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FontLab 7

The pro font editor, evolved.
for Mac & Windows.
What’s newAbout FontLab 7
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for Mac & Windows
New license for macOS & Windows: $345* $459. Academic: $229 or $89/year.
Upgrade from FontLab VI: $99 (free if bought after August 1, 2019!).
From FontLab Studio 5: $149* $199. From Fontographer 5: $172* $229. From TypeTool 3: $299* $415
*Special discounts until December 22, 2019

New in FontLab 7

Auto OpenType features

Equalize uneven stems

Edit all masters

Centerline & thickness

Batch glyph renaming

Conditional glyphs

Quick Help

Fix kerning clashes

Precision dragging • VF intermediate masters • Parametric GPOS • PDF • JSON • CFF2 • STAT • and much more

Introducing FontLab 7

FontLab VI was long in the making. We shipped the first public preview version in 2015, premiered the app in 2017, and we tirelessly kept making it better. If you’re a FontLab VI user, you’ve seen some of these improvements in the free updates that we have published since the premiere. But we’ve also been working on a more comprehensive upgrade. So after a super-busy summer, we’re proud to present FontLab 7, the follow-up to FontLab VI!

Boost your design productivity

With FontLab 7, you can edit curves precisely without zooming (Cmd/Ctrl+drag), improve consistency of the weight (thickness measurement, equalize uneven stems), quickly create kerning classes (now also both-sided) and fix clashing kerning combinations.

FontLab 7 fully supports variable fonts. You can open and export both CFF2- and TrueType VFs, with intermediate glyph masters and conditional glyph substitution, avar axis mapping and STAT axis instances. You can view multiple masters at the same time (as overlaid wireframes, and as cousins on the sides), and edit them (Edit across Layers, Match when Editing).

FontLab 7 now understands glyph naming from other font editors, and can automatically generate OpenType features based on different glyph naming schemes (it’s easy to batch-rename glyphs, too!).

Best FontLab ever

Built on a solid 64-bit foundation, FontLab 7 runs smoothly on macOS Catalina, on Windows 10, on older systems, and even on Linux! FontLab 7 focuses on stability, productivity and technical excellence. We’ve incorporated countless user requests, as well as some of our ideas that didn’t make it into the previous release.

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.

When you run FontLab 7, hold F1 over a user interface element, and let the new Quick Help tell you more about it.

25% off! Until December 22, 2019

Until Sunday, December 22, 2019, we’re offering special intro discounts for FontLab 7:

  • Upgrade from FontLab VI is just US$99.
  • If you bought FontLab VI on August 1, 2019 or later — the upgrade is free!
  • If you have a full educational license — the upgrade is free!
  • Upgrade from FontLab Studio 5 is $149 (instead of $199)
  • Upgrade from Fontographer 5 is $172 (instead of $229)
  • Upgrade from TypeTool 3 is $299 (instead of $415)

Also until December 22, 2019, the full FontLab 7 license is just $345 (instead of $459).

If you’re a student or teacher, FontLab 7 is $229, or $89/year. If you’re a group of students or an educational institution, FontLab 7 is $184 if you buy 8 or more licenses.

Visit FontLab 7 store

Draw type swiftly and surely

Users love FontLab’s drawing tools. new In FontLab 7, you can draw more smoothly, bring in existing artwork, and keep the balance between consistency and precision.

Equalize uneven stems with FontAudit

Working on perfect weight consistency in all glyphs? 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.

see Irregular stem video

View centerline & thickness with Quick measurement

Centering a guide or anchors over a stem? View the automatic centerline. Making a perfectly parallel slanted stem? Visualize stem thickness change with Thickness rainbow. Measuring by numbers? View numeric distance at both ends of opposing contour segments.

see Quick measurement video

Precision drag and keyboard improvements

Tired of constantly zooming in to make tiny adjustments? Try precision dragging! Hold Cmd (Mac) or Ctrl (Win), and drag a node or handle by a small distance, and the point moves by a predefined fraction of your pointer movement. Drag further, and the point catches up to the pointer.

see Precision dragging video

Shift-drag points more flexibly. Turn on the new editing preference, then first hold Shift, then mouse button, and drag node to add it to selection and move all with constraints; or first hold mouse button, then Shift, and drag node to deselect and move just the node with constraints.

