FontCreator 13.0 makes significant improvements to Colour Font export and adds OpenType proofing tools.
An anchored-based method for creating composites improves the positioning of diacritics, especially for italic typefaces. User-friendly glyph name generation and editing is more powerful. Inserting glyphs anywhere in the font, adding code-points based on glyph names, and glyph sorting are invaluable for large fonts.
CompositeData.xml has been extensively revised, using glyph names instead of glyph mappings to remove dependence on the Private Use Area. Glyphs for OpenType features such as Small Capitals, Alternative Fractions, or Stylistic Alternates are no longer mapped. Transform scripts also use these glyph names.
Free help is available on the support forum, even for the unregistered 30-day trial version. The Help File is available online, so anyone can see the features that are available before downloading the free trial version. The trial version is the full Professional Edition, but it adds watermarks. Existing users may like to see which feature requests have been implemented already.
FontCreator continues to improve with updates to fix bugs, add new features, and improve existing features.
Some bugs are fixed without hours. See the list of new features below, added since March 18th.
Important Note: FontCreator 13 projects are not backwardly compatible. Edit copies of your font projects and keep the originals as backups.
To avoid overwriting a previous version of FontCreator, install FontCreator 13 into a different folder with command: WinKey + R:
"%UserProfile%\Downloads\FontCreatorSetup-x64.exe" /DIR="C:\Program Files\High-Logic FontCreator 13"
More details …
New Features Since Initial Release
- Bug Fixes: Glyph Properties dialog updates automatically, Improved anchor positioning, Dual mapped glyphs in search results allow scrolling, among others.
- Improved Import and Export for VOLT projects
- Added support for mark filtering sets to VOLT import and export
- Duplicate class
- Open substitution lookups from contextual lookups in code editor
- Export/import of colour palettes
- Optional slanted grid for italic fonts
- Improved paste contours into glyph overview window
- Improved OpenType Explorer
- Several minor improvements
- Edit and export OpenType layout features in VOLT syntax.
- New shortcut “z” to toggle “Zoom to selected” and “Reset zoom to default” in a glyph edit window.
- New shortcut “;” in the glyph edit window to set default bearings (remove offsets).
- New shortcut Shift+H hides guides and metrics. Shortcut “h” shows them again.
- Added PairPosFormat1 option (an explanation of why it might be useful).
- Snap to guides when resizing contours by corner handles
- Resize selected points (click on any of several selected points, or use shortcut “t”)
- Added No Tag category
- Added VOLT import support for ligature carets
- Export font as UFO (Unified Font Object)
- Added OpenType Explorer
- Glyph name completion in Insert Glyphs window
- Glyph name completion in feature code editor
- Added sample text validation
- Added glyph hint to Select Class Members dialog
- Drag and drop support for lookups in OpenType Designer
- Added option to exclude legacy cmap on export
- Added a context menu item to duplicate a lookup
- Sort glyphs by glyph names from UFO lib.plist file
- Sort glyphs by glyph names from file
- Import glyph outline from individual UFO .glif file
- Open Unified Font Objects
- OpenType feature script editor now also supports AFDKO fea syntax
- Copy and paste composites in same font
Changes in Initial Release
- Interactive proofing of OpenType layout features
- Support for OpenType SVG colour fonts
- Improved Colour Export options
- Enhanced Anchor Manager
- Fixed issues with anchors
- Improved Auto Attach
- New range is now optional in Insert Glyphs dialog
- Improved Shaping Engine
- Improved high DPI support
- Added preferred outline format to Options dialog -> Exchange tab
- Numerous enhancements and improvements
Changes in Build 2566
- OpenType layout improvements
- Unicode 13 support
Changes in Build 2565
- Improved layout engine
- Supporting Anchor NULL
- Improvements to the Web Font test page
- Some bug fixes
Changes in Build 2563
- Fixed link to user manual in Welcome dialog
- Reduced error reporting in case the font editor raises an exception or crashes
Changes in Build 2560
- Fixed colour font export issue
- Improved font preview for complex scripts
- Improved high DPI support
- Some tweaks and improvements
Changes in Build 2555
- Fixed CFF based font export failure
Changes in Build 2554
- Fixed font export issue
- Improved high DPI support
- Improved check for updates
Changes in Initial Release
- Improved performance of the Font Overview.
- Improved Font Validation.
- Improved calculation of font metrics to use Typo Metrics for line-spacing. See the tutorial: Font Metrics — Vertical Line Spacing.
- Updated CompositeData.xml not to use TypoAscender for vertical positioning.
