I am developing a very basic Arabic font using my hand writing, using FontLab on Windows 7.

The problem is that I cant get the font to display in MS Word as well as InDesign.
No glyphs are shown. Only .NOTDEF shows for each character. I guess this has something to do with encoding, but cant figure out where to look for the solution.

Kindly help.

Thanks and regards.

Typogruffer's picture

Font height question

Hey a fontlab newbie question here.
I have opened two two fonts names frutiger and Gill sans in fontlab to see their construction(cap height and ascender height.
But i noticed something different. while the cap height of frutiger is around 1400, but the cap height of gill sans is only 680. What is the ideal sizes(from ascender to descender)? i heard it should not be more than 1000? and also what happens if it is more than 1000. I didn't see any problem with frutiger.

Dear typographers and designers,

I have a problem when I generate my designed fonts as (Open Type: OTF) from the FontLab Version 5.0 I do have this message:

I own a MacBook Pro i7 2,8 Ghz processor with 8 GB memory, 250 MB SSD, Lion installed (10.7.4) with FontLab 5.1.2 (4447).

Crashes constantly (ten times a day) an irregular but usually when editing in glyph-window-mode.

Any one else with similar setup – do you have this problem?

Right now I’m looking for replacement software like ”Glyphs” any suggestions?

–FontLab, SHAPE-UP!!!
In one years time I’m going to need retina-supported software as well!

(Frustrated but devoted FL-User since 2004)

I've upgraded Fontlab to 5.1.2 and my Mac to 10.8.1 and (now?) no kerning classes are working.

Existing files have stopped working; existing sets work for only the main glyph, and new/fresh attempts fail as well.

Typical sets look like this for my existing file left-side classes:
_VW_L: V' W Wacute Wcircumflex Wdieresis Wgrave

This had been working perfectly for the last few years of development.

So I've tried this:

• Make a new file with only A, V, and W
• Drew new shapes in each (no copy, all new info and shapes)
• Built a kerning class called _V with _V: V' W as the class
• Went to Kerning Mode and typed AVAWA
• Dragged the second A towards the V

The A is closer to the V as I moved it, but the third A doesn't move closer to the W


Building a handwritten typeface and need contextual alternates.

I've read Thomas Phinney's article ( and understand how it works, just have a question how to place the glyphs as sets?

Any help greatly appreciated!


How do I make a hard return in the Metrics or Preview window in FontLab Studio? I saw it on a thread somewhere recently and lost track of where.

I'm designing a display face in Fontlab, and I'm only creating uppercase letters. I planned on finishing the uppercase letters (metric and kerning included) and then just copy them to the lowercase letter spots so the same A shows up whether you type a or A.

However, it doesn't seem like metric and kerning data gets included when I copy and paste letters. I don't know much about Fontlab, but I would've thought I could somehow copy this data. Any ideas?

How do I create multiple alternates with salt code?
Right now I've got:

feature salt { # my Stylistic Alternates
sub a by a.1;
} salt;

I've got four stylistic alternates for the letter a. When I try to add them to the code FontLab says "Multiple substitution not yet supported"

Is there a way around that? The result I'm looking for is to view all versions of letter a in InDesign glyph window "Show alternates for selection".

Any help with this is appreciated!

Just checking before I upgrade my system: anyone know for sure about Fontlab and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion?

I found nothing either way in online searches or on Fontlab's site. With the FL update needed for Lion (10.7), I don't want to cause myself problems, if there are any.



For Generating font in fontlab. What is different between opentype Ps and truetype. because I think in general postscript font has smoother view in word and pdf file. specially in Arabic font. Can anyone help me?
Sorry for terrible English writing.

DotlessHyphen's picture

Python script

Need help to write a simple Python script. Leave your e-mail and I will contact you off list.

Hello experts on the field

I created a font that has 2 variations of the capital letters and 3 variations of the lower cases. It is a serif font traced from a popular children's book from the end of the 19th century so it was done by hand. I consulted the 2006 post by steff_en and got some answers.

I set my classes and followed twardoch instructions and I got no errors, I generated the font but it does not do what I intended. That is: everytime I type a particular letter for the second or third time I want them different. As I mentioned, I made 3 versions of every small cap letters and 2 versions of the capital letters.
Ex: in the word "tomorrow", I would like the three "o"s and the two "r"s to be diferent in the same word.

Simplepolator allows you to interpolate compatible glyphs in the same font, without leaving FontLab nor interrupting your workflow.

Simply select two compatible glyphs and run the macro:
Five new glyphs will be automatically created, allowing you to choose the best variation.
Making it super-easy to apply the Gunnlaugur SE Briem's method on "How to make mistakes.

