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

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.” People using axis-based (Multiple Master) type design in FontLab Studio 5 should not upgrade at this time.

Fontographer 5, TransType 4 and FontLab VI have no issues particular to High Sierra that we know of.

We will update this notice with more details as they become available.

Install/Launch Problems

  • Older versions of FontLab Studio (5.1.4 and earlier) and TransType Pro 3 cannot be installed on High Sierra. If installed, they cannot launch on High Sierra.
    • If installed prior to High Sierra 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.”
    • In installed fresh after High Sierra 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 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
  • The problems occur only on macOS 10.13 “High Sierra”
  • 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 currently no reasonable workaround for this problem!

Workarounds

We do not currently have any ETA on a true fix, nor any solution for MM font editing. However, this is a decent workaround for the first problem:

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: Fri 6 Oct 2017, 10:16 pm PST, v 3.04

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Thomas Phinney

Thomas Phinney is CEO of FontLab. Previously he worked at Extensis (web fonts and font management tools) and Adobe (as product manager for global fonts and typography).

Thomas is also a type designer, teacher, writer, and consultant on fonts and typography. He has been consulted by Apple, Adobe, Microsoft, Oxford University Press, a “big three” US auto maker, the US Treasury Department, and PBS “History Detectives,” among others. He teaches type design with Crafting Type and has been a repeat guest lecturer for MA Typeface Design at the University of Reading. Since 2004 he has been a board member of ATypI, the international typography association. His typeface Hypatia Sans is an Adobe Original with over 3000 glyphs per font.

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