Work Flow for Abyssinica SIL?


I would like to understand the sequence of tools and edits needed to update the Abyssinica SIL font. For example to make changes and additions. I am familiar with FontLab but have not use either Graphite or VOLT previously so the steps are not obvious to me. What I gather from the README files in the “-developer” download is the following:

  1. Add or change glyphs in sources/AbyssinicaSIL-R-designsource.vfb with FontLab Studio.
  2. Save FontLab changes back to the .vfb file and generate a corresponding .ttf file. with the name fontlab-output.ttf This font has no Graphite or VOLT tables.
  3. Modify .gph as needed under sources/graphite .
  4. Execute the command:
    grcompiler -d -v2 -n2048 -w3521 -w510 font.gdl fontlab-output.ttf graphite-output.ttf
    This file has Graphite tables and no VOLT tables.
  5. Open graphite-output.ttf with VOLT.
  6. Import sources/VOLT/AbyssinicaSIL-R.vtp
  7. Make changes as needed and “ship” the font to produce final output font.

Is the above correct? Is anything missing? Does the Graphite and VOLT order matter, or can either come first?



Hi Daniel. I think the workflow you’ve described is correct. It’s been awhile since we’ve worked on the font. I don’t think the order of whether you add the Graphite or the OpenType matters. If you add glyphs that need to go into any of the lookups you will need to add them to the lookups in VOLT.

We’ve also added an empty dsig (digitial signature) to the font at the end of the build. I think without that sometimes Microsoft applications will not display the Stylistic Sets.

We do plan to move this project to an easier and more open workflow in the coming months. So, if you have time to wait for that, you can. Otherwise, I think the steps you’ve described will work.