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Both FontLab Studio and Fontographer have a Blend feature, which can produce decent results when working with fonts which are visually as well as structurally similar, to save time creating new weights or widths by averaging others together. This process is called interpolation.

However, that won't wouldn't work for me with what I have in mind. At least not in the traditional sense or any way I'm used to. The fonts I will be working with will often not share compatible outlines (which is rather the point) and besides, I don't want the computer to make awkward choices that require artistic insight: I'd like to decide which aspects of each to keep, scrap, or change.

I only bring it up because when one blends a light font and a bold font, for example, and arrive at a medium font: the glyph preview looks solid, but up close one can see where the two glyphs overlapped, like overlaying two pieces of tracing paper. I know Fontographer has the option to print each selected-glyph scaled to the size of a sheet of paper. I want to know if there is a way to do this but with one glyph from two fonts on each page. Short of manually creating a layered Photoshop/Illustrator/InDesign document for every glyph pair!

If anyone knows of a way to accomplish this or anything like it, in any application whatsoever, I am not picky! I just want a time-saving solution.

wouldn't help me as my examples have drastically different (incompatible) outlines

  • You just want a way to print the same glyph in two fonts on a page? Seems manually creating an AI or ID doc would be easy enough – Cai Jul 11 '16 at 8:16
  • manually? A page for each glyph in a font when there are at least 500? and that’s just one weight of one style of one pair. No, manually is definitely NOT the way to go. – Moscarda Jul 11 '16 at 9:30
  • The problem here is incompatible shapes, how do you plan the fonts to be overlaid vertically and horozontally in this case. Its not really magic to create pages with characters side by side as @Cai has shown the problem is defining how the overlay is to be done unless the default heurestics work the way you want its scripting time. – joojaa Jul 11 '16 at 12:01
  • @joojaa I'm not sure theres really a problem there. Horizontally isn't a problem (unless the fonts have some weird sidebearing issues, but that's just down to bad font design) and vertically you align the baselines and scale if you need to. – Cai Jul 11 '16 at 12:20
  • Unless the glyphs are that different then simply overlaying outlines isn't going to be that much good to you anyway. – Cai Jul 11 '16 at 12:20
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InDesign's data merge is one option.


  1. Create a CSV file that lists all the glyphs you want to place in your document. The first line should be the title of the record (which isn't important, it's only the placeholder you'll see in InDesign). Each character/glyph should be on a new line. For example:

CSV

  1. Create your InDesign document with one page and set up your text frames (including font and point size) for each glyph.

  2. Open the Data Merge panel (Window → Utilities → Data Merge), choose Select Data Source from the panel menu and load your CSV file.

  3. Drag the record name for your glyphs from the data merge panel to each of the text frames you set up.

    (The placeholder for the records will probably be overset since you'll likely have a very large point size so check Preview from the data merge panel and you'll see the first record instead.)

Data Merge Preview

  1. Export your data merge. From the data merge panel menu either choose Create Merged Document which will create a new InDesign document with all your records or Export To PDF which will create a PDF for you:

Glyphs side by side

If you want to overlay the outlines of your glyphs, simply align the text frames and give the text a stroke and no fill:

Glyph outlines overlay

  • This sounds more like what i had in mind! Thanks! I can’t tell from your description if the process of making each page of glyph pairs could be automated or if you are suggesting i do it manually. Fontographer already automatically scales each glyph to its own full-page. I'm just saving to PDF but if I were printing, I would select x number of glyphs and print, then feed the paper back in exactly how it was, select the same set and number of glyphs in the 2nd font and reprint to overlay. But I don't have a printer which is why I'm looking for other options. – Moscarda Jul 11 '16 at 17:00
  • No problem. The only manual part is setting up a single page how you would like it and getting a CSV file listing the glyphs you want to output, InDesign's data merge does the rest. My example here took me all of a few minutes, and you can always edit the CSV file and re-output with whatever glyphs you need. – Cai Jul 11 '16 at 17:11
  • okay i'll give that a shot, it's been a few years since I last used ID. I am using the Creative Cloud app to install the trial now. I guess I'll leave the question open for a bit in case anyone has any other ideas, otherwise I'll officially 'accept' your answer. Thanks again for your help and your time. – Moscarda Jul 11 '16 at 17:17
  • Have a look through the ID data merge help I linked to if you need to, but it's pretty simple really. – Cai Jul 11 '16 at 17:19

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