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v7.x FontLab

FontLab
  
FontLab

The pro font editor, evolved

FontLab 7 for macOS and Windows is a modern, professional font editor, crafted for type designers and font geeks.

It lets you create, open, modify, draw, space, kern, hint and export desktop, web, color and variable OpenType fonts for any Unicode writing system, from Latin, Cyrillic and Greek, to Arabic, Hebrew and Indic, all the way to Chinese, Japanese, emoji, symbols and icons.

FontLab 7 is an integrated font editor for macOS 10.12 Sierra–10.15 Catalina and Windows 7–10 that helps you create fonts from start to finish, from a simple design to a complex project, and brings a spark of magic into type design. FontLab 7 is available as a 30-day free fully functional trial.

Boost your design productivity

You can draw smooth, consistent glyphs, autotrace bitmaps, create overlaps, simplify paths, equalize stems, scale outlines while keeping stroke thickness. You can draw in fractional or integer coordinates, see view numeric and visual measurements, find & fix contour imperfections.

You can space and kern in multi-line tabs or windows that feel like a text editor. You can create, open, extend, test and export font families, variable OpenType fonts, color fonts and web fonts for any Unicode writing system. And you can interchange with other font editing apps, and collaborate with their users.

Turn your ideas into shipping fonts

FontLab 7 is versatile and battle-proven.

Designers from all over the world have used the app to create massive variable font families (Grand Gothik by Parachute, Circe Slab by Alexandra Korolkova & Oleksa Volochay / ParaType, Fact by Alexandra Korolkova & Manvel Shmavonyan / ParaType, Bolyar Sans by Jordan Jelev & Vassil Kateliev / Fontmaker), ambitious historical revivals (CAL Bodoni by Dave Lawrence / California Type Foundry), decorative one-offs (Wanchy by Matthijs Herzberg), and color OpenType fonts like the titling font for the Joker movie by Chad Danieley.

Learn the tricks

Many open-source font projects have been made with FontLab.

Download the VFC/VFJ work files and explore the techniques used by the designers: Lato by Łukasz Dziedzic, Graduate by Eduardo Tunni, Science Gothic by Thomas Phinney, Brandon Buerkle, Igor Freiberger, Vassil Kateliev, Secuela by Fernando Haro / deFharo, or Optician Sans by Fábio Duarte Martins / Scannerlicker & ANTI Hamar.

FontLab 7 builds on the rich legacy of our classic apps: FontLab Studio 5 and Fontographer, which were used used to create 10,000s professional fonts by designers from foundries large and small, like Adobe, Apple, FontFont, Linotype, Microsoft, Monotype, Canada Type, Porchez, Underware, Tiro Typeworks and many more.

Next-generation drawing

Creating Bézier curves is no longer “mastery or mystery.”

Brush & Power Brush

Apply the Power Brush to a “skeleton” contour for live, adjustable calligraphic strokes. Control the angle and thickness of the brush, and tweak it even after you’ve drawn. Save Power Brush presets and apply them to other contours across your font.

Pencil tool

Our Pencil is a radical new sketching tool. Trim, tweak, modify, smooth, adjust. Nothing gets in the way of creative successive approximation — especially not the usual constraints of wrangling Bézier curves.

Rapid tool

Our Rapid tool is a Pen on turbo. Click for a line, double-click for a curve, that’s it. FontLab knows which nodes should be extremes, and automatically makes smooth curves with your chosen node positions.

Move the Rapid handles to change the curve segment Tension, or double-click to apply the current font-wide default. Rapid is great for quick drawing of consistent shapes, or for intelligent manual tracing of a scan or background image.

Pen tool

If you like drawing with an industry-standard Bézier pen, FontLab 7 has a great Pen tool for you. We’ve combined the best of Fontographer, FontLab Studio, and some other approaches.

And if you find a traditional Bézier pen hard, you’ll love the rest of our drawing tools.

Seriously better Béziers

We love curves so much that we are making them better.

Control the form, not just points

With our Tunni Lines, you can finally move both handles on a curve in sync, Balance their proportions and tune the curve Tension.

If you like your shapes but not where the nodes are, just Shift+Alt+Slide them to a better position along the curve, or even beyond it, without altering the existing shape. New: Cmd/Ctrl+drag nodes and handles with high precision without zooming in.

Adjust big-time in no time

Some nodes define a stem position, but some are Servants that just follow along when you move others.

With just one move of a node, improved Ctrl+Alt+Nudge handles or intelligently Power Nudge other nodes. Select and move nodes and handles across contours and multiple glyphs. Link points to Power Guides with Magnet to orchestrate major shape changes quickly and consistently.

