I have lately been using Fontlab 5 on the PC for some time, and recently switched back to the latest publicly released Mac build. I have been very happy with it, although I save multiple versions every day or so, just in case. But in spite of the truly wonderful things about this program, there are some things about the metrics window that have irritated me so much that I must speak out in ill temper. Apologies if these issues have already been raised.
Why isn't the tab useful in the metrics window? Look how Fog does it. The tab is a useful key. It is there to be used. So USE IT!
Why do kerning and metrics have to be two completely different operations, with enormous amounts of time lost whilst switching between them? For example, you are in the metrics mode. You have adjusted sidebearings. Now you notice a kern that is required. You now have to switch to kern mode. Now focus is lost on the character you were working on. So you have to select it again. DUH. So you select it, adjust the kerning and now . . . return to metrics. But you have lost focus. You have to select the character again.
Look how Fog does it.
Sidebearing and kerning adjustments all take place fluidly at the same time, with simple, easily remembered keystrokes. Why is there this artificial, time-consuming dichotomy between the two operations in Flab?
Why don't cursor keys work in the intuitive, expected manner they do in fog? Why do they either do something unexpected, or nothing at all?
Cursor keys are there to be used!!!!!!
CURSOR KEYS ARE THERE TO BE USED!!!!!!
LOOK AT YOUR OWN PROGRAM, now you own it!
Let us suppose you are in metrics mode, and you are directly editing the metrics values in the value boxes. Up/down cursor will let you move up and down between width, left sidebearing and right sidebearing. But what happens to cursor right/left when you want to move to the next character? NADA! What happens when you want to move one element up to the character name box, as you can in Fog, and then move focus to the next slot, or gracefully move on to the next character? NADA!!!!
What possible reason can there be for such behaviour in a version 5 program?
Finally (really), suppose you now want to get into the tempting little kerning box. You can't.
You now have to switch to kerning mode, at which point . . . you lose focus and have to select the character again. OK. You're in kerning mode now. And you _can_ move up to the width/sidebearing cells with cursor up/down. But you still can't move up to the character name box and change the character you have selected, either by typing it or by using the keystroke for previous/next character. Also, the cursor keys now only control kerning. You can no longer change width values via the cursor keys.
Why all this confusing kerfuffle?
What is the intellectual justification for it? Is there some great philosophy of interface design here that I am missing?
Is it too much to ask to get these SIMPLE things RIGHT? I am totally exasperated at the total pointlessness of it all. This is not good enough! Yet I can't return to Fog at this point . . . . at least not until the metrics window gets antialiasing. Yet . . . I believe I could do this kind of fitting much more quickly in Fog . . . .
and what became of the fitting enhancements I and several others have been asking for, for . . . a decade? There's a lot of programming hours in a decade . . . . . . . . . .