    edited September 3
    It is of course possible there is a bug in one specific app version or another, but here is my understanding of how it is supposed to work:

    FLS 5 components are glyphs, which are re-used in other glyphs. The original component-glyph has its own hints. It does get hints of its own, when you hint that component-glyph. The hints from that original are used when the component appears elsewhere.

    FL VI elements are in essence virtual glyphs, a bit more flexible than components. They do not appear in their own slot. Elements can have hints. When an element is re-used, it is a reference to the same original element, and all references share the same hints. An element can be unlinked, becoming a separate element.

    In the FLS 5 case, if you have hinted the component glyphs, you never need to hint the composite glyph.

    In the FL VI case, if you have hinted the elements in any of their appearances in any glyphs, they are hinted in all their appearances.
  • Jeff PetersJeff Peters Posts: 20
    edited September 4
    >In the FL VI case, if you have hinted the elements in any of their appearances in any glyphs, they are hinted in all their appearances.

    If you try and export an .otf and open it in FL VI, I think you will find that referenced elements don´t get any hints at all, except in the case when they are autohinted upon export. It may very well be a bug. Autohinting upon export also doesn´t produce as good result as the F7 Autohint command, it seems to be different algorithms?
  • Jeff PetersJeff Peters Posts: 20
    edited September 4

    I think the problem may be that hints are glyph-based, while elements are not. Therefore they are not compatible.
  • There are some issues in the current implementation. We are looking at this—as well as making some changes that should make things easier for FLS 5 users.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,442
    I'm looking for the big switch in the FL VI preferences that allows me to turn of elements and instead use the composite model. I think this would be a significant benefit, especially for people making TTFs, in which composite glyphs can not only inherit hints from components but can also have deltas applied to the component positioning.

    I see the usefulness of the elements model for developing new type designs, but there usually comes a point in manufacturing where I really want to move as close as possible to the delivery format.
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