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EditGlyphData

Customize Your Glyph Info Databases

EditGlyphData

EditGlyphData is an app for editing GlyphData.xml files, which control the database Glyphs.app uses for information about glyphs: their names, categorizations, Unicode values, compositions, etc.

How to Use EditGlyphData

Managing Glyph Data Files

You can open an existing GlyphData.xml with File > Open… (Cmd-O) or create a new file with File > New… (Cmd-N). Choose File > Save to save your XML file.

Instead of XML, Glyphs can also open and save glyph data as tabbed text. This allows editing in spreadsheet apps like Excel or Numbers. To save your glyph data as tabbed text, choose File > Save as… and in the upcoming dialog, pick Tabbed Text from the File Format menu.

To use you data for working in Glyphs, it must be saved as GlyphData.xml in one of the following specific places. To make it available globally (i.e., in all the Glyphs files you are working in), put it in ~/Library/Application Support/Glyphs/Info/ and restart Glyphs. If you only need it for a limited number of Glyphs files, you can keep a custom GlyphData.xml in the same folder as your .glyphs file, in an Info subfolder next to your .glyphs file, or in the parent folder above the .glyphs file. This way, multiple .glyphs files can share the same GlyphData.xml. When you pass on the .glyphs file to a third party, make sure the XML file travels along.

Managing Glyph Entries

To add a new glyph entry, press the plus button in the lower left corner, and proceed to enter the respective data in the fields (see below, Entering Data).

You can filter available glyph entries by using the search field. The selection of glyphs is narrowed down while you are typing. The search field allows search for glyph names, production names and Unicode values.

In the side bar, sort glyph entries by Unicode or glyph name. To do that, simply click on the respective column header. Click again to reverse the sort order.

To remove one ore more glyph entries, select them in the left sidebar, click on the minus button in the lower left corner of the window, and confirm the following dialog.

Entering Data

Fill in all required fields, and as many of the optional entries as possible:

  • Unicode: the optional Unicode value of the glyph, in hexadecimal UTF-16 format. The arrow button next to it opens the Unicode value in UnicodeChecker.
  • Name: the name of the glyph as displayed in the Glyphs UI, must adhere to the glyph naming convention. Required.
  • Sortname: the optional sort name. Used for sorting in Font view.
  • Category: the optional category or group of the glyph, e.g., Letter, Symbol or Figure. Stick to title case if you want to follow the convention.
  • Subcategory: the optional Subcategory, such as Lowercase or Currency. Stick to title case if you want to follow the convention.
  • Script: the optional script the glyph will be associated with. Lowercase by convention. E.g., latin or arabic.
  • Description: The Unicode-style description of the character the glyph is associated with. Usually all-caps.
  • Decompose: the glyph names of the components, if the glyph is a compound glyph.
  • Anchors: names of all anchors in the glyph, such as top, bottom or topright. Optional.
  • Production: production name of the glyph as it appears in the exported OTF, i.e., the name the glyph will be converted to at export time. The update button tries to make a guess, usually in the uniXXXX format (i.e., uni and the 4-digit UTF16 hex code, or u and the 5-digit UTF16 hex code).
  • Alt Names: optional alternate (legacy) names that Glyphs associates with the glyph. Comma-separated. Glyphs will be able to convert these to the supplied name of the glyph when opening a font or when Glyph > Update Glyph Info is invoked by the user.
  • Accents: glyph names of marks that can be combined with the glyph to form a compound diacritic.

Batch editing is possible, too: select multiple glyphs in the left sidebar, and proceed to enter values in the respective fields.

Learn more about the structure of a GlyphData.xml file.

Merging

You can import glyph data from other XML files into the one you are editing if you click on the Merge button in the lower right of the window. EditGlyphData will prompt you for another XML file containing glyph data, and subsequently present you with the option to merge glyph info per field into the glyph you are editing:

Differences are displayed in red type. Click on the left arrows between the fields to overwrite your data with the data imported from the other XML. Click Clear to cancel out of merging.

Before merging the name entry, you can use Edit > Put Name into Alternate Names to save the original name entry in the alternate (legacy) names. This way, Glyphs will recognize the original name and enable converting to the new name with Glyph > Update Glyph Info.

The Show only different entries option filters the glyphs to only the ones that are present in both XML files and have differing entries.

Auto-Update

Go to EditGlyphData > Preferences (Cmd-comma) and activate auto updating or check for updates manually by clicking on Check Now. Alternatively, choose EditGlyphData > Check for Updates…

Installation and Requirements

EditGlyphData runs on any Mac with macOS 10.10 or later. To install it, simply download and unzip the app, and move it to the Applications folder.

Currently, EditGlyphData is available as a free public beta.