The bar to get from Beta to Version 1 for Glyphr Studio was simple: design a font and export an OTF file. Of course this could be a huge amount of features, or something pretty basic. What actually shipped as V1 was somewhere in the middle, and V1 has come a long way since then (we just celebrated the 5th birthday of V1 in May!). Adding big features and small, all with the goal of being able to get typeface design hobbyists from zero to font as efficiently as possible.
Where I’ve landed is I would like Glyphr Studio to support me in my quest to design a typeface that I can submit to Google Fonts. I recognize this isn’t on a lot of people’s list of goals. Actually, based on user feedback, many users come to Glyphr Studio to design constructed languages (conlangs) – or just to create a Basic Latin font. This is great! Exactly what Glyphr Studio was designed for! So I think my somewhat lofty goal of creating a fairly fully featured typeface is a good stopping point for V1.
If you follow Glyphr Studio, you’ve seen a lot of action around Global Actions recently, and these really help with creating a typeface with more than just the Basic Latin range. With v1.13 done, you can now drag and drop, or copy and paste SVG code directly to a glyph’s edit canvas. Look – Glyphr Studio has a great set of vector editing tools, but I also know a lot of us (🙋♂️me included) still feel more comfortable in programs like Adobe Illustrator.
My point is, now hopefully there is a coherent workflow to design glyphs in some other program, easily import them to Glyphr Studio, then finish details like generating diacritical glyphs, kerning / spacing, ligatures, etc.
There may be some little updates to v1.13… but what I’m trying to say is Glyphr Studio version 1 is basically done. Have ideas for V2? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Features in v1.13
Paste or Drag+Drop SVG straight onto the canvas – if your SVG is designed so it doesn’t need to be scaled,
then you can copy the code and paste it directly to the edit canvas, or drag and drop an .svg file to import
New Global Action – Advanced Diactritical Glyph generator. If you design glyphs in the Basic Latin and
Combining Diacritical Marks ranges, then this action will use them to generate the Latin Supplement and
Latin Extended A character ranges.
The ‘All Caps Font’ Global Action is now extended to (optionally) cover the Latin Supplement, Extended A,
and Extended B glyph ranges.
Snap to Grid / Snap to Guide. Thanks to GitHub user monolifed for contributing the feature!
Updated the overall Glyph Names list to reflect the Unicode v.11 update that landed June 2018.
Better default view for empty glyphs.
Fixed a key binding so that the question mark glyph can be used as a Ligature, instead of summoning the keyboard shortcuts dialog.
Throw a warning if Monospace Global Action is set to zero as the width.
Importing a custom range from the Open Projects page.
Glyph Chooser panel now displays a selected range that was removed.
This version was a fair amount of back-end work. But the improvements you’ll see, dear user, are all around being able to easily preview and add additional Unicode code blocks (or Glyph Ranges, as we call them) to your project. There are also some enhancements to existing Custom Glyph Ranges, like being able to give them custom names!
There is now a large “Glyph Range Chooser” that lets you explore all the code blocks in Unicode, and easily add them to your project:
The Glyph Range Chooser can be launched from Font Settings, or from the Glyph Chooser panel which shows up lots of places.
Speaking of Font Settings, here is what the new “Additional Glyph Ranges” looks like:
Even after you add ranges from the Glyph Range Chooser, you can edit their names… or even their beginning and ending values. These ranges are very open ended, and up to you to do what you’d like.
I couldn’t quite decide if this was a bug fix or a new feature… but anyway, there is also new functionality where only these “active” glyph ranges will be exported to OTF or SVG fonts (as opposed to every glyph designed in the project).
Below is the granular list of updates. There you have it!
A huge Unicode Code Block range chooser – easily preview and add any Unicode code block to your project!
Glyph Ranges now support custom range names.
Glyph Ranges can now be edited.
Font Exports and Imports now only export/import “active” glyph ranges… this may be more like a bug fix 🙂
It is now possible to disable the Basic Latin glyph range.
Global Action: Re-size all glyphs – now has an additional option to update the Glyph Width (advance width) property.
Ligatures for HTML comment strings now work, like <!–
Ligatures 0x 0X u+ U+ now work – they previously were treated as
invalid Unicode / Hex inputs, but they are valid 2 character ligatures.
