The Space Center is a dedicated window for previewing text and adjusting the glyph metrics in a font.

The preview text can be edited by typing characters or glyph names into the text input field, or by selecting one of the default strings from the drop-down list.

Several display options are available from the popup menu at the right.

To modify the font’s spacing, use the Space Matrix at the bottom of the window to edit the width, left margin and right margin of each glyph.

Undo/redo is supported for the selected glyph.

Text Input Fields

The text input fields support different input formats:

description example result
any text abc tries to match glyph names:
a, b, c
unicode characters tries to match unicode values: ampersand, eacute
glyph names /ampersand/eacute get glyphs by name
glyph name and layer /ampersand@background get glyphs by name from a given layer
active glyph /? display the current active glyph
active glyph in layer /?@layerName display the current active glyph in a specific layer
font selection /! display the current selected glyphs in the Font Overview
glyphs in group /:groupName display all glyphs for a group name if the group name exists
new line \n insert a line break

The following shortcuts are available when typing in the main text input field:

shortcut action
⌥ + Escape display a list of all glyph names in the font
⇧ + Enter insert a line break character \n

Default strings

A list of default input strings is available from the drop-down menu below the main input field. These strings can be edited in the Space Center Preferences.

Control glyphs

The two smaller input fields at the left/right side are used to define control glyphs which are displayed before/after each glyph in the main string.

Editing glyph metrics

Glyph metrics can be edited by selecting and dragging a glyph or its margins, or by using the arrow keys to increase/decrease the values for Width, Left and Right.

Editing with the mouse

modifiers action result
click on a glyph Select the glyph.
click outside of a glyph Deselect the glyph.
click + drag left/right margin Move the left/right margin in all glyph layers.
click + drag left/right margin Move the left/right margin.
click + drag contours Move the glyph horizontally.
click + drag contours Move the glyph vertically.
⌥ + ⌘ click + drag contours Move the glyph freely.

Editing with the arrow keys

If a glyph is selected, its width and margins can be modified using the arrow keys.

modifiers affects
-1 +1 width (right margin)
-10 +10 width (right margin)
⇧ + ⌘ -100 +100 width (right margin)
-1 +1 left margin
⌥ + ⇧ -10 +10 left margin
⌥ + ⇧ + ⌘ -100 +100 left margin

Nummerical fields

The Space Matrix supports a simple math syntax which makes it possible to define values as calculations with values from other glyphs.

description example result
any number 123 Sets value to the given number.
equal sign followed by glyph name =a Sets value to be equal to the value of the assigned glyph.
simple math expression =e+10-z*10 Sets value to be equal to the result of the evaluated expression.

Values in nummerical fields can also be modified incrementally using the arrow keys.

modifiers affects
-1 +1 selected value
-10 +10 selected value
⇧ + ⌘ -100 +100 selected value

Arrows and tab keys can be used to navigate to adjacent values using only the keyboard.

modifiers keys description
↑ or → or ↓ or ← Jump to adjacent input fields.
tab Jump to the next input field.
tab Jump to the previous input field.
tab Jump to the input field below.

Display options

The popup menu at the top right (gears icon) gives access to several display options.

option description
Show Kerning

Toggle display of kerning.

Only kerning defined in the UFO is shown. Kerning defined in the kern feature is not displayed.

Suffix ▸

Use glyphs with the selected suffix whenever available.

The suffix list is generated from all glyph names containing a dot. Example, if the font contains a glyph named ampersand.alt, the suffix .alt will appear in the list.

Show Layers ▸ Display additional layers in the preview.
Multi Line Break text into multiple lines to fit into the window.
Single Line Display text as a single line.
Water Fall Display a waterfall sample with a range of text sizes.
Cut Off Invert foreground and background shapes between extremes. You can edit the size of the Cut Off section using cmd ⌘ + drag when no glyph is selected. Default values are baseline and xHeight, you can modify these values in the Preferences Editor. This is a great way to visualize countershapes while spacing.
Inverse Invert foreground and background colors.
Show Metrics Show metrics values for selected glyph.
Left To Right Display text from left to right.
Right To Left Display text from right to left.
Center Display text aligned to center.
Upside Down Flip text vertically.
Beam Measure margins at the intersections with a movable horizontal beam.
Guides Show font guidelines.
Blues Show blue zones.
Family Blues Show family blue zones.
Images Show images in glyphs.
Fill Display the fill of the glyph contours.
Stroke Display the stroke of the glyph contours.
Line Space Add or remove space between lines of text.
Tracking Add or remove space between glyphs.
Show Control Glyphs Toggle the display of control glyphs in the Space Matrix.
Show Space Matrix Toggle the Space Matrix.
Show Template Glyphs Toggle the display of template glyphs in the preview and matrix.

Updating the preview

When glyphs which appear in the Space Center are modified, the preview is updated instantly if the total number of glyphs is smaller than the value defined in Maximum glyph count for live updating in the Space Center Preferences. For input strings longer than this value, a 0.2 seconds delay is applied.

Last edited on 01/09/2021