Draw elsewhere with ease

Using another vector drawing app? Import PDF vector artwork, paste from drawing apps like Affinity Designer or Sketch. Immediately edit artwork pasted from Illustrator. More faithfully convert SVG into editable contours.

Making a font from scans or photos? Paste or import bitmap images, then fit them between predefined heights or keep original size. Better convert them into smooth, optimized contours with vastly improved Autotrace.

Do more with keyboard

When you move nodes with arrow keys, hold Ctrl to nudge neighboring handles, or hold Alt to keep handles in place. Shift-click anchors to select them along contours, and move them together with arrow keys. Hold F1 over the Contour toolbar icon to learn about contour editing keyboard shortcuts!

Other design improvements

Trying to match handle placement in Mask layer? Set a preference to hide or show handles in Mask, and in inactive layers.

Haven’t decided on the final spacing? Tap the ; (semicolon) key as you edit a glyph to instantly give it reasonable sidebearings via autospacing.

Making a series of glyph operations? Run a series of Actions on many glyphs and masters, one by one.


“Drawing is a joy: FontLab has the best drawing tools I’ve ever seen, and they just got better!”
— Fábio Duarte Martins
Scannerlicker
, designer of Optician Sans, Electrica & Grafista

Friendly names & features

OpenType features are great for small caps, ligatures, fractions and variants.
new In FontLab 7, you can create them without looking at a single line of code!

Auto OpenType features

Don’t like code? Name your glyphs according to one of many common conventions, and let FontLab 7 automatically build OpenType features supported by your font. Love code? Use the improved Features panel to mix automatic and custom feature code, and to view short developer notes for each feature.

see Auto features video

Batch glyph renaming

Tired of decoding “uni20AC”? Quickly rename all or selected glyphs (and their mentions in features, classes and autolayer recipes): choose between hand-curated Friendly, Production and Alternative naming schemes, or use your own renaming table.

Copy glyph names (or autolayer recipes) with new Copy Text As , then paste them into encoding files, feature files, Python scripts or spreadsheets.

Test language-specific features

Making Serbian Cyrillic variants? Test language-specific OpenType features such as locl in Glyph window text mode, the Preview panel and the Sketchboard text frames.

Variable GPOS features with parameters

Interpolable contextual kerning? No problem! Add your own lookups to kerning and other positioning features. Use per-master numeric Font Info parameters to create variable positioning GPOS features such as cpsp or kern.

“If you want to make more fonts faster and better and if you want to stay ahead of the competition, go with FontLab 7. My favorite parts of FontLab are auto layers (set-it-and-forget-it for components letters), glyph masters (fine-tune the d, b, p, q, 6 and 9 between your masters without having to fix the exports!), FontAudit (quickly fix kinks in the intermediates).
Using these features, I was able to create an average of 167 ornamental glyphs (in two weights) per day. By automating much of the grunt work, I think I’m doing some of the best work of my life.”
— Dave Lawrence
California Type Foundry, designer of CAL Bodoni & CAL Zed

Variable mastery

FontLab helps you make your glyphs variable. new In FontLab 7, you can design multiple masters at once, and export families and spec-compliant variable OpenType fonts.

View all masters

Designing an interpolable family or a variable font? Make some masters visible to see them overlaid as colored wireframes that show nodes, handles and master relations.

View all masters in a glyph, arranged horizontally or vertically, with Master Cousins.

View visible masters of the current glyph, and their interpolations, with Matchmaker and Echo text in a second Glyph window.

Ensure master matching

Draw once, adjust later! Copy contours, metrics expressions or anchor locations from current master to all masters with one click.

Making changes across masters? Turn on Match when Editing, then add or remove nodes or guides, and FontLab 7 will repeat these operations on all masters, keeping them compatible. Turn on Edit across Layers & Elements, then select and move nodes and handles in all visible masters in one go.

Looking for glyphs with non-matching masters? Expand Layers & Masters in the Font window sidebar and click the last entry.

Manage Font Info easily

Want all settings for all masters in one place? See and edit Font Info for all masters in the Overview table. Copy-paste Font Info pages between different fonts and masters.

