The Drawing Tool - creating corner nodes in FontLab

Seymour Caprice's picture

In FontLab, using the "Drawing Tool" (the button with the pen icon and plus sign) results in superfluous BCPs created on straight line corner nodes. Anyone know how to prevent the extra handles from being created?

For example, reading the FontLab manual, for drawing lines using the Drawing Tool: "add a point, just click... to create a line point, just release the button"... this produces corner points with BCPs included. Other tools (Add Corner Tool, Rectangle Tool) don't make this mistake.

Here the "Drawing Tool" example has yellow BCP indicators on top of the corner nodes. How can this be prevented?

blank's picture

Don’t use the drawing tool at all. Draw shapes by using the the add corner tool to position your extrema points and then pull your curves out of the hard shape. It’s much more efficient. Use the Robofab line macro and you don’t even have to waste time closing up the shapes.

Seymour Caprice's picture

@Dunwich - Interesting tip on using the Add Corner Tool exclusively, then pulling curves later. I looked in my bag of RoboFab scripts that come with the current version, but couldn't find the "line macro" you mentioned. I'd like to try it out, where does it live and what's the file name on the script? Thanks.

While using FontLab's tools I always have the feeling that there must be a more intuitive method, or that I'm missing a preference setting, or perhaps I'm just not holding down the correct option-shift-command sequence.

The main concern I have with the Drawing Tool, as shown above, is the extra (yet zero length) handles that are added to every straight line corner. Also shown in the example are indicators for closepath (blue node) and startpoint (grey arrow). These indicators are absent on the contour created with the Drawing Tool. Another reason to avoid using the Drawing Tool?

I would love to hear from anyone who wants to share their "best practice" method for drawing contours, Drawing Tool or otherwise.

nina's picture

Thanks for this thread guys.

blank's picture

The RoboFab line tool is in the dropdown menu to the left of the macro subfolders dropdown. It comes with others, tool, but I haven't figured them out.

My impression is that the drawing tool probably works better for Illustrator users who just want to draw shapes without being too anal about the details. Not so great for type designers who want to view in and worry about absolute control of details down to 1/1000th of an em.

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