NOVEMBER 25, 2012

Glyph Designer 1.7

We are pleased to announce that as well as the launch of the all new 71Squared web site, we have also released Glyph Designer 1.7. While we are working hard on Glyph Designer 2.0 we don't want to keep our users waiting too long between updates, so we have been spending a little time continuing to tighten up Glyph Designer 1.x by adding features such as:

  • Glyph Designer now performs glyph substitution. What is that and why do I care I here you say :) well it’s possible to use a font that does not support all of the characters you wish to use e.g. the € may not be in the font. Previously this means that even when € was entered into the included glyphs field nothing would be rendered in the texture atlas. Glyph substitution means that if a glyph is not found in the current font, Glyph Designer will use the font family, traits, size etc to identify a font that is very similar but which does support that glyph. It will then use that font for just that glyph and add it to the texture atlas. This is a very handy feature and something that should make mixing fonts such as Chinese and Latin much easier. A glyph which has been substituted will display an S in the top left hand corner when the glyph is selected in the texture atlas view. This can be switched on or off from within the included glyph panel


  • It you want to see all the glyphs that have been substituted for the font your working on you can use the “Show Substituted Glyphs” check box in the included glyphs panel


  • Further improvements to the Line Height and yOffset calculation. Significant testing has been undertaken to make the metrics even more accurate across all fonts and font sizes. The tweaks made to the metrics may cause text to be positioned slightly differently when exported from this new version of GD so it is recommend that you test the positioning in any current apps you have when using output from this new version. Glyph Designer differs from other bitmap font tools in that the metrics it generates take into account the final rendered glyph and doesn’t simply use the original fonts metrics which can cause issues when rendering text with large strokes and shadows. This has been done to maintain the detailed font spacing and kerning that the original font has, even when effects have been applied to provide the best possible results


  • It is now possible to zoom up both the texture atlas view and preview views. This can be done using either a pinch gesture on a trackpad or using keyboard shortcuts visible within the View menu


  • It is now possible to switch between the preview and texture views using a keyboard shortcut available within the View menu


  • When moving the text in the preview view, it no longer centers the text on the mouse location, but simply moves the text in relation to the mouse which is standard behavior when grabbing and dragging an object


  • Added extra information to the glyph info panel such as origin or glyph of the texture atlas along with width and height


  • When selecting a glyph on the texture atlas, the dimensions of the glyph are now displayed. For small fonts where you can’t see this info don’t panic, just zoom up and it will be shown nice and clearly


  • The x and y coordinates of the mouse within the texture atlas or preview window are now displayed at the bottom of the Glyph Designer window

and fixing a few things such as:

  • The bounding box for glyphs was too large causing some characters to use up to 2x more texture space that necessary. This would not have been visible when rendering text but would have used up more texture space than necessary


  • This isn’t actually a fix inside Glyph Designer, but a change we have made to the Cocos2D source and posted back to the Cocos2D V2.x branch. The fix means that the bounding box of a CCLabelBitmapFont accurately surrounds the text including it’s shadows and stroke and stops text leaking from the right hand side of those bounds. You can see the bounding box by switching on the CC_LABELBMFONT_DEBUG_DRAW parameter in ccConfig.h

We hope you enjoy using Glyph Designer 1.7 and as always we love to hear your feedback and suggestions.


Mike & Tom

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