FontLab 7 workflow tips

Has anyone discovered instructional videos or guides in regards to workflow? I'm still working in 5 because I failed to develop a viable roadmap—hoping to unearth some insights on how to make it go fast.


  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,890
    Workflow is a pretty broad question, and the most important elements probably depend a lot on what you are doing.

    I am doing a lot of variable font work, and for my particular needs I have found:
    - TypeRig is indispensable (likely true for almost anybody doing variable fonts in FL7)
    - custom scripts on top of that have helped my productivity immensely
  • @Igor Freiberger Glad to hear you're doing a new manual. I think for new users, a guide on producing a typeface from start to finish would be very valuable. I personally learned by reading the FontLab 6 guide, the forums, but mostly a lot of trial & error.
    Now that I'm at an intermediate level with the software, I appreciate the snippet videos that show off one tool or function, and would love to see more of those.

    @Thomas Phinney I've produced multiple variable fonts without using TypeRig, but certainly not without frustration. What custom scripts are you using, and are any of them available as opensource?
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,932
    TypeRig is indispensable (likely true for almost anybody doing variable fonts in FL7)
    Can you explain how you are using TypeRig, Thomas, and what aspects you consider indispensable.

  • +1 very interested in more info on TypeRig. Something like the video "How to make your fonts suck less" would be absolutely awesome, even a lot shorter than that. Like "Top 5 functions I use in TypeRig" or even 3 (it's easier to amend it later) :)

    I spoke with Vassil, he already did a tremendous job coding it. TR deserves docs, it's a great tool but not many people know about it.  
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,890
    Answer is going to be long and complicated, and I am behind on work right now—hope to get back with more later.

    Short: The custom scripts Vassil has built for me have been pretty project-specific. Many use floating panels like TypeRig itself.

    Example: the Science Gothic “corner tool” was for making the particular rounded corners, across masters, that Science Gothic needed. All the custom tools he did for Science Gothic are open source, but most are probably not of general interest.  :(
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,002
    I'm sorry if I made it sound like the FontLab 7 manual is all bad; there are some good parts too. The sections on smart corners and glue selection are very easy to follow. The animated gifs are helpful and the explanations are clear.
  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 625
    My pro tip if you're working on variable fonts: use Alt+< / Alt+> (well, technically, Alt+, Alt+.) to switch between layers / masters. Or am I the only one who discovered this only after a year...? 😂
  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 625
    edited October 22
    Oh, and I use the harmonize option all the time simply to move the nodes to where they're supposed to be. I shorten one handle, then harmonize the node (or more typically, all the nodes). I guess I harmonize about a hundred times per glyph. Gotta change that hotkey, Ctrl+Alt+Shift+H (on Windows) is a mouthful. Handful.
  • I'm sorry if I made it sound like the FontLab 7 manual is all bad — don't be sorry. It is bad. Working on a good one, will publish chapters as they are ready.
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