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Variable Font Support


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There should be a switch to display all axes, and be able to use them.
The majority of the time the other axes are not being controlled via another axis.
All of the axes may be used in the named instances.
But quite often that is not the case (usually the case).
Google Fonts (GF) allows a very limited set of named instances in the variable fonts.
Most of the time there are no instances at all for Optical Size.

I have seen two users in this forum making static fonts from variable fonts (because variable was not supported yet) - and they used axis settings which would be hidden now.
So even though variable fonts are now supported - they cannot set the variable fonts the same way.

Let knowledgeable advanced users do advanced stuff.
They are not Canva users who need to be prevented from making a mistake.
Hiding all the axes is silly.

 

Note: you can test all variable axes with the Samsa Variable Font Inspector
Development was funded by Google Fonts. They use it themselves.
https://lorp.github.io/samsa/src/samsa-gui.html

 

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Geologica font - may be issues with the font, and with Affinity variable support.

The Required Variation Alternates code does not seem to work right.

Note: the Stylistic Set 01 (ss01) is an alternative way of accessing the glyphs.
It is not connected in any way to the variable font features.

There are two triggers for the required alternates to be On.
Cursive (CRSV) from 0.5 to 1
Weight (wght) from 566.65039 to 900

And these could be together or separate.
I could not get the triggers to work as I expected in a font editor

The characters affected are mostly latn, some cryl, and a couple locl.
Those are in the first lookup.
The second lookup only has the colonsign character - and it appears to be broken.

lookup SingleSubstitution1 includes
latn - aáăắặằẳẵâấậầẩẫȁäạàảȃāąåǻãæǽgğǧĝģġª
cyrl - аӑӓӕ
loclMKD - ѓ
loclSRB - пт

lookup SingleSubstitution2 includes
just the colonsign - ₡

The rvrn code looks like this:

#
# Feature variations
#

conditionset ConditionSet1 {
    CRSV 0.5 1;
    wght 566.65039 900;
} ConditionSet1;

variation rvrn ConditionSet1 { # Required Variation Alternates
    lookup SingleSubstitution1;
    lookup SingleSubstitution2;
} rvrn;

conditionset ConditionSet2 {
    wght 566.65039 900;
} ConditionSet2;

variation rvrn ConditionSet2 { # Required Variation Alternates
    lookup SingleSubstitution2;
} rvrn;

conditionset ConditionSet3 {
    CRSV 0.5 1;
} ConditionSet3;

variation rvrn ConditionSet3 { # Required Variation Alternates
    lookup SingleSubstitution1;
} rvrn;

Based on that it should act differently than what I saw in the editors - and on Samsa.

I do not have access to the v2 betas (now that they require activation) so I cannot test myself.
But I hope this is helpful so you know what is supposed to happen.

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Honk font - may be issues with the font, and with Affinity variable support.

First, the font is a variable COLRv1 font - never going to work 100% correctly without COLR v1 support.

But, I think it should be able to fallback to monochrome.

It appears the shadow is a variable component - so that could be the Affinity issue which need to be addressed.

There is another variable font in the GF approval pipeline right now which I think also uses variable components (a lot) called Bitcount.

Repo with the fonts is here: https://github.com/petrvanblokland/TYPETR-Bitcount

Demo site is here: https://bitcount.typenetwork.com/

So it would be helpful if someone tested those and reported back here. Thanks.

Gotta go for now. Have fun!

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Hi

Updating Character Style Panel using Variable Font Slider Axis

I added 3 character styles (DM SANS) with the character panel. Then changed the weight values using the variable slider. 
This updates the Character Font in the Character Panel. But I don't seem to be able to update the character from the Context Menu (Quick update!). The icon and dropdown have registered a change (+) and Highlight but when clicked is ignored

 

Affinity Version 1 (10.6) Affinity Version 2.5.2  All (Designer | Photo | Publisher)   Beta; 2.5 3.2516
OS:Windows 10 Pro 22H2 OS Build 19045.4412+ Windows Feature Experience Pack 1000.19056.1000.0
Rig:AMD FX 8350 and AMD Radeon (R9 380 Series) Settings Version 21.04.01 
Radeon Settings Version 2020
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I'm not entirely sure what the expected behaviour should be here but...

Creating a Publisher document in v2.4.2 using Variable Fonts but with no Font Variations made to any of the text fails to display some of the fonts when the file is opened in v2.5.0... I have to reselect the font weights from the dropdown for the text to appear visible in the file...

I assume that the font weight should be automatically recognised when opening the file in v2.5.0 despite v2.4.2 not supporting variable fonts...

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3 minutes ago, adrien_b said:

I don't think so, because technically static fonts and variable fonts are different files, often with distinct names (e.g. 'Inter' and 'Inter Variable'). Since type designers can have very different naming methods, guessing which variable font corresponds to which static font can be error-prone.

