How to access/ fix components order

Ramiro EspinozaRamiro Espinoza Posts: 834
edited April 2017 in Font Technology
Hi there,

I've recently been told that having masters with compatible components orders was important for the generation of variable fonts. Can you tell me how to access or check the orders of components in each glyph? I wasn't aware of this issue.

Thanks in advance.


  • In Robofont, within the inspector, components, the order in that list is the component order. Make sure you activate “display component indexes” in Glyph window.
  • Ben KielBen Kiel Posts: 32
    Also, Prepolator
  • @Ben Kiel  Really? I've noticed of course Prepolator checked contours orders but not components order.

  • Ben KielBen Kiel Posts: 32
    edited April 2017
    @Ramiro Espinoza actually, I was wrong about Prepolator — I was pretty sure it did, but I'm not seeing it now.
  • PabloImpallariPabloImpallari Posts: 773
    edited April 2017
    You can also inspect the .glyf files inside the .ufo in a text editor, or via scripting.
    Components are stacked like this:
    <outline><br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <component base="f"/><br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <component base="l" xOffset="290"/><br></outline>
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,815
    Also note, with regard to component order, that it is good practice in the case of precomposed diacritics for the base letter to be the first component. This has implications for inherited metrics.
  • can help in various ways to ensure compatible outlines/components. There is a tutorial about that, too:
  • There is a handy command within fonttool’s varLib to check the contour and component structure of glyphs across multiple fonts:
    fonttools varLib.interpolatable font1 font2 …$ 

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