Fontlab standard composite glyphs not being generated

deville's picture


I've got a question about composite glyph creation. I'm not sure if this is a bug in FontLab or i'm doing something wrong but FontLab has just stopped generating composite glyphs for characters like á å â ä … even though there the accent glyphs and base glyphs are all there with their properly names anchors. If I delete á for example and then click on it again to create it just gives me a blank glyph, and every now and then just the base glyph. I don't understand this behaviour, it seems buggy but I don't know how to fix it. Does anyone have any ideas or has this happened to anyone before.

This seems to be an issue across all fonts where this once worked, so seems to be a issue with font lab, not the font itself, but I can't work out what. I've reinstalled font lab and no luck.

Thanks in advance!

johnych's picture

There must be the option in Preferences to switch this behavior on/off. Is it on?

Thomas Phinney's picture

The specifics of which combinations feed into which glyphs is in a file called "alias.dat" which should be in a shared data folder across FontLab products, FontLab/Shared Data/alias.dat ... is that file present? Do the contents correctly show the accented characters?

The location of the file can be customized by Preferences > General Options > Folders & Paths.

deville's picture

Thank you for your answers. I did think it might be the alias.dat file (that's what I gathered from other message boards). There is an alias.dat file in /Users/me/Library/Application Support/FontLab/Data

The same folder in the shared library was empty so I copied everything across there and I told Fontlab where to look for the alias.dat file through the preferences dialog (as you also suggested) but this seems to have no effect. When I try and create empty glyphs it still fails…. It's so frustrating as I cannot finish my font now and there seems to be no way of fixing it. Any other ideas on what could be wrong other than it being buggy?

johnych's picture

Just for a test delete "agrave" glyph if exists, choose the Generate Glyphs command in the Glyph menu and type agrave there. Will it show the preview like on my screen shot? If it will this means it finds the alias.dat file correctly.

charles ellertson's picture

Can you create the glyphs by hand, that is, double click on an empty cell, then, using (key sequence with Windows) Alt+insert, select the character wanted -- say an "a" . This should place that character, with original sidebearings, in that cell. Then repeat the process for an accent, say "acute" (or properly, acutecomb, if you've added the combining diacriticals. In any case, alt+insert brings up a dialog window window lets you select the character you want to add.)

These characters will be composites, you can decompose if you want the hard, fast glyph.

If you can do that, and if *they* don't go away as you've described elsewhere, then I'd think the problem does lie with the .dat files -- something isn't getting made correctly. On the other had, if they do go away, I believe they're doing so without .dat involvement.


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