Curve Tension

Curve tension is a measure of how much a curve deviates from a straight line between two points, from zero to 100%. So for example, Helvetica has more tense curves than Frutiger or Myriad. A smooth outline will have constant tension, or a steady decrease or increase from curve to curve. FontLab 7 not only lets you visualize curve tension, but also lets you see it numerically, edit it visually, and even use the Rapid tool to draw curves with tension set to your specifications. So if you want to make a font with more squarish curves like Helvetica or Eurostile, FontLab 7 can help you draw it that way from the start.

Draw with consistency & precision

FontLab 7 can dynamically Suggest snap locations for nodes, angles and stem distances as you draw, so you’ll get equal distances — even without using our new Guides that snap and measure like no other.

See handle lengths and angles, whitespace and (New) stem thicknesses, automatically measured as you draw. Scale, rotate and slant losslessly thanks to FontLab’s fractional drawing precision and live integer rounding, apply the rounding to bake in the integers.

Smooth the bumpy curves

Harmonize your curves to make them really fluid, or “G2 curvature continuous” in math-speak. Make your node a Genius, which stays fluid even if you move the handles — view the Curvature to prove it.

Curves even stay smooth and true to their form when you Simplify a contour or remove some nodes with Eraser. No software does it better, say the mathematicians.

Smart cornering

Our corner nodes can be clever, too. Create and adjust live rounded corners and ink traps with Smart Corners.

Use Scissors on intersections, and we will recreate overlapping contours, so you can move them independently.

Catch glitches

Easily spot odd points and suspicious curves with (improved) FontAudit, our live outline custodian. Its intuitive problem highlighting (a nod to Tal Leming’s Glyph Nanny) and improved fixing algorithms will help you turn your outlines into pro outlines.

(New) Find & automatically equalize irregular stems that are uneven within a glyph, or uncommon glyph stems that differ from predefined font stems. Find nearly flat curves and automatically convert them to lines.

Fill tool: live pathfinding

Draw open or closed lines and contours. In the areas created by their intersections, use the Fill tool and click to fill and Alt+click to unfill. We’ll do the pathfinding — manually setting path direction is so 1980s.

FontLab 7 Summary

Drawing & Importing

  • Draw outline-based glyphs using the Brush, Pencil, Rapid, Pen, Ellipse, and Rectangle tools, in a fractional coordinate space with live rounding into integer coordinates.
  • Use upright and slanted grids, flexible guidelines, snapping suggestions and live measurement tools for consistent and precise vector drawing.
  • Paste and import PDFEPS & SVG vector artwork, scanned character sets or color bitmap glyphs, and turn them into monochrome fonts via customizable autotracing, and into color fonts.
  • Draw calligraphic letterforms using a live, adjustable PowerBrush tool, assign and expand strokes.

Editing

  • Natively edit cubic PostScript Bézier curves and quadratic TrueType curves, including overlapping open paths, using the Contour, Knife, Scissors and Fill tools. Convert between the curve types with adjustable precision.
  • Find and fix outline problems with FontAudit. Automatically clean up and optimize outline drawings, balance segments and modify curve tension, harmonize G2 curvature, create and remove overlapping paths, apply non-destructive ink traps and rounded corners.
  • Automatically change weight, create contour versions, apply effects to outline and bitmap glyphs.

Components, Elements

  • Build glyphs from Components that point to other glyphs, or from Element References that cross-reference each other and can be edited anywhere they appear. Decompose a component and unlink a reference to make local changes only. Use Auto layers to build predefined glyphs and keep them automatically updated.

Variation

  • Blend, interpolate and extrapolate fonts, create intermediate weights and styles, build extensive font families and variable OpenType PS & TT fonts with intermediate font and glyph masters, conditional glyph substitutions, and automatic masters matching for point-compatible outlines.

Spacing & Kerning

  • Space entire phrases and kern according to planned pair lists. Apply tracking, modify widths, sidebearings and kerning globally or for selected glyphs.
  • Automatically or manually link metrics between glyphs using complex expressions.
  • Kern between classes and glyphs in a UFO– and OpenType-compatible way, with exceptions.
  • Automatically build kerning classes.
  • Automatically calculate metrics and kerning, or use autokerning suggestions as you kern manually.
  • Audit Kerning to find class kerning combinations that produce visual conflicts, and automatically convert them to exceptions.

FontS

  • Create, open, edit and export monochrome outline fonts with single masters (desktop and web) and multiple masters (variable), color fonts (with multi-layer editable glyphs, SVG glyphs or bitmap glyphs).
  • Compare fonts, merge and split font glyph sets and variations. Modify fonts, glyphs, metrics, kerning and technical font information. Convert between font formats, improve screen appearance with automatic and manual hinting. Exchange font source with other font creation apps.

