This page shows how to add and remove glyphs to a font with Python.

Adding glyphs

The example below shows how to add news glyphs to a font, including a check to avoid overwriting existing glyphs.

font = CurrentFont()

# add a new glyph to the font
# if the glyph already exists, it will be overwritten
font.newGlyph('hello')

# use clear=False if you don't want to overwrite an existing glyph
font.newGlyph('A', clear=False)

# add several glyphs at once with a loop
newGlyphNames = ['test1', 'test2', 'test3']
for glyphName in newGlyphNames:
    font.newGlyph(glyphName)

Removing glyphs

The example below shows to remove glyphs from a gony, including a check to avoid an error if the font does not include a glyph with the given name.

font = CurrentFont()

glyphName = 'hello'

# before removing a glyph, make sure it actually exists in the font
if glyphName in font:
    del font[glyphName]
else:
    print("font does not contain a glyph named '%s'" % glyphName)

# if we try to remove a glyph which is not in the font,
# and error will be raised
del font['spam']
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<untitled>", line 3, in <module>
  File "/Applications/RoboFont.app/Contents/Resources/lib/python3.6/fontParts/base/layer.py", line 136, in __delitem__
ValueError: No glyph with the name 'spam' exists.

font.removeGlyph(glyphName) is deprecated.

When a glyph is removed from a font with a script, it is not automatically removed from groups, kerning, or components. This is not necessarily a problem, since the UFO3 specification allows groups, kerning and components to reference glyphs which are not in the font.

Removing glyphs from groups

The example below shows how to remove all occurrences of a glyph in groups.

font = CurrentFont()

# glyph to be removed
glyphName = 'B'

# iterate over all groups in the font
for groupName in font.groups.keys():
    # get the group as a list of glyph names
    group = list(font.groups[groupName])
    # if the glyph is in the group:
    if glyphName in group:
        # remove the glyph name
        print("removing '%s' from group '%s'..." % (glyphName, groupName))
        group.remove(glyphName)
        # put the group back into the font
        font.groups[groupName] = group

Removing glyphs from kerning

The example below shows how to remove all kerning pairs which include a glyph.

font = CurrentFont()

# the glyph to be removed
glyphName = 'A'

# iterate over all kerning pairs in the font
for kerningPair in font.kerning.keys():
    # if the glyph is in the kerning pair:
    if glyphName in kerningPair:
        # remove the kerning pair
        print('removing kerning pair (%s, %s)...' % kerningPair)
        del font.kerning[kerningPair]

Removing glyphs from components

The example below shows how to remove all components referencing a glyph.

font = CurrentFont()

# the glyph to be removed
glyphName = 'a'

# iterate over all glyphs in the font
for glyph in font:
    # skip glyphs which don't have components
    if not glyph.components:
        continue
    # iterate over all components in glyph
    for component in glyph.components:
        # if the base glyph is the glyph to be removed
        if component.baseGlyph == glyphName:
            # delete the component
            glyph.removeComponent(component)

Removing template glyphs

The example below shows how to remove a template glyph from a font.

font = CurrentFont()

# the template glyph to be removed
glyphName = 'a'

# get the current template glyphs
templateGlyphs = font.templateGlyphOrder

# remove template glyph name from list
templateGlyphs.remove(glyphName)

# save the list of template glyphs back into the font
f.templateGlyphOrder = templateGlyphs
Last edited on 15/07/2021