DTL DataMaster is the batch module for managing, converting and generating glyph databases and font formats. DTL DataMaster converts OpenType CFF and TTF, PostScript Type1 and TrueType fonts for Mac OS and Windows to the BE and IK formats that are internally used by the DTL FontMaster utilities. DTL DataMaster can also generate forenamed font formats. In addition, DataMaster ‘automatically’ compiles OpenType Layout features, this way providing an easy way to generate OpenType fonts, also for non-experts.

The OpenType support in DTL DataMaster is based on the latest build of the Adobe’s AFDKO version 2.5 (and syntax). Hence everything that is supported by the AFDKO, is supported by DataMaster too.
The OpenType CFF and TTF conversion and the generation of the ‘GSUB’ ‘GPOS’ and tables have been integrated and a OpenType Layout features file that covers all possible features can be used for generating the binary OpenType tables. The automation of the features-generation is based on the fact that all ‘GSUB’ and ‘GPOS’ features can be generated automatically if the applicable characters are in the glyph database. So within the conversion process there is a check whether the glyphs are available to generate the feature entries in the ‘GSUB’ and ‘GPOS’ tables.

In the FM modules the encoding of the fonts is cleverly controlled via Character layout (.cha) files. For the OpenType production the Character Layout file (.cha) has two purposes: first, it defines the glyph set which will be converted to OpenType and second, it relates the position number in the IK or BE font database to a PostScript name, which for instance is based on Adobe‘s Glyph List (AGL).
Therefore there are three simple conditions for automatically generating OpenType Layout features:
1. The characters must be available in the glyph database.
2. The characters must be listed in the Character Layout file.
3. The characters must be identically named in the both the OpenType Layout features file and the Character Layout file.

Because of the option to batch the OpenType production, a newly created entry in a feature can be applied to an unlimited number of fonts at once. Basically the FM Development Team is extending the ‘default’ features file that comes with FM as much as possible, but additions can be simply made by the user, of course, or another features file that supports the AFDKO syntax can be used. Because the ‘size’ (i.e. number of characters) in the generated font is controlled by the Character Layout file, the output of features can also be controlled by editing the .cha file.
Because the FM ‘default’ Features file can be easily enhanced and updated, it is easy to re-generate OpenType fonts with new features-enhancements. Also sometimes bug fixes in the AFDKO make it necessary to do this. The batch functionality of DTL DataMaster simplifies this process.