Sort masters and instances flexibly by axis location or name. Easily relocate multiple masters or instances on an axis.

Conditional glyph substitutions and intermediate masters

The cross bar in “e” too thick in intermediate weights? Add a glyph master in Variations panel, adjust, and seamlessly export into variable OpenType fonts.

Want an alternate “$” for bolder weights? Assign tilde tags (e.g. ~wt>700) to glyphs that should replace other glyphs in some regions of the design space, and export these conditional glyphs into variable and static fonts, and as DesignSpace+UFO rules.

see Conditional substitution video

Export spec-compliant variable OpenType fonts

Non-linear weight progression? Sure! Precisely map from your own variation design coordinates into standardized OpenType Variations user coordinates with the new avar -table compatible axis graph.

Planning 135 instances, or perhaps just 18? Name key locations on each axis, and export these “axis instances” as a variable STAT table, or use them to define a “matrix” of predefined instances with one click.

Not just TrueType-based variable fonts! Open and export Variable PS (CFF2 -based .otf, beta-quality) fonts.

“Great stuff! FontLab 7 is very stable. Congrats to the FontLab team. Conditional glyphs are a great feature!”
— Eduardo Rodríguez Tunni
Tipo, designer of Graduate, Pathway & Changa

Kern like a king

In FontLab, you can kern in a comfortable multi-line window that feels like a text editor. new Enjoy better class kerning in FontLab 7, and easily find clashing combinations!

Kern words in priority

Want to kern your Latin-script font? Step through the new built-in kerning words with the Pairs & Phrases panel to check the most popular “kernable” combinations.

Flexible class kerning

Want to kern some glyphs like some other glyphs? Instantly add selected glyphs to a kerning class or build a new one with Set 1st/2nd kerning class. Create a new both-sided kerning class for glyphs that should have identical kerning on both sides, or convert an existing 1st or 2nd class into a both-sided class.

Find visual kerning clashes with Audit Exceptions

Class-based kerning pairs may cause visual clashes in some combinations such as “Tỳ”. Find these collisions with Audit exceptions — and automatically turn them into kerning exceptions!

Other kerning improvements

Run common kerning operations in the new Font > Kerning menu, or the Kerning mode context menu, and assign custom keyboard shortcuts to them.

Discover FontLab 7 as you work

FontLab is mighty. new F1 tells you all about it.

In FontLab, 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.

That’s all built into FontLab! But with great power comes an extensive user interface. So… have you ever wondered: what does this button do?

Let FontLab 7 help you : move your pointer over a user interface element (a button, a text field, a panel) and hold F1 (or Fn+F1), and our new Quick Help system will show a longer description.

“I’ll put it simply: FontLab 7 is superb!
What’s not to love? The best vector engine for drawing and manipulation I have seen in ages. Rock-steady interpolation engine that is also compliant with variable OpenType fonts. Start with an excellent multi-paradigm approach to type design – old-school outlines, element references, components, auto-generated glyphs, or all of them combined.
Sprinkle on top a handful of nifty tricks to speed up your work like auto layers or auto OpenType feature generation. Combine that with a super powerful Python based API (that I actually use a lot). Let’s not forget multi-platform: a fact that I consider very important.
The new FontLab is an endless ocean of opportunities — you get an app for every taste and workflow. (...) Many saw the FontLab VI roller-coaster development as a deal breaker. But I must say that the new FontLab 7 finally feels really mature. Don’t take my word for granted — it is obvious that I am a devotee. Just give it a try, and see for yourself!”
— Vassil Kateliev
Karandash type foundry, The FontMaker, developer of TypeRig

new And much more!

Supercharge your FontLab with TypeRig, a mighty Python extension that facilitates batch work with layers, contours, metrics, anchors, guides and texts

Quickly add a new glyph with Cmd+Alt+N (Mac) / Ctrl+Alt+N (Windows)

Replace or append glyphs when pasting in Font window

Toggle auto layers (automatically created live composites) and copy their custom recipes in multiple glyphs and all masters

Manually add hints with the Magnet tool

Detailed improvements in UFO3 and .glyphs import/export

New JSON-based human-readable clipboard format

Vastly reduced memory consumption

Dozens of detailed improvements and bug fixes

See full release notes for more details!