Independent font technology forum

Presentations and discussion of major technology issues and developments affecting the type industry, focused on OpenType font technology, with emphasis on tools for making OT fonts, understanding system and application support issues, demonstrations from Microsoft and Adobe, and the first public demonstration of an OT enabled version of FontLab.

Participation is only open to registered ATypI attendees and the registration fee includes morning and afternoon coffee and refreshments at lunch.

Organised and sponsored by Tiro Typeworks in association with ATypI on Thursday 21 September. Held at Konsum Leipzig Zentrale, Industriestrasse 85–95.

Microsoft Visual OpenType Layout Tool 1.0 demonstration.

Apurva Joshi, Microsoft Typography, USA.

Apurva Joshi will present a step-by-step demonstration of adding OpenType layout tables to fonts with TrueType outlines using the recently released VOLT 1.0. VOLT's easy- to-use graphicap interface includes tools for naming and mapping glyphs to codepoints, managing glyph groups for a variety of production tasks, and adding glyph substitution and positioning lookups, as well as visual proofing tools. VOLT's powerful import and export features allow users to leverage layout templates between fonts. Apurva's presentation is also a chance to find out more about the active international VOLT user community, currently nearing 400 members.

Adobe OpenType Font Developer's Kit 1.3 demonstration.

Thomas Phinney, Adobe Systems, USA.

Thomas Phinney will demonstrate the latest version of the Adobe OpenType Font Developer's Kit (FDK). Attendees will see a complete OpenType production workflow. The 'makeOTF' tool takes Type 1 fonts and plain-text 'feature' files as inputs, and outputs an OpenType font. The 'OTFproof' tool can dump various table contents, including visual representations to a PostScript file. An InDesign plug-in allows proofing of any substitution feature interactively in a real application. Finally, the "compareFamily" tool looks at a whole font family for consistency and compatibility in a wide range of areas. Thomas will also discuss the strengths and limitations of the FDK, and Adobe's approach to tool proliferation.

FontLab 4.0 preview.

Yuri Yarmola, FontLab Developers Group, Russia.

Yuri Yarmola will give the first public demonstration of FontLab 4.0, forcusing on its OpenType-related features. OpenType support in FL4 is based on Adobe technologies and is designed to allow quick and easy creation of fonts with basic OpenType features. With FL4 it will be easy to create Latin script (and similarly structured scripts such as Cyrillic and Greek) fonts with all features supported in new Adobe products, starting with InDesign. FL4 also offers very fast conversion of plain Type 1 and TrueType fonts into OpenType versions, using instant compilation, error reporting and even automatic generation of absent characters. Import and export functions allow glyph substitution information to be exchanged between fonts. Yuri will also show Python language scripting embedded in FontLab, and its integration with the development of OpenType fonts.

An XML interface for OpenType Layout Tables.

Just van Rossum, Letterror, Netherlands.

Additions to Apple Glyph Processing.

John Jenkins, Apple Computer, USA.

Apple is continuing to enhance its tools and the Apple Advanced Typography specification. John Jenkins will describe Apple's plans for OpenType and AAT support on Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X and present newly-defined tables for use in TrueType fonts, as well as the new and revised tools available to support them.

Font Technology Q&A Panel.

John Hudson, Tiro Typeworks, Canada (moderator).
Aiman Copty, Microsoft Typography, USA.
Apurva Joshi, Microsoft Typography, USA.
David Lemon, Adobe Systems, USA.
John Jenkins, Apple Computer, USA.
Just van Rossum, Letterror, Netherlands.
Thomas Phinney, Adobe Systems, USA.
Yuri Yarmola, FontLab Developers Group, Russia.