- Adding Components
- Components Inspector
- Contextual menu
- Working with components
- Accented glyphs
Components are part of the outline descriptions of a glyph. They are different from regular contours because they are references to other glyphs in the font.
Components make it possible to create glyphs out of other glyphs without copying-and-pasting data. With components, changing the base glyph also means changing all references to that glyph in the font.
The base glyph referenced by a component may contain components, but it must not create a circular reference to the glyph that contains the component.
Components can only reference glyphs within the same layer of the component.
In RoboFont 1, components in any layer refer to glyphs in the foreground layer.
To add components to a glyph, follow these steps in the Glyph Editor:
- Right-click on the canvas to activate the Editing Tool’s contextual menu.
- Choose Add Component to open the Add Components sheet.
- Use the options (glyph name, glyphs list) to choose a base glyph.
- Click on the Add Component button to insert the selected glyph into the current glyph as a component.
|typing…||Restrict list to glyph names starting with typed characters.|
|arrow keys (↑ and ↓)||Move up or down in the selection.|
|tab||Jumps from Starts With to Contains and back.|
|enter||Add selected glyph as component.|
|Copy Metrics||Copy the component’s metrics to the current glyph.|
The properties of a Component object (base glyph, transformation) can be edited using the Components section of the Inspector.
The glyph’s contextual menu (activated with a right-click) shows a list of all components in the glyph, and makes it possible to switch to the component’s base glyph for editing.
Working with components
Components are useful when working with modular shapes, or when developing fonts with multingual character sets.
Components can be freely transformed (translated, scaled, rotated and skewed).
If you need to edit a component’s contours, you have 2 options:
Go to its base glyph and edit the contours.
These changes apply to all ocurrences of this glyph as component in the font.
Decompose the component (using Decompose from the contextual menu). This will convert the base glyph’s outlines into regular contours, and remove any reference to the base glyph. Edit the contours as you like.
There is no component anymore, so these changes apply only to the currently glyph.
The main use case for components is building accented glyphs. For example, an accented character
/aacute is typically built with components to
/a (base) and