- Support for displaying glyphs by code-point in the Preview Toolbar.
- Enhanced Glyph Properties dialogue with expressions for anchor based composites.
- The Bearings Tab on the Transform dialogue was removed since its function is duplicated on the Glyph Properties dialogue, which now has fields for expressions and advance width.
- New transform script to select glyphs that may need to make use of auto attach.
- Improved design mode sort order.
- Anchor-based Generation of Composites
Open the drop-down beside the Complete Composites icon to select the mode to use. Anchor Based will add anchors to the selected glyphs. Complete Composites will use the data in CompositeData.xml and will not add any anchors. Anchor-based positioning is generally more reliable, but Complete Composites works better in some cases. The two methods can be mixed. The last-used method is remembered and shown in the tooltip on hovering the icon. There is a checkbox in the drop-down menu by the last-used method. Auto will use anchor-based for accented letters, but complete composites otherwise. Anchor Based will recompose existing composites, but will not process glyphs such as Æ, while Auto and Complete Composites will compose it with A and E. If you want to use a different method for some glyphs without changing the last-used method, this can be done by using the submenu on the context menu in the glyph overview.
- Snap to Guidelines Improvements
If snapping is enabled, anchors will snap to guidelines. Resizing contours horizontally or vertically will also snap to guidelines now, though not if resizing from the corner handles.
- OpenType Designer Improvements
The Button at the top left of the OpenType Designer dialogue opens another dialogue to generate and update OpenType features. For example, one can add features for anchors: glyph composition/decomposition, mark positioning, and mark to mark positioning. Fractions (.frac), Alternative Fractions (.afrc) and Localised Forms (locl) features can be generated if the font contains suitable glyphs. Ligatures (.liga, .hlig, .dlig), and Ornaments features (.ornm) can be added, and a Capital Spacing (.cpsp) feature that uses a percentage of advance width or a percentage of units/em. Lookup tables can be rebuilt to include all suitable glyphs available in the font. Several other buttons have been moved to a drop list — making it harder to use some commands accidentally.
- Toolbar Improvements
The Standard Toolbar has been split, creating a new Tools Toolbar, and an icon has been added for Custom Formulae. The Make Simple and Make Empty icons have been moved to the Tools Toolbar.
- Generation of Friendly Glyph Names
User-friendly glyph names can be added to the full range of glyphs supported by Unicode 12. For example, Miscellaneous Symbols and Pictograms $F4A1 will be named “electriclightbulb,” Emoticon $F602 as “facewithtearsofjoy,” etc.
These user-friendly names are generated automatically from the UnicodeData.txt file supplied by the Unicode Consortium.
They cover the full range of Unicode blocks and scripts. The names are stored in the Font Project file. By editing the file “glyphnewnames.dat” users can define their own custom glyph names that will not be overwritten by the automated glyph naming. For example, to use “circled digit one” and so forth for Alternative Annotation Forms (nalt), add new lines: 2460;one.nalt, 2461;two.nalt, 2462;three.nalt, etc.
If characters are added via the Insert Characters dialogue or with transform scripts using code-points, user-friendly glyph names will be added too, e.g. if character $1F6D2 is added it will be named as “shoppingtrolley.”
- Insert Glyphs Improvements
Insert glyphs and add code-points based on glyph names. This improved feature can now add glyphs before or after the selected glyph(s), or at the beginning or end of the font. If user-friendly glyph names are typed in the dialogue, glyphs will be mapped to the correct code-points. If ligatures are typed, composite glyphs will be generated automatically, e.g. type “fi=f+idotless” in the dialogue to create an ﬁ ligature without the dot, or type “fi=f+i” to create an fi ligature with the dot. The validate button counts the number of glyphs, strips duplicates, and checks if the glyphs exist. The “By Number” tab simply inserts unmapped glyphs before or after the selected glyphs, or at the top of bottom of the font. The dialogue remembers its last-used settings.
- Unicode 12.1 Updates
The Unicode Blocks and Character sets were updated. Comments were added to CompositeData.xml to mark the beginning of each block for users who wish to add their own definitions. New definitions must be added in order of code-points. The comments serve as a guide where to insert definitions.
