Another Fatal Error without a clue from FontLab cryptic message

dezcom's picture

Here is the message FontLab gives me:

>>>[FATAL] aborting because of errors:
syntax error at "-63"
[/Users/chrisL/Library/Application Support/FontLab/Studio 5/Features/fontlab.fea 11]

I had been cleaning up classes and getting rid of some duplicate commaaccent glyphs when I tried to recompile. The message above is what happened.
I then made a copy of the file and one-by-one deleted each feature and attempted to recompile between each removal to no avail. It seems as though it may be something in the classes but I am going nuts for 2 days now trying to find it!

I am hoping someone can clue me in on my malfunction.

Desperately seeking help,


dezcom's picture

BTW, I did update the kern file between each try as well.

Arno Enslin's picture

Proposal: Destroy the outlines by using a strong effect and post the vfb file.

oldnick's picture

Whenever I encounter a recalcitrantly corrupt file, I usually generate a Postscript Type 1 version, then open that in FontLab and work from there. It's a lot faster that copy glyphs individually into a new file and, so far, this method has effectively remove whatever voodoo resides in FL's OpenType apparatus...

Tim Ahrens's picture

Another "purifying" method:

1. create a new, empty font
2. in the Font Info, copy all data from the corrup font
3. copy all glyphs from the corrupt font
4. in the empty font, right-click in the Font Window and choose "Append Glyphs"

dezcom's picture

Thanks to you both for your suggestions. Luckilly, I won't have to try them on this file (so far anyway).

The MAN, THE MASTER, Karsten Luecke, has shined a big light on my problem. He told me that glyph names containing a hyphen make FontLab very unhappy! After I corrected that, my font compiled quite happily. It seems the cryptic 'Syntax error at "-63"' referred to the hyphen which was followed by a 63 in the glyph name. Not that this was apparent to me before--I had been looking through my code pasted in Excel so that the lines would be numbered and I could find "Line 63"--wrong line of thinking on my part. I sure wish FontLab would write error messages that don't require so much detective work to figure out. It would be niceer to be prompted while typing the glyph name with a hyphen to get an alert sound and a message saying "hyphens are not proper syntax for glyph names".

At any rate, THANK YOU KARSTEN!!!


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