FontLab VI 6.1.4: Open and export .glyphs files and other highlights

FontLab VI 6.1.4: new high-precision segment editing, Font window cell icons for composites and auto layers, smoother kerning workflow, italic linked metrics, snapping Knife — plus smarter glyph deletion, better OTF hinting export, and all-new .glyphs format support! See the full release notes for details!

Open and export .glyphs files and other highlights from FontLab VI 6.1.4
Watch this video on YouTube.
Open and export .glyphs files and other highlights from FontLab VI 6.1.4

Major improvements

  • Edit segments directly with high-precision dragging.
  • Add nodes, break or slice contours with improved snapping Knife.
  • Kern more efficiently with improved keyboard shortcuts.
  • Instantly see which Font window glyph cells have composites or auto layers.
  • Delete glyphs and decide what happens to composites and auto layers.
  • Export OpenType PS (.otf) fonts with better hinting.
  • Export OpenType Variations (.ttf) with fewer limitations.

Collaborate via .glyphs files

With FontLab VI, you’re not limited to one app. If you live in a rich ecosystem of type design apps, need switch between different tools, or collaborate with their users — it’s easy: open and export .vfb (FontLab Studio 5, Fontographer), or .designspace and .ufo (Superpolator, RoboFont, FontForge).

But if you or your colleagues use Glyphs​.app, you were half as lucky: FontLab VI could only read .glyphs files. Not anymore 😊 FontLab VI 6.1.4 exports .glyphs files and opens them much more faithfully — on Mac and Windows! The conversion has its limits, but it’s a long walk until you reach them.

Export to .glyphs is “beta” functionality, so in this release, the Glyphs font export profile is hidden by default. Go to File > Profiles, turn on the blue checkbox next to the Glyphs entry, and click OK. Now go to File > Export Font As and choose the Glyphs profile.

Other improvements

  • Access common contour operations from the Node panel.
  • Easily snap guides to other objects, and turn them to hints and zones.
  • Quickly measure thickness with G and drag.
  • Tap \ to make your up/down movements italic or upright, reliably link italic metrics.
  • See anchor clouds only for selected anchors.
  • Tap Esc to get a clean view in Metrics and Kerning modes.
  • Optically separate imported artwork more flexibly.
  • Zoom in/out more easily in Glyph and Font windows.
  • Remove Overlap and keep unaffected nodes untouched.
  • No more vanishing kerning, and other bug fixes.

Demo mode

If you or some of your friends, colleagues or students had installed the FontLab VI trial version, they could test and enjoy the app for 30 days. Many of you bought a license (thank you!). But some perhaps didn’t really like the early versions of the app (we admit, it used to be rough around the edges!). Or they didn’t have the budget at the time. After the trial expired — they couldn’t even get past the Activation screen. Well, no more!

Now, after the FontLab VI trial expires, the app switches to demo mode. While in the demo mode, you can still open all fonts, play and experiment with them, explore or learn the app — but you cannot save, export or print, and you cannot copy contours to other apps.

Many users told us that they recommended the demo version of FontLab Studio 5 to others as a powerful in-depth font viewer. FontLab VI in demo mode is, well, the ultimate font viewer!

You can use FontLab to open, proof and check fonts you made in another app, including TrueType-flavored variable OpenType fonts, color fonts in all flavors, fonts in development formats like .vfc, .vfj, .vfb, .fog, .ufo or .glyphs. You can check the curve quality, curvature, interpolation. You can test the kerning and OpenType Layout features. You can take the contours under the loupe with FontAudit. You can see if the automatic matching of masters helps you with the project you’re doing elsewhere. On the Mac, you can use FontLab’s TrueType Hinting tool to check how the font hinting produced elsewhere works in the built-in genuine Windows ClearType rasterizer.

And if you or your friends do need to save and export — the buy button is right here. 😊

There’s more!

See the full release notes for a detailed description of the FontLab VI 6.1.4 improvements. If you have FontLab VI installed, choose Check for Updates… from the FontLab VI (Mac) or File (Windows) menu and follow the instructions to get the update.

Adam Twardoch

Adam Twardoch is Director of Products at FontLab, and a font consultant specializing in font technology, multilingual typography, CSS webfonts, Unicode and OpenType. Co-designer of Lato, the world’s most-popular independently made font family (by Łukasz Dziedzic), and of Milka (by Botio Nikoltchev). Co-creator of OpenType Font Variations and CSS Fonts specs. In 2000–2014, technical and linguistic consultant at MyFonts, the world’s largest online font distributor, and board member of Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI). Adam regularly teaches workshops in font creation. He lives and works in Warsaw and Berlin.