Fontographer 5 kerning classes

matt_yow's picture

Hi all.
I've kerned all 56 characters through Fontographer 5 via the manual kerning pair window. It took a bit but I'm satisfied with the result.
I'm moving on to glyphs with diacritics and realize I don't want to kern the lowercase /a/ 7 times (for each existing pair). I know classes resolve this time issue. How can I access that from Fontographer 5 or from some set .fea file code ("where a then a" for all diacritically marked /a/).
Does this question make sense? I hope I've worded it well enough.
Thanks in advance (for saving me hours).

eliason's picture

I don't use Fontographer, but surely this is something laid out in the manual?

Mark Simonson's picture

You can use Kerning Assistance to help with that. It lets you create groups of characters that have similar left and/or right sides, and then lets you apply the same kerning values to all of them. It's been a while since I've used it, so I don't remember the details. It's all explained in the manual.

Incidentally, when you say you "kerned all 56 characters" it kind of makes me think that you used kerning to do the basic spacing in your font. The font should be reasonably spaced with no kerning pairs at all, just by adjusting the space on the sides (called the sidebearings) of each character. Kerning is for exceptions to the normal spacing, problematic pairs such as AT or LW, where your standard sidebearings are not adequate to get reasonable spacing. If you try to space your font primarily with kerning, you're going to create a hell of a lot of work for yourself, create a huge kerning table (possibly too big to function properly) and the font will be useless in programs that don't support kerning. If I guessed wrong about what you've done, then never mind and I apologize for bringing it up. However, if that is what you've done, then you should reset your kerning and space the font properly before doing the kerning.

twardoch's picture

Fontographer's Metrics Assistance and Kerning Assistance are similar in concept to the metrics and kerning classes in FontLab Studio. Since there are differences, the class kerning in FLS and the assistance values in FOG do not convert between each other (if you use VFB files to exchange the data), and the upcoming version of Fontographer (5.1) will also not change this functionality. But a future version of FOG may incorporate this.

Best,
Adam

matt_yow's picture

Mark,
(Unfortunately,) I think you are kind of right. I went through the user manuel (thanks Adam) and found what I was looking for. I might reset the kerning, tighten the sidebearings and play with the "auto kern" feature or just fix the little issues like you mentioned: AT, LW, Wa, etc.
The typeface I'm creating is a lightweight face and needs a bit more room to breath anyway.
Thanks for the answers gentlemen, I really appreciate it.
I'll report back if I run into anything else.

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