Fontforge: How do I create stylistic set?

I'm working on developing an understanding of stylistic sets. I'd like to include them in the typeface I'm designing. 

As I understand it, in Creative Cloud software, the user goes into the Opentype window, highlights a block of text and selects a stylistic set. That stylistic set then applies select alternate characters throughout that block of text. It doesn't sub in an entirely new character set but selects a handful of alternates substitutions.  

I've searched for a tutorial on how to do this through the Fontforge interface with no luck. Is it possible to program a stylistic set through the Fontforge UI? I'm guessing it is a lookup containing a set of single substitutions? My understanding overall of lookups is somewhat weak and I haven't learned how to code the back end of my fonts. I'd probably need a walkthrough.

Any help is much appreciated!


  • I've found a font with stylistic sets and I'm trying to reverse engineer it. I think I understand how to make the single substitution lookups but by themselves they don't do anything. How does the 'salt' lookup relate to the 'ss00' lookups, if at all? I don't see an option to specify an 'salt' lookup through the Fontforge UI. 

  • Thomas WeakleyThomas Weakley Posts: 59
    edited May 18
    Could it be my naming convention? my alternate characters are named altA1, altA2, altA3. Other fonts I'm dissecting use this convention: a.alt1, a.alt2

    Or is it that I can't program the 'salt' feature and the 'ss00' features are parented to the 'salt' lookup?

    Proxima Nova even has its stylistic sets named. 
  • Thomas WeakleyThomas Weakley Posts: 59
    edited May 18
    I figured it out! I was missing and misunderstanding a step! It's actually super easy.

    I hope if anyone googles "How to create stylistic sets in FontForge" they find this thread.

    Here's how to do it:

    Element > Font Info > GSUB > Add Lookup > Type: Single Substitution > Feature: manually type 'ss01' > OK > Add Subtable (Leave the default name) > OK > Select base glyphs and replacement glyphs. 

    This should then appear in your open type features in creative cloud software.

    This concludes a dummy's journey into creating stylistic sets in FontForge.
  • Now that I have that figured out I need to figure out how to name the stylistic sets. Working on that now...

  • Here's how to name stylistic sets in FontForge:

    Create a stylistic set, then do the following:

    Element > Font Info > StyleSet Names (left menu) > Select Language > Select Feature Tag > Enter the name under the "Friendly Name" column.

  • Dave CrosslandDave Crossland Posts: 1,064
    I encourage you to contribute this tutorial into :)
  • @Dave Crossland Good call! I'll add it soon.
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