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The main font that I'm using for a project lacks OldStyle numbers, and I would really like to add them from a different typeface (one whose numbers I think complement nicely with my original font). Both fonts are in OTF format.

Can I do this in FontForge (or other similar free software)? I.E. copy the old style numbers from a second typeface and add them to the first one as an OTF feature? If yes, how?

I've never used FontForge before, so I'm looking for detailed answers suited for a beginner.

  • YES, you can do this and lots more with FontForge. FontForge is very nicely documented. You do not want anything new or exotic. I googled it and noticed that the answers depend muchly on your OS and on your version of FontForge. So either just search the web until you find a still-valid answer for your setup or provide us here with more detail about your machine please. – Martin Zaske Feb 11 at 22:58
  • Thank you. I have both a Windows 10 PC and a Mac, so I can work on either one. I did google around and found this guide: fontforge.github.io/editexample6.html --- but for whatever reason, everytime I tried to copy the old style numbers from the other font, it would mess up the original numbers of the font (in unpredicable ways). – johnymm Feb 11 at 23:33
  • Your guide looks good to me. Building variants of digits if an advanced application of glyph copy&paste since the new ones you want to add do not go to extra code points but you have to provide exact information to FontForge what each digit should do for which user-variant-choice. So if details of this guide are still unclear to you, I am afraid you need to dig deeper and learn more. Make sure you have the mechanics of the copy and paste figured out for "normal" glyphs. For example you can copy a missing glyph (like U+1E9E) from another font and paste it where it belongs: to U+1E9E empty slot. – Martin Zaske Feb 15 at 23:41

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