Join Charles Nix for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting up instances, part of Glyphs App Essential Training.
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- [Instructor] Before we set up our Instances here are some important notes about Masters. First, each glyph must share the same number of points in each Master. So let me explain that. I'll double-click on this O to enter the edit view, and I'm going to select all. If we look down here in the info dialog you can see that there are 24 point selected, that's what that little black square means, and there are 24 points in the glyph, that's what the hollow square means. And if we use the command to go to the second Master, which is Cmd + two, and I select all here you can see that there are 24 and 24.
And Command + three for the third Master. 24 and 24. Four. Five. So each of these glyphs in each of these Masters has the exact same number of points. The second thing, and let's go back to Master number one, Command + one, the number of paths and the direction of those paths must be identical. So there are two paths here, one, two, and the direction is indicated by these arrows down here. The outer one is going counterclockwise, and the inner one is going clockwise.
So if we switch to the second Master and again, zoom out a little bit, Cmd + minus, you can see that the direction and number of paths here is exactly the same as the first one. Switch to the third, and again, zoom out, clockwise and counterclockwise, two paths. It's the same in the other two Masters too. The third thing, the start point for each path must correspond in each Master. So you just saw that, but I'll highlight it again. These are the start points and they're at the bottom, and in the second Master they're in the exact same position.
Third, fourth, and fifth, all in the exact same position. And lastly, and I'll go fit this in window, the last thing is that the number and names of the anchors must be exactly the same. So this has one anchor on it, which is named top, and if I go to the first, Command + one, you can see that one also has one anchor and it's named top, and that anchor exists in each of the other Masters. So when all of these criteria are met the Masters are deemed compatible. And Glyphs App will alert you when Masters are incompatible, but only when it's trying to blend between Masters.
It makes sense. If not no blending or interpolation is going on then there's not a problem. So to test your Masters for compatibility you have to create Instances between each of the Masters. We'll look closely at compatibility issues in the next section. For now, let's make some Instances. So let's go into Font Info, Cmd + I, and you can see in the Masters tab here that this Glyphs file, just like the other one, has five Masters. Three for weight and two for width. So staying in Font Info, I'm gonna click on the Instances tab.
And we have no Instances. You can tell because the left hand column here is blank. We're going to add Instances for each of the existing Masters. You can do that manually by copying the interpolation values from the Masters tab, but that would be a little bit tedious. Instead we'll click on the plus sign down here at the bottom left and we'll Add an Instance for each Master and let Glyphs do the work. So now we have one Instance for each of our Masters. You'll probably remember that this is the place where you give Style Names to your fonts. So this is where we add our Style Names.
It's confusing, but the Light Master in our font is actually Thin, so I'm gonna replace Light in the Style Name with Thin. And I'm gonna choose Thin from the Weight drop down menu also. Our Regular is Regular, so there's no change there, but our Heavy is actually labeled as Bold, so I'm gonna change that to Heavy, and choose Heavy from the drop down menu. The Condensed and Extended Masters are named correctly, but their Widths are set to Medium by default, so let's change that.
So thankfully the Interpolation values here are carried over from the Masters and they're correct. So you can see they're all correct. The thinnest Weight is 100, medium, and thickest. And our Condensed Weights are set correctly and the Widths are set correctly. So let's add some Instances in between. I'm gonna click on the plus sign down here again, but this time I'm gonna choose Add Instance. So Glyphs creates a generic Instance with some very random Weights and Widths on it, and I'm gonna click on it and drag it up between the Thin and Regular.
And I'm gonna rename this one Light. Light is between Thin and Regular. And I'll choose Light from the drop down menu here and I'll leave the Width at normal. So it's time to do some blending now. I wanna blend between the Thin and the Regular. So the Weight in our Thin is 100 and the Weight in the Regular is 500. The Light should be halfway between, so down here in Interpolation values I'm going to type 300. Halfway between 100 and 500.
And the Width should be set to 500, because it's a Regular width. And you can see the preview down here changes in order to reflect the new values. So we've just created an Instance from our Masters that exists between the two Masters. So let's do it again. I'll add an Instance between the Regular and the Heavy. I'll click down here, Add Instance, click on the generic Instance and drag it up between Regular and Heavy. And between Regular and Heavy is going to be Bold.
So let's rename this one Bold, choose the Weight, our Width is going to be normal, so we'll leave that as is, and we want a Weight that's somewhere between 500 and 900. So let's go halfway between, and that would be 700. So we'll type 700 in here. Set our Width to 500. Hit Return. And now we have two new Instances that fit perfectly between our Thin, Regular, and Heavy. And to be complete let's add a Narrow and Semi Extended Instance, so that we have something between the Condensed, Extended, and Regular widths.
So again, Add Instance, I'm gonna drag this between the Heavy and the Condensed, and this one we're going to call Narrow. The Weight is going to be Regular, and our Weight down here should be 500, since it is Regular, and the Width is going to be somewhere between Condensed and Regular. So again, we know that our Condensed is 100 and the Regular is 500, so that halfway point will be 300. So now we have a Narrow width, which is somewhere between the Condensed and the Regular.
And let's add one more between the Extended and the Regular. So again, Add Instance, we have to click on the N, drag it up here, and we're gonna call this one SemiExtended. The Weight is Regular, the Width is Semi Expanded, our Weight is 500, our Regular Weight, and we're gonna go somewhere between the Extended, which is 900, and the Regular, which is 500, so the halfway point between those two is 700.
Hit Return. And now we have Instances between each of our Masters. And Glyphs is going to have to try and interpolate between those. So if you wanna see what you've done here, or what I've done, and what you're hopefully doing along side of me, we can go back to the Font view, close this, go back to Font view, and let's double-click on the cap H to open up a window. Command + minus to shrink it down a little bit. And I'm gonna open up the preview pane down here, make it a little bit bigger, and then there's a blank drop down menu here, which shows all of our Instances.
So if we click at the bottom, Show all Instances, then the preview pane gets populated with all of our Instances. So there are a lot of moving parts to coordinate in Multiple Masters, I think you'll agree the payoff is pretty huge. Setting up Masters and Instances is the first step, the second is keeping all of your Masters compatible, and that can be tricky business. In the next section we'll walk through all of the trials and tribulations of Master compatibility.
- Measuring type
- Classifying type
- Using the Glyphs app tools, windows, layers, palettes, and menus
- Working with Glyphs app scripts
- Drawing letterforms and characters
- Using filters
- Creating punctuation and reference marks
- Deploying OpenType ligatures and stylistic sets
- Fitting and kerning
- Exporting and testing fonts
- Setting up masters and instances for a font family