Leading Headache

gberry's picture

I've just finished a 3 fonts typeface with all the settings (kerning pairs and so on), and I really feel frustrated when I see the result in Illustrator. The leading is awful and I can't figure it out setting it in fontographer.

Please somebody help me !
(Tips in Fontlab are also welcome)

jay's picture

Guillaume --

I really can't help, as I have very little experience w/ fontlab, but I don't understand your question: what do you mean "the leading is awful?" Are you using Illustrator to proof blocks of type? If so, does the same thing happen in other applications?

If you could post some screen shots, that might help...

gberry's picture

Yes, it's the auto leading that Illustrator is giving the text.

my font is all designed in Illustrator, then import in fontographer without dealing with ascent & descent parameters. Import is made with a "module" that is the same for each element of the font.

I can't post a sample of this font because it has been design for a single client and we prefer to keep it safe before final release.

Hope you can help me. Thanks

kakaze's picture

You could just change the leading instead of doing auto leading.

gberry's picture

As I said before, it's a font design for a company, and it will be used by several people. The leading has to be well set so that the global layout that we build could be respected. And Illustrator is not the only software that is in use for this font.

John Hudson's picture

Different applications handle default interlinear spacing in different ways. It is a while since I used Illustrator, but I'm presuming that it works much the same way as other Adobe software; that is, it probably handles default leading as a percentage of the body height of the text. So, for example, default leading for 12pt type is likely to be 120%, i.e. 14pt leading. If you have a problem with interlinear spacing in such a program, it is because your glyphs are actually scaled incorrectly relative to the body height (i.e. the UPM value). If your fonts are Type 1 format, they will have a UPM value of 1000, which means that you need to make your tallest glyphs fit within that height, or they will extend beyond the nominal body and may clash with other lines of text.

Many other applications, e.g. MS Word, do not calculate default linespacing as a percentage of body height, but instead use 'logical unit' font metrics that are provided by the system font renderer and based upon explicit values in the font. This is why the default linespacing between one font at 12pt and another font at the same size may vary. For Type 1 fonts, the logical metrics are calculated from the bounding box values. For TrueType fonts they are usually calculated from the OS/2 table vertical metrics on Windows and the hhea table vertical metrics on the Mac.

Unfortunately, I've no idea how to go about editing these values in Fontographer, since I don't use that tool. It is possible to directly edit the values in FontLab.

ric's picture

hello, Guillaume,

sorry for the delay in getting back to you. In Fontographer, go to the

gberry's picture

Thanks for the replies.
I'll try to figure it out with these tips,
and get back to you later
for a debriefing. And also some example
of the font.


anonymous's picture


do you mean the auto leading that Illustrator is giving the text when you type? if you tell a little bit about how you made your fonts, it might be helpful. for example, did you import the drawings from another program, or did you draw inside fontographer? also, did you change the ascenders and descenders while working on the font?

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