font editor: width of individual glyphs

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neonic
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font editor: width of individual glyphs

Postby neonic » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:59 am

Hello, I've just discovered inkscape's svg font editor and I have a question: is it possible to let the bounding boxes around individual glyphs have their own width?

For instance: the letter I is very narrow and the letter W is extremely wide, so I can't let them both have the same area width. That would mean the I has more space around it in the text and the W less.

I don't know where the option is to set a glyph's width. Can anyone help me?

Here's a sketch of the situation in ASCII:

Code: Select all


+---------------+---------------+
|       I       |  W         W  |
|       I       |   W   W   W   |
|       I       |    W W W W    |
|       I       |     W   W     |
+---------------+---------------+

Last edited by neonic on Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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brynn
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Re: font editor: width of individual glyphs

Postby brynn » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:01 am

Hi neonic,
I know very little about fonts at all, so I could be wrong about this. But I think the closeness of letters to each other is determined by kerning. And I see there's a tab in the font editor called Kerning. Could that be the solution?

neonic
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Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:39 am

Re: font editor: width of individual glyphs

Postby neonic » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:31 pm

brynn wrote:I see there's a tab in the font editor called Kerning. Could that be the solution?


I've seen that tab too, but I don't know how it works. Shifting the parameter doesn't seem to change anything and I can't find any documentation on inkscape's font editor about how to modify individual glyphs.
It seems that kerning can only be set for a combination of two glyphs, like: I vs A
But actually, I need to modify the relation between I and all other glyphs: I vs anything

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Maestral
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Re: font editor: width of individual glyphs

Postby Maestral » Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:31 am

As much as I can see, you have made your font out of the code. I`m not familiar with that approach, but most certainly all of the "markers" which are surrounding the letter I in your example do make a trouble. While creating the font, one should bare in mind there are numerous combinations of the letters (which eventually form the sentences) and in order to have them properly displayed, designing of the glyph is conducted by some rules. For an example - LA - is most common combination which displays (in)correct kerning. You would notice that most of the letters do have some space around them and some don`t. That`s what is determined with kerning. Also amount of that space varies and kerning is to blame for that too. LA shows lack of that space, as if there would be some such inscription would be treated as incorrect. On the other hand, AL does shows some space between. That is why you have two glyphs boxes in the kerning tab (inside of font editor) which enables you to set different kerning for the same two letters, depending of the precedence in inscription.

The way you created glyph I indicates that you have not planed to write some longer text with this font. If so, you might reconsider changing how much space would be given to the glyph I or reconsider diving into the Shire of the Fonts ,) Send us a letter if you visit the Shire, haven`t been there for a while.

Full sails!
:tool_zoom: <<< click! - but, those with a cheaper tickets should go this way >>> :!:

neonic
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Re: font editor: width of individual glyphs

Postby neonic » Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:52 am

OK thanks!

So I need to set the kerning for 2*26*26=1352 different combinations. Is that how it's done?

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Maestral
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Re: font editor: width of individual glyphs

Postby Maestral » Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:24 am

Must be that you wonder why does people even put a price on fonts anyway?
:tool_zoom: <<< click! - but, those with a cheaper tickets should go this way >>> :!:

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brynn
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Re: font editor: width of individual glyphs

Postby brynn » Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:27 pm

neonic wrote:So I need to set the kerning for 2*26*26=1352 different combinations. Is that how it's done?


Maestral wrote:Must be that you wonder why does people even put a price on fonts anyway?


Seriously?
Wow, I have a whole new respect for font makers! That would also explain why there are so many crappy fonts (not artistically crappy, but buggy, glitchy, unstable fonts).

Although 2 x 26 x 26 is probably not entirely accurate, because some letter combinations never occur, and other occur quite frequently, and other only a few. But still, it's probably a huge number of combinations. OMG, and then what about different languages/translations.....maybe it IS so high a number?! :o

Somewhere there must be a list of these combinations, if that's truly how it's done? Or it seems like a task that might be accomplished via script, as well?

"Shire of the Fonts"? Is that a website? I tried searching, but can only find fonts called "Shire". (And there's a lot of them!)

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sas
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Re: font editor: width of individual glyphs

Postby sas » Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:39 pm

Type designers don't really add kerning for every possible pair. They give each character the right amount of space on each side so that most pairs don't require kerning. To take a random example, the version of Times New Roman that I have here (that came with Windows XP) has kerning for 867 pairs. That's a lot, but this is a font with 1674 glyphs, covering Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, Hebrew and Arabic.

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brynn
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Re: font editor: width of individual glyphs

Postby brynn » Sun Jan 08, 2012 12:56 am

sas wrote:They give each character the right amount of space on each side so that most pairs don't require kerning.

I think neonic is asking how to give the right amount of space, using Inkscape font editor. Or at least that's my understanding. It seems this topic has struck my interest as well :D

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sas
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Re: font editor: width of individual glyphs

Postby sas » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:08 am

brynn wrote:
sas wrote:They give each character the right amount of space on each side so that most pairs don't require kerning.

I think neonic is asking how to give the right amount of space, using Inkscape font editor.

Yes, though it's not possible as far as I can see. You can change the advance width for a glyph in the XML editor (add a 'horiz-adv-x' attribute to the 'glyph' element, which overrides the one on the 'font' element), but the preview in the font editor seems to ignore it.

As far as I'm aware, the only reasonable open source font editor at present is FontForge.


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