FontLab VI
Pro font editor for Mac & Windows
Public Preview

FontLab VI
CRAFTED for type designers & font geeks

There are a multitude of new features to make designing type easier. Performance is spectacular. Every function has been re-thought to make your tasks of creating and editing fonts more fun and quicker. Yet keyboard shortcuts from FontLab Studio were kept wherever possible.

Why are we doing an open, free public preview? It is nearly feature-complete, but there are many bugs and issues, and we want your input on both user interface and functionality. The tool is for you, so we want your feedback!

Download the Preview for Mac or Windows

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Requires a recent version of Mac OS X (10.10–10.13), or Windows (7, 8, 10)

This is a free preview version of a future application that has not yet shipped. Use it at your own risk! It is not guaranteed to work as expected, or even as documented. FontLab will not be responsible for loss of data or time, nor any increase in your unhappiness with the limitations of other font creation software.

Seriously better Béziers

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

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 VI 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 VI can help you draw it that way from the start.

Next-generation drawing

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

Pen tool

If you like drawing with an industry-standard Bézier pen, FontLab VI 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.)

No more boundaries 

Smart glyph creation beyond traditional outlines

Pixel-savvy

Drag-drop or copy-paste pixel images in most formats, with mono, grayscale, full color and transparency support. Split and autotrace or draw over your images. Rotate and scale imported graphics, crop, blur, remove noise and background.

Sketchboard

The Sketchboard allows you to draw and experiment outside of any glyph, and to type text—which is still made of live, editable glyphs. And you can still work in a single-glyph window if you prefer.

Complete color support

Everything is color-enabled. Draw multi-color contours, bring in full-color outlines and images, and create emoji or chromatic fonts for all Color OpenType-enabled platforms: Android, iOS, Mac OS X, Firefox and Windows 8+.

Outer and inner space

Metrics, kerning & anchors

Kerning that just works

Class kerning is now true group kerning (without key glyphs, and always conflict-free). Preview the Kerning Group clouds as you kern and compare your decisions with live autokerning suggestions. Export KLTF-optimized OpenType kerning that never breaks or overflows.

Powerful anchors

Position anchors manually or link their positions to other anchors or guides with math expressions. FontLab will display all matching diacritical marks in a Pin Cloud, and will use your anchors to generate composite glyphs and the mark/mkmk OpenType features. 

Always organized

Synchronize design changes. Find, sort and classify glyphs. 

From Multiple Master To Variation

FontLab has a new Variation engine based on MutatorMath, the industry-standard interpolation code developed by Erik van Blokland with support by Adobe. In FontLab VI, you can have arbitrary master designs anywhere in your design space or masters that only affect certain glyphs.

The Variation support in FontLab VI is backwards-compatible with FontLab Studio’s Multiple Master, and is fully compatible with the new OpenType Variations fonts.

FontLab VI also uses intelligent interpolation in many other areas, including the rewind feature, power nudge, and servant points.

Masters & Layers

FontLab VI now has a full layers model with as many layers as you need. Some layers are Masters and are used for variation. The “Mask” layer can still be used with its familiar keyboard shortcuts, but it is just a special case of a layer with a known name and some quicker shortcuts.

Flag and tag glyphs

Sort glyphs by the color flags (marks), and organize your glyphs with tags: assign multiple labels to your glyphs, then assign the same tags to font guidelines, stems and zones, and they’ll only appear in the tagged glyphs. Virtual tags for lowercase or overshoot glyphs are assigned automatically. All tags form groups (classes) and can be viewed with the new Groups panel. 

Glyph and character search

Just type. We can find glyphs by glyph name, Unicode character name, script, codepage, encoding, range… you name it. FontLab also has friendly alternatives to standard glyph names built in. Use friendly names for development but export industry-standard fonts, with no added effort.

Pain-free production

Top gear at top speed. Serious font work with ease. 

Full Unicode & OpenType

Test your OpenType features with the built-in HarfBuzz OpenType Layout engine with complete complex-script support. 

Search for glyphs based on Unicode character names and Unicode scripts. 

FontLab VI stays up-to-date with the latest Unicode and OpenType standards.

No more coffee!

We apologize for taking away your coffee break.

FontLab VI is very fast, being written in C++ and optimized for speed. Most operations are instantaneous. In some places we reduced the lag from minutes to milliseconds. Combined with a more efficient user interface, and more powerful and intuitive tools, the new FontLab will help you work faster than ever. Maybe you won’t even miss the coffee break.

Express export with Profiles

Trying to duplicate a bunch of preference settings to output a specific font or project could be painful. With FontLab VI we have introduced Profiles for font generation.

Each profile is a group of settings for generating output fonts in a particular format. FontLab VI has a set of default profiles for all our standard output formats, and you can easily create new profiles to meet your particular needs.

Embracing your workflow

Type designers use various tools and workflows. FontLab VI does not lock you into a proprietary file format, but allows easy file exchange with other apps that use .vfb, .fog, .ufo, .glyphs, .otf, .ttf, .svg, .png or .jpg.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, FontLab VI uses the industry’s best solutions: Adobe FDK, HarfBuzz, MutatorMath, ttfAutohint, the KLTF kerning optimizer, and a RoboFab-compatible Python API.

FontLab VI Summary

CREATE & Edit
  • Drawing tools: Brush, Pencil, Rapid, Pen, Ellipse, Rectangle
  • Editing tools: Contour, Element, Knife, Scissors, Magnet, Fill, Guides/Meter
  • Advanced tools: Tunni Lines, Nudge, Power Nudge, Auto Curvature, Balance, Power Guides, Clones, Glued Elements, Power Brush, Pins and expressions
  • New operations: Harmonize, Balance, Simplify, Align, Restore overlap
  • New point types: Genius, Servant, Smart corner
  • View: FontAudit, Curvature, Layers
  • Actions: from rotate to shadow
  • Suggest: nodes, bounds, stems, tangents
  • Variations: any number of per-font and per-glyph masters, MutatorMath, Variable OpenType fonts
  • Sketchboard
Metrics & OPenType
  • Linked and adaptive sidebearings
  • True group kerning (UFO and MetricsMachine-compatible)
  • View kerning group cloud
  • KLTF-optimized kerning output
  • Linked and adaptive anchors
  • World-ready OpenType Layout engine (HarfBuzz) with true support for all world scripts including Indic and Arabic
  • Anchor cloud view
  • Anchors used to generate composites and mark/mkmk features
PRODUCTION
  • Font export profiles
  • Full support for Unicode, custom encoding and smart glyph search
  • Projects to work with font families
  • Clones, Tags, Flags, Anchors, Stickers
  • Opens OpenType-CFF (OTF), OpenType TT / TrueType (TTF), Variable OpenType TTF (gvar), PostScript Type 1 (PFB/PFA), WOFF, WOFF2, EOT, SVG, FontLab (VFB, XFO, VFC), UFO, Fontographer, Glyphs, Ikarus, and any of these in ZIP files
  • Generates OpenType-CFF (OTF), OpenType TT / TrueType (TTF), PostScript Type 1 (PFB/PFA), WOFF, WOFF2, EOT, SVG, FontLab (VFB, XFO, VFC), UFO
  • Color fonts: OpenType+SVG, +sbix, +COLR/CPAL and +CBDT/CBLC; SVG Fonts; Photofont+PNG and +SVG