Any interest in Windows tool for editing features?

timotheus's picture

A few years ago (2008-2009) I started to develop a Windows application to ease the tedium of adding OpenType features to fonts. I had to set it aside then, but I am now working out the kinks and finishing it off. And I wonder if it would be of any interest to fellow typophiles?

It opens an AFM file to get information about the glyphs in a font and then autogenerates classes and features based on glyph naming (and suffixes in particular). It also allows manual creation of features and exports a feature (FEA) file.

If there's interest, I'll package it up and share it. Again, it's a Windows application and requires the .NET Framework.

Download and give it a try: http://www.timrolands.com/More/Downloads.aspx

Tim

brianskywalker's picture

Doesn't VOLT do the same thing?

hrant's picture

{To Follow}

Bendy's picture

The interface looks better designed than VOLT, which in my (limited) experience is rather fiddly. I'd certainly be interested to see what this can do.

timotheus's picture

I have never used VOLT, so it is quite possible that I am duplicating functionality that already exists. Does VOLT work with both PS and TT flavored OpenType fonts?

HVB's picture

New tools are always worth looking at! Thank you for offering it.

Bendy's picture

VOLT converts everything to TrueType, and as I remember, strips out existing features each time it opens a font file.

moiz217's picture

Yes i'm interested.

my email is [my profile name]@gmail.com

thanks.

charles ellertson's picture

Maybe I'm missing something here, but I just use a text editor. Edit Pad Pro has all the tools, but even the simplest text editor will work.

I have my stock features & classes already set up in a .txt file, plus some single features I can add -- like a feature for precomposed fractions, if I don't feel like making numerators & denominators for a font. Etc.

For extracting info from the .afm, I use "find" & write off smaller files...

John Hudson's picture

This is totally different from VOLT.

VOLT is a visual editing tool for developing OpenType Layout (including GPOS). It does not use Adobe's feature syntax, but its own visual representation and text formats.

[Bendy, VOLT does not 'convert everything to TrueType'. VOLT's visual interface requires TTF for display of glyphs because the tool does not have a PostScript rasteriser, but it will open and compile CFF fonts. So if making CFF fonts I do my editing in a temporary TTF source, then import the VOLT .vtp project file into my OTF.]

JanekZ's picture

"If there's interest" - of course. Especially generating classes.

Bendy's picture

Hum, that's strange. I'll need to pay more attention in the next VOLT lesson. Last time I used it on a PostScript otf, it converted all my glyphs into TrueType outlines when output. Maybe there's a setting I missed.

oldnick's picture

Maybe my Ovaltine has fermented, but the Glyph Classes listed in your example make absolutely no sense to me...

John Hudson's picture

Ben, you must be misremembering: there is no way that VOLT can convert glyphs to TrueType. The only tables it can write are GDEF, GSUB, GPOS and cmap.

timotheus's picture

Here's a brief rundown of what the application actually does. It first loads all the glyphs from the AFM file. Then it looks for glyphs with suffixes that match certain features (e.g., all glyphs with .smcp suffixes for small caps). The supported features are currently determined by a text settings file, so as new features come along, they can be added. All of the glyphs with a given suffix are then added to a class named for the suffix with a "1" added. A corresponding class is created containing all the non-suffixed matching glyphs, and this class is also named for the suffix but with a "0" added. 1 and 0 for on and off, respectively. Substitution rules are generated using these classes (e.g., sub @smcp0 by @smcp1). For ligatures, glyphs with underscores in the names are used to generate those rules (e.g., sub c t by c_t). Other features are currently a bit more hard coded, like fractions. Hope that helps.

Tim

timotheus's picture

I am working on an update to my website, and I will go ahead and get this application out there for download on the site. Probably around mid-week. Then people can play around with it.

Tim

timotheus's picture

The new website isn't quite ready for launch, but I went ahead and posted my "OpenType Features Editor" tool anyway. Here is the link:

http://www.timrolands.com/More/Downloads.aspx

Please bear in mind that this is very much a beta release, and it is released as-is with no warranty whatsoever. Try it out and let me know what you think. I would like to make a tool that is truly useful for other font developers out there and give something back to the community here.

Edit: Just added a quick-and-dirty User Guide as well.

Tim

timotheus's picture

Anybody following this thread familiar with DTL FontMaster? Does it include functionality to automatically generate OpenType features? I ask because of this post (http://typophile.com/node/42009#comment-258480), which makes it sound like perhaps it does.

Tim

blokland's picture

Tim: ‘Anybody following this thread familiar with DTL FontMaster

Yes, I am ;-) (Quoting myself from this topic): DTL BezierMaster, DataMaster, and IkarusMaster contain the modified URW++ version of Adobe’s Hatch Open Type (HOT) tool [since 2002], which is also part of OTM [since 2009]. This means that the character set does not have to match the characters listed in the [‘all’ covering, like this one] OpenType Layout features file, because all features that are not covered by the character set will be removed automatically during compiling [this can be done in batch with DM].

FEB

timotheus's picture

It looks like there have been 16 downloads of the application. Has anyone had a chance to try it out? Any suggestions? I'm especially interested in improving the OpenType code that is generated.

Tim

JamesT's picture

Once I have the time, (this weekend, most likely), I plan on trying this out as I'm more than happy to support anyone developing anything (type-design related), for Windows.

timotheus's picture

Thanks, James.

timotheus's picture

It has been a few weeks now, and the address to access the download has changed:

http://www.timrolands.com/More/Downloads.aspx

Has anyone out there had a chance to use the tool and formulate some opinion or feedback on it?

Tim

JamesT's picture

Tim,

I finally got around to downloading and installing this. I'll play with it a bit more over the course of the week but so far, it seems to be working well.

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