OpenType Designer

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OpenType Designer

The OpenType Designer provides you with an easy to use visual way to edit glyph positionings. In the left pane you see how the features and lookups are organized in your font, and depending on the lookup type you can edit the properties in the right pane.

The splitter on the dialogue can be dragged to adjust the width of the panes. Double-click the thumb bar (¦) to dock the script pane when it is not needed or to undock it.

The left toolbar allows you to add, remove, move, rename and change scripts, languages, features and lookups. Most of these functions are also available in the right-click menu when you have selected an item.


Add a new script, language, feature or lookup. The available options depend on which item is selected in the tree. If, for example, you select a feature, the current script and language will already be pre-determined on the add dialog.


Deletes a script, language, feature and/or lookup. A popup window will ask you to confirm and select how you want to delete the selected item.


Rename the selected item. Please note that each script, language, feature or lookup name has to be unique.

Change tag

Allows you to change the tag (type) of scripts, languages and features. Please note that each tag may only exist once on the same level of the tree.

Move up

*) Move a lookup or feature up

Move down

*) Move a lookup or feature down


This will provide all your scripts, languages, features and lookups with consistent and if possible meaningful names


This will automatically create kerning pairs for pair adjustment lookups. See also Autokern.


Only affects Single and Pair Adjustment lookups: Will (re)group individual glyphs into glyph classes, based on their left and right side bearing, width and current adjustment value. This will greatly reduce the number of visible kerning pairs and allow you to quickly change adjustment values of multiple glyphs at once.

Break classes

Only affects Single and Pair Adjustment lookups: Will break all classes into separate kerning pairs or single adjustments.


Permanently deletes all unused lookups and features, you can use this to quickly clean up your lookups and features.

*) The order in which lookups are defined is also the order in which they are processed by host applications. This button allows you to move a lookup down so they are processed earlier or later. As soon as the host application has found a match in one of the lookups it will stop processing that specific loookup. This can be useful to create an "override" for kerning pairs for example. Consider a large kern lookup which contains several class-based pairs. If one or two pairs need extra modification, you can add another lookup to the feature and add the "exceptions" before the actual kern table. This way the host application will find the "exception" first and will skip the "wrong" value from the large lookup.


The right-click menu on the left pane also provides some additional lookup specific actions:


Only available for Single and Pair Adjustment lookups: Allows you to export only a single lookup table (including all used classes) and import it into another font.

Break classes

Break kerning classes into separate kerning pairs.


Perform auto grouping on the selected lookup table only.


Preview Area

The preview area allows you to quickly test your OpenType layout features. The Preview tool window has almost the same functionality.

You can choose which feature need to be active, so only those will be used to shape the text within the preview area. You can also choose to use a more advanced Shaping Engine, which behaves more like other software like Microsoft Word, Adobe InDesign, Serif Affinity Designer, and web browsers. To enable it, either check the feature named "_shaper", or right-click in the preview area, and select Shaping Engine. This will process specific features in a specific order, even if they are not selected, and after that it will process all remaining active features.


The shaping engine will process the following features for glyph substitution:

locl, ccmp, nukt, akhn, rphf, pref, rkrf, abvf, blwf, half, pstf, vatu, cjct, isol, init, medi, fina, abvs, blws, calt, clig, haln, liga, pres, psts, rclt, rlig, vert, vrt2.

and these for glyph positioning:

curs, dist, kern, mark, abvm, blwm, mkmk.

Some of the above features will only be applied if the specific glyphs do match the meaning of the feature. For example isol will only be processed if the input glyph is isolated.



The import function allows you to import an OpenType Layout Feature Definition script. If the script contains only a lookup table, the lookup table will be added to the existing lookups. If the script contains script and language declarations, all existing items will be deleted and overwritten. The Professional Edition of FontCreator 11.5 also allows you to import Microsoft VOLT project (*.vtp) files.



The export function allows the export of all scripts, languages, features and lookup definitions, including those that are not in use. Class definitions will also be exported. If you want to export only a single lookup table, you can right-click on one of the lookup tables, and select “Export Lookup”. Please note that exporting a single lookup is only supported for Single and Pair adjustments.



Remove all scripts, languages, features, feature params, lookups, classes, and anchors.



Right to Left

From a technical point of view, this is only important for Cursive Attachment lookups. When checked the last glyph in a given sequence to which the cursive attachment lookup is applied, will be positioned on the baseline.

For all other lookups it is used within FontCreator to indicate that the lookup is used for right to left writing. For kerning pairs this means that the first and second glyph will be visually swapped.

Ignore Base Glyphs

If checked, the processing application will skip over the base glyphs*

Ignore Ligatures

If checked, the processing application will skip over ligatures*

Process Marks

Defines which marks* should be processed

Mark Filtering Set

Defines which marks* should be filtered


*) Base, Ligature, and Mark are OpenType Types which can be defined through the Glyph Properties tool window.


Clear subtable will delete all entries of the currently selected subtable, to clear an entire lookup table (including all subtables) use the right-click menu in the left pane.


The settings button will open the Designer Settings