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Fonts & Encodings by Yannis Haralambous

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12.2. FontLab

Rest assured, dear reader: we make no claim here of describing the use of FontLab in every detail. After all, this software has a rather large (923 pages!) set of documentation [141] that is very well written and illustrated and also freely accessible. Instead, we shall attempt in this section to understand this software package's philosophy and to describe certain major operations that the font designer uses every day.

12.2.1. The Font Window

The font window in FontLab plays a dual role: on the one hand, it displays the glyphs accompanied by some data that make it possible to identify them; on the other hand, it determines the encoding of the PostScript or TrueType fonts that will be generated.

To complete this task, the font window has four pull-down menus: one menu for specifying the size of glyph display in the table, one concerning the textual information displayed above the glyph in the table, one for specifying the order in which glyphs are displayed in the table and a fourth menu which complements the third one.

To understand the fine points of these tools, recall the principle of a font encoding. A font encoding—not to be confused with a character encoding—is a correspondence between numbers (called "code points") and glyph descriptions. But how can we identify the description of a given glyph in a font? That is where the complications arise.

In a PostScript Type 1 or CFF font, glyph descriptions are provided with names, the PostScript glyph names (§C.3.5 ...

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