Using anchors for alternate characters

typophile's picture

I’m using anchors in Fontlab to generate accented characters.
It works fine with the basic characters, but how do I get this to work with alternates?
I got y.ss01, for example. How should the accented character be named?
y.ss01acute, y.ss01_acute don’t work.
Is it possible at all? Thanks for your help :)

oldnick's picture

yacute :: yacute.ss01 = simple and easy

.Linus's picture

Thanks! I’m sure you’re right, sounds logic. But I still get an empty glyph cell when I generate yacute.ss01. Strange…

twardoch's picture


the alias.dat file that ships with FontLab Studio does not include all possible alternate glyph + accent combinations. You can add your own composition recipes to alias.dat or you can use the following syntax in FontLab Studio's Generate Glyphs dialog:


Before the equation sign is the recipe, and after the equation sign the desired glyph name.

More information about the recipe syntax is given in the Generate Glyphs dialog and in the manual.

Mark Simonson's picture

I save glyph recipes in text files, including ones that use my usual naming system. When I need to make some accented characters, I find the ones (or the set) I want, and then copy and paste into the Generate Glyphs window in FontLab.

.Linus's picture

thanks! this is extremely helpful.

Is there some kind of limit to the size/lenght of the alias.dat file?

twardoch's picture


not that I know of. Happy extending! :)

Note that in alias.dat, the sequence of items is a bit different: it's
while in the Generate Glyphs dialog it's

That's the only difference.


.Linus's picture

Thanks again Adam, works perfectly!

.Linus's picture

Okay, my alias.dat is now ultra-huge but every combination works. :)

By the way, I stumbled upon these two lines:

Shouldn’t it be:
germandbls.smcp s.smcp+s.smcp
germandbls f+s ?

(As for myself, I would expect germandbls.smcp to look like a small capital sharp S anyway)

eliason's picture

From the manual
_ (underscore) appends following glyph to the right.
+ (plus) appends following glyph as component of the composite glyph.

twardoch's picture

Yes, the principal difference is that with +, all components will be placed on the advance width of the first component, and with _, the advance width of the final glyph will be the sum of the widths of all components.

"W_I" will produce a glyph where I is next to W on a width which is a sum of the widths of W and I. "W+I" will produce a glyph on the width of W with I centered on W. "W+<I" will produce a glyph on the width of W with I left-aligned with W, and "W+>I" will produce a glyph on the width of W with I right-aligned with W.

.Linus's picture

I’m not sure if you understood me,



is in the original, unchanged alias.dat file, and I think it doesn’t do anything since it’s the wrong syntax.

twardoch's picture

Oh, I see, so there's an equal sign instead of space? That's indeed a bug, thanks!

.Linus's picture

You’re welcome!

cathylaws's picture

How can one create custom fonts ?

Thomas Phinney's picture

Cathy: Best to start a new thread if you have a new, unrelated question.

Also, you might want to be more specific: do you want to create a new font from scratch, or make modifications to an existing font? Either way you will need software tools, but more importantly training/education not only in how to use the software, but in type design.

dipyaman1972's picture

I want to put the image wrapping inside the table cell. Can it be possible to do that? Somebody says it is only done with the help of anchored objects. So, when I apply this one the text wrapping pallet is greyed out. Please suggest me step by step....

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