- Improved Complete Composites
The feature is now independent of the Private Use Area. OpenType features can be added to any font even if some PUA code-points are already in use. Users can add sets of glyphs for use by OpenType features: Petite Capitals and Small Capitals for Latin, Greek, or Cyrillic, Titling Capitals, Stylistic Alternates, Alternative Fractions, Superscripts and Subscripts for fractions, Scientific Inferiors, Ordinals, Old Style Figures, Lining, Proportional, or Tabular Figures, Historical Ligatures, and Discretionary Ligatures, while leaving the PUA free for other purposes, e.g. for glyphs that have no Unicode code-point assigned. Many errors were corrected, and positioning was improved, especially for italic font styles. Comments were added for Unicode Blocks to make the file easier to navigate. Complete Composites can be used to generate composite glyphs for fractions, scaled glyphs for superscripts, and for many symbols. Using it for Maths Operators, for example, ensures uniform advance widths and uniform strokes, e.g. for + × = and ±. Currency symbols use the figure width where possible. Trigrams and Digrams can be generated from Monograms; Enclosed alphanumerics can be generated from Large Circle and superscripts (or Petite Capitals), and Alphabetic Presentation Forms can be generated from lowercase letters. There are no definitions yet for Braille Patterns, but a character set like that obviously lends itself to automation. If composites are used, the whole character set can be modified by editing a few base glyphs from which the rest of the character set is composed. Font files will also be smaller because the same outlines are reused many times. For more detailed information on the changes read Composite Data Updates.
- Metric Lines for Superscripts etc.
When opening glyphs with suffixes such as .sups, .subs, .dnom, .salt, .titl, .pcap, .smcp, etc., in the Glyph Edit Window, relative metric lines are displayed. The relative metrics are calculated from H.sups, x.sups, x.subs, H.salt, x.sinf, H.pcap or h.pcap, etc. If suitable glyphs do not exist, the relative metrics lines will not be displayed. The capital superscripts in the screenshot are aligned with TypoAscender. Baseline.sups and CapHeight.sups make it easier to position superscripts like O.sups or zero.sups with the correct overshoots above and below the relative metric lines.
- Enhanced Transform Scripts
All of the transform scripts that relied on using code-points in the Private Use Area have been updated to use glyph names. The Validate button on the Transform Wizard dialogue will now change the code format from hexadecimal to decimal, or vice versa, depending on the user’s selected preference, and convert consecutive glyphs to a range, e.g. “one two three four five” will be converted to “one-five.” Terminology on the Transform Wizard dialogue was made more consistent. Some new Transform scripts were added to Align Horizontal Arrows (vertically), set bearings and advance width for combining diacritics, and to select glyphs for tagging based on their names. Other scripts were updated to use user-friendly glyph names in preference to code-points. Note: Generate Glyph Names before using them. The Transform Wizard also supports the new anchored based methods for Complete Composites. For more detailed information on the changes to Transform scripts read Using Glyph Transformations.
- Undo/redo for Glyph Transformations
Transformations can now be undone, which makes it much easier to test with different values and quickly arrive at the desired result, e.g. when generating Petite Capitals, which should be the same height as the x-Height, and the same weight as lowercase glyphs. The default values were based on the Verajja font, but will nearly always need to be adjusted for other fonts.
- Sort Glyphs Improvements
Design Mode sorts composite glyphs after their base glyph: A, À, Á, etc. Capital letters come first, followed by glyphs grouped by suffix: .pcap, .salt, .smcp, A.sups, A.subs. These are followed by lowercase a, à, á etc., then lowercase superscripts and subscripts, then other glyphs grouped by type. Sorting glyphs permanently changes the glyph index. To sort glyphs without modifying the font, use the Sort drop-list on the Overview Toolbar.
Unicode Code-points sorts by code-points, without sorting unmapped glyphs. The other options are the same as in earlier versions.
- Option to Include Glyphs in Exports
Glyphs can be included in Exports to Desktop (ttf/otf) or Web fonts (woff/woff2) using the context menu. Rarely used glyphs can be included in OpenType fonts, but not in Web fonts, thus reducing the size of fonts for the web. Glyphs that are only used for design purposes can be excluded from all exports by selecting include in None. The marked glyphs acquire a prefix in the glyph overview caption of (d) for Desktop, (w) for Web, or (x) for None. Unmarked glyphs have no prefix and and are included in All exports.
- Font Overview Side Panel Improvements
New categories in the overview side panel make it easy to see which glyphs will be exported. Glyphs that are experimental or only used as components of other glyphs can always be excluded when exporting. Fonts designed for the Web may not need as many symbols as those intended for print publishing. Many glyphs can be excluded from publishing to WOFF formats. I previously renamed my tags to identify glyphs not to include web formats and had to delete them before export. The “Include in Export” options can avoid that step, though I still use it to export OpenType fonts for Web publishing because in Serif WebPlus using OTF requires no special code and uploads the fonts automatically, unlike the more compact WOFF formats for which one must write a few lines of @fontface code and upload the fonts separately.
