There is a range of glyphs an application may require to be present in your font. This includes mainly, but not only, mathematical symbols. Most of them are, even though required, very rarely used and totally boring to make. The good news is that you do not have to draw all of them. For the following 45 glyphs, you can let some magic happen:
approxequal asciicircum asciitilde at backslash bar brokenbar currency dagger daggerdbl degree Delta divide equal estimated fraction greater greaterequal infinity integral less lessequal litre (afii61289) logicalnot lozenge minus multiply notequal numbersign Omega onehalf onequarter paragraph partialdiff perthousand pi plus plusminus product quotedbl quotesingle radical section summation threequarters
Some of them you probably already have in your font, but most likely not all of them. The funny thing about them is that you can automate the making of these glyphs!
All you have to do is add a custom parameter called
Add missing symbol glyphs and tick the checkbox for
Value. The custom parameter has been implemented in Glyphs since the beta version 1.3.18.
That’s it! Glyphs will then apply the
-adds option of the
makeotf command it uses to generate fonts under the hood. This option fills in all the symbol glyphs from the list which are still missing in your font. The coolest thing about it is that
makeotf will not only try to match width and weight of your font, but that the synthetic glyphs are already perfectly hinted.
‘What? Synthetic glyphs?!’ I hear you say. Yes, synthetic. Adobe’s Font Development Kit for OpenType (AFDKO), which is incorporated into Glyphs, comes with two Multiple Master fonts built in. These fonts contain all those symbol glyphs mentioned above. When you export a font with the
Add missing symbol glyphs parameter, the weight and width of your font is measured and then applied to the masters, and the symbol glyphs will be synthesized and added to your font.
But how can the AFDKO find out both weight and width of your font? Let’s take a look what the user guide says:
It requires the glyphs zero and O to be present in the font, in order to determine the required weight and width.
So, make sure you have these two glyphs in your font, the figure zero and the capital Latin O. Then the magic can happen. But beware:
However, MakeOTF cannot stretch the MM font data to match very thick strokes, very wide glyphs, and it cannot match the design’s stem contrast.
But in most cases, it ought to work fine. And the glyphs are produced: