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Brick by brick: News about FontStruct


New FontStructor Beta

News | | August 31st, 2011

There’s a new beta version of the FontStructor available for testing.
http://fontstruct.com/fontstructor/beta
We’d love you to take it for a spin and please let us know if you find any issues with it.

If you want to edit a specific FontStruction in the beta version, go to the FontStructor and load the FontStruction as usual. Once it has loaded, go to the beta URL above.

Apart from a few minor interface tweaks, there are some new features.

Expert Mode

We’ve added an “expert mode” button which turns “advanced” features on and off – this is intended to keep the FontStruct interface simple by default, while allowing us to continue adding more advanced features for those who want them. You may notice that some existing features are now available only in expert mode.

Unicode Letter Sets

In expert mode, you can now select unicode-based letter sets from the menu, making thousands of previously unavailable letter slots available in a standard sequence. Note: some very large unicode ranges such as “CJK Unified Ideographs” are not yet supported.

Commands

In expert mode, there are some menu commands available to make some repetitive tasks easier. There are commands to copy upper to lower case and visa-versa, and a command to copy latin vowels and a few consonants to accented letter slots – in preparation for creating accented letters.

It’s a Beta

A lot has changed “under the hood” so there may be issues. You may want to work on new or cloned fonts in the beta, rather than your prized masterpieces. More information about the new features will be available once the beta replaces the old FontStructor.

Thanks for reading, and have fun!


38 Comments

  1. will.i.ૐ

    I saw meek post a link. Clicked once. The fontstructor appeared with an “expert mode” button. Pinched myself twice. No, this is not a dream—must be heaven. ;)

    Comment by will.i.ૐ — August 31, 2011 #


  2. Rob Meek (meek)

    :-) Well there’s not a huge amount in “expert mode” yet, but it should make future expansion much easier.

    Comment by Rob Meek (meek) — August 31, 2011 #


  3. aphoria

    Woo Hoo! Looking forward to this. I sent you a tweet with a screenshot showing a problem.

    Comment by aphoria — August 31, 2011 #


  4. Rob Meek (meek)

    @aphoria looks like there’s a problem with loading composites/stacks properly. I’ll look into that ASAP. Thanks!

    Comment by Rob Meek (meek) — August 31, 2011 #


  5. Rob Meek (meek)

    The composite/stacks problem seems to be fixed now.

    Comment by Rob Meek (meek) — August 31, 2011 #


  6. aphoria

    Yep, the composites are showing up now.

    I’m looking forward to future enhancements.

    Comment by aphoria — September 1, 2011 #


  7. Upixel

    Cool new feature :) thank.

    Don’t know if it’s an issue.
    In the preview mode I was playing with the spacing slider, I was able to go under “0″ for negative values. I push “mono” radio button and comme back to “global” and then I was’nt able anymore to set a negative value, not even “0″ the lowest was “1″.

    Also I dont know if it’s my browser or what, but still in the spacing pop-up, I’m not able to set myself a value between -1 to 0, I must user the slider which offert random number I can not set a specifik value. I had this problem even with the FS V2.0

    :)

    Comment by Upixel — September 3, 2011 #


  8. Rob Meek (meek)

    Thanks for the feedback Upixel! I’ll look into the issue. Those number boxes have always been a bit buggy.

    Comment by Rob Meek (meek) — September 3, 2011 #


  9. BanjoZebra

    Really cool! The Advanced+Commands options are extremely useful.

    I did find one bug though – if you put any one brick on your FontStruction and then erase it, that brick will still be in My Bricks.

    I could’ve worded it better, but… eh.

    Comment by BanjoZebra — September 3, 2011 #


  10. thalamic

    Just trying out the FS beta.

    Bug Report: Brick rearranging in My Bricks is behaving erratically. Sometimes the brick goes where it’s placed, sometimes it jumps to the first brick position, and sometimes it just goes wherever it want.

    Feature Request: Never thought of this before; it only occurred to me just now when I tried the Unicode Letter Sets option and how it rearranged the glyphs in the scroller down below the gridspace. Ability to reorder the glyphs in the scroller. I don’t know about everyone else, but I see the glyphs in the following groups:

    space
    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
    abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
    1234567890 .,:;!? ‘”‘’“”
    -+=/ ()[]{} @#$%& _~`^*\|

    It would be nice if they were in that order too. Oh, I know this is a pipe dream. You can put it on the bottom of the to-do list.

    Annoyance: The Adjacent Characters display of quite prominent purple (without the gridlines showing through) is maybe a little too much. I think I preferred the old style better. If you are set on it, I guess I can learn to live with it. But I’d rather not, if it’s all the same. Thank you.

    Praise: Loving the Advanced Copy commands. :-)

    Thanks for leaving Q as the keyboard shortcut for Select. I couldn’t do without that!

    Comment by thalamic — September 4, 2011 #


  11. Rob Meek (meek)

    @Thalamic thanks for the bug report. The annoyance is just a mistake and will be corrected. The feature request is not something I’d thought of before. I guess it would be nice just to be able to define your own charsets. Thanks for the idea.

    Comment by Rob Meek (meek) — September 4, 2011 #


  12. Agent Demonic Ladybug

    Awesome!

    Comment by Agent Demonic Ladybug — September 4, 2011 #


  13. intaglio

    Yay! I’m salivating. It’s flaky alright! To begin with I could copy/paste between two open ‘structions. Then I couldn’t. Placing of bricks seems a little reluctant at some zoom factors. One brick resolutely refused to go where I wanted it, until I changed the zoom factor. Then it would. Maybe it’s because I’m working in 2×2 and the beta version doesn’t like it.

    Comment by intaglio — September 4, 2011 #


  14. djnippa

    Not sure if this has already been spoken about, but I added a European Set to one of my existing fonts using new advanced features.
    Then it wouldn’t let me save anything else I had constructed after that point.

    Comment by djnippa — September 9, 2011 #


  15. Rob Meek (meek)

    @djnippa thanks for the error report. I’ll look into that.
    @intaglio copy and paste will not work between the “old” and the “beta” fontstructors – maybe that caused your problem. I will test myself again.

    Comment by Rob Meek (meek) — September 11, 2011 #


  16. CMunk

    Woo! Unicode = More characters! Can’t wait to do some IPA, Coptic, Even more extended latin and much more. I’ll go check it out ASAP.

    Comment by CMunk — September 14, 2011 #


  17. intaglio

    I’m having trouble opening two beta windows at once. I can launch a beta test file I created earlier, but when I open a new window and try to create a new file in the beta version, it either opens a previous old-version file or duplicates a window of the active one. Either way I can’t copy and paste between. I’m a bit stymied because there’s no “open” command. Is it because there’s no beta support for multiple files yet?

    Comment by intaglio — September 16, 2011 #


  18. Rob Meek (meek)

    @intaglio Yes, opening the beta is a bit fiddly. You can get 2 beta windows open. Just open something in the standard editor and then replace the “edit” bit in the address bar with “beta”. BUT copy and paste doesn’t work yet. There are still a few bugs like this to squash before we can make the beta the new standard fontstructor.

    Comment by Rob Meek (meek) — September 16, 2011 #


  19. Rob Meek (meek)

    All beta-specific bugs have been closed and we’ve added support for additional guidelines and guideline locking in expert mode. Almost ready to release.

    Comment by Rob Meek (meek) — September 18, 2011 #


  20. BanjoZebra

    This may not pertain to the new beta version, but I have a suggestion for the FontStructor. Maybe there could be extra “extra guides” for cap height and descenders. Whaddya think?

    Comment by BanjoZebra — September 18, 2011 #


  21. Rob Meek (meek)

    @BanjZebra. It does pertain and the feature is already available. Turn on the “extra guides” in Expert Mode and roll over one of them. A plus sign will appear next to the guide. Click on the plus sign to add a new guide.

    Comment by Rob Meek (meek) — September 18, 2011 #


  22. BanjoZebra

    Whoa… Cool!

    Comment by BanjoZebra — September 19, 2011 #


  23. LoveHorses

    This is really cool–I think “Expert Mode” is a good idea. Thanks!

    Comment by LoveHorses — November 5, 2011 #


  24. elmoyenique

    Hey, Rob:
    I’m having problems when I try to change my FS profile at the “About me” field… My first profile was disappeared and I can’t write nothing at all new on this field… -@%#&!!!- Some bugs running?

    Comment by elmoyenique — November 29, 2011 #


  25. Rob Meek (meek)

    Hey @Elmo. Yes I know. I’ll fix it when I can. Thanks for reminding me.

    Comment by Rob Meek (meek) — November 29, 2011 #


  26. djnippa

    Hi Rob, there seems to be an issue with copying my “All Composites” tool. It crashes when I try to copy the whole block into another blank . It allows smaller chunks or lines of bricks to be copied, but not the whole lot. Any ideas?

    Comment by djnippa — December 9, 2011 #


  27. Rob Meek (meek)

    @djnippa I’ll look into it.

    Comment by Rob Meek (meek) — December 10, 2011 #


  28. riccard0

    I’ll post here since on the release post comments are closed.
    In Expert mode, the “Advanced > Commands > Copy” don’t overwrite existing glyphs even if one clicks on Overwrite.

    Comment by riccard0 — December 10, 2011 #


  29. Rob Meek (meek)

    @djnippa. That should be fixed now. Please try and see.

    Comment by Rob Meek (meek) — December 11, 2011 #


  30. Rob Meek (meek)

    @riccardo. That’s true. Should be fixed now though.

    Comment by Rob Meek (meek) — December 11, 2011 #


  31. djnippa

    @Rob. Tried & Tested. It now works a treat. Huge thanks.

    Comment by djnippa — December 11, 2011 #


  32. Goatmeal

    Rob, will there ever be FS support for the en-dash character (Alt-0150)?

    Comment by Goatmeal — December 11, 2011 #


  33. Rob Meek (meek)

    @goatmeal. Yes. It’s in the “General Punctuation” range if you use the “Unicode Letter Sets” option in Expert Mode.

    Comment by Rob Meek (meek) — December 12, 2011 #


  34. p2pnut

    I don’t know whether it’s just me being clumsy, but I find that, sometimes, when I copy & paste the section being pasted ‘skips’ one square. It can go up, down, left or right – seemingly at random.

    Comment by p2pnut — December 12, 2011 #


  35. Goatmeal

    Thank you, Rob! I haven’t used the Unicode Mode yet. Now I can’t wait to try it out!

    Comment by Goatmeal — December 12, 2011 #


  36. Rob Meek (meek)

    @p2pnut I don’t think it’s just you. I’ve heard similar things from djnippa and minimal/thalamic.

    Comment by Rob Meek (meek) — December 12, 2011 #


  37. Agent Demonic Ladybug

    @p2pnut yeah me too

    Comment by Agent Demonic Ladybug — December 12, 2011 #


  38. Goatmeal

    Rob – Thanks for the Unicode Mode. I just made my first complete Windows-1252 set using FontStruct!

    Comment by Goatmeal — December 16, 2011 #


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