Typography extensions in Inkscape 0.49

We’ve been prototyping typography features for better integrating Inkscape with FontForge. Today I have published on YouTube a screencast of the current version of these extensions. The extensions are scheduled for release in the upcoming Inkscape version 0.49.

The basic workflow is split in 3 steps (with one Inkscape extension for each step):

1) Setup Typography Canvas
Using this extension you can define the general metrics of the font you’re designing and have the Inkscape canvas properly setup: the paper size is adjusted to 1024×1024 units and guidelines for baseline, x-height, caps-height, ascender and descender are created.

2) Add glyph layer
Now you can design your first glyph. Each time you are satisfied with a glyph you can use the second extension to create a “glyph layer”, move the selection to the newly created layer and auto-hide it so that you have a clean canvas to work on your next glyph. You can, of course, at any moment toggle the visibility of any of your previous glyphs at the layers dialog so that you can either tweak it or use it as a reference while you are designing other glyphs.

3) Converting to SVG Font
Once you’ve designed all of your desired glyphs, you’ll have to use this third extension to convert the glyph layers to the SVGFont format, which is what FontForge is capable of dealing with.

After these 3 steps you can save your SVG document and load it in FontForge to continue the typography work.

Please leave a comment on this blog post with suggestions about how this could work better for you, or if you have any questions about what you can do to help move development of this tool forwards!

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