FontLab Studio, TypeTool & old TransType issues on macOS 10.13 High Sierra & later

Until further notice, we recommend FontLab Studio 5, TypeTool 3 and TransType Pro 3 users consider the issues below before they update to macOS 10.13 “High Sierra” or 10.14 “Mojave.” Those using FontLab Studio 5 for axis‐based (Multiple Master) type design, or who need the “paste special” function, should upgrade and get comfortable with FontLab VI before upgrading their OS.

Fontographer 5 and TransType 4 have no issues particular to High Sierra or Mojave that we know of. FontLab VI being developed on an all‐new platform, is is compatible with High Sierra and Mojave.

Install/Launch Problems

  • Older versions of FontLab Studio (5.1.4 and earlier) and TransType Pro 3 cannot be installed on High Sierra and later. If installed, they cannot launch on these operating systems.
    • If you installed one of these older apps prior to your OS upgrade, you will see this error message:
      • Error while writing license file /Library/Preferences/[name of license file]. Please make sure that you have rights to write to the folder and that such a file doesn’t already exist. Otherwise your license will be lost but your Activation key will be marked as used.”
    • If installed fresh after OS upgrade (or if the license file is removed), you will see this error message:
      • Error initializing license system. Bad or missing or expired RLM license (-130)…”
  • The solutions for install problems are to install Fontlab Studio 5.1.5 (a free update for 5.0/5.1.x), or upgrade from TransType 3 to TransType 4
  • For FontLab Studio, be aware also of issues below!

Operating Problems

  • FontLab Studio 5.1.5 and TypeTool 3.1.2 are affected. (FontLab VI is not.)
  • The problems occur on macOS 10.13 “High Sierra” and later.
  • In the Font Window, copy/pasting or appending glyphs does not work normally
    • The “paste” and “append glyph” options are grayed out (even after you “copy”), and the corresponding keyboard shortcuts also don’t work.
    • There is a good workaround, below.
  • Within a Glyph Window, copy/paste of contours is broken for multiple‐master (MM) fonts—only one master gets copied and pasted.
    • Single‐master fonts do fine with copy/paste within the Glyph Window.
    • There is no direct workaround for this problem.
  • Paste Special” function in FontLab Studio 5 does not work. There is no direct workaround for this problem.

Workarounds for FontLab Studio 5 & TypeTool 3

We do not have any solution for MM font editing in FontLab Studio 5. However, this is a decent workaround for the first problem in both apps:

To copy one or more glyphs in the Font Window:

  1. select the cell(s)
  2. click and drag the cell(s) to their destination, but do not let go of the mouse button
  3. Now press the Command key, and keep it pressed while you let go of the button

This works within a Font Window, or between two Font Windows.

You can let go in any empty slot. If no empty slot is available, let go in an occupied slot. You will get a dialog asking if you want to replace the glyph(s). If you say “no,” then the glyph(s) will be appended to the font instead.

 

Last update: 27 Sept  2018, 10:22 am PST, v 3.1

FontLab Studio 1/2 price + free VI upgrade Cyber Monday sale!

UPDATE: This sale was Nov 30 – Dec 1, 2015. Sorry you missed it!

icon_fontlabstudio51_128x128_rgbYes, as a Cyber Monday special, we just marked down our flagship program, FontLab Studio 5. Regular price is US $649, now $324.50. Student/teacher pricing is also halved: regular US $325, now $162.50. Upgrades to FLS 5 from older/other FontLab products are also half price!

Plus, effective immediately, all new permanent licenses of FontLab Studio 5, from now until we ship FontLab VI, will qualify for a free upgrade to FontLab VI! Yes, that includes upgrades and academic orders.

How to make stroke-only fonts in FontLab Studio 5 (& TypeTool)

People working with engraving machines and vinyl sign‐cutting machines sometimes ask for special fonts that are made with single‐stroke lines instead of closed shapes. Even though this is not legal in the font formats, it is possible to work around it in FontLab Studio 5 and TypeTool 3. Here’s how, and why you might be fooled into thinking you have failed even when successful.

Free FontLab Webinar: Typerobics Type Design Exercises

Please join us for an exciting new free webinar for beginning type designers!

Typerobics: Type design exercises
with Fábio Duarte Martins
Tuesday 16 June 2015
9:00 am Pacific / noon Eastern / 16.00 GMT / 18.00 CEST
Register now!

The video from the webinar is now available!

Are your letters feeling out of shape? Do you aspire to win the regional kerning championship? Typerobics is a type‐making workout regime intended to shape up your Bézier biceps. Every sport requires exercise, and so does type design. Typerobics is your type design fitness plan: pick a word, pick a typographic style, draw that word in under 40 minutes‐then repeat at least three times a week.

OS X 10.10.3 does not need FontLab Studio update!

Update April 8, 2015: OS10.10.3 shipped today, and as hoped, the final shipping version does not in fact break FontLab Studio 5.1.4 (or 5.1.2; earlier 5.0.x versions are probably also okay but not tested).

We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our appreciation for our friends and colleagues at Apple: they proactively alerted us to the problem, and then later changed path to avoid triggering it with the actual shipping 10.10.3 update when it came. A class act all around!

As announced April 1, FontLab Studio 5.1.5 build 5568 (release candidate 1) is available (since replaced by FontLab Studio 5.1.5 build 5611, release candidate 2). Because it is possible that a future Mac OS X build will cause the same problem we previously saw, we will continue testing 5.1.5 and expect to make it available in the future.

Basics of Python scripting in FontLab Studio 5

Video tutorial


The 70‐minute tutorial Basics of Python scripting in FontLab Studio 5 has beed recorded in February 2015 by Adam Twardoch. The tutorial is primarily intended for users who have never written any Python code before, although some tips and tricks for more advanced users are given. Topics include: basics of Python, scripting‐related user interface elements of FontLab Studio, installing Python, RoboFab and FontLab Python macros, writing simple scripts that modify a font and speed up the type design process. See below for additional resources.