Fontlab Drawing Tool Quirk?

kosal's picture

I only noticed this recently, but when I use the drawing tool and simply click without dragging, a point appears, but it has a yellow BCP dot! Is that normal? How do I make this a clean point?

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nina's picture

Yes, AFAIK when drawing with the pen/drawing tool and simply clicking, the points end up with “in point BCPs” (i.e. BCPs that have the same coordinates as the node). I learned this the hard way. :-\ I’m not sure if there is a way to use the pen tool and not get these so I’ll listen in, too.

As for remedying it in existing points: If this is the same thing that I had, then alt-click-dragging – which would usually extend a BCP – will instead move the node and reveal the BCP below. You can do that, then delete the BCP, then move the node back to where it was. Alternately, upon right-clicking the node the context menu should have something like “retract BCPs”.

oldnick's picture

I have used CorelDraw since version one, so the way it works makes perfect sense to me. Consequently, the way virtually every other drawing program works does NOT make sense to me.

However, from my experience, I think it is universally true is: if a program is doing something which annoys or puzzles you—simply DON’T DO the thing that annoys you. If you can possibly help it.

Like with CorelDraw 6, which was a total cl*sterf*ck, which worked pretty well until you hit “SAVE,” at which point, the program crashed and you lost ALL your work. On the bright side, you could EXPORT your work just fine, and re-import, no problem. So, no problem? Well, after you learned the workaround, no; otherwise, yes.

Boy, SOME beta testers STILL deserve a swift kick for overlooking THIS minor annoyance…

kosal's picture

Thanks, I just thought it might've been a setting I accidentally changed or something.
Assuming FontLab knows what they're doing with this fundamental tool — does that mean it's alright to leave the on-point BCPs alone?

hrant's picture

No, best practice is to have no dead-BCP (as I call them) points. This is because automatic conversion (like to TT-style quadratic beziers) can get messed up (just like with a missing inflection point).

If you Alt-Shift-Click on a "half-dead" curve FL will bring the dead BCP to life and adjust the other end accordingly - although the resultant approximation to your original will rarely be close enough - you need to tweak it.

hhp

Frode Bo Helland's picture

In addition, half-dead curves (another term) are not handled well by Apple’s iOS rasterizer in landscape mode.

hrant's picture

I wonder if that's because it's doing an automatic conversion to TT (and maybe thereby violating some EULAs :-). But only in landscape? Interesting.

hhp

scruggsdesign's picture

If you’re trying to make corner points just use the add corner tool (hit '5' on your keyboard). I frequently build my outlines by only using the corner tool at first, placing points approximately at extrema, and then pulling curves by option-dragging the line segments.

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