Robofab Installation MacOS 10.11.3

I'm having trouble on installing Robofab and packages (Vanilla, DialogKit, FontTools). I'm using FontLab 5.1.5.
Just wondering if someone had this problem before, what could I try to do.


  • I’d love to see what I can do. What is the problem exactly?

    Did you follow the steps explained in Ben Kiel’s video?
  • Thank you, Paul! Actually, I did. But in fact, not sure if the files were written in the right location. Anyway, I tried to move them to the same directory of Ben's video, but no luck.

    Although, I still can run some scripts by using "from import *". I have no idea what I should do in order to get things working fine. But, I can't make UFOs scripts to work. I'm having different outputs from different scripts.

    For instance, if I try to run "Import .ufo File into FontLab" this happens:

    can't import dialogs_fontlab_legacy2
    Traceback (most recent call last):
      File "<string>", line 6, in <module>
      File "/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/site-packages/robofab/interface/all/", line 48, in GetFileOrFolder
        raise NotImplementedError

    Or, if I run "Export Current Font to UFO Format", this happens:

    Traceback (most recent call last):
      File "<string>", line 9, in <module>
    ImportError: No module named robofab.interface.all.dialogs

    Could you shed a light on these, please? 
    Thank you very much!
  • The UFO scripts that you are trying to use are old, and apparently not updated to work with current setups. If you need to work with UFOs then I strongly recommend to use FontLab’s vfb2ufo.
  • I still use all the Robofab's UFO1 and UFO2 scripts, plus UFOCentral under Yosemite with no problem... I think there must be something else happening.
  • Perhaps it is related to El Capitan. I am using Fontlab 5.1.4 under Yosemite and have no problems running the RoboFab scripts in question.
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,495
    edited March 2016
    I'm on El Capitan, but I haven't been using FL or many RoboFab scripts much lately (using Glyphs and Robofont). Occasionally, however, I do use Tal Lemming's UFO Central to get UFOs in and out of FL 5.1.5, which does still work.
  • Bruno: did you download the latest version of RoboFab?
  • Hey guys! Many thanks for your suggestions.

    Paul: Yes, I did use that version, I might double-check, anyway.

    Mark: Thanks, I think I have tried those, but I will check this out, hope it works.
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,495
    I'll also second the suggestion to use vfb2ufo. It's simpler and faster than running a script in FontLab.
  • Yes, it seems a good one.

    I was just wondering, if the case that I want to update only one glyph from FontLab into my UFO? Sometimes, when I export all the font and open in Prepolator, it messes the starting points. So, sometimes it's handy to update only a glyph. Does it makes sense?
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,424
    edited March 2016
    can you open the one glyph in Robofont, select the glyph outline; copy; open Fontlab file; paste into glyph window of Fontlab file; correct; then copy/paste back to Robofont?
  • Yes, it can be done. Although, you're adding a new step into the process. 
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,495
    There are some older RoboFab scripts that do this (included with RoboFab), but I haven't used them in years. But, isn't it the whole point of Prepolator to fix things like that?
  • Yes, it is. But once it's fixed (import VFB2UFO, and adjust the starting points). If I import it again (the whole font, instead of a glyph) it messes up. It changes the starting point fixes done in Prepolator. It's not a big deal, but it's ideal.
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,495
    If you import the UFO back into FontLab (via vfb2ufo) are the start points you adjusted in Prepolator changed?
  • Well, I haven't tried that script yet. I should. :)
  • Okay guys. The vfb2ufo is really very good! But, no luck on installing Robofab, and its scripts aren't working, such as UFO Central. Anyway, thanks for your help. I think it's a system, or Python installation problem. I like FontLab, but maybe it's time to let it go. 
  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 905
    can you open the one glyph in Robofont, select the glyph outline; copy; open Fontlab file; paste into glyph window of Fontlab file;

    This works superficially; but there are certain point types that translate differently, so one has to beware.

    A point that has only one handle — for example, the vertex in the notch of an n, where there is no handle on the stem side, only one contributing to the arch curve — will translate from RF into a “smooth” point when pasted into FL. The outline will be fine, unless you edit that bcp or its curve, at which point it will automatically start behaving as a tangent point, messing up your shapes unexpectedly.

    Copy/pasting back to RF from FL can also change your point indexes, depending upon the position of the start point. In certain circumstances, a start point that RF considers a single index, will be considered two indexes in FL and will be treated as such when it comes back to RF. It depends on the point type & structure.

    [At least, all of this is so with FL 5.1.4 Mac and RF 1.6 — your mileage may vary.]

    This copy-paste route can be used, but one has to know the pitfalls, understand how to work around them, and consider whether a given glyph will tolerate the round-trip reasonably without a lot of cleanup & intervention.

    Generally using vfb2ufo to translate back and forth is more reliable and consistent.

    If you want to update only a single glyph, then translate the modified FL back as a separate UFO, open it and paste the modified glyph back into the original UFO. That way any translation inconsistencies only affect the one glyph, not the entire UFO.
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