Friendly glyph names for InDesign Glyph Panel?

I have an OTF CFF font with hundreds of monograms and ancient Greek letterform alternate glyphs in PUA u+E000-E0FF and u+F0000-F01FF ranges. The glyphs are encoded because users need to access them in Microsoft Word by symbol insert or Charmap.

But for InDesign and other Adobe apps, I also want their ‘friendly’ names (like Sigma.03) to appear in InDesign Glyph panel tooltips. Is it possible to have friendly names used as the production glyph name? I’m working in FontLab 7.

All suggestions or redirection gladly accepted.



  • The names which are displayed in the Glyph Panel are the names used by the Unicode Consortium. It only looks at the unicode values, not the names used internally. So no, there is no way to accomplish this.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,632
    edited November 2021
    André is correct.

    To put it another way: InDesign displays Unicode character names which are part of the Unicode specification, and not under the control of individual font makers or end users. InDesign does not display font glyph names.
  • Thanks to Thomas and André for a definitive answer. Too bad InDesign doesn't have a Unicode name table that could be tweaked.

  • Even if you could track down the list of names used by InDesign, tweaking it would be unadvisable since these names are used for all fonts. Other fonts might use the same PUA code points for entirely different purposes.
  • I guess the one glyph pointed in the screenshot is the Attic variant of gamma. 

    What about making different fonts for the different styles of the Greek alphabet? 

    That's what we are doing for the different periods/styles in European/German writing.

    Another work around would be keeping the glyphs in the PUA but map them by features from the normal codepoint to the variant with the PUA name. But this would only help to use the font by to different encodings.
  • Thanks for your note, Helmut. The letter selected by the tooltip is a ‘three-bar Sigma’. All the letters on the line are alternates for modern Greek Capital Letter Sigma. In addition to Sigma, that three-bar letterform was also used as Epsilon and Digamma/Stigma. I’ve not seen it used as Gamma so would like to know where it occurred.

    The font includes, so far as practicable, all the archaic and ancient letterforms used in Greek inscriptions, including retrograde versions. The letterforms are not assigned to a style because they migrate freely and evolve over the centuries. Original engravers sometimes used different forms of a letter during the same era, or even in the same inscription.

    Instead of stylistic sets, I’ve mapped the alternate letterforms to the modern Greek letter for selection in InDesign. The end purpose of the customer is print publication.

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