Posts in Category "Building Fonts"

AFDKO Workflow Diagrams

One of the most useful bits of feedback that I received from my portion of the June 25, 2012 AFDKO Workshop was that I include workflow diagrams that visually explain how various tools and control files work together. While preparing to present the same material at ATypI Hong Kong 2012 on the afternoon of October 10, 2012, I spent last Friday and this week creating additional presentation slides that include such workflow diagrams.
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Details About The New AFDKO Version…

As I wrote earlier today on our sibling blog, Typblography, a new version of AFDKO was release earlier this month. I want to use this opportunity to point out some of the changes and enhancements that affect font developers who work with CID-keyed fonts. The details are buried in the detailed Release Notes that Read Roberts prepared.
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Glyph Corrections Via AFDKO Tools—Redux

As described in the August 24, 2012 article, I am currently updating most of our OpenType Japanese fonts. One aspect of the update is to include the 32 additional IVSes, based on the March 2, 2012 version of the IVD (Ideographic Variation Database), which means that all of the kanji in Adobe-Japan1-6 now have a “plain text” representation. Another aspect of this particular update is to use the latest UTF-32 CMap resources, which include three additional mappings, one of which is U+9FCC that was appended to the URO (Unified Repertoire & Ordering) in Unicode Version 6.1. But, the topic of this article is about fixing a small number of glyphs, and the techniques that I used to do so.
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Glyph Corrections Via AFDKO Tools

I spent part of this week staging the data for some minor glyph corrections for our Kozuka Mincho and Kozuka Gothic fonts—and those that are derived from them—and was reminded that the techniques I described in the February 27, 2012 article are incredibly useful and indeed time-saving. These same techniques were also conveyed during the AM session of the June 25, 2012 AFDKO Workshop, as shown is the presentation slide below:

Minor Adobe-Japan1-6 Unicode CMap Resource Update

Many thanks to Nozomu KATŌ (加藤望) for bringing to my attention that the Adobe-Japan1-6 Unicode CMap resources were missing the following mapping:

U+207F → CID+15908

I decided to add this mapping to the following eight Adobe-Japan1-6 Unicode CMap resources this evening:


The eight updated CMap resources were just posted to the CMap Resources open source project that is hosted at Open @ Adobe, and the details are in the associated forum post.


To CID, Or Not To CID

When developing OpenType/CFF fonts, in particular CJK ones or those with a large number of glyphs, one question that I am often asked by developers is whether it should be name-keyed or CID-keyed. The answer to this question is not simple, though it truly is a binary condition.
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CFR Support in Mac OS X Version 10.8 (Mountain Lion)

On July 25, 2012, Apple released to the world Mac OS X Version 10.8 (aka Mountain Lion). Among the many new features in this latest iteration of Mac OS X is support for CFR objects. For those who are not aware, CFR objects are based on ISO/IEC 14496-28:2012 (Composite Font Representation), and are used to define both composite fonts and fallback fonts. CFR objects effectively break the 64K glyph barrier. Mac OS X Version 10.8 is thus the first implementation that has broken the 64K glyph barrier.
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Tokyo AFDKO Workshop (PM Session)

Once again, to those who were able to attend the Tokyo AFDKO Workshop that was held at Morisawa‘s Tokyo office on June 25th, thank you for your participation! Not counting those from Adobe and Morisawa, a total of 21 people attended. (Details about the AM session were covered in the previous article.)

For those who attended, and for those who could not attend, the presentation for Masataka Hattori’s (服部正貴) portion of the workshop is now available for download. Besides demonstrating how to build OpenType/CFF fonts based on the Adobe-Japan1-x and Adobe-Identity-0 ROSes, one of the highlights of Masataka’s presentation was demonstrating how to build a font that includes fully-proportional kana glyphs, based on the proven techniques which were used to develop Kazuraki (かづらき) that are detailed in Adobe Tech Note #5901 (Special-Purpose OpenType Japanese Font Tutorial: Kazuraki).
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Tokyo AFDKO Workshop (AM Session)

To those who were able to attend the Tokyo AFDKO Workshop that was held at Morisawa‘s Tokyo office on June 25th, thank you for your participation (and for enduring my poor Japanese speaking abilities)! I hope that you learned new ways in which particular AFDKO tools can be used to make your CID-keyed font production work (or workflow) more effective and less time-consuming.
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Two AFDKO-related Tool Updates

I spent this evening in Gyeongju, Korea enhancing two AFDKO-related tools, and

These tools are tx filters, and simply output the list of CIDs or GIDs in a font. I had been using another tool,, to turn the list into ranges. One of the enhancements, which is the addition of an “-r” option, makes the tool no longer necessary. In other words, the following two command lines have the same result:

% -r <font>
% <font> |

The tool was additionally enhanced with an “-s” option, which outputs the ranges on a single line using a comma separator. This makes the output very convenient in terms of repurposing it, such as copying it, then pasting it into a new command line as the argument of the “-g” option that is supported by many AFDKO tools. Consider the following two command lines and their output:

% -r

% -r -s


Be warned…

For those who signed up to attend the AFDKO Workshop that takes place on the 25th of this month in Tokyo, be warned that I will be conducting my portion, which is from 10AM until noon, in Japanese, or at least in my rendition of Japanese. ☺

Seriously, though, I hope that my Japanese skills, or lack thereof, don’t serve as an impediment for those who attend this workshop. My focus will be to demonstrate how particular AFDKO tools, such as tx, mergeFonts, rotateFont, autohint, and so on, can be used to not only build, but also to directly manipulate CID-keyed fonts. My hope is that I can convey useful information that can serve as inspiration for making font production workflows more efficient and less time-consuming.

