Exporting Problems in TTF/OTF Formats in FontLab: Differences in Outlines on Layered Typeface?

Hello all!

I am finishing up my layered typeface and have stumbled into a problem I can't seem to solve. I first thought there was human error involved (still possible in some instances) when I exported the font family in OTF format—but then I exported to TTF and saw there were fewer problems. Here's what's happening and here are some details.

1. This is a layered typeface that was drawn by hand with an ink brush, scanned, and then cleaned up some—so it is constructed rougher than a typeface done entirely in FontLab or Glyphs.

2. On the interior layers the edges are off register "ever so slightly" in OTF format—but they are "off ever so slightly" in MANY places and on different layers. This does not occur on every glyph.

3. The edges are off "ever so slightly" in TTF but in DIFFERENT places—and to a lesser degree.

What I'm trying to figure out is:

Why is this happening?
Why are there differences in the outlines between formats? (These have to be EXACT since it's handdrawn.)
And why does the TTF export have fewer errors?

Finally—when I say "slightly" off—I'm talking off by "pixels." I also receive no error messages in FontLab when exporting.

Any help here would be greatly appreciated. I'm banging my head against a wall here. :smile: 



  • I would guess that the font is being hinted when you generate it. Try disabling automatic hinting in the font generation preferences.
  • Converting PS curves to TrueType can introduce some variation. You should convert to TrueType curves in FL and make sure all is in order.
  • Mark, thank you for the suggestion. You just saved my life. A few checkboxes unchecked and everything is now aligned perfectly in both OTF and TTF formats. THANKS A MILLION.
  • Okay...so now I have a new problem. When I export the font after making some kerning adjustments and import the fonts into InDesign, I notice there is one layer off (out of the 4 layers in my font family). When I check the kerning and metrics in FontLab for all of the layers, they are 100% identical. I can't seem to figure out what is causing this alignment issue in only this layer.

    Any ideas as to what is causing this? It occurs with a few other select letter combinations and again, only in one layer.
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,252
    Maybe you have "optical" spacing enabled?
  • Thanks again, Mark. I think I may have found the culprit. Human error! (Tired brain)
  • Very nice ą!
  • FWIW, the glyphs where the blue is offset slightly look really interesting to me. If it was a mistake, you might want to make a version that does this on purpose.
  • Terry BiddleTerry Biddle Posts: 27
    edited April 2015
    @twardoch Thanks! And @Jasper de Waard  that's very interesting! I might do that in a later release.  :)
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