Is there a way to control glyph order in glyph browsers?

Using Fontlab 7 and Affinity Designer. 
i've made a font of related symbols and would like them to appear in a certain order in Affinity's glyph browser. Instead they show up in what appears to be random order. Is there a way to control this behavior in the font itself?


  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,875
    I don’t have Affinity Designer, but I suspect that it is like some other apps in this regard. If the order appears random, then presumably it is Glyph ID (GID) order, rather than Unicode. Those are the two obvious/common sort orders—InDesign does both.

    GID is the actual physical order of the glyphs in your output font file. So it can’t have holes, it starts at zero, and goes up from there.

    To control GID order of the output font in FontLab 7, you have a couple of options.

    1) To control it manually, in the Font Window, change the second popdown to "Index" (I think the default is Encoding). The third popdown, the sort order, will now be locked on Index as well. You can now drag glyphs around to change their index order.

    2) FontLab allows you to impose a standardized order on the GIDs without manual sorting, via the menu entry Font > Sort Glyphs. There are three options:
    - Current Order takes whatever the glyph order is with your current view settings, and sorts the GIDs to match.
    - Unicode sorts the glyphs by Unicode value. (Not sure what happens to unencoded glyphs, have to check the manual.)
    - Name sorts the glyphs alphabetically by glyph name.

    It would appear the last two options are achievable with the Current Order option, if you do the right steps—just included because they are common/likely choices.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,901
    Yes. In FontLab 7, by default you view the font window in either Encoding order, but if you set Encoding to None you can then order in various other ways, including Index, which will show your the Glyph ID order, which is the order that will be written to the font. When viewing the font window in that mode, you can select glyphs and drag them to new positions.

    Alternatively, if you have an Encoding that displays the order you would like, you can view in that mode and then select Font / Sort Glyphs / Current Order, and this will set the Index order to match the current view.
  • Excellent! Thank you both for your complete and insightful answers!
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