Kerning pairs in Fontographer

munkitype's picture

Hi my name is Simon
This is my first post so Hello to everyone.
I was wondering If anyone could help me with a technical difficulty i'm having with Fontographer

I am Kerning a font in Fontographer, and due to lack of tutorials or books on it am learning as i go.
So far have manually kerned all the pairs for an english alphabet but now need to work on the Accented charachters.
I'm wanting to know if i can pinch the exsisting kerning information from say 'A' and apply to

Mark Simonson's picture

What you need to do is use Kerning Assistance (in the Metrics menu). It lets you set up sets of equivalent left and right characters (glyphs) which are automatically updated as a group when you change the kerning for any one of them. It's a little tricky to figure out the meaning of the "link" option, but the manual has a pretty good explanation of how it works.

Metrics Assistance is also handy for making sure all A's, for instance, have the same width and/or sidebearings whenever you change any one of them.

An Aside:

I have completely switched over to FontLab now and would never go back, but these are two features that were much better done in Fontographer, IMO, and I really miss them.

You can do a similar thing to FOG's Kerning Assistance in FontLab by setting up classes and using its Kerning Assistance. But you have to remember which is the key glyph in each class and kern only to that glyph. You also can't see the effects of the kerning on any other members of the class except in the Preview window. With FOG, it didn't matter which member of the equivalent set you kerned, the value would automatically be updated among all the members of the set. The main thing was that, once you set it up, you didn't have to remember, was it the D or the O that controls kerning of characters with round right sides?

FontLab's Metrics Assistance is a bit closer to FOG's, but still not as nice since it has to be applied manually and, again, is tied to a key glyph which you must keep track of.

Mark Simonson's picture

One other thing regarding Kerning Assistance in FOG: The fact that you have already done a bunch of kerning doesn't mean you can't take advantage of Kerning Assistance. The existing pair values will be used if applicable.

hrant's picture

Simon, how many pairs do you have so far just withing the basic a-z lowercase?

hhp

munkitype's picture

Hi Hrant H Papazian Thankyou very much for your reply. As I am learning this software I am begining to realise certain things very quickly, and from a couple of replys to my question have already realised some fatal flaws in my design process, at this point, all upper, lower, numerals and punctuation, all done manually might I add (and not using the kerning assistance as pointed out by another post on Typophile) if have managed to create round about 2500 pairs

S

munkitype's picture

Thankyou for your reply, A great help indeed, So if i link A with the Accented 'A's they should follow suit, if so should save some valuable time. Have also heard about Font Lab and will look into it. Thankyou for your reply again cheers

S

Mark Simonson's picture

I hope this doesn't sound like a dumb question, but 2500 is a very high number of kerning pairs: Did you work out your spacing using the sidebearings (i.e., the space on either side of each letter) before you started kerning? In other words, does your font look okay with the kerning turned off?

The reason I ask is that, with that many pairs just for A-Z and a-z, it sounds like you are trying to space the font using kerning instead of adjusting the sidebearings. I have seen beginners make this mistake before. If that's not the case, never mind.

munkitype's picture

yes very much a beginner, and this has now been realised, also recently found the metrics and kerning assistance elements within fontographer, how much of a problem will having this many pairs effect the font in terms of usage? is this quite a drastic problem that would warant me starting over?

hrant's picture

Mark, Simon's "have manually kerned all the pairs for an english alphabet" raised a potential red flag in my head, which is why I asked how many he had so far... And it seems Simon now sees that he was going in too deep! Spacing/kerning is strange, very different than simply making the black of the body, which is a definite tihing; spacing is always gray, never fully under control - and that causes problems for some people (and I don't necessarily mean Simon).

Simon, the "assistance" stuff can help (in terms of saving duplicate effort), but not the "auto" stuff. And whenever somebody helps you, in any way, whether it's man or machine, you have to be more on your toes...

hhp

Mark Simonson's picture

> how much of a problem will having this many pairs effect the font in terms of usage?

If you are relying on the kerning to make the spacing look acceptable, it will be a big problem because not all programs support kerning (mainly just publishing and graphics programs).

ric's picture

Hi, Simon,

I hope this helps a bit: I think that the FOG manual recommends not going above 1,000 or 2,000 kerning pairs

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