[Ask] Turning off automatic updating in the glyph spacing fields?

In Photoshop to save time I want to use the Smart Metrics feature to kern and space my font, but unfortunately my font has to be bitmap. I came up with this work around to try to use Smart Metrics anyway but I’ve hit a snag.
The workaround is:

  • From the same font lettering image make layers for both a bitmap and a vector font.
  • Import the vector font layers into Fontself and run Smart Metrics, then go to the Advanced panel and screen cap the values for all the glyph “Left” “Width” “Right” fields. Delete the vector font.
  • Import the bitmap font layers into Fontself, go to the Advanced panel and manually input the values from the Smart Metrics version into the glyph fields.

Here’s where I hit the snag.

If I put a new number into one field for a glyph, the numbers in the other two fields for that glyph automatically update. In order to utilize the Smart Metrics spacing, I need to be able to update the numbers in all three fields to match those values exactly. Is there any way to turn off this automatic updating in the glyph fields?

Thanks very much for any input!

Hello Cosmicsoda,

the dimensions of a letter result from its true width plus the distance to the left plus the distance to the right. Because this is an addition, I have to change at least one second value when you change one.

Left + (Letter) + Right = Width
50 + 100 + 50 = 200
(new) 70 + 100 + 50 = 220
90 + 100 + 90 = (new) 280

The only way is to make the letters all the same width “mono”. Then all letters are e.g. 200 wide and have different left and right distances.

I did the above example in Illustrator with Fontself, but it behaves the same way in Photoshop.

Kind regards, Jens.

P. S.
If you like the dotted font, you can download it for free from me: http://www.computergrafik-know-how.de/font-uvajed-dotted/

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Hi Jens,

Thanks very much for your reply and for explaining. It makes sense that the other fields would automatically update in that case.

Is there any way it might be possible to update the glyph spacing values to match the Smart Metrics values then? It feels like such a waste to have a cheat sheet (the Smart Metrics spacing values for the vector version of the font), but then not be able to use it and have to spend the time to manually space and kern the bitmap version of the font.

Thanks again!


Hi Tessa,

did you know, that you can import the kerning from one font to another?

Make the Smart Kernng of your Vector-Font and save it to the Desktop.

Make you Bitmap-Font and go to “advanced”, than click on “Import” and open the Vector-Font from the Desktop.

After that the Bitmap-Font has the same Kerning and so on like the Vector-Font.

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No, I didn’t know! I’ve just tried it a few times and it works great. I’m not sure what I thought the “Import” button was for, but this didn’t occur to me.

Thanks so much for pointing this out to me. It’s going to be such a help!


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