FontLab Studio 5 updates: 5.1.5 Mac & 5.2.2 Win

We have officially approved the most recent v5714 builds of FontLab Studio 5 for general release: these will be the official 5.1.5 Mac and 5.2.2 Windows releases. Compared to the previous 5.1.4 / 5.2.1 releases, this fixes 40 bugs, including 24 bugs present on both platforms, 7 Mac-only issues, and 9 Windows-only issues.

We strongly recommend the new versions for all 5.1 / 5.2 users. We also suggest them for 5.0.x users; although there are a few bugs introduced in 5.1 / 5.2 that are not yet fixed, overall we think these versions are better than 5.0.4 and earlier.

Mac users, please read the release notes for install details as well! Then download:

Mac Install Info

Unfortunately, due to some technical issues, the Mac installer and app are not “code-signed,” so Mac OS X sees it as coming from an “unidentified developer.” We realize this is not ideal, but we thought it would still be better to give you these bug fixes than to sit on the installer until we sort out the install issue. Thanks for understanding.

FontLab Studio Mac now has a user interface localized in seven languages! No longer just English — also French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and Japanese. You can also override the automatic language selection to get a different UI language.

To launch the Mac installer (and the app) the first time, please:

  • Right-click (Ctrl-click) on the installer (or the installed application) in the Finder and choose “Open.”
  • Click on “Open” in the dialog box that appears.
  • You’ll only need to do this once to install, and once again on the app. After this it will just launch normally.

Windows Install Info & Python

(Updated 14 March 2016)
Since the release of 5.2.2 for Windows, we have encountered an compatibility issue with the newest Python 2.X, version 2.7.11. Version 5.2.2 will not launch with this version of Python installed, without extra measures. There are two possible solutions, below. (Note: you do not need Python installed at all to run FontLab Studio 5; it is just that if you do have it installed, this can be an issue.)

  • Note that it must be a 32-bit version of Python installed. FontLab Studio 5 will not work with a 64-bit Python. (32-bit Python will run fine on a 64-bit version of Windows.
  • One option is to install Python 2.7.10 instead.
  • The other option is to do the following steps, to edit the environment variables via the System Properties dialog:
    • Windows Key + X
    • System
    • Advanced system settings
    • Environment Variables…
    • and add a PYTHONHOME variable with value of “C:\Python27
    • python01

Changes & Bug Fixes in 5.1.5 / 5.2.2

There was one major code change. When generating OTF fonts, we no longer use the Adobe AFDKO code to generate the name table and OS/2 table; instead we rely on FontLab’s own code, which was already being used for these tables in TTFs. This change yields more consistent results between TTF and OTF, ensuring user-defined info shows up in the font regardless of format, and avoids surprise default results that are not visible in the FontLab interface.

Also, “language” lists were updated in “Additional OpenType names” tab of Font Info for Windows and Macintosh platforms in accordance with http://​www​.microsoft​.com/​t​y​p​o​g​r​a​p​h​y​/​o​t​s​p​e​c​/​n​a​m​e​.​htm.

Bugs which were both introduced and fixed during the development of this release are not listed.

Special thanks to Lucas de Groot for reporting at least 20 of the bugs we fixed.

Mac & Win dual-platform bugs

    1. The Preview panel doesn’t update when you browse through fonts in Font Info (worked in 5.0.4)
    2. Generating Unicodes using a .nam file fails on last glyph in font
    3. Underscore char not supported in the Family Name
    4. Component numbering display bug
    5. Generate Instance causes PFM Default Character field in Font Info to become empty
    6. Pasting from MM to single master glyph pastes all masters, not just the active layer
    7. [FATAL] Compiling Verdana Regular GPOS ‘kern’ feature fails (worked in 5.0.4)
    8. Underline and strikeout positions (and thickness) are changed on export to OTF
    9. CFF subroutinization nesting problem can cause glyph rendering problems in some fonts
    10. Disappearing outlines in one master of MM fonts
    11. Wrong tooltips in TT Hinting Options > Zones, and top zone can’t be changed after being set
    12. Metrics Window contextual menu issues
    13. Blue class kerning indicators not visible in Kerning Table of Metrics Window
    14. Metrics undo is applied only to the base component of composite glyphs
    15. Digital signature” and “Trace Options” sections disappear from “Preferences” (Options) dialog after performing “Reset
    16. options to defaults” command
    17. Slanting in the Actions dialog does not work with decimals (fractional values)
    18. OTF only: export of “name” table loses non-ASCII characters, OS/2 table inserts default values for blanks,
    19. Add ‑Regular in auto-generated PS FontName and Full Name
    20. Using tab key between Metrics windows fields disables further glyph editing afterwards
    21. Pasting from EPS scales inconsistently
    22. Component shift doesn’t work in Generate Glyphs dialog
    23. Trying to generate a font containing 65536 glyphs causes lock up instead of warning
    24. Hidden classes sometimes get deleted during re-ordering

Mac-only issues

    1. Font create date not editable and auto-set to current date/time in OS10.9+
    2. Printing fails on OS10.9+ (Out of memory error)
    3. Copy Font Info dialog: missing Select All/None buttons
    4. Underscore and digits are not allowed in PostScript Name
    5. Menus disappear if user chooses a Workspace with a non-ASCII character; app must be restarted with Control pressed to fix
    6. Wrong Type 1 hinting rasterizers in Hinting Preview
    7. Applying any saved workspace using the Window>Workspace menu shifts all toolbars

Windows-only issues

  1. Customized vertical global guideline colors lost when .vfb is saved and reopened
  2. Temporary files are not deleted when font generation fails (causes font generation problems afterwards)
  3. Typing very long Metrics preview strings can cause crash
  4. Transformation “Mirror” buttons require two clicks
  5. Menu shortcuts do not work when the mouse cursor is above a beveled button in a panel
  6. Switching between masters using keyboard shortcut doesn’t update Masters and Axis panels
  7. The Meter panel doesn’t stick around when you close and open glyphs
  8. Bold effect in the Actions dialog rounds corners even when rounding option is off
  9. Distance/angle in the Meter panel doesn’t show info

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Thomas Phinney

Thomas Phinney was CEO of FontLab until 2019, when he retired from FontLab to pursue his font detective work and type design. 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 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.