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40 minutes ago, JHutchinson said:

I want to use fonts downloaded from google fonts, and they download as a variable font ttf. So, without this feature, I'm restricted in design options. They do correctly load in kind of, in so far as the list of weights is the same length as the weights in the family, but one weight takes place for every single one. I'd consider this a bug. I see the topic goes back two years.

In absence of the feature, can anybody recommend solutions to extract the individual weights from the ttf as a workaround?

Google Fonts does still provide static versions of their fonts along with the variable font files when downloaded. Look in the 'static' folder. Keep in mind if you add both the static and variable font files to many font managers you may end up with conflicts. Given that Affinity doesn't support variable fonts I currently only add the fonts in the static folder, and .zip up the static versions for later use.

As for a solution to extract individual static weights of a variable font check out Slice. It's an app that not only generates static versions of a font from a variable font file, but also allows you to subset the fonts to reduce size and/or unnecessary glyphs. 

image.png.7a14c7e3789c960c162e87c64020c204.png

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46 minutes ago, Old Bruce said:

the singular(s) of Axes is both Axis and Axe.

Pronunciation and context matter :)

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.5, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.5

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On 5/13/2022 at 5:01 AM, RickyO said:
On 5/11/2022 at 11:17 AM, walt.farrell said:

Libre's response is very helpful!  What appears obvious is a growing number of criteria or axis which an untold number of font foundries are creating.  I think it's time for some sort of 'clearing house' to review and consolidate (where appropriate) the various creative criteria.  Duplication is one problem, but the growing vastness of the number of aspects (axis) is approaching mind-numbing infinity.  Some form of standards board I think is getting to be overdue.

@walt.farrell Because nothing has happened regarding this in the "official" repo, Google Fonts established their own Axis Registry for their own use (and their web font API) and to provide some clarity to the entire variable font ecosystem.
https://github.com/googlefonts/axisregistry
It currently has 23 axes accepted into this registry.
https://github.com/googlefonts/axisregistry/tree/main/Lib/axisregistry/data
And there are many more axes proposed in the issues tracker:
https://github.com/googlefonts/axisregistry/issues 
And there a few other proposals scattered around the GF repo.
They do not treat this as "this is our way" but more of a place to get ideas, and feed back, and then to propose clear definitions of each axis to help everyone going forward.
For example every one needs to be on the same page in defining the Italic axis vs. the Slant axis.
So users will know what to expect when they encounter a font with these.
There is also guidance on the "best" scale(s) to use the various axes, and why.

I know this registry is not very helpful regarding clarity for the end user right now.
But GF is currently working on an update to their GF Knowledge pages which will provide good descriptions of every axis - which will be very helpful for all end users.
I see their updates and discussions almost every day as they work on this.
You can see some examples of that here (they call it GFK):
https://github.com/google/fonts/search?q=GFK&type=issues

I am not sure of the timeline for publishing that, but they are diligently working on it.
Since it is CC licensed we will be able to share it in different forms.

 

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On 5/13/2022 at 3:08 PM, LondonSquirrel said:

Let us be clear: variable width fonts are intended for use with CSS. That is their intended home, not PDF.

Adobe published their Technical Note #5902 in September 2016.
Title: Generating PostScript Names for Fonts Using OpenType Font Variations
It is an update to the font naming conventions they wrote in previous PDF specs.
Updated to include guidance on "best practices" when embedding variable fonts in PDFs.
But what does Adobe know about PDFs?

One of the things #5902 described was: Variations PostScript Name Prefix string (name ID 25)
Which is an entry in the font name table to facilitate embedding variable fonts.
Helvetica Now Variable includes a Variations PostScript Name Prefix string (name ID 25).
It is almost like they expect users to embed the fonts.
Avenir Next Variable ... same thing! The silly name ID 25 is also there too.
Monotype, what do those fools know?

Even worse, the idiots at Apple have name ID 25 in their variable interface font. Dummies!

Don't even get me started on those Google Fonts bozos.
They have 241 variable fonts available for download ... in a desktop file format.
Where are the WOFF2 files for web use?
Idiots!

And Adobe PS, IL, and ID - all embedding variable fonts as text in PDFs ... wow.
Simply unacceptable.
Sketch on MacOS. Another app that has the audacity to embed variable fonts.
Even Inkscape! As text! Blasphemy!

None of the apps I have tested can cleanly round-trip variable fonts.
But that is the same as static fonts.
PDF is not designed as an editable document.

Many users are using variable fonts in advanced apps creating PDFs which are then output.
Today.

The applications are lagging behind the variable font development.

Affinity could be a leader here.

Edited by Leigh
Please Do Not Make it Personal!
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@walt.farrell It turns out GF does have the current axis registry listed in a user friendly way.
It is at the bottom of their variable fonts list - there is an Axis definitions tab.
https://fonts.google.com/variablefonts#axis-definitions

Those are just brief descriptions.
The GF Knowledge info in-progress will expand on that with demo images, etc.

 

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13 hours ago, LibreTraining said:

@walt.farrell It turns out GF does have the current axis registry listed in a user friendly way.
It is at the bottom of their variable fonts list - there is an Axis definitions tab.
https://fonts.google.com/variablefonts#axis-definitions

Those are just brief descriptions.
The GF Knowledge info in-progress will expand on that with demo images, etc.

