Glyphs 2 on Monterey
4 August 2022 Published on 18 April 2022
If you still use Glyphs 2, read this important information if you plan to upgrade to macOS 12.3 or later.
With the latest iteration of macOS Monterey, version 12.3, Apple decided to remove Python 2 from the macOS installation. Glyphs 2 requires Python 2 for some of its functionality. This means that Glyphs 2 may crash right away in the latest system. After you upgrade to macOS 12.3 (or later) and start Glyphs 2, you are greeted by this dialog, warning you that extensions (plug-ins and scripts) will not work anymore:
Now, there’s good news and there’s bad news.
The good news is that we still managed to get Glyphs 2 to run in all its glory, and will explain to you here how we did it.
The bad news is that we cannot guarantee it will work for everyone. That is why we need to announce that Glyphs 2 officially supports macOS 10.9 up to macOS 12.2. This is now also reflected on the download page:
By all standards, this is a pretty big range of supported systems for a single version of a single app, considering that macOS 10.9 was released in 2013, almost a decade ago. It supports nine major system upgrades. Not many Mac apps can say that about themselves.
OK, back to the good news. Here is how you get Glyphs 2 running on macOS Monterey 12.3 or later.
Latest beta of Glyphs 2
First, we need the very latest beta of Glyphs 2. Go to Glyphs > Preferences > Updates, then activate both checkboxes and press the Update button:
Follow the on-screen instructions that will appear on your screen. You will have to restart the app at the end. Once you are done with that, you are ready to move on to the next step.
If your Glyphs 2 crashes at startup, and you cannot access the dialog, then download the latest version here.
Install Python 2
Glyphs 2 needs Python 2 in order to run scripts and plug-ins. So, let’s install it on your system. To do that, go to the Python 2.7.18 download page, and download the macOS 64-bit installer:
In your Downloads folder, you will find the installation package, called
python-2.7.18-macosx10.9.pkg. It should look something like this:
Double click it, and follow the on-screen instructions: confirm the dialogs and accept the terms and conditions, choose your internal drive (usually called ‘Macintosh HD’) as installation target, confirm the installation with your password or fingerprint. Keep confirming the installer dialogs until it offers you to move the installer to the trash:
Yes, you want it in the trash, because we do not need it anymore, and the space on our hard drive is limited.
Now, start Glyphs 2. If the app does not start, freezes or becomes unresponsive right away, restart your Mac, and try again.
One more thing. Can’t let you off the hook yet, sorry. We still need to install the Python ObjectiveC Bridge, or in short, ‘PyObjC’. This is a piece of software that makes sure that Python scripts can connect with the internals of Glyphs.app (which are written in ObjectiveC, hence the name).
OK, let’s do this. Open your Terminal.app. If it is the first time in your life you do it, don't worry, we’ll take you by the hand. You’ll find Terminal.app in
/Applications/Utilities. The quickest way of accessing it is in Finder, through Go > Utilities (Cmd-Shift-U):
In the Utilities folder, you will find Terminal.app:
Double click it and paste the following code into the Terminal window:
python2 -m pip install "pyobjc<=8.4"
This line is going to install a version of the PyObjC bridge not newer than 8.4. Version 8.5 caused problems that would break most extensions. But at the time of this writing, the highest version of PyObjC for Python 2 was 5.3 anyway, so that should not be much of a concern. In any event, if you have done things right, it should look more or less like this:
Press the Return or Enter key to confirm. You should see a lot of blah blah in the Terminal window. Don’t worry about it, let it do its thing. It may take a minute or so. Once the cursor is blinking again, you’re done, and can close the Terminal window.
Last thing for today, then we’re done, promise. You need to install the modules via Glyphs > Preferences > Addons > Modules. Click on the Install Modules button and wait until you see a green checkmark:
Requires an internet connection and may take a minute or two. Yes, you are done now! Enjoy the fruits of your labor and start Glyphs 2.
The most common issues are these:
App freezes (becomes unresponsive) at start-up: most likely, the PyObjC Bridge installation failed. Try that one again, and pay close attention to the output in the Terminal.
App crashes as soon as you try to run a script or plug-in: Python was not loaded properly. Consider restarting your Mac, and/or repeating the Python 2 installation.
Scripts do not react when you run them: the modules have not been installed properly. Try installing the modules again, and consider logging out and back in, or even better, restart your Mac.
App does not start: this is probably a malfunction with a broken autosave, cached file or faulty plug-in. Try the measures in the Crashes tutorial.
This is all we know, and we provide this information as-is, without guarantee. With this method, most people got Glyphs 2 working again in macOS 12.3 (or later) with plug-ins, scripts, etc. However, a few couldn’t. If you are among those unlucky few, please make yourself heard in the forum.
Please do not expect miracles though. Python 2 has been end-of-life’d quite a while ago. That was one of the reasons we developed Glyphs 3, after all. Remember, you can upgrade to version 3 for half price.
Update 2022-07-23: Fixed forum link. Corrected version number of the latest Python 2: 2.7.18, not 2.7.8. Correct PyObjC version. Added App does not start to Troubleshooting chapter.
Update 2022-08-04: refined pip command argument with
<=8.4. Thx Christoph Köberlin!
Update 2022-08-06: fixed typo.