What does your kerning-process look like when using Glyphs?

Hi everyone!
I'm about to dive into the process of kerning using Glyphs for the first time! Earlier I've been doing this in RoboFont and Metrics Machine, but now I want to do it in Glyphs. From what I can tell the process looks very different.

I'd love to hear about your process! What plugins do you use? How do you create your groups? Do you have any useful tips? 

Thank you!


  • I save the masters as UFOs and then kern them with MetricsMachine using a game controller. I like how simple is to just open Glyph and correct wrong side bearings.
  • In case you haven't found it yet, the Kernkraft plugin is very helpful to systematically go through group combos, once you have defined them.
  • You should be able to use the game controller in Glyphs, too. 
  • Ramiro EspinozaRamiro Espinoza Posts: 835
    edited June 2018
    @Georg Seifert Yes, I know but I am accustomed to MetricsMachine's workflow. I check and correct some strings in Glyphs, though. 
    @Johannes Neumeier Thanks for the tip. 

  • Good info! Thanks everyone :)
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,956
    1. Review the font all my metrics proofs
    2. Review the font in my kerning proofs
    3. Kern the font in MetricsMachine
    4. Import the kerning to Glyphs
    5. Review the font in my kerning proofs
    6. Make changes
    7. Repeat with other masters
  • @Ramiro Espinoza Are you referring to some standalone tool or do you mean checking Metrics vs. Optical kerning in Adobe Apps? If the former, I couldn't find anything like that, would you have a link or more info?
  • @Johannes Neumeier It's a Robofont 3 extension to check and fix kerning consistency between masters: https://github.com/adobe-type-tools/kernalytics-rf-ext
    Pity I am a FL and Glyphs user and it hasn't yet been ported to any of these tools.

  • George ThomasGeorge Thomas Posts: 626
    edited June 2018
    Pity I am a FL and Glyphs user and it hasn't yet been ported to any of these tools.

    It has been. For Glyphs 2.5: https://github.com/schriftgestalt/kernalytics-rf-ext

    Still may have a bug or two.

  • Ramiro EspinozaRamiro Espinoza Posts: 835
    edited June 2018
    @George Thomas Have you been able to use it? I think this is the old version that never really worked.  I tried it again all I got was an empty window.

  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 729
    Why exactly do you guys use all these external programs? :neutral: I use an InDesign document with all possible letter combinations and go trough it about 30 letters at a time until it's done. Obviously after I have finished the metrics and input the kerning classes, which are more or less the same every time.
  • @Vasil Stanev It's a matter of personal taste. I find MetricsMachine very ergonomic, specially combined with a controller. 
  • Diana OvezeaDiana Ovezea Posts: 14
    edited June 2018
    @Vasil Stanev probably cause it's much more streamlined/systematic and I can kern, check, and correct a latin weight within a couple of hours. I use a standard inDesign doc to check my kerning as well, and I build custom pair lists for Metrics Machine that help me breeze through the pairs without forgetting any and without really needing to type anything. 

    I don't know how your inDesign file looks like, but what I like about Metrics Machine is that it shows you stuff in context and you are kerning "live". I guess having a really well prepared string of text for Glyphs (with a of of combinations in context) and pasting it all in one window, then tackling them one by one would have a similar level of efficiency. 
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,457
    (Working in FL5) I have generated a set of text files which I use as kern strings  as well.  I do them in order to be most efficient.  I still test in InD files but many fewer than before. After doing it a while, you get much faster.
  • John HarringtonJohn Harrington Posts: 5
    edited August 2018
    I try to download Metrics Machine today, mac os reports disk is damaged.
    On Type Supply it reads is no longer updated. Is there legacy version to try or is this tool kaput?
  • Having a 27" retina screen has drastically reduced the number of printouts I need to make when kerning.

    What's the exact pixel density, if I may ask?

    I've got a Retina 15" Mac with 220 ppi, and a 13" Dell with 331 ppi, and I'm starting to think it makes a huge difference.
  • According to Wired the 27" 5k iMac has a pixel density of 218 PPI. So it doesn’t come close to the pixel density of phones, but it still beats the bad old days of 72 or 96ppi!
  • Ori Ben-DorOri Ben-Dor Posts: 383
    edited September 2018
    On the other hand, I've bought a 1200 dpi printer since 600 wasn't enough, so we're still quite far from screens that would make printouts redundant.
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,956
    edited September 2018
    I’m not sure printouts will ever be redundant. There’s something about glowing screens that can just mask problems that jump right out on paper. I was proofing on paper earlier and found two nasty spacing problems that combine into an ugly gap. It looked fine on screen!
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