This is a very exciting release. One of the very first issues filed on GitHub was to enable Ligatures. Basically forever, we’ve had to rely on a workaround: Export to SVG then convert to OTF for Ligatures and Kerning. Starting now, Ligatures will be exported directly to OTF! Hopefully we’ll be able to work out saving Kern information at some point 🙂
Ligatures export directly to OTF files!
Ligatures that also have a single Unicode code point will be exported accordingly.
A few small Ligature improvements around adding common ligatures, and displaying thumbnails.
Fixed a bug around handling glyphs that use multiple Component Instances with the same Root Component.
Correctly handle / draw side bearings equal to zero.
Allow / disallow correct characters when exporting metadata to SVG Fonts.
Fixed an export bug involving locked points and glyphs with left side bearings.
Context Glyphs – type a few glyphs to show before and/or after the glyph you are currently editing on the edit canvas. Easily navigate to any of those displayed glyphs by clicking on that glyphs name on the Edit Canvas.
Notes on the Ligature and Kerning pages describing how to export to OTF font files via SVG Fonts.
Better slider controls for transparency settings (grids and guides) around the whole tool.
Contribute link now works in the Desktop client.
Show a toast notification when Undo-ing spans many glyphs, and requires navigating to a different glyph.
Test Drive re-factored, including some very small updates.
When inserting a new Component Instance, or using the ‘Get Shapes’ command to paste all the shapes from one glyph to another, there are new options to also copy Glyph Attributes like Width and Side Bearings. This is very useful if you use these copy commands for diacritical marks, where the new glyph should have both the shapes and the glyph dimensions of the root glyph.
Little notation on the splash screen and on the About page that indicates if Glyphr Studio has been updated in the past week.
Removed glyphs 0x0080 through 0x009F from the chooser panel. In Unicode, these are printing control glyphs that have no visual associated with them. But, browsers tend to replace these with ANSI glyphs, so the glyph chooser was erroneously showing previews, causing confusion.
Fixed a bug where ‘Bulk transform shapes’ also transformed shapes in other glyphs.
Added support for SVG number notation, where numbers like ‘220.127.116.11’ are interpreted as ‘123.45, 0.67, 0.89’.
Fixed a bug to only export SVG glyphs if that glyph has a valid hexadecimal key value.
Fixed a bug where you weren’t able to set a shape’s x/y coordinate to zero.
Fixed a bug on Mac where releasing the command key did not exit multi-select mode. (Releasing the key should work, but if not, clicking either the Arrow or Pen tool again will now forcefully exit multi-select mode)
Glyph Range in the Chooser panel is remembered when the panel is switched.
Fixed a bug where editing shape width/height via Attributes Panel was not honoring Lock Aspect Ratio.
Well – boolean actions are here, and the first one is Combine. That’s the big update for 1.04, but you may notice something else before that – we slipped in new icons for actions in one of the previous patch updates:
Like before, these actions are contextually shown or hidden, based on a variety of things. The icon in the lower right is the Combine action, and it shows up if you have two shapes selected. (BTW, you can multi-select shapes by using the pointer tool and Ctrl+Click’ing)
Combine Shapes is going to be kind of a progressive feature. It works for the most part, but we’re still encountering edge cases where it fails. That’s where you come in! Please try out the combine feature, and if you repeatably run into an issue combining two shapes, please email us (email@example.com) your Glyphr Studio Project File (.txt) and tell us which two shapes you’re combining. We are also going to continue to thoroughly test the feature, and fix any edge cases we find.
Going forward, once the Combine algorithm is more solid, we’ll be implementing some related features:
Combine more than two shapes at once.
On the back end, combine shapes and make them semi-transparent for overlapping glyphs in Kern Groups.
Provide an option to combine shapes within a glyph on export – to simplify and minimize font data.
All this stuff will be happening over the 1.04.x milestone, so stay tuned!
So, I know we were going on and on about Boolean Combine… I was having a nice discussion with a Glyphr Studio user over at GitHub about Rotation, and I got to a point where I realized I could actually do the rotate feature in less time than it was taking to talk about it. So here it is!
It also works for Component Instances… but due to how adjustments are applied to Root Components, there could be some wonky results. It boils down to this: there is an extra property on Component Instances called “Rotate First”. If you want to rotate, flip, and adjust the size of a Component Instance, try to do the rotate as the very first action, or the very last action.
If you are curious, it has to do with rotating shapes about their center point. If you do a Resize-Rotate action, it will create a different shape than a Rotate-Resize action. Wierd!