Technology

  • Full Unicode support.
  • Advanced OpenType Layout features creation with FEA format and Adobe FDK for OpenType.
  • Kern feature optimization by KLTF.
  • Feature preview with the HarfBuzz world-ready engine.
  • Windows screen preview with genuine Microsoft ClearType (even on the Mac).
  • Variations with MutatorMath and fontTools.varLib.

Formats

  • Open and export OpenType-PS/CFF (OTF), OpenType TT / TrueType (TTF), Variable OpenType TT (TTF+gvar), Variable OpenType PS (OTF+CFF2), Color OpenType (TTF+SVG, +COLR, +CBDT, +sbix), PostScript Type 1 (PFB/PFA), Web fonts (WOFF2, WOFF, EOT), FontLab (VFB, VFC, VFJ), UFO 2 & 3, designSpace, Glyphs.app (glyphs).
  • Also open BitFonter Photofont (PHF+PNG, +SVG), Fontographer (FOG), Ikarus, and any of the above in ZIP files.

 

  • FontLab 7 for Mac is a 64-bit app that runs on macOS 10.12 Sierra–macOS 10.15 Catalina.
  • FontLab 7 for Windows x64 is a 64-bit app that runs on 64-bit versions Windows 7–10.
  • FontLab 7 for Windows x86 is a 32-bit app that runs on Windows 7–10 (either the 32- or the 64-bit version), and on Linux with Wine.
  • Each FontLab 7 license is valid for both macOS and Windows.

What’s new in FontLab 7.2.0

  • New Rotate, Scale and Slant tools
  • Adaptive freeform grid with Suggest distance
  • Per-font rounded or fractional coordinates
  • Flexible dynamic instance
  • 30× faster interpolation
  • Powerful attached and variable components
  • Visual proofing and better editing of features
  • Microsoft VOLT integration
  • Font window filtering by flag and name suffix
  • Better UFO 3 and .glyphs 2 and 3 interchange

What’s new in FontLab 7.1.4

  • Easily add variation (master & axis) to existing font
  • Export features to Microsoft VOLT
  • Keep stem thickness when changing width or height
  • Redesigned Actions
  • Preview interpolation steps
  • Preview change weight
  • Improved Preview panel design
  • Control pressure-sensitive brush
  • Better Metrics Table
  • Better multi-monitor support
  • Updated Friendly and Alternative glyph names

What’s new in FontLab 7.1.3

  • View angles with Knife
  • View details across glyphs
  • Improved Remove Overlap
  • Control pressure-sensitive brush
  • Redesigned Preview panel
  • Reinterpolate master from other masters
  • Preview multiple masters as lines or glyphs
  • Preview interpolation steps
  • Preview change weight
  • Use custom or dynamic auto layers
  • Create or make blank glyphs
  • Quickly add contours from an existing element to the current
  • Change opacity of guides and font dimension lines
  • Annotate your glyphs visually with simple stickers
  • Streamlined linked metrics
  • Better export of classes
  • Export OTFs with only y-direction (horizontal) hints
  • Better multi-monitor support
  • Fresh Toolbar and many user interface tweaks

What’s new in FontLab 7.1.2

  • Use friendly glyph names when you add new glyphs
  • See length of diagonal handles and line segments
  • Easily link a sidebearing to the opposite sidebearing
  • Easily remove metric expressions across masters
  • Font export and batch automation with Python scripting
  • Choose how FontLab decompiles OT classes and substitutions
  • Shift anchors with contours
  • Customize appearance of anchors and pins
  • Make SVG Editable more faithfully
  • Drag-drop .glif files
  • Better drag-drop of many vector and bitmap artwork files
  • Copy-paste improvements
  • See and fix invalid components with FontAudit
  • Use the same element for filled shapes and for unfilled counters
  • Combine and join contours across elements
  • Refined Font window scrolling

What’s new in FontLab 7.1.1

  • Quickly select composites, components and related glyphs
  • See layers that are present in only some glyphs
  • View multiple masters in the Preview panel
  • Import & paste vector artwork more easily
  • Support for the full Unicode 13 character set

What’s new in Font Lab 7

  1. General, editing, anchors, actions, FontAudit, copy-paste
  2. Metrics, kerning, Font window, Font Info, hints, guides, classes
  3. Variation, imported artwork, components, auto layers, elements
  4. Glyph names, OT features, text, layers, color, files, UI, Python, varia
  5. Bug fixes