Figures in tables do not align across weights in fonts

akaczun's picture

I have designed a font family with several weights and have discovered a problem with figures not aligning in tables with one weight typeset next to the other.

To illustrate this better, I have attached a sample file as an example.

My fonts have slightly taller cap, lower case and ascender and descender alignments.

In FontLab these parameter settings are automatically calculated and used to generate the OTFs.

Is there a parameter setting in FontLab that I need to adjust manually in order to correct this issue of alignments with tables?

Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Font alignment issue 2.jpg69.89 KB
Key dimensions.jpg83.09 KB
TT Specs.jpg82.15 KB
akaczun's picture

I suspect one or more setting in FontLab have to be setup with equal values across the entire family of fonts/weights in order to avoid these mis-alignment issues.

Can anyone shed any light on this?

Thanks in advance.

George Thomas's picture

Alex, did you set that in InDesign?
I don't think it is a font issue.
Do you have a fixed leading set or are you using autoleading?
Or perhaps fixed leading on one side and autoleading on the other?
Or maybe the side with the bold has plus leading added?

akaczun's picture


Thank you for your feedback.

Actually, the fonts being discussed have been released for a while now.

I received an email this morning from a customer who is using my fonts in LibreOffice application (similar to Word) on a Mac. I never heard of it.

I asked customer to email me back a export text.rtf file to reimport into my InDesign file for testing.

I got a similar thing happen when I selected my regular and bold weights (side-by-side).

As per file attachment above.

So, I decided to get to the bottom of it.

I copied and pasted all glyphs into a new FontLab window and left the default setting created by FontLab. I did this for the new Bold weight of my font as well.

Well, to my surprise, the fonts in the tables now work fine? Alignment on both sides is good.

I am now trying to make another set of fonts, updating the parameters in FontLab (as recommended in FontLab) for the 'WinAscent' and WinDescent' to see what happens.

If the alignments jump again, then these parameter values are important and are key in making this all work correctly.

I'll let you know what happens after I perform this last test. I suspect that the alignments will be off after I update (auto) parameters in FontLab based on my internal glyph alignments heights, etc. We will see...

I just never tested for this sort of thing, but now, I need to get a handle on this whole problem and resolve for future font update and releases.

I'm surprised no one else has chimed in with a similar occurrence when testing their fonts. Stay tuned...

Thanks again.

George Thomas's picture

LibreOffice and NeoOffice are both variations based on the OpenOffice suite, an OpenSource version of the MS Office suite. I have tried all three at various times, and the results were mixed. On a Mac, I would not use them on a day-to-day basis -- but that's just me.

LibreOffice probably is contributing greatly to your customer's problem, but even so it needs to be fixed -- something I would have to have all the files to figure out. So at this point: good luck!


akaczun's picture

Okay, I was able to finally resolve the problem.
As suspected, when I updated the font parameters (auto button) in FontLab for:
Metric and Dimension>Key Dimensions and TrueType-specific metrics
I got the same mis-alignment issues with tables in InDesign.

Sooooo, I painstakingly went parameter by parameter until I found the culprit.

And, it's the [OS/2] TypoAscender and the [hhea] Ascender causing all the issues.

I took the largest 'auto button' parameter in my entire font family of weights and styles.

I think you need to use the largest values here because I did not want 'tops' of glyphs to start clipping in some apps.

Anyway, and used the same 'values' throughout.

Everything aligns perfectly now.

Thank you, George.

@George Thomas... drop me a personal email
I would like to discuss other stuff on a personal note.

akaczun's picture

@frode frank

Thank you, thank you...Thank you!!!

I wish I had this earlier, would have saved myself much testing.

But, at least I have conformation that this, indeed, is the correct way to proceed going forward.

Now, to re-master all my font families... Oh, boy!

I wish this would have been documented somewhere beforehand.

But, I'm happy to final understand how all this works.

Much appreciated.

Té Rowan's picture

Minor correction: OpenOffice and its children are FOSS variants of StarOffice.

George Thomas's picture

True, so I'll change my thinking to understand that they are only similar to MS Office, which accounts for the frequent incompatibilities one runs into by using them.

Thanks for the correction.

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