For those who are attending, note that materials will be provided that will be based on a small subset of Kozuka Gothic Medium. If any attendee wants to use their own font data for this purpose, I suggest that you bring along an Adobe-Japan1-0 or greater OpenType/CFF font or CIDFont resource. I have prepared scripts that will quickly create the same materials, but using a different base font.

Wish me luck in finishing the accompanying presentation, which currently has 24 slides. In Japanese.

I am very much looking forward to meeting everyone who has signed up to attend this workshop!

Preparing for the Tokyo AFDKO Workshop

I am spending most of my time preparing for the Tokyo AFDKO Workshop that Morisawa is hosting at their Tokyo office on the 25th of this month, which is a Monday. At this point, most of the sample data is ready, and I now need to prepare the accompanying presentation slides.

This will be my first opportunity to engage a larger number of font developers, and to convey to them useful tips, tricks, and techniques for several AFDKO tools, particularly tx, mergeFonts, and rotateFont. My portion of the workshop, which will consume the entire morning, will be about building and manipulating CID-keyed fonts, to include controlling the assignment of CIDs (glyphs) to FDArray elements. I will also cover the use of the special-purpose Adobe-Identity-0 ROS. I am very much looking forward to this event, and working directly with many font developers.

Note that this workshop will be conducted in Japanese.




弊社のAFDKO(Adobe© OpenType©フォント開発キット)を利用されてフォント制作を行われている開発者の方々を対象としたワークショップとなります。それぞれのツールについて有効な利用法について、弊社米国本社のKen Lunde(ケン・ランディ)を含む弊社スタッフが説明する予定です。ぜひご参加ください。
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CMap Resource Updates & Change Policies

For those font developers who are not aware, the official CMap resource repository for our public ROSes is the CMap Resources open source project at Open @ Adobe, which is hosted by SourceForge. When CMap resources are updated, in addition to providing the updates through this portal, an announcement is made in the CMap Resources Forum.

The UTF-16 and UTF-32 CMap resources were introduced in August of 2001, beginning with Adobe-CNS1-4. Those for Adobe-Korea1-2 and Adobe-Japan2-0 followed in January of 2002, followed by those for Adobe-GB1-4 in June of the same year. The UTF-16 and UTF-32 CMap resources for Adobe-Japan1-5 were not released until November of 2002. From that point, the UCS-2 CMap resources were deprecated, and were no longer updated. Clients that used the UCS-2 CMap resources were encouraged to use the UTF-16 or UTF-32 ones instead. For OpenType font development, in terms of building the Unicode (Format 4 and 12) ‘cmap‘ subtables, the UTF-32 CMap resources are recommended.
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“All Of Unicode” CFR Object

As alluded to at the end of the May 9, 2012 CJK Type Blog article, I had plans to build additional CFR objects for testing purposes. That particular article supplied two 64K-glyph OpenType/CFF fonts, which provided BMP and Plane 1 coverage, and served as component fonts for the supplied CFR object, UnicodeGetaCFR.cfr. In today’s article, I will supply a CFR object that encompasses all of Unicode, meaning the BMP and the 16 Supplementary Planes, along with the component fonts that it references. In other words, coverage for 1,112,030 code points, each of which has a unique glyph. These represent valuable testing resources for developers who plan to support CFR objects in their products as a way to break the 64K glyph barrier.
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A very useful AFDKO ‘tx’ tool command line…

For those AFDKO users who use, plan to use, or would like to explore the broad capabilities of its tx tool, here’s a command line that is very useful when building new versions of existing fonts, especially when only a small number of glyphs have changed:

% tx -bc -sha1 -z 400 <font_file>

The <font_file> portion of the command line can be any type of font file, such as an OpenType font, a CFF resource, a CIDFont resource, or a name-keyed Type 1 font.
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Building a CID-keyed font with 64K glyphs & 256 FDArray elements

As mentioned at the end of the May 15, 2012 CJK Type Blog article, I will demonstrate in this article how to build a CID-keyed font with 64K glyphs (CIDs 0 through 65534) and 256 FDArray elements. These represent two limits that are inherent in CIDFont resources.

Again, the incredibly powerful AFDKO mergeFonts tool will perform most of the work.
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Building a CID-keyed font with 64K glyphs

Today, I want to demonstrate how the AFDKO mergeFonts tool can be used to quickly and easily build a CID-keyed font that includes 64K glyphs, meaning CIDs 0 through 65534. This is the maximum number of glyphs that a CIDFont resource can contain. This font, of course, will use the special-purpose Adobe-Identity-0 ROS, and although its is a CID-keyed font, it will include only one FDArray element.
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The Special-Purpose Adobe-Identity-0 ROS

Adobe has thus far released two CID-keyed OpenType/CFF fonts that use the special-purpose Adobe-Identity-0 ROS (“ROS” is an abbreviation for /Registry, /Ordering, and /Supplement, which represent the three /CIDSystemInfo dictionary elements that are present in CIDFont and CMap resources): Kazuraki SP2N L (かづらき SP2N L) and Kenten Generic. The former is a commercial OpenType/CFF font, and the latter is an open source one. I have also developed several Adobe-Identity-0 ROS OpenType/CFF fonts for testing purposes, many of which have been provided in recent CJK Type Blog articles, the most recent of which being the May 9th, 2012 article.

The big question that may be on a font developer’s mind is under what circumstances is it appropriate to use the Adobe-Identity-0 ROS?
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Towards Breaking The 64K Glyph Barrier…

In the April 20, 2012 CJK Type Blog article, I wrote about the publishing of ISO/IEC 14496-28:2012 (Composite Font Representation), which provides a venue for breaking the 64K glyph barrier that is inherent in all sfnt-based font formats, including name- and CID-keyed PostScript fonts. If the number of glyphs of the combined component fonts that are referenced by a CFR object exceed 64K, would constitute breaking the 64K glyph barrier.
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