Viewing non-letter glyphs in a font (looking for free linux solution, ideally with print possibility)

tikitu's picture

So this is a dabbler's question: what do y'all use to look at a font, as individual glyphs rather than as sample text? In particular, what do you do if you want an overview of say fleurons or similar odds-and-ends that don't show up easily in a standard sample text?

I've bought an ampersand font (Coming Together, a charity offering with proceeds to Doctors Without Borders) and don't really know what to do with it. I need a comfortable way to see all them ampersands! Ideally I would like to print a sample of all the glyphs the font provides, along with their codepoints.

I've found some apps that do almost what I want, but not quite. (This is the point to mention that I run linux and --since this is just for my own amusement-- I'm not looking to spend any money. Although I'd be interested to hear if there are non-free solutions, even if I'm unlikely to use one myself.)

  • fontforge shows the entire unicode table, with empty cells where the font doesn't provide a glyph. Not so handy for this one because the glyphs are spread out all over the place, so there's lots of useless empty cells cluttering up the view.
  • kfontview gives a very nice view of all-and-only the glyphs, but doesn't tell me how to access them (no codepoint information); my print button also seems to be disabled.
  • scribus has a "font catalog" script, but that just does quick-brown-fox sample text. I could laboriously figure out the letters whose codepoints these ampersands are usurping and construct a sample text, but I'm lazy. And again, the printed output doesn't include those codepoints.

Is there some tool I'm missing? Or am I just going about it all the wrong way?

JanekZ's picture

"fontforge shows the entire unicode table, with empty cells where the font doesn't provide a glyph."
Encoding > Compact

tikitu's picture

Ah, so simple! Thank you!

This pushed me to investigate fontforge further, and I find also some print options that do most of what I need. (No codepoints included afaics, but I can print the pretty stuff and look up the details on-screen.)

Thanks again,
Tikitu

JanekZ's picture

Glad to help you.
You may also use FontMatrix http://fontmatrix.net/node/22

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