A quick video showing how to use it:


Hi Typophiles,

We need to create an editable version of Neo Sans to use with our workplace ERP finance software (running on Windows). We've been advised to use Fontlab's Font Lab Studio - does anyone know if this will work and the legalities around it?


On a Mac running 10.6.8 and FontLab Studio 5.0.2, after a system restart yesterday began to see very bizarre behavior in the OT features panel. It's hard to describe, but the OT panel seems to be inserting extra spaces into all the text in the OT panel, so that nothing compiles correctly, and clicking on any of the text or typing causes more extra space to appear to the left of the cursor. In other words it's impossible to format correctly, because any action I take just creates more bizarre spacing. I cannot edit, add, or compile OT features.

I went and upgraded to the newest version of FontLab, 5.1.1, and the problem stays the same. Don't know if the problem is with FontLab or the computer itself, but the keyboard and trackpad seem to be behaving normally in all other applications.

I'm trying to generate a font so I can layout a decent proofing sheet. Two problems:

I am able to generate a Win TrueType/OpenType TT file, but when I try OpenType PS, it gives me this message: "ERROR: There was a problem while compiling OpenType font. Final .otf font is not saved. Please, check OpenType features definition for errors." Does anyone know what this is referring to? I looked through the fonts features panel, but didn't see any red flags. Feel like I'm missing something on how to preflight these files before generating.

Pretty basic question, but I couldn't find an answer. Here it is:

I'm expanding a typeface to include old style numerals and small capitals. I have a draft of all these glyphs drawn in FontLab. How would you go about proofing these? I see that you can print up glyph tables in FontLab, but I'm wondering if there is an effective way to create specimen sheets with all these new glyphs in the context of the larger typeface? Ideally, I'd like to print them out. Thank you,


Hi, I'm in the middle of creating a digital version of my 40s typewriter font. So far I used Bitfonter and have now imported into FontLab. For some reason though all the glyphs became much bigger in Fontlab, exceeding the ascender and descender heights by far. Anyway, I started to go about manually changing a few whilst mindlessly watching TV only to realise that surely there must be a way to change them uniformly?? Even in BitFonter actually there is a way to resize all selected glyphs in the glyph window. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.

I have taken a TrueType font with a free license, DejaVu Sans. Then created a new empty glyph, and copy-paste one of its glyphs to the empty one.

However, I saw that the hinting for the two is not exactly the same. When viewing the two glyphs in a word processor, I saw a difference between the two. So how can I make an exact copy of a glyph? Should I also duplicate some information inside the font’s table? Any simpler solution?

Well, the title says it all.
Illustrator has this function that equally distributes space between selected nodes.

And I can't seem to find one in FL5. Searched in the manual, in the internets - no luck.
That would save me lots of time without needing to measure space between nodes, divide it by 2 and then position third node in the middle manually.

I am having an anoying problem generating an opentype font in fontlab:
After merging contours and generating the otf-file, my font looks fine in the preview and in fontexplorer, but when I want to use it e.g. in indesign or illustrator, some of the contours are distorted (in Textedit it works alright though). When I create outlines, all the contours look fine again.
see in the picture how it should be and how some letters are rendered.

this happened in two completely different fonts I drew.
I am using font nuke, so it does not seem to be a cache problem.

Does anyone have an idea why this happens?


Veronika Burian and Jose Scaglioné are teaching a 4-day workshop on type design and FontLab here in Portland in mid-July. Sign up this month to ensure it actually takes place! Details here:

I've been working on a mildly complex font for a client (moonlighting outside my day job).

I've never worked with using a lookupflag to ignore certain glyphs, but it seems like the perfect solution for a particular issue I encountered. So I tried to do it in FontLab. It compiled fine and I export the font, but the desired behavior is not occurring in InDesign CS5 (even when I set text with the WorldReady Composer active).

I'm wondering if I am doing something wrong, or...? Here's my process.

A) First, for the glyphs we want to be ignored, do the following in the FontLab glyph window:
- select the glyph.
- bring up the glyph properties dialog
- change the value of the OT popdown from "Unassigned" to "Mark"

I get the interesting error below when I try to compile features in an OT script font. The notable things are that the claimed number of elements is absurdly large, and the error message is claiming that a number is not equal to itself. The only features in the font are calt and maybe kern.

It seems to me that I have seen this error before, and it does mean something, but as the error message itslf is bogus, I can't recall for sure what that is. Is it related to overflow of the 64K size limit on a subtable in OpenType? That rings a bell for me....

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