The latest update now also includes an additional side panel category for scripts.
- Improved Window Tab Bar
1. Tabs can be dragged to any position.
2. Glyph edit windows open on the tab bar next to the overview tab for that type style.
3. Open in New Window from Composite Glyphs opens a new tab to the right of the current tab.
4. An icon indicates if a project has unsaved changes.
5. The tab bar becomes scrollable when full instead of wrapping to multiple rows.
- Improved Templates for New Fonts
These were updated to include combining diacritics and grid-fitting options. Obsolete glyphs .null and nonmarkingreturn were removed. Some glyphs were improved for when “Include Contours,” is selected. It is recommended to use combining diacritics with zero advance width for anchor-based composites. New font projects include a basic set of diacritics to support Latin Basic and Latin-1 Supplement character sets. More characters can be added easily using Transform scripts to support more languages, or unmapped glyphs for Small Capitals, etc.
- The ttfautohint plugin was updated to version 1.82.
- Support for delete in multiple substitutions.
- The list of Vendor IDs was updated.
- Unsupported Table Streams can be viewed.
- Option to decompose composite glyphs with scaled components on export.
Scaled components may display incorrectly in applications. Making the composite glyphs simple on export prevents such issues.
- Scrolling in dialogue boxes supports the use of the mouse-wheel. In the Composite Glyph member properties dialogue, for example, one can now scroll x/y position by single funits and x/y scale by 0.01 instead of 0.1. Note: It is the field under the mouse pointer that changes value, not the active field.
- Comparison Toolbar Improvements
Clicking on the comparison glyphs in the Glyph Edit Window jumps to that glyph, while adding the previously viewed glyph to the before or after field on the Comparison Toolbar. The context menu in composite glyphs has a new option to add the glyph members to the comparison toolbar.
- Reopen Submenu
The full path and filename is now shown in the reopen submenu. The list can be cleared if it becomes too cluttered. Note: One can reopen a second copy of a font that is already open, so take care to reopen the right file; you could lose edits if you save the older version after saving and closing the newer version.
FontCreator 12.0 simplifies the process of adding OpenType features, much of which is now automated. The transition from dependence on glyph mappings to glyph names has been eased with the automatic generation of user-friendly glyph names and new transform scripts that add glyphs for OpenType features with just a few clicks. Those new to font editing will find it easier to add OpenType features, while experienced font designers will appreciate the time saved by greater automation. Both types of user will benefit from the improved tab bar, font sorting, and undo of glyph transformations.
Version 11.5 build 2430
Version 11.5 build 2426
- Support for WOFF 2.0 (improved compression)
- New Export Options: WOFF 1.0, WOFF 2.0, or both
- New options for Export All (all TTF/OTF, or all WOFF)
- Several bug fixes
Released 22nd February 2018
PDF Version of this review
- Support for Unicode variation sequences
- Comes with ttfautohint version 1.8.1
- Open contours while designing fonts
- Export as single line font
Open contours are not allowed in fonts, so FontCreator will do some magic to make fonts look like single line fonts which can be used for engraving.
- Support for last resort fonts
Version 11.0 build 2412
- Bug fix recognizing non-assigned code-points
- Fixed visual glitch related to XPlacement value
- Allow Complete Category for all Unicode blocks
- Fixed display problem with Arabic fonts in Microsoft Word
Version 11.0 build 2408
- Bug fix related to exporting CFF based fonts, which was introduced in v188.8.131.527.
- Several other improvements
Version 11.0 build 2403
- Further improvements to the OpenType Layout Preview
- Improved AutoKern and Optical Metrics
Version 11.0 build 2400
- Unicode 10 support
- Shaping engine support for Arabic in OpenType Designer preview pane
- Copy Preview Toolbar input as text
- Glyphs shown in edit glyph name feature(s)
- Several bug fixes related to previewing in OpenType Designer
- Improved Optical Metrics and Auto Kern
- Generated class names now use first glyph name (a..z) when created by autokern
- Rotating/mirroring/moving shapes often causes misalignments
- Fixed UI issue related to the tab control within the Options dialog
- Keep existing glyph names on opening a font.
Version 11.0 build 2388
- Right-click to insert off-curve points when drawing quadratic contours was re-implemented
- Improvements to correcting directions of overlapping contours
- OpenType code now supports other classes and ranges inside a class: e.g. class @lowercase [a-z]; class @latin_all [A-Z @lowercase A.salt-Z.salt]; class @digits [zero-nine];
- Default colours for Code Editor are now more sensible
- Some access keys were fixed in the OpenType Designer dialogue
- Some bugs were fixed with installing fonts
PDF Version of this review
- Supports more RAM for editing large fonts. (32-bit also has improved memory management)
- Faster performance: Autokern is 20-30% faster than in the 32-bit version.
