Using same font for background layer in Fontlab?

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

When I'm going through my glyphs and reducing the number of nodes in them, it would be nice if somehow I could place a copy of the glyph with the extraneous points in a non-editable background layer somehow. This is because a lot of times deleting extra nodes will change the shape of the curves and I usually can't remember exactly what those curves looked like. So, placing a copy of the original behind the modified version would allow me to match the curves more precisely.

I suppose I could load the font on my system and render out pics one by one in photoshop, but I wonder if there is an easier more direct way to do this in Fontlab?

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Tools - Mask - Copy outline to mask (cmd+m)

HVB's picture

Read the manual.
You can easily search the pdf; for example for 'background'.
Alternatively, you could have scanned the menu items. The very first option you see in Tools/background should do exactly what you want. Well, almost. It will give the complete shape of the object, but won't show the nodes or control points.

Incidentally, actually reading the manual (like a book, not just as a reference) isn't a bad idea. You find out things you never even thought about. And it's shorter than War and Peace (but not by much).

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Thanks guys!

Jack B. Nimblest Jr.'s picture

Assigning the original to the font mask, and working on a new version, is what I do. This puts the whole original in the mask in one swoop. It's editable, but all you have to do to not edit it is not edit it.

Té Rowan's picture

You're set up for Murphy's Law, man. "If a mistake can be made, it will be made." (the short form)

Jens Kutilek's picture

It's editable, but all you have to do to not edit it is not edit it.

And if you don’t trust your non-editing skills, you can lock the mask layer to be sure ;)

twardoch's picture

If you want your current outlines in the Mask layer, which is outline-based, then: Edit / Select All, Tools / Mask / Copy Outline to Mask, Edit / Lock Layers Mask.

If you want your current outlines in the Background layer, which is bitmap-based, then: Preferences / Edit / Select All, Tools / Background / Create Background. Before you do that, you can set the background layer resolution in Preferences from the default 200 (which is quite low-res) to something like 2000.

Bendy's picture

Ooh, didn't know the background resolution was increasable! Thanks, Adam.

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