EPS import and baseline shift.

peterfwyang's picture

Hi I'm new to font design and have a couple of questions,

Part one

I have designed a number of glyphs in a single EPS file, I am wondering if there is a way of importing this file into FontLab and it recognising the individual glyphs. ScanFont use to do this, but it doesn't work on Mountain Lion :-( . Or is it only possible to import glyphs one by one.

Part two

Once the EPS has been imported, is there a way in FontLab to shift the glyph position up or down en-masse (in the case of Superscript, Subscript, Denominators, Numerators etc)

I appreciate anyone's feedback. Thank you.

HVB's picture

Either one-by-one OR import (or copy paste) the entire file content into some arbitrary character slot, then move or copy them one-by-one to their proper positions. Same amount of work, but maybe easier switching among windows within one application.

Either way, the position of each glyph will have to be adjusted, and I've found it works better to enlarge each eps glyph (or the whole page of them) BEFORE copying to FontLab. Otherwise your carefully designed glyphs may get distorted by their nodes being forced into FontLab's integer-based grid system.

In FontLab, select the characters to be shifted, then Tools/Action/Contour/Shift.

- Herb

peterfwyang's picture

Thanks for the advice Herb. When you say "enlarge each EPS glyph before copying to FL" what do you mean? Are you saying that FL reduces the size of my vector image? I have designed to suit 1000px tall (with baseline at 800 down for example see pic attached)

Pete

HVB's picture

Maybe I haven't learned to set FontLab's eps import settings properly, but if I have an eps image in illustrator (where point locations are mathematically analog), and that image appears, for example, as one fifth the size of illustrator's pseudo US Letter-size page, and I import it into FL, it will end up about 75 units high, with the control points all on grid intersections. This is a distortion of the original image; that distortion is magnified whenI resize the FL glyph by a factor of ten.

On the other hand, if I expand the image in illustrator close to a full-size page before copying it to FL, it may not need resizing at all, and if it does, the mathematically introduced errors are much smaller.

I am NOT a professional type designer; others here will probably point out some major error in my process!

- Herb

hrant's picture

Suffice it to say that next time you should draw directly in FontLab. :-)

is there a way in FontLab to shift the glyph position up or down en-masse

Yes, you can do all kinds of things to many characters at once. However: many things that can be automated end up biting you later. Case in point: creating a superscript by simply reducing a glyph and moving it up results in a glyph that's too light.

hhp

peterfwyang's picture

Hi HHP,

Yes, I agree, reducing glyph size and moving it up would be too light. That's why I have been spending time playing in Illustrator making the glyphs. I have got a test copy that I wanted to try you see. Is there a better way to increase weight in FL. What I did in Illustrator was type font at 300pt, create outline, reduce to 65%, add 0.7mm offset path, remove original, add another 0.5mm offset path and then reduce to the original height. It worked ok. but now I have 40 + glyphs. If there is a better way in FL I am very much up for hearing about that. I know that there is an expand path function but it seems to be a bit hit-and-miss to use. What would you suggest?

hrant's picture

Sadly FontLab's auto-bold feature is pretty lousy.
Please read this: http://www.typophile.com/node/81774

hhp

peterfwyang's picture

Yes indeed HHP. I agree I hope someone may have a suggestion as Automation is much easier.

oldnick's picture

it doesn't work on Mountain Lion :-(

Well, that’s a revolting development. So, who screwed up? Apple or FontLab…or was it a collaborative effort?

Karl Stange's picture

Have you tried changing the EPS and bitmap background setting (Preferences>General Options>EPS and Bitmap background) to "Fit between Ascender and Descender" or "Fit between Ascender and Baseline"? I have found better results using this as opposed to the standard "Keep size (1 EPS pt = 1 UPM unit)" setting.

Suffice it to say that next time you should draw directly in FontLab.

Sadly this is not always an option, for example, if someone has passed you artwork or outlines in in an Illustrator or other vector program format.

peterfwyang's picture

@ Oldnick, Apple because OSX Mountain Lion doesn't run PowerPC apps and Fontlab because they haven't developed a new version.

@ Karl, re fontlab direct: exactly! (BTW I couldn't move http://typophile.com/node/97623 to this section of the forum

hrant's picture

Kart, "fit between" can't work because of overshoots.

Also, if someone is sending you outlines to plop into a font editor something is seriously wrong (unless maybe if you're making a pi font).

hhp

Karl Stange's picture

Kart, "fit between" can't work because of overshoots.

I assume you mean, "Karl" : ) I only use this as a starting point but it is more effective where I have to use it than the alternative.

if someone is sending you outlines to plop into a font editor something is seriously wrong.

Welcome to my world. I should be clear though that this is (99% of the time) for icons and symbols, not letters.

hrant's picture

Sorry, Karm. ;-)

hhp

Karl Stange's picture

As long as you do not anglicise it and call me, Charles!

peterfwyang's picture

I don't think he would, Karl = Carl in English.

Karl Stange's picture

Carl is a shortening of Charles, Karl is the German equivalent of Charles.

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