Bear in mind that I've made no adjustments to any of the fonts at this point so they appear as:

Fonts.png.1f1e738727fcfdca626192fc5b5d9d55.png

I would expect opening the Publisher file in v2.5.0 to recognise the font weights assigned in Publisher v2.4.2.

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This may be specific to Amstelvar, I'm still testing...

With this variable font under certain circumstances making a particular combination of font variation adjustments hides three axes from the font variation panel. I've yet to determine which combination is required to achieve this and I'm unsure whether this should be happening in the first place, i.e., do certain combinations of font variation make others no longer valid and subsequently hide certain axes or is this a bug?

It seems odd to me that certain initially available axes are suddenly hidden but the consequence of this is that when the file is exported to PDF the static name allocated to the font is incorrect as shown below...

Note how after adjusting some of the available font variations, three of the axes have vanished from the available options, namely XTRA, XOPQ and YTFI. The last one in particular is odd because my text contains no 'numbers'...

The static filename allocated to the font uses the remaining nine values but assigns them incorrectly, i.e.,

  • It assigns a value of 116 to XTRA which isn't possible because 'x transparent' has a range between 324 and 640
  • It assigns a value of 500 to XOPQ which isn't possible because 'x opaque' has a range between 18 and 263
  • It assigns a value of 650 to YOPQ which isn't possible because 'y opaque' has a range between 15 and 132
  • It assigns a value of 548.3 to YTLC which is possible because 'y transparent lowercase' has a range between 420 and 570
  • It assigns a value of -240 to YTUC which isn't possible because 'y transparent uppercase' has a range between 500 and 1,000
  • It assigns zero values to YTAS, YTDE and YTFI

The static filename given takes its values from the nine remaining axes and assigns these chronologically ignoring the three axes that have vanished so instead of...

Amstelvar_220wght_83.75wdth_12opsz_0GRAD_0XTRA_0XOPQ_116YOPQ_500YTLC_650YTUC_548.3YTAS_-240YTDE_0YTFI

the file is incorrectly given the name:

Amstelvar_220wght_83.75wdth_12opsz_0GRAD_116XTRA_500XOPQ_650YOPQ_548.3YTLC_-240YTUC_0YTAS_0YTDE_0YTFI

AmstelvarStaticFontName.thumb.png.3c3e521db940d071c4e3c24d89d4be61.png

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1 hour ago, Hangman said:

I'm not entirely sure what the expected behaviour should be here but...

FWIW, I tried this with several different variable fonts set to different font style presets in the attached v-font test.afpub V2.4.2 APub file. On opening in the 2.5 beta, 2 of the 4 styles were visible without having to change/reset anything, & the other two were not. So I do not know if this is specific to just some variable fonts or to certain styles or what.

BTW, I can reliably crash all three desktop 2.4.2 versions by opening the Character panel & selecting from the Font Collection popup the "Variable Fonts" collection I made in Font Book. It contains the 5 variable fonts I have installed for testing:

Smartcollection.jpg.7eabc0e039e40678044075917b2f6c4c.jpg

Selecting this collection in the APub 2.5 beta does not crash that app.

So basically, all I can say is V2.4 does not play well with variable fonts. 😆

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26 minutes ago, R C-R said:

FWIW, I tried this with several different variable fonts set to different font style presets in the attached v-font test.afpub V2.4.2 APub file. On opening in the 2.5 beta, 2 of the 4 styles were visible without having to change/reset anything, & the other two were not. So I do not know if this is specific to just some variable fonts or to certain styles or what.

I tested your file, the Roboto Flex Regular didn't open as that in v2.4.2 but changing to the Google Fonts version I have installed and then opening the file in 2.5.0, only that particular font wasn't visible until reselecting the weight from the dropdown again...

31 minutes ago, R C-R said:

BTW, I can reliably crash all three desktop 2.4.2 versions by opening the Character panel & selecting from the Font Collection popup the "Variable Fonts" collection I made in Font Book. It contains the 5 variable fonts I have installed for testing:

Great catch, yes I get an instant crash as well...

I've attached a crash report which will hopefully be helpful...

Affinity Publisher 2 Beta-2024-04-28-202015.ips

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4 minutes ago, Hangman said:

I tested your file, the Roboto Flex Regular didn't open as that in v2.4.2 but changing to the Google Fonts version I have installed and then opening the file in 2.5.0, only that particular font wasn't visible until reselecting the weight from the dropdown again...

I'm not sure I understand what you mean about in which version the Roboto Flex Regular text didn't open for you or which version of Roboto Flex Regular you were using (other than the Google one, which for me is Version 3.200;gftools[0.9.32] I downloaded from Google, or if you are saying only your version of that font wasn't visible until you reselected it.

