Adding glyphs

Choose Font > Add Glyphs from the Application Menu to open the Add Glyphs sheet:

In the main text area, fill in the names of the glyphs you would like to create, as a space-separated list.


option description
Import glyph names from… Import glyph names from saved character sets (see Character Set Preferences) or from the current font.
Add unicode Try to set the unicode values for the given glyph names automatically.
Sort Font Sort the glyphs in the font alphabetically.
Overwrite Glyphs Overwrite glyphs if they already exist in the font.
Add As Template Glyphs Add glyphs as template glyphs only. If this option is unchecked, empty new glyphs will be created instead.
Mark Color Click on the color swatch to open a color picker, and choose a mark color for the new glyphs.

Glyph construction rules

Glyph names support basic glyph construction rules which provide additional functions for creating new glyphs.

Building new glyphs with one or more components:


Aligning components using anchors:


For this example to work, the base glyph a must have an anchor named top, and the accent glyph acute must have an anchor named _top.

Assigning a unicode value to a glyph name:


The simple glyph construction rules provided by the Add Glyphs sheet have been expanded into the more powerful Glyph Construction language.

See also Building glyphs with Glyph Construction.

Removing glyphs

Select the glyphs which you would like to delete from the font in the Font Overview, and press the backspace key.

To remove template glyphs, use ⌥ + backspace.

When a glyph is deleted from the font, it is also automatically removed from font.glyphOrder.

Depending on your settings in Character Set Preferences, the deleted glyphs will also be removed from groups and/or kerning pairs.

Removing glyphs from groups and/or kerning applies only when deleting glyphs manually from the Font Overview, by selecting and pressing the backspace key.

Glyphs which are deleted via scripts are not removed from groups or kerning, independent of user settings.

Deleted glyphs are not removed automatically from OpenType features.

It is important to remove deleted glyphs from features code before generating OpenType fonts – if the OpenType compiler encounters a glyph which is not in the font, it will raise an error and the font will not be generated.

Adding and removing glyphs with Python

Of course, it is also possible to add and remove glyphs to/from a font with Python.

Adding glyphs

Here’s an example showing how to add glyphs with code, including a check to avoid overwriting existing glyphs:

f = CurrentFont()

# add a new glyph to the font
# if the glyph already exists, it will be overwritten


# if you don't want to overwrite a glyph,
# first check if it already exists in the font

newGlyphName = 'A'

if newGlyphName not in f.keys():
    print("glyph '%s' already exists in the font" % newGlyphName)

# add several glyphs at once with a loop

newGlyphNames = ['test1', 'test2', 'test3']

for glyphName in newGlyphNames:

Removing glyphs

And here an example showing how to remove glyphs with code, including a check to avoid errors if a glyph is not included in the font:

f = CurrentFont()

# before removing a glyph,
# make sure it actually exists in the font

glyphName = 'hello'

if glyphName in f.keys():
    print("font does not contain a glyph named '%s'" % glyphName)

# otherwise, and error will be raised when trying to
# remove a glyph which is not included in the font

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<untitled>", line 16, in <module>
  File "/Applications/", line 191, in removeGlyph
FontPartsError: No glyph with the name 'spam' exists.

Removing glyphs from groups

f = CurrentFont()

# glyph to be removed
glyphName = 'd'

# iterate over all groups in the font
for groupName in f.groups.keys():

    # get the group
    group = f.groups[groupName]

    # if glyph is in the group, remove it
    if glyphName in group:
        print('removing %s from group %s...' % (glyphName, groupName))

Removing glyphs from kerning

f = CurrentFont()

# the glyph to be removed
glyphName = 'A'

# iterate over all kerning pairs in the font
for kerningPair in f.kerning.keys():

    # if glyph is in the kerning pair, remove it
    if glyphName in kerningPair:
        print('removing kerning pair (%s, %s)...' % kerningPair)
        del f.kerning[kerningPair]
Last edited on 23/01/2018