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Subject: Re: Hinting Problems
From: Kent Lew <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Discussion of Type and Typographic Design <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 29 Mar 2001 19:29:20 -0500

text/plain (35 lines)

>Having exhausted the web and other available resources, (David Lemon PDF,
>Adobe Type 1 Specs etc.) I'm still left with a problem I can't seem to fix.
>My Fontographer produced and hinted fonts are vertically uneven on screen
>at certain sizes when used in page layout programs like Quark and Illustrator.
>If the type size is larger than 14, or if I zoom in close, things are fine.
>It's when I'm at a normal view that things start to get wild.
>Is this in anyway related to my vertical hinting zones?
>Does this have anything to do with my bitmaps?
>Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Eric --

One thing I remember about Fog (at least , some versions) is that it generates fonts with a bizarre BlueScale value. (I know for instance that v4.1.3 does this.)

The Adobe Type 1 Font Format specifies a default BlueScale value of 0.039625.

Some versions of Fog, however, generate fonts with a BlueScale value of 0.353535 (or something close to that). That's a difference of quite some magnitude. As a result the vertical zones kick in at unexpected values and can produce unexpected displays.

I don't know whether this is the source of your problem. You specifically mention the verticals. When you say "vertically uneven" do you mean that the tops of characters that you expect to align don't? Then this could be your problem. If you mean that the vertical elements (i.e. stems) are inconsistent, then this probably isn't it.

Since you can't specify the BlueScale value out of Fog, the only solution I know of is to disassemble the PS font, access the private dictionary and manually change the BlueScale value, and then reassemble the font. My guess is that FontLab gives you more direct access to these hinting values, so you can try that if you can get your hands on a copy.

Hope this helps.

-- Kent.

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Kent Lew, Design & Illustration
Washington, MA 01223-9796 USA
413/623-0212 voice/fax
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