I'm prototyping a cursive font where, at least on paper, any word with a "t" in it has the crossbar on the t extended to the left and right over letters as long as this fits; verticals in h, l, d, etc. will cut off the bar, so something like:

becomes something like:

I'm not entirely sure how to implement this, though. I was thinking of using many-to-many GSUB rules based on glyph classes, but no matter how I look at it, it turns into needing recursive GSUB behaviour...

1) t [low] ->[t with bar that continues right] [low with left-connecting overbar]

I made a font recently and it worked fine. Then I decided to do the Arabic unicode block, then the Arabic presentations A and B.
Now that I generated the font, Word crashes (but not InDesign) when I copy an arabic text (from Wikipedia) and paste it in a document using my font. I used UnicodeView and the Character Map to see the font and it all works, except when selecting the Arabic block (0600 - 06FF). CharMap crashes and Unicode View fills the screen with error messages saying some dll crashed and a memory segment was violated, blah blah blah.

We have a situation where our identity font is displaying terribly in Microsoft 2010 on Windows 7. The font looks great in InDesign and Illustrator. The font family is OpenType with PostScript outlines, aka CFF. This behavior is consistent for any OpenType font from Adobe, ie Myriad Pro or Adobe Garamond.

I am nearly certain that the Windows font rendering engine is optimized for TrueType outlines and renders PostScript outlines poorly. I also think that Adobe is using a different rendering engine for the Creative Suite applications, perhaps their own. I have not been able to find any specific documentation of these statements.

Does this ring true? Does anyone know of specific documentation of poor font rendering in Windows applications, especially MS Office?

Hi there,

I would like to ask if someone has a recipe for exploring a content of OpenType font. OK, I know, that the Glyph Panel in InDesign is pretty comprehensive — I can filter the Small Caps, I can filter Oldstyle Figures, I can filter Ornaments, or even Ligatures , but I am looking for some way to get a summary like this:

This font contains:
Extended Latin A & B
Discretionary Ligatures
Oldstyle Figures
Small Caps

Thank you.

Hi there,

I've created a font that has 3 character variations using calt (which works fine) and includes a set of 3 swash variations per character as well. The issue I'm having is I also want to include start and end swashes for select letters (a, e, i, o, r). I set up my code as such and it works perfectly fine in FontLab when I test it but when I try in Illustrator, only the start_swsh works. The end of the word remains normal.

feature swsh {
ignore sub @ALL @letter1' @ALL;
ignore sub @ALL @letter2' @ALL;
ignore sub @ALL @letter3' @ALL;
sub @letter1' @ALL by @start_swsh;
sub @letter2' @ALL by @start_swsh;
sub @letter3' @ALL by @start_swsh;
sub @ALL @letter1' by @end_swsh1;
sub @ALL @letter2' by @end_swsh1;
sub @ALL @letter3' by @end_swsh1;
sub @swsh1' by @swsh2;

denver's picture

Splitting dingbat glyph / OpenType

Hello, moved by the curiosity for the recent Flagsmith, I was just practising by playing around with OpenType on a dingbat font and I was trying to have a symbol (called "logo") splitting in its component by adding "-div" behind the name of the logo. So, for instance, "logo-div".
Given the logo "logo" and its four components:


I was looking at the Flagsmith and I therefore coded in the "liga" feature:

sub l' o g o hyphen d i v by logo.alt001;
sub logo.alt001 o' g o hyphen d i v by logo.alt002;
sub logo.alt001 logo.alt002 g' o hyphen d i v by logo.alt003;
sub logo.alt001 logo.alt002 logo.alt003 o' hyphen d i v by f_glyph;
sub logo.alt001 logo.alt002 logo.alt003 f_glyph hyphen' d i v by f_glyph;

Karsten Lücke updated the DTL OTMaster 3.7 manual. The PDF can be downloaded from here, and the printed edition can be purchased at DTL’s Bookshop, or directly at Lulu.


I have been selling a font family for over a year now, and just recently received a few emails from users saying they are getting a System Validation Error in Font Book, and are advised to not install this font. It's only happening to a couple people, but I want to fix the problem. The font has always worked perfectly for me so there isn't really a way for me to test whether I have solved the problem or not.

