How serious are intersecting coordinates in a font?
August 30, 2008 1:45 PM   Subscribe

How serious are intersecting coordinates in a font?

I'm making a Unicode font in FontCreator, using composite glyphs for the angstroms and c cedilla. When I try to validate the font, FontCreator reports that everything is fine except for intersecting coordinates on Å, ç, and Ç. (I haven't included any Romanian glyphs, though maybe I should.)

On those three characters, the diacritics are meant to connect.

FontCreator, rather unhelpfully, says that it's up to me how many of the errors I choose to correct.

Would any certain programs, esp. common word processors, have problems with the font if I leave in the errors? e.g. I've found mention that Flash chokes on characters with incorrect contour direction, but no mention of what problems, if any, programs might have with intersecting coordinates.

Or should those characters be drawn as simple glyphs rather than composited?
posted by johnofjack to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Best answer: I know nothing about fonts, but hey, if Wingdings has no trouble in any word processor, why would yours?
posted by Mach5 at 6:36 PM on August 30, 2008

Response by poster: At first I thought that was a flippant answer, but then I realized I was making the assumption that all pre-installed fonts validated. Not all of them do.

Attempting to validate Times New Roman prompts a number of complaints, including contours with incorrect direction, intersecting coordinates, and quite a lot of off-curve extreme coordinates (though, to be fair, the font does have 1674 glyphs).

Arial doesn't validate either, reporting a long list of those same errors.

So I think I'm in good shape. Thanks.
posted by johnofjack at 7:30 PM on August 30, 2008

In response to your comment rather than your question: please bear in mind, any font you make is likely to be used in far more ways than you realize, over time. The big one that immediately springs to mind is generating splines in 3D editors. *ANY* errors in the font now mean that anyone trying to create extruded meshes based on your font (for three-dimensional renderings of letters using it) are likely to spend hours tearing out their hair as they wonder what in the unholy fuck is wrong with your font.

If you can fix it in a few hours time, you may end up saving a lot of people a lot of pain down the road. Just a thought.
posted by Ryvar at 1:20 AM on August 31, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for the notice, Ryvar. I converted the characters that were throwing the error from composite to simple glyphs, and it turned out to be a rather simple and easy fix to join the contours. So now everything validates.
posted by johnofjack at 8:21 PM on September 1, 2008

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