Vertical Metrics Support
- Vertical metrics support as requested here. Only useful with fonts that are used for vertical writing, so in general you'll only need to add it in CJK (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean) fonts.
Cubic Bézier Curves
- Added support for editing of Cubic Bézier curves (CFF Postscript outlines).
- When starting a new font, if CFF outlines are selected the font will use 1000 funits/em, if TrueType outlines are selected the font will use 2048 funits/em. Default export settings also match outline type.
- Contours default to the outline format in Export Settings. Quadratic or cubic curves can now be drawn and not just straight lines. The direction is reversed automatically for inner contours drawn later.
- The line colour while inserting contours contrasts with background colour so that it’s always visible.
- Shortcut “S” makes cubic on-curve point smooth.
- Shortcut “D” makes cubic nodes align horizontally or vertically.
- Moving the control points of cubic curves while holding down the Ctrl key allows a smooth curve to be changed to a sharp corner; holding down Ctrl + Alt makes the curve symmetrical; holding down Ctrl + Shift keeps it smooth.
- Glyphs containing both cubic and quadratic curves show a text message in the top left corner.
- Side-bearings can be locked.
- Labels on Metrics no longer overlap if values are equal.
- Increase maximum zoom level from 2000% to 5000%
- Zoom drop list shows the full range from 1% to 5000%
- Co-ordinates of aligned selected points shown in the Statusbar.
- Show angle or distance in the status bar.
- Delete on-curve nodes no longer removes off-curve nodes. (Backspace uses method of FC 10.1).
- Added smooth, smooth and align, and round XY co-ordinates to the context menu in points mode
- Transparency (5, 10, 20, or 40%) for Fill outlines makes points and connection lines easier to see.
- Insert more than one Composite Glyph member at once, and filter by glyph name or anchor.
- Replace an existing composite glyph member from the context menu.
- Show code-point of selected glyph in composite glyph member dialogue.
- The Transform Toolbar is now available for composite glyphs showing the size and position of glyph members. The position and side-bearings can be changed using the Transform Toolbar.
- Support for launching up to three custom external programs.
- The Background Image Toolbar remembers its last used scale factor.
- Some bugs on importing WMF as background images were fixed.
- Copy and paste path from PhotoShop.
- Provide correct contour direction when inserting rectangle and ellipse contours.
- On start FontCreator restores custom OpenType features selected in the preview toolbar.
- More access keys added to some dialogues and menus.
- Ctrl Shift Z shortcut for redo (duplicates Ctrl Y).
- Ctrl Z is disabled when drawing contours.
- Font validation improvements: new “Suspicious Points.”
- Split self-intersecting contours.
- Bug fixes and enhancements related to Complete Composites.
- Enhancements to Transform scripts.
- Scroll wheel now acts on the underlying visual control.
- No more delay before the installed fonts dialog is shown.
- Changed recent files behaviour to add them on opening.
- Welcome dialogue now centred in the window.
High DPI Support
- High DPI (Large Fonts) support.
- New icon set.
- Changed glyph overview toolbar "combo boxes" into real toolbar icons.
- Option to lock docked toolbars.
New Glyph Naming Tools
- Update of glyphnames.dat.
- Find and Replace glyph names with regular expressions.
- Edit glyph names dialogue.
Colour Mode Improvements
- Toggle colour mode now shows/hides the Palette and Members Toolbar.
- Double-click on the Colour Members Toolbar to open the selected colour. glyph member in a new glyph edit window.
- Autokern now allows composite glyphs to follow base glyph.
- Added option to exclude lowercase-lowercase pairs.
- Autokern only adds used classes.
- Quick Find by typing a case-sensitive letter in the Class Manager and New Pair Adjustment dialogue.
- Select Class Members dialog filter by Anchor Class.
- Adding OpenType scripts, languages, features, and lookups improved to be context sensitive.
- Code Editor dialogue now resizable to much smaller limits.
10.1 Nov 2016 • 9.1 Feb 2016 • 9.0 Jun 2015 • 8.0 Jun 2014
7.5 Aug 2013 • 7.01 Jun 2013 • 6.5 Nov 2011 • 6.0 Jun 2009 • 5.6 Jul 2007 • 5.5 May 2006
Download PDF reviews of previous versions
Page last updated on 03 September 2020