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I have the oddest quirk showing up in Fontographer. In the metrics window the slash does not show up until it is typed the second time. Any suggestions?
I see that Petrov has addressed this quirk in the Fontographer users group. It is on page 230 of the owner's manual... unfortunately I do not have the manual. Can someone enlighten me, please?
Is it because the slash is used as an indicator as well as a glyph so that typing it twice brings on the glyph?
Chris, does this happen when the font is created and used in a document?
No, Neither does it in FontLab's window
a glyph name can be a slash and then the spelled out name of the glyph as in /slash or the keyboardversion of only SOME of the glyphs so that those keyboard options are saved for other uses.
I don't use FOG, but this behaviour sounds identical to what you get in FontLab -- when typing a character in the preview pane slash is used as an escape character to indicate that what follows is the glyph name (e.g. typing 'Aacute' will produce the string 'Aacute' whereas typing '/Aacute' will produce the string 'Á'). This means, though, that to enter the slash character you need to type it twice as is normal for escape characters. This behaviour is internal to FontLab and doesn't mean that the generated font will require the user to type it twice.
Thanks everyone. Don't know why I had not encountered it before. It could be that this font has a severe axis so I am being very careful with every "character."
Yes, it's the FontLab-internal glyph input method, which was present in FontLab and FontLab Studio for a long time, and was also added to Fontographer 5.
The slash acts as an escapement character, as does the backslash. The slash followed by a glyph name (until the next slash or a space) produces the desired glyph, a backslash needs to be followed as the hexadecimally written Unicode codepoint (with an optional "u" prefix). So to get the Euro glyph, you can type it directly as a character from your keyboard (€), but this is not always practical (especially for characters that are not mapped to the keyboard layout you are using). Therefore, you can alternatively type slash+glyphname (/Euro) or backslash+Unicode codepoint (\20AC or \u20AC).
The slash method is particularly useful if you want to kern or space *unencoded* glyphs (a.k.a. OpenType alternates) such as the small cap A. They do not have a Unicode codepoint, so they cannot be typed in directly as a character. In FontLab Studio and in Fontographer 5 you can enter its glyph name using "/A.c2sc" or "/A.sc" (or whatever the glyph is called in your font). In Fontographer 4, there was no way to type in such glyphs.
Therefore, to "unescape" slash or backslash, i.e. to actually type in the character, you need to type it twice in FOG5 and FLS5: // or \\. Of course, you can also apply the escapement methods to those, i.e. type in /slash or /backslash or \002F or \005C. But // and \\ are the quickest.
The Fontographer 5 user's manual is included with the installer, and is also available for download from fontlab.com in PDF format.