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You are here: Home / Conferences / Hong Kong 2012 / Programme / 10 October – Research, case studies & workshops

Manipulating CID-keyed fonts using AFDKO tools

When Wed 10 Oct 1400
Where WK2
Who Ken Lunde, Masataka Hattori

This is a 3 hour workshop from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

One of the seemingly least-understood features of many AFDKO (Adobe Font Development Kit for OpenType) tools is their ability to directly manipulate CID-keyed fonts, which are manifested as a CIDFont resource or CFF, or as the 'CFF' table of an OpenType/CFF font. CID-keyed fonts have several benefits, one of which is their ability to include multiple hint dictionaries, which are implemented as FDArray elements. This allows different hinting parameters to be applied to different glyphs, which is usually specified on a per-script basis. Another benefit is that CID-keyed fonts gracefully support thousands or even tens of thousands of glyphs, which is precisely why they are most commonly used for developing CJK fonts. CID-keyed fonts are almost always built by compiling, or 'rolling up', a large number of individual name-keyed fonts. When particular glyphs need to modified, removed, or added, most developers simply make the changes to the appropriate source name-keyed fonts, but this means that the CID-keyed font needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. However, it is possible, and quite easy, to make such changes directly to the CID-keyed font itself.

This workshop will demonstrate how careful use and scripting of particular AFDKO tools, such as tx, mergeFonts, and rotateFont, can make working with larger CID-keyed fonts more of a joy than a pain. CID-keyed fonts serve as one of the source files when developing OpenType/CFF CJK fonts, so learning how to more easily manipulate such fonts can result in a much faster, more efficient, and less error-prone font development workflow.

Other topics to be covered in this workshop will include techniques for establishing and applying hinting parameters for CID-keyed fonts through the use of AFDKO's stemHist and autohint tools, along with various ways to inspect the properties of a CID-keyed font.

Anyone with an interest in developing East Asian fonts would benefit from attending this workshop.

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