I've read some other forums on the subject... one solution was generating the font with hinting enabled. I checked my settings and this was already done.

Another suggested a solution that was on the user side:
1. Deleting the file ~/Library/Preferences/ and then log out/in
2. Install the 10.6.2 combo update

In the Font Starter Packs thread I read that Corel Draw comes bundled with a collection of quality fonts. It is written as well that "Newer versions are in Open Type TTF", but I could not find any information neither on the net nor in this forum which version this starts with.

So my question would simply be: Which is the oldest version of Corel Draw that I could buy for the good fonts alone? And just for clarification: How big is the quality difference between the older TTFs and the newer OpenType TTFs? And when and how would I notice it?

Opentype is the most common rendering engine which has facilitated implementing Arabic script and so many other non latin writing systems in computer. But apparently there are many shortcomings in opentype and tools which are used to develop arabic/persian fonts using opentype. Part of these problems stems from the fact that the geniuses who have created the tools were not familiar with the nature of arabic script, so they have tried to solve the problems using the ideas they have learned while they were trying to implement latin script in computer. Other problems comes from the restrictions in opentype language, which is developed to be understood very easily and it made opentype an inflexible computer language.

There is tables that explains which applications support different opentype features like this link:
In this table we see that all of the mentioned apps support the "standard ligatures" opentype feature.
but how would I know if I implement an GSUB LookupType 5 or 6 (Contextual substitution) in a standard ligatures it will be executed in those apps. I need a GSUB LookupType 5 or 6 to be executed by default in any application, so I think it's safe to put it in this feature and it will be executed in all of those apps, right?

There is tables that explains which applications support different opentype features like this link:
In this table we see that all of the mentioned apps support the "standard ligatures" opentype feature.
but how would I know if I implement an GSUB LookupType 5 or 6 (Contextual substitution) in a standard ligatures it will be executed in those apps. I need a GSUB LookupType 5 or 6 to be executed by default so I think it's safe to put it in this feature and it will be executed in all of those apps, right?


So far the SVG OpenType project has been discussed only on email lists dedicated to specifications. I wanted to bring it up on Typophile since it will feature in discussions at TypeCon next week.

When the new font Nirmala was announced with Windows 8, one expected it to be better than Kartika, its unaesthetic predecessor with unacceptable shapes. But Nirmala Malayalam adds insult to the injury inflicted upon earlier.

Sample these:
1. One conjuct has a missing stem
2. Has a confusing stroke ending style
3. Invents a clumsy way to handle descender portions
4. Substandard design quality, no optical corrections or proper stroke modulation

Please see the jpg attachment for details

Did the type designer(s) consult some one who knew Malayalam? Or did they think whatever they design will be accepted by others? I had pointed out the design problems in Kartika years back, but from repeating the same mistakes and making it worse it seems the people concerned donot care.

darling is a display font, with medium contrast, designed to be used in the composition of titles, letterings, visual id’s and short texts such as illustrated books or magazines for children.
it has 738 characters and a lot of opentype features that allows the composition of titles and/or words in a very different ways. otherwise, when applied with no features, it produces a homogeneous amount of text.

euka's picture

Calt limitations

Hi Guys,
I have a question for you. In this days, I try to make a pseudo-randomic typeface but, I note which I use maximum twelve step to change my code. It's true? Or is only my case?
Sequence: 125612 641342 615215

feature calt { # Contextual Alternates
# Latin
lookup calt1 {
sub @set_1 @set_1' by @set_2;
sub @set_2 @set_1' by @set_3;
sub @set_3 @set_1' by @set_4;
sub @set_4 @set_1' by @set_5;
sub @set_5 @set_1' by @set_6;
} calt1;

lookup calt2 {
sub @set_1 @set_2 @set_3' by @set_5;
sub @set_2 @set_5 @set_4' by @set_6;
sub @set_5 @set_6 @set_5' by @set_1;
sub @set_6 @set_1 @set_6' by @set_2;

lookup calt3 {
sub @set_1 @set_2 @set_1' by @set_6;
sub @set_2 @set_6 @set_2' by @set_4;

Hi, I'm having trouble trying to create a ligature using Unicode character codes, up to this point I haven't tried to use a Unicode value so I have no Idea if I am going about it the right way.