All I can tell you is for me, this is what I see when first opening the file in V2.5:

beta2.5ofv-fonttest.jpg.d2b4cd6914d5a1eb59ec5cc2a7edf212.jpg

All four text layers appear in the Layers panel with the appropriate names, but the 2 not visible on the page also show weird bounding boxes & Transform panel sizes when selected. They do appear when I select any of the Font Style dropdown choices, & at that time their bounding boxes & Transform panel sizes return to what they should be.

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37 minutes ago, R C-R said:

I'm not sure I understand what you mean about in which version the Roboto Flex Regular text didn't open for you or which version of Roboto Flex Regular you were using (other than the Google one, which for me is Version 3.200;gftools[0.9.32] I downloaded from Google, or if you are saying only your version of that font wasn't visible until you reselected it.

This is what I see when opening your file in v2.4.2...

 

and this when opening your file in v2.5.0 so something odd is going on as we're seeing different things... I'm also seeing Geologica and Playfair with partially white backgrounds in the layers panel!

Fontsv2.5.thumb.png.f8c8e18021df89a122852df70ed1685b.png

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9 minutes ago, Hangman said:

so something odd is going on as we're seeing different things...

Yes, it seems weird but maybe it is because we are using different OS or font versions ... or something?

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2 minutes ago, R C-R said:

Yes, it seems weird but maybe it is because we are using different OS or font versions ... or something?

The font versions are the same I believe, as in I downloaded all the fonts from Google Fonts and I'm likewise using Version 3.200;gftools[0.9.32] of Roboto Flex...

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4 minutes ago, Hangman said:

The font versions are the same I believe, as in I downloaded all the fonts from Google Fonts and I'm likewise using Version 3.200;gftools[0.9.32] of Roboto Flex...

So then maybe it is that we use different macOS versions?

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Feature Request...

Could the Font Variation labels be provided in Human Readable format rather than using their CSS names...

Current | Preferred

VariableFontLabels.png.783679b33010fdc8ab921232fe50b875.png

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1 hour ago, Hangman said:

Feature Request...

Could the Font Variation labels be provided in Human Readable format rather than using their CSS names...

Current | Preferred

 

I agree, is there a lookup table for all the possible css tags where you got these examples? see below

 

Patrick Connor
Serif Europe Ltd

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True nobility lies in being superior to your previous self."  W. L. Sheldon

 

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2 minutes ago, Patrick Connor said:

I agree, is there a lookup table for all the possible css tags where you got these examples?

There’s a (comprehensive?) list here: https://fonts.google.com/variablefonts#axis-definitions

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19 minutes ago, Patrick Connor said:

I agree, is there a lookup table for all the possible css tags where you got these examples?

Fonts may define their own display name for variable axes. They're included in the Name table. But the list from Google should be a good general fallback. Note that only lowercase axis ids are official according to the spec. The uppercase ids are vendor specific, so in theory a particular axis could have a different name/meaning depending on the font.

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25 minutes ago, Patrick Connor said:

I agree, is there a lookup table for all the possible css tags where you got these examples?

Also, could all axis be shown in more advanced typefaces?

Robo Flex has 12 different axis, but Affinity Publisher v.2.50 b2 only show five (5) - why?

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10 minutes ago, Floor said:
37 minutes ago, Patrick Connor said:

I agree, is there a lookup table for all the possible css tags where you got these examples?

Fonts may define their own display name for variable axes. They're included in the Name table. But the list from Google should be a good general fallback. Note that only lowercase axis ids are official according to the spec. The uppercase ids are vendor specific, so in theory a particular axis could have a different name/meaning depending on the font.

I was wrong @Hangman. The name comes from the font, and it turns out the very latest version of Roboto Flex has the names correctly set, and I get this in 2.5.0.2415

 

image.png

Patrick Connor
Serif Europe Ltd

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True nobility lies in being superior to your previous self."  W. L. Sheldon

 

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7 minutes ago, AffinityMakesMeWonder said:

Robo Flex has 12 different axis, but Affinity Publisher v.2.50 b2 only show five (5) - why?

This has been asked (and answered) many times in this thread. See the first post in this thread

On 4/12/2024 at 1:53 PM, Ash said:

You may see fewer axes in Affinity than are mentioned by a font provider's marketing. For example, Google Fonts lists 13 axes for Roboto Flex and Affinity exposes five of them. This is because we respect font designers' ability to specify that an axis should be hidden. This is part of the OpenType specification and means that software isn't meant to provide an interface for such axes.

Patrick Connor
Serif Europe Ltd

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True nobility lies in being superior to your previous self."  W. L. Sheldon

 

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3 minutes ago, Patrick Connor said:

This has been asked (and answered) many times in this thread. See the first post in this thread

Thanks!

Too much to read on many forums gets you blind and not sharp enough to read & remember…

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27 minutes ago, Patrick Connor said:

I was wrong @Hangman. The name comes from the font, and it turns out the very latest version of Roboto Flex has the names correctly set, and I get this in 2.5.0.2415

I was about to post the same comment...

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