 

Thank You!  You are a magnificent RESOURCE!

RickyO
APhADe and APu user
New User as of Mar, 2018
(Still stumbling along given too many directions at any given moment)
Windows10 platform

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  • 1 month later...
On 5/11/2022 at 6:16 PM, wonderings said:

I wonder what the real difference is between want and need here. 

The difference is between those who are designing just for print and those who are designing across web and print. Variable fonts are becoming essential for good typography on the web, because each additional weight/style of a font family adds to the page overhead and this can cause the site to slip in its Google rankings. Since variable font files can be accessed through named instances which are the same as thin, light, regular, medium, semibold, bold, black etc. (and since type designers increasingly create a family of fonts by designing a thin and a black and interpolating between them, which is what a variable font does), a variable font file can deliver what the font family does, but from a single file. What the font family can‘t deliver are the infinite range of intermediates between styles that the variable font is capable of. And when we have more than one axis (e.g. optical as well as weight variations) the possibility of replicating the same look as the web gets further removed — weight 740, optical 67 can end up being a long way away from 700 Bold Display (assuming there even are optical styles in the family).

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But I feel like I’m making a case here, when there is no case to be made. Variable fonts are a reality. All the big type foundries and most of the smaller ones are making them. Every major web browser can use them. Apple are using them for their operating system. Adobe support them on their desktop publishing apps. And supporting variable fonts doesn‘t affect support for existing PostScript and TrueType fonts. 

If Affinity doesn‘t get with the programme, it will get left behind. I’d like Affinity to stay ahead of the curve; I’m sure we all would. But to do that it can’t afford to be sniffy about emerging standards. (Support for web image formats is another area where it has fallen behind — we now have to use other apps to create WebP and AVIF, something that could easily have been incorporated into Photo.)

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12 hours ago, LondonSquirrel said:

What would be the output format for these variable fonts?

Could the cost of licensing have anything to do with the adoption?  Are there licensing requirements for application builders???

RickyO
APhADe and APu user
New User as of Mar, 2018
(Still stumbling along given too many directions at any given moment)
Windows10 platform

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8 minutes ago, RickyO said:

Could the cost of licensing have anything to do with the adoption?  Are there licensing requirements for application builders???

I don't think so.

The issue, as I see it, is that PDF doesn't support variable fonts. So, in order to have them available in a PDF, either

1. The user or application needs to convert them to curves. Or 

2. The application needs to generate a static subset of the variable font and embed it into the PDF. 

Approach 2 is certainly possible, but it's a complexity that many users who want variable fonts may not consider.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.5, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.5

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3 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

I don't think so.

The issue, as I see it, is that PDF doesn't support variable fonts. So, in order to have them available in a PDF, either

1. The user or application needs to convert them to curves. Or 

2. The application needs to generate a static subset of the variable font and embed it into the PDF. 

Approach 2 is certainly possible, but it's a complexity that many users who want variable fonts may not consider.

Thank you!

RickyO
APhADe and APu user
New User as of Mar, 2018
(Still stumbling along given too many directions at any given moment)
Windows10 platform

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's kinda sad how the discussion went from "we want something that's getting popular" in 2020 to "why do you actually need it?" and "do you want it that bad? take a look at an app hat turns your variable font into a static font".

Affinity sofware ain't getting any updates related to variable fonts, the users themselves seems to prefer questioning other users about the need for those fonts instead of making this discussion a whole request for Serif to move forward on implementing variable fonts.

Sad. Really sad.

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5 hours ago, Guedes said:

users themselves seems to prefer questioning other users about the need for those fonts instead of making this discussion a whole request for Serif to move forward on implementing variable fonts.

We're asking because the intended use of the fonts needs to be understood, to ensure that any implementation works to satisfy the user's needs. And, also, so that the users understand the complexity of what they're asking for and realize that it is not as simple as some assume it will be.

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
PC:
    Desktop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 

    Laptop:  Windows 11 Pro, version 23H2, 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
iPad:  iPad Pro M1, 12.9": iPadOS 17.5, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard 
Mac:  2023 M2 MacBook Air 15", 16GB memory, macOS Sonoma 14.5

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On 7/4/2022 at 11:33 PM, Guedes said:

It's kinda sad how the discussion went from "we want something that's getting popular" in 2020 to "why do you actually need it?" and "do you want it that bad? take a look at an app hat turns your variable font into a static font".

Affinity sofware ain't getting any updates related to variable fonts, the users themselves seems to prefer questioning other users about the need for those fonts instead of making this discussion a whole request for Serif to move forward on implementing variable fonts.

Sad. Really sad.

If you don't want to be in this discussion, than move on.  We're doing just fine without you.  Start your own; maybe someone will join you.

RickyO
APhADe and APu user
New User as of Mar, 2018
(Still stumbling along given too many directions at any given moment)
Windows10 platform

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  • 1 year later...
  • Staff

Hi All,

I'm pleased to let you know we have now added support for Variable Fonts to the Affinity Suite on all platforms - available to try now in the 2.5 beta...

 

Managing Director

Help make our apps better by joining our beta program!


MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2021) / Apple M1 Max / 64GB / macOS 12.0.1

iPad Pro 11-inch 3rd Gen / iPadOS 16.2

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