New Microsoft VOLT 1.3 is available

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Sergey Malkin's picture
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Joined: 17 Feb 2004 - 2:07pm
New Microsoft VOLT 1.3 is available
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Hello everybody,

Today we are releasing new version of Microsoft VOLT 1.3. There are lots of new features and improvements in this version, here are just a few:

- New font explorer allows font designer to quickly search and navigate through the project.
- Usability improvements, including lookup comments, new UI options, and detailed error messages.
- Huge performance improvements on complex font projects.
- Uniscribe and sample files are updated to match ones shipped with Windows Vista SP1.

I am copying full release notes below. If you did not use VOLT before and want to try it now, you will have to join Microsoft VOLT users community. Download link and release notes are available on version history page.

Thanks,
Sergey

Microsoft VOLT 1.3.254 release notes

Overview

Since last public VOLT release two years ago, we have added various features and made improvements across the entire product. Here is quick list of changes, followed by detailed description:

- Font explorer, allowing users to quickly search for glyph references inside lookups.
- Usability improvements, including lookup comments, new UI options and detailed error messages.
- Compilation improvements in quality, compatibility, and performance.
- Overall performance improvements, including import, export, and font size.
- Updated supplemental files and tags list.
- Multiple bug fixes across VOLT including the compiler, project import and export and across the UI.

Font Explorer

Font Explorer allows font designer to instantly search project lookups for any appearance of the glyph, wherever it referenced directly or as part of glyph group. Users may also search for a sequence of glyphs. Search can be controlled by several parameters in the Explorer window.

From search results, a font developer can quickly jump to a particular line inside a lookup input or context. This can be done by Ctrl-clicking on the corresponding line in the search results. By Alt-clicking on a lookup or group name, user can open the corresponding lookup or glyph group. When user clicks on glyph name, VOLT will jump to glyph definition inside glyph editor. Same Alt-Click is also enabled in the lookup window (inside both input or context fields).

Font Explorer can be accessed by clicking 'Explore' button on the toolbar or from Tools menu.

Lookup comments

Font designers can now add comments to each lookup in font project. If one of comment lines starts with “TODO:”, it is considered special to-do item for this lookup. Lookup comments can be added from lookup window menu.

Main window

Main window now supports view options allowing the display of detailed information about lookups and glyph groups right inside main project window. Lookup list can also display lookup content, comments, or to-do action items. Glyph group can show group content. View options can be controlled from the redesigned options dialog.

VOLT now remembers main form size and position, view options, and font sizes used in other VOLT windows. Overall form layout had changed, giving more space to lookup and group lists. Feature tree opens in compact state, with lookup lists collapsed by default.

Project improvements

Performance is significantly improved for project compilation, loading and saving. It is now several times or even tens of times faster on complex fonts. Font file size is also improved by avoiding keeping intermediate compilation tables.

Option had been added to avoid overwriting the cmap table from VOLT, allowing cmap editing by other font tool like FontLab.

Support had been added for FontLab glyph syntax in lookups and the proofing tool. ‘/’ is now allowed as a separator between glyph along with space and comma, enabling simple copy-paste from FontLab.

Detailed error messages for various problems with project import and editing have been added.

Compilation

Detailed error messages added for some compilation errors and invalid project sources.

Maximum number of components per ligature is increased from 6 to 16.

Vertical form substitution features ‘vert’ and ‘vrt2’ are compiled in a way that is compatible with GDI.

Other changes

Updated usp10.dll and sample fonts to versions shipped with Windows Vista SP1.

Tags.txt file updated, including recently added features and the new Indic v.2 tags .

Kern2Volt updated to support longer glyph names (up to 255 characters).

Multiple bug fixes.

david h's picture
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Joined: 19 Aug 2005 - 12:18pm
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We have it. Really great!

I just don't understand the Lookup Comments

Sergey Malkin's picture
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Joined: 17 Feb 2004 - 2:07pm
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Is this the only thing you do not understand? :)

Just click on "Add comment..." at the top of llokup window and type whatever seems important for you to remember about this lookup: friendly description, details, "to do" list, etc.

david h's picture
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Joined: 19 Aug 2005 - 12:18pm
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> Is this the only thing you do not understand? :)

No [Lookup] comments at the moment :^) :^)

I wasn't sure if this is more sophisticated and powerful tool, or just 'My Little & Dear Diary'

darrel's picture
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Joined: 4 Feb 2003 - 6:03pm
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I read through all of that but am still not sure what Volt actually is.

Sergey Malkin's picture
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Joined: 17 Feb 2004 - 2:07pm
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Good point :). I was just announcing new version of the tool, assuming people know what it is.

VOLT is a free tool released by Microsoft allowing font designers to develop OpenType layout features. It is widely used by people creating fonts with complex layout logic, especially fonts for complex scripts.

You can read more about it on Microsoft VOLT home page.

Thanks,
Sergey

darrel's picture
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Joined: 4 Feb 2003 - 6:03pm
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Ah! Very interesting! Thanks for the link.

AzizMostafa's picture
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Joined: 18 Apr 2006 - 10:43pm
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Worth bringing once again to the top of Typophile/Tracker.
Thanks Sergeym for the Invaluable Tool.