MacDirectory Magazine

Mike Thompson

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 83 of 131

But how will other team members know what’s been done? And what if two or more work on the font at the same time? Clear communication is key. Someone will have to reconcile the versions. Rather than write lengthy notes to each other or play telephone tag the best way to communicate is in the font file itself. Flags are a high-level way of telling everyone the status of a group of glyphs. Flags are just color coding of the glyph cells in the font window (Figure 1). Every glyph can be flagged with a color that denotes some status. You might, for instance, flag all John’s glyphs blue and all Mary’s green. Or you could assign different colors to different stages of completion. Or just flag a glyph in need of attention. Your colleagues can see at a glance the status of the whole font and direct their attention accordingly. Tagging glyphs can help keep things organized. Tags are just labels that are applied to glyphs to show that they belong to a particular group (Figure 2). E.g. the “fig” tag can be applied to all the numeric glyphs in a font. This makes it easy to find all the glyphs in any group by just specifying the tag in the classes panel. And tags are not restricted just to a glyph. Elements such as guidelines can also be tagged. Fontlab 7 comes with a couple dozen tags automatically built in. For more detailed explanations there are notes and stickers. Notes apply at the font window level, while stickers appear in the glyph panel. Thus you can write a note about a glyph or series of glyphs and a little note icon will appear in the glyph cells in the font window (Figure 3). Your teammate can quickly see that a glyph has a note without having to open every glyph in the font to check. This makes it easy to do font level questions and answers like, “Is this the right unicode?” or, “All descenders should go to -30.” Stickers, on the other hand, are very glyph-specific and appear only in the glyph panel. You don’t have to open them because they are annotations right on the page. You can resize and edit them and even draw arrows from them to point out the specific features or elements that they refer to (Figure 4). This is incredibly helpful when discussing details of glyph design. So skip the lengthy emails and zoom calls. If your team is spread out around the block or around the world there are better ways of keeping everybody on the same page. Special thanks to FontLab. Fontlab Ltd. is the company behind the pro font editors FontLab 7 and FontLab Studio, the popular font editors Fontographer and TypeTool, TransType and more. For more info visit

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