The ligature in question is an asterisk and another asterisk being replaced by a black star (** = ★)

I've tried the full word, the utf-8 value for it and Unicode U+ but nothing seems to work. I've had a look around and cant seem to find what is wrong.

The problems seem to lie with the '+', (Error came up with = 'invalid token (text was "+")'). But that's the only clue I have.

dongen's picture

Creating OTF with Java

Dear all,

I'd like to create an OpenType font. I know there are some programs to do this, but I'd like to do it the hard way:-) Moreover, I'd like a student to work on this as part of a project.

I'd appreciate any pointers to find information about OpenType font files and how to generate them. Ideally, I'd like to create the font files using some Java library. If there's any Java library that you can recommend then please let me know.

Thanks in advance for your help.

I have a family of fonts I'm building in FontLab. They are all using the same exact kerning data and kerning classes. For some reason, one of the fonts is giving me a "serious error" in Font Book that says there is a "System Validation" error, with no further details.

I've tried taking a .vfb file from one of the working fonts, copying over glyphs from the font that's giving me trouble, and generating again. Same error. I think I've pinpointed the problem to be something kerning/class related, as if I copy/paste glyphs that AREN'T in a class and generate the font, I don't get an error in Font Book. But once I copy glyphs that are in a kerning class, I start getting the error.


I have a font that i'd like to utilise the calt feature, and have found Thomas Phinney's article [], among others [] to be most helpful. YET I still can't get my head around writing the feature so that it creates a more 'random' outcome.

The details are:
– x3 variants for all characters
– x3 classes [00 / 01 / 02] including one of each character, 79 characters in total [A–Z, a–z, 0-9, punctuation]
– feature currently looks like:

feature calt {
lookup calt_one {
sub @set_00 @set_00' by @set_01;
sub @set_01 @set_00' by @set_02;
} calt_one;

lookup calt_two {
sub @set_02 @set_00' by @set_02;
sub @set_01 @set_02' by @set_00;
sub @set_01 @set_00' by @set_02;
sub @set_00 @set_01' by @set_02;

I've added cyrillic characters to one of my opentype truetype fonts. This is my first time designing anything beyond Latin 1. How do I generate it in fontlab so that the cyrillic characters are included? These are the questions that I have:

in Font Info>
Encoding and Unicode> I already have 1252 Latin 1 and Macintosh Character Set added here, I'm guessing add 1251 Cyrillic?
What about the Microsoft Character Set drop down menu? Do I leave that Western (Latin 1)?
What about the Mac script and FOND ID drop down menu? Do I leave that as Roman?

in Font Info>
Encoding and Unicode> Custom [cmap] encodings> Do I add anything here?

in Font Info>
Encoding and Unicode> Unicode Ranges> I'm guessing I check Basic Latin, Latin-1 Supplement and then Cyrillic?

Hi to everybody, from Greece!
I would appreciate if someone would give me an answer to the following problem:
I can not see any of the 1100 ligatures of an OpenType font in MS Word 2010 (PC).
Has it to do with the OS or with the otf font itself? I think there wasn't such a problem in the previous version.
Konstantinos Siskakis

I have made some minor changes to OpenType Features Editor, and the new version is now available here:

I fixed some issues with the autogeneration of ligature feature rules and identified some additional fixes and enhancements to pursue.

For those who don't know, OpenType Features Editor is a little tool I made to generate a features file from information in an AFM file. So you can export the AFM for a font, generate a *.fea file and import that back into your font development software. It's Windows only at the moment, but I have plans to make it available as a web-based tool as well.

Please let me know if you encounter any issues with this release or have any other feedback. Thanks!


In the course of developing a revival of Mergenthaler Linotype's Benedictine (1915-1922), I am considering the possibility of including hanging punctuation marks (quotes, periods, colons, hyphens and the like) in the OpenType implementation. I was thinking of using contextual alternates to substitute punctuation marks at the begining/ending of lines with the corresponding hanging (null-width) marks. However, I haven't been able to figure out how to detect within the "calt" feature a begin/end of line event. Is this possible? Or, more generally, is there any way of implementing mechanically this type of substitutions?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

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