Managing the Glyph Set

Adding New Glyphs

New glyphs can be added to a font in various ways:

Adding Multiple Glyphs

Glyph → Add Glyphs… (Cmd-Shift-G) opens a dialog window for adding glyphs. Write glyph names (Aacute, ampersand, noon-ar.init), characters (Á, &, ), or Unicode values (uni00C1, uni0026, uni0646) separated by spaces into the text field. Specify character ranges by placing a colon between two glyphs: uni01FC:uni01FF or Abold-math:Zbold-math. The text field also accepts glyph recipes.

When adding glyphs that are already in the font, they will not be added again. Instead, a dialog is shown listing the glyphs that are already part of the font. Choose Replace to replace the existing glyphs with new, empty glyphs. Keep Existing ignores the duplicate glyphs and only adds the new glyphs. Choose Cancel to not add any new glyphs.

Adding a Single Glyph

Glyph → New Glyph (Cmd-Opt-Shift-N) or the plus  button located in the bottom-left of Font View adds a new empty glyph named newGlyph.

Adding From the Glyph Info Database

Choose Window → Glyph Info to show a list of all glyphs known to Glyphs. Click Add to Font to add the selected glyphs to the current font. See Glyph Info Database for details.

Adding From the Sidebar

Some entries in the sidebar show a badge with the total glyph count for the entry and the count of glyphs that are already part of the font. Control-click or right-click a sidebar entry to show a list with the missing glyphs. Select glyphs from the list individually, or select all by pressing Cmd-A. Add the selected glyphs to the font by clicking Generate.

Copying Glyphs Between Files

Glyphs can be copied across font files. In Font View, copy the selected glyphs with Edit → Copy (Cmd-C) and paste them into another file with Edit → Paste (Cmd-V).

Components are re-linked to the glyphs in the target font. When a linked glyph does not exist in the target font, the component cannot be re-linked and displays as a no base glyph triangle placeholder instead. If a glyph with the same name already exists in the target font, an incrementing suffix like A.001, A.002, … will be added to the name of the pasted glyph.

Overwrite existing glyphs with Edit → Paste Special (hold down Option while the menu is open or press Cmd-Opt-V). The Paste Special dialog presents three paste modes:

Glyphs With Same Name

overwrites the glyphs that have the same names as the copied glyphs. Any glyphs that do not yet exist in the target font are also added.

Selected Glyphs

overwrites all currently selected glyphs in the target font with the glyphs copied from the source font. The names of the selected glyphs are kept. If more glyphs were copied, then there are selected glyphs in the target font, the additional glyphs are ignored.

As Components

pastes the copied glyphs as components into the selected glyphs. Choose All Masters to paste on all masters. Existing paths and components are preserved.

For the options Glyphs With Same Name and Selected Glyphs, glyphs can be partially pasted by selecting the desired parts:

All Data

pastes the entire glyph, including shapes, anchors, layer attributes, and metrics. This option includes all the options below it.

Content of Active Layer

pastes the currently displayed layer.

Kerning Groups

pastes the left and right kerning groups. This option is useful for reduplicating kerning between similar fonts.

Metric Keys

pastes the sidebearing and width formulas. Recalculate them after pasting with Glyph → Update Metrics (Cmd-Ctrl-M) or across all masters with Glyph → Update Metrics for all Masters (Cmd-Opt-Ctrl-M).

LSB, RSB, Width

paste the left sidebearing, right sidebearing, and width metrics of a glyph. If both RSB and Width are selected, the right sidebearing value takes precedence.

Deleting Glyphs

Glyph → Remove Glyph (Cmd-Delete) deletes the selected glyphs from the font. This command also works on the current glyph in Edit View and selected glyphs with the Text tool active. In Font View, the minus  button in the lower-left of the window does the same. Before the selected glyphs are deleted, a confirmation dialog is shown. Confirm with Remove or keep the glyphs with Cancel.

If some of the glyphs are used as components, the dialog offers to decompose the components before deleting the glyphs. Click Remove to delete the glyphs and all components referencing them, or click Decompose to delete the glyphs after decomposing all components of those glyphs to outlines.

If the metrics keys of other glyphs were linked to the metrics of a deleted glyph, a dialog offers to unlink those metrics. For example, in a font with two glyphs A and AE (Æ), where the left sidebearing of AE is linked to the one of A, deleting A means that AE can no longer reference the metrics of A. The dialog appears with two choices: Remove dissolves the metrics keys linked to the deleted glyphs. Cancel keeps the metrics keys, even though they are no longer linked to a glyph. Such unlinked keys are set in a turquoise color:

Fix unlinked metrics keys by linking them to a different glyph, replacing the keys with numeric values, or creating the glyph they are pointing to. See Metrics Keys for more details.