Why are my OpenType features not working?

jokke-svin's picture

Hey font lovers :) I just became a user on this site, because I have an issue with my font (the first font I've ever made!).

I made a screencast, which explains it. Check it out here:



- J

Typography.Guru's picture

You need to use the registered OpenType feature names like LIGA, not make them up on your own.

twardoch's picture

Not "LIGA" but "liga".

All registered OpenType Layout feature tags are listed at:

And the OpenType Layout feature tags as supported by popular applications are listed at:

You're free to use your own OpenType Layout tags that are not registered, but this means that you need to write your own layout application to use them. They won't work in Illustrator. In your particular case, all ligature substitutions should be defined in the "liga" feature.

BTW, for a glyph that is a ligature of the glyphs "j", "m" and "n", the glyphname "j_m_n" would be better than "_0000". Please refer to the glyph naming and encoding chapter in the FontLab Studio manual.


Mark Simonson's picture

Wow, that's kind of cool using a screen cast to pose a question. If you had to rely just on explaining the problem with text, I don't think the solution would have been quite so obvious without a few rounds of back and forth with the experts here. I don't know if this is something a lot of people are going to start doing, but it's an interesting idea.

jokke-svin's picture

@ twardoch - Thanks a lot man, your explanation helped me solve this problem :) It makes perfect sense that you can't make up feature names yourself. I should have thought about that, hehe. I just need to get some more experience with FontLab.

@ Mark Simonson - You know what they say: "A picture is worth a thousand words" so a on minute clip playing at 30 pictures per second has got to be worth shitload of words (pardon my French) :p

J Weltin's picture

A new problem i’m just confronted with (never had this before):

[FATAL] invalid first character in name (text was ".null")

How to avoid this? Thanks for your help in advance!

J Weltin's picture

Case closed: little dwarfs running in FontLab ...

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