Glyphs app "smart component placement & diacritics"

Opinions on diacritic placements and "example" references in Glyphs app ? I have read a few forums talking about the differences between polish & other language diacritics. Coming from a Canadian who is unfamiliar with the exact placements of certain diacritics or what they "should" look like, do you guys and gals believe the reference glyphs in Glyphs (app) are adequate ? I want to make sure when I complete a family that I have the placements correct and can please languages other than english. Also what is everyone's opinion of the reference letterforms on glyphs app ? Should there be better guidelines ? Like for instance if you increase your x height should there be a present "this is the way the descenders SHOULD look" glyph for reference ? I know as designers we should know how our letterforms are supposed to work as we should be educated — but at times it's nice to know we have done it the best way possible. ? Just some thoughts ...


  • Craig Eliason
    There are good information, examples, and links at the Diacritics Project.
  • A very good reference is also this amazing (free) book from The Insects Project.
  • Georg Seifert
    With "reference" glyphs you mean the gray ghost glyphs that are shown in empty glyphs? That is simply the system font. They are only there to recognize the what glyph you are in, not at all meant as a design guide.

    What helps me a lot is to use the UnicodeChecker app (you can open the current glyph by clicking the arrow in the top right of the gray info view). It gives you a list of all fonts that have that particular glyph. Then find some fonts that have proper accents and see what they are doing it.

    So you question should be: Where do I find good samples and what fonts are worth looking at?
  • Bhikkhu Pesala
    Bhikkhu Pesala Posts: 210
    edited February 2017
    FontCreator uses a script to align diacritics in a nominally correct position. It may work for the Regular typeface without much further adjustment, but for an italic typeface or a handwritten script the user will always have to adjust the position manually. A knowledge of correct positioning is essential. 

    I developed and maintain the Complete Composites code for FontCreator. It is a plain text XML file that users can edit for themselves to add definitions, or modify the existing ones. I frequently make minor tweaks to the code. This is the definition for U Ogonek:-

    <Composite><!-- U Ogonek -->
    <Member id="1">
    <Member id="2">

    As you can see, it's fairly easy to understand. I use decimal code-points as I find them easier to understand at a glance than hex codes (which may also be used).