Multiple Master Font

valerie's picture

How do you generate a multiple master font in FONTLAB? (that is working in MAC OS X) In postscript and MAC format!!


Mark Simonson's picture

It's a rather complex process to explain here. Sort of like asking "How do you play a flute?"

I would suggest reading Chapter 8 in the FontLab manual (Multiple Master Fonts) and then come back here if you still have questions.

Or, have you already designed a Multiple Master font in FontLab and are just having problems generating it?

FYI #1, you can only make Multiple Master fonts in PostScript format. You generate it the same way you would a normal PostScript font, except that FontLab asks you whether you want to generate it with single or multiple masters. ("Single" meaning a "normal" PostScript font.) All of this assumes you have set up multiple axes in the font first. And, of course, all of this is explained in great detail in that chapter in the FontLab manual.

FYI #2, you can use Multiple Master fonts in MacOS X, but they only work in applications that support them (e.g., Illustrator, etc.). The old Adobe utility for generating instances should still work (in Classic) but I haven't tried it. You can also generate instances from FontLab in any format you like, including OpenType.

twardoch's picture

Two more things:

1. FontLab Studio 5 will internally support "multimaster" TrueType fonts. You will not be able to generated a "shipping" "MM TT" font but you can work with quadratic curves in MM mode, which can be very helpful for hinting.

2. Mac OS X has native support for so-called TrueType GX/AAT Variation fonts. They are part of GX/AAT, the Apple-only advanced typographic layout system that is used in native Mac OS X applications, e.g. TextEdit, Pages, Keynote. Currently, there are practically no tools for building the TT variation fonts and there are very few fonts built that way. One of them is Skia that ships with Mac OS X.

FontLab Studio 5 will support opening TrueType GX/AAT Variation fonts but will not generate them.

Adam Twardoch
Fontlab Ltd.

valerie's picture

thank you very much for your technical support.
I've created a multiple master in .suit actually works but I'm unable to print it (unless I do a created outlines)
I've already done a font called subinter (sold on, if you want to give me your comments.

have a nice day

Miss Tiffany's picture

Multiple Master question for all you techies. ;^)

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