How do I get rid of those empty character slots in the Font window?

blank's picture

When I am developing new fonts in FontLab I tend to start with a very simple encoding file to keep my workspace uncluttered. Unfortunately if I have the Font window open in Names mode it takes on around 100 empty glyphs that just take up a lot of space. Is there a configuration option that will get rid of all these empty glyphs?

eliason's picture

How about putting it in Index mode, which will only show you what you've already made?

blank's picture

I use index mode, too, I’m just wondering if I can get Names mode that clean.

johnych's picture

You can create your own custom encoding and use it the Names mode. It will contain only glyph which you want to put there.

Johnych

twardoch's picture

James,

but the modes are there exactly because they serve different needs.

The Index mode only shows the glyphs that are in your font, nothing else. The Codepage, Unicode Ranges and Names modes show you "glyph repertoire templates", i.e. show you the glyphs you have drawn and those that you still should draw.

The Names mode is by far the most popular because it allows unencoded glyphs (OpenType alternates). As Johnych points out, you can create custom .enc files that work in Names mode, with just the glyph repertoire you want to have.

eliason's picture

On a similar subject, is there a way to have FontLab remember the mode and cell-caption settings I was using last time I worked on a font? I find myself having to reset them to my preferences every time I reopen a font. (They don't seem to be saved with the Workspace.)

dezcom's picture

Create your own .enc file using the naming convention and glyph order of your choice. The easiest way is using a spreadsheet. Save an encoding from one of your font designs which you choose as a model encoding. In a text editor, search and replace spaces for tabs and line endings for hard returns. Copy and paste this into Excel or some other spreadsheet. You can add, delete or rearrange glyphs in the order you desire. Then replace the numerical order entries to correct sequential order (I just use a formula "cell above plus 1" and copy down to the end of your list.) Copy this text back to a text editor and search and replace tabs for spaces and hard returns for line endings. Save as text with .enc extension and drop in your Encodings folder in your Library under FontLab.

blank's picture

I am using my own encoding files. But if an encoding has an especially small number of characters I still end up with all of these extra empty glyphs at the end. In the image below the encoding file stops at “fraction”, but FontLab is still adding over 100 empty glyph slots in Names mode. Index mode becomes a problem because when in Index mode I cannot use the metrics table in the metrics window, so I have to start shifting between modes and it can get kind of tiresome.


dezcom's picture

Do you have a bunch of blank returns or spaces at the end of your .enc file?

blank's picture

Nope.

Mark Simonson's picture

Index mode becomes a problem because when in Index mode I cannot use the metrics table in the metrics window,

What do you mean? The Metrics window seems to work exactly the same, no matter which Font window mode is active, except for the order the glyphs go when you cycle through them using the keyboard shortcuts.

blank's picture

Ok, I can get the metrics table to work with index mode if I change the display mode to “All Glyphs”. I guess I left it in “glyphs in encoding” at some point, which is what caused the table to empty out when I went into Index mode. Although that behavior still seems kind of pointless.

Mark Simonson's picture

The "glyphs in encoding" mode would make sense if you want to avoid inadvertently making kerning pairs between, say, Latin and Cyrillic, which aren't likely to come up.

blank's picture

Ahh, good point.

twardoch's picture

It's quite likely that an .enc cannot effectively have less than 256 slots. This has to do with the history of how encoding was originally implemented in FontLab (in version 3). I think it's a legacy limitation and I'll check if it can be removed in future versions of FLS.

blank's picture

Thanks, Adam.

eliason's picture

In the meantime you could boost the size of the boxes so that those empty ones mostly scroll off the bottom of the screen. (Could be a pain if generated glyphs get put at the bottom, I suppose.)

blank's picture

In the meantime you could boost the size of the boxes so that those empty ones mostly scroll off the bottom of the screen.

It’s not that I don’t want to see the empty boxes, it’s that I need to see characters not in the encoding that go to the end while I’m working.

Khaled Hosny's picture

FontForge has a "compact" mode, where only non-empty slots are shown. May be FontLab has/can implement similar functionality. I find it very handy when working with fonts in which glyphs are occupying far away blocks.

twardoch's picture

Khaled,

good idea.

A.

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