Glyphs 2.6.5 Released

The latest and greatest Glyphs 2 has arrived. Read what’s new while you wait for Glyphs > Check for Updates to finish its download:

Force Extremes

There is a new command hidden in the Paths menu. You may have noticed that in rare occasions, Paths > Add Extremes does not add extremes because the segment in question is too short or too shallow. Now, when you hold down the Option key, the menu command turns into Force Extremes:

And with a little luck, it inserts an extremum in situations where the default algorithm plays it safe.

Improved Tools

Some of the tools received a little brush-up. The Knife tool (keyboard shortcut Shift-E) now works as expected when you cut a path through the same segment twice. Sounds complicated? I know. Here is a picture to illustrate what I mean:

When you are in the Annotations tool (shortcut A), you can temporarily invoke the Hand tool by holding down the space bar, and the Select tool with the Cmd key.

And a small number of you people out there noticed that the Rectangle and Circle tools (shortcuts F and Shift-F) occasionally misbehaved with big grids. That is fixed for good now. If you have not noticed: please keep walking, there is nothing to see here.

Variable Fonts and Interpolation

Variable fonts in Glyphs are getting better and better. For one thing, Glyphs does not export any TrueType Delta instructions in variable fonts anymore. Let’s face it, Delta hints make no sense in variable fonts anyway.

Then, version 2.6.5 allows decimal numbers in the Axis Mappings parameter for building a proper avar table. ‘Axis Mappings? Axis Mappings?’, I hear you ask. Well, we updated the Variable Fonts tutorial with a chapter about axis mappings. Head on over and read all about what they can do for you and how to implement them properly. Also note the updated list of links, and the screenshot… you know what, just read the whole thing again, and you will not miss anything.

Speaking of custom parameters for variable fonts, we improved Axis Location, and it works now as you would expect it with intermediate masters. The Axes dialog has received a couple of UI improvements. And when you create a new axis, the app now makes sure that the axis tag really is exactly four characters long. Furthermore, we fixed missing kerning pairs in variable fonts, and a rare problem in TrueType conversion where a curve segment would collapse. All a thing of the past.

The Filter > Fix Compatibility dialog now properly works with Bracket layers again. Thanks Tamir.

Plug-ins and Scripts in Catalina

A big weight off the shoulders for all the plug-in geeks on macOS 10.15 and later: third-party extensions automatically inherit Glyphs’ notarization now. That means that you do not get any security warnings anymore when you install a plug-in. It just installs, no questions asked. Even when it is not installed through Window > Plugin Manager, but by double clicking or dragging it onto the app icon.

Also, Python scripts that open a file dialog used to have problems in Catalina. Not anymore. Can you hear the sigh of relief from all the plug-in devs?

Reusing shapes

We have improved Smart Component settings. First of all, you can now enter numbers with decimals. That is useful if you have a short range on your Smart Component axis, or for those cases where you need that extra bit of fine-tuning precision:

The smart glyph settings now allow properties to be reordered easily after creating them. Simply drag them in the right order:

If you have been working intensively with smart components, and I know that some of you out there have, you will love the following small improvements: you can now re-interpolate smart components with the command of the same name in the context menu of the Layers palette. And secondly, copying and pasting smart components, especially multiple ones at once, now works like a charm.

Transformed components also decompose much better at export. In the very most cases, you do not need to decompose anymore. Do a random double check before you ship, of course.

And even for those of you who work with regular, ‘non-smart’ components, try the new and improved snapping behaviour when you drag them around. Feels much better.

TrueType

When outlines get converted to TrueType, the start point is preserved more reliably now. In most cases, even round trip conversion should work now. Also, you may have experienced double nodes in PS-to-TT and TT-to-PS conversion under certain circumstances, i.e., two consecutive on-curves sharing the same coordinates. This does not happen anymore.

If you are using a TTFStems or TTFZones parameter in Font Info > Masters, take a look at how well zone and stem deltas now work for sizes above 47 PPM.

File Import and Export

Most notably, you can now also invoke the File > Export dialog (Cmd-E) when the Font Info window is in front:

Comes in handy when you are trying out different settings in Font Info and need to churn out exports quickly.

Conversion to and from UFO has received some improvements again. The mark feature is written better into a UFO. The locked state of a component is properly exchanged with ufolib. And in rare occasions, the UFO export dialog got stuck and would not display properly. That is fixed now.

Localizations

If you are using Glyphs in Japanese, Chinese, French or Spanish, you will enjoy the improvements in the UI translations. But do not thank us for it, thank our skilled translators: Nathalie, Willie, Sol, Txus, and Toshi.

Small Improvements

And, as so many times before, stability and performance have been improved, and many tiny bugs have been squished. And of course, there are those countless micro-improvements that will improve your daily life with Glyphs. Too many and too small to mention, but do let me scratch the surface a little for you:

  • You can now add an unlimited number of color palettes in the Color Palettes parameter (thanks Rasmus)
  • Improved handling of double encodings
  • Display String improvements: we are not escaping /space in tab titles anymore, but we do escape PUA glyphs with their glyph names now. Makes the escaped display string way more legible now.
  • Improved OpenType feature code generation, especially in mark and mkmk, and for Thai
  • The Dimensions palette for Thai now works as expected
  • Metrics keys with a negative constant, e.g., =-10 now work as expected.
  • The visual warning about ultra-short paths (shorter than one unit), the red indicator you will sometimes see in Edit view, is not displayed in fine grid settings anymore. Makes your grunge fonts look better on screen.
  • Some Glyph Data improvements, e.g., two improved Arabic glyph names (thanks Bob), and it is harder to pass broken Glyph data to the app, because now GlyphData.xml gets validated when it is loaded
  • Static font interpolation does a better rounding job for both glyph widths and components
  • And oops, we are not scaling the weightClass parameter anymore when scaling the font (thanks John)

Now no more talk, go and choose Glyphs > Check for Updates, and have some fun with version 2.6.5.

Remember, the type community loves and needs all of you. So, please stay sane, safe and healthy. We want to see each one of you back in one piece at the first real-life type conference when all of this is over.