dtl OTMaster 8.5 is expected to be available in January 2021. Please contact the Dutch Type Library for inquiries.
The ﬂagship of the dtl font tools is without any doubt OTMaster (otm). This is a highly sophisticated post-production application for reviewing, editing, and altering tables and glyphs of fonts with a sfnt -ﬁle structure. otm is the multi-functional ‘swiss knife’ for professional font production. It is used by many experts in the ﬁeld and applied by some of the largest companies in the software industry, among which Adobe.
otm is an indispensable tool for professionals because it offers extensive functionality for, for example:
– quality control and post-font production purposes,
– the assurance of consistency among font families,
– customization (modiﬁcation of glyphs, adding characters, editing tables, etcetera).
– the enhancement of font data (adding features, kerning data, etcetera).
Font editors rely on their own proprietary data formats for production. From these data formats, binary fonts for the end-user are compiled as the ﬁnal step in the font-production process. otm is the ultimate tool for inspecting and adjusting such binary fonts, including those for complex scripts –irrespective of the speciﬁc font editor, for example Glyphs, RoboFont, or FontLab vii, used for their creation.
As Adam Twardoch, product and marketing manager at Fontlab Ltd. stated: ‘OTMaster works with surgical precision: it will only modify the portions of the font that the developer wishes, leaving all other structures unchanged. This makes OTMaster a great companion to any font editor and an indispensable element even in the most complex OpenType font production workﬂow.’
Graphical user interface
OTMaster makes the editing of tables possible from a graphical user interface. Furthermore, it comes with multiple built-in tools, for example a glyph editor for prooﬁng and editing contours and a text viewer for checking the OpenType Layout features and altering the spacing. A ‘kern’ table viewer is available for checking and reﬁning the kerning, and a ‘gsub’/‘gpos’ viewer to visually test (and in case of ‘gpos’ also directly adjust) these OpenType Layout tables.
Two remarkable advanced functions of OTMaster are the import and export of OpenType Layout features ﬁles. During import OTMaster compiles these features ﬁles to produce binary OpenType Layout tables. For this OTMaster contains a modiﬁed version of Adobe’s Hatch Open Type (hot) tool, which was adapted at urw. This implies that the font’s character set does not have to match the characters listed in the OpenType Layout features ﬁle: the features will be automatically subsetted based on the available characters in the font.
One can import and export afdko-syntaxed feature ﬁles for ‘gpos’, ‘gsub’, ‘gdef’, and ‘base’. This makes otm also a great tool for updating and standardizing fonts.
The subsetting of OpenType Layout features can be used in a workﬂow based on third-party font tools, such as aforementioned Glyphs, RoboFont, or FontLab vii. The subsetted features ﬁle can be exported from otm and imported in these applications. This is a very straightforward process and forms a consistent and reproducible alternative for building ot Layout features per font directly in the font editors in question.
OTMaster supports the ‘gpos’ mark features and their manual and numerical editing with a graphical user interface. The ‘mark to base’, ‘mark to mark’ and ‘mark to ligature’ positions can be displayed. A couple of the ‘gpos’ features can be edited directly, such as ‘mark’, ‘mkmk’, ‘kern’, ‘palt’, and ‘vpal’.
OTMaster contains a powerful text viewer, which has Harfbuzz under the hood for the interpretation of OpenType Layout features. It contains a sophisticated three-state features selector (on / default / off) for checking the interaction between the features.
The application has extensive support for cjk, including for fonts with a very large number of glyphs. It handles cjk-related things, such as ‘name’ table strings, ivs es in the ‘cmap’ table, etcetera, very well.
OTMaster contains an extensive consistency checker, which is quite indispensable for the post-production process.
On top of that, OTMaster contains a complete glyph editor. This can be used for adding and/or altering glyphs in the cubic and quadratic Bézier formats. For example, quadratic splines in TrueType-ﬂavored OpenType fonts, which were converted from cubic splines during generation, can be inspected and, if necessary, improved.
OTMaster has the FreeType rasterizer built-in, which is convenient for inspecting hinting generated, for example, with ttfautohint.
OTMaster supports all competing color OpenType font extensions: Microsoft’s ‘colr’/‘cpal’, Adobe’s ‘svg’, Apple’s ‘sbix’, and Google’s ‘cbdt’/‘cblc’.
OTMaster supports the OpenType Font Variation format:
– One can list and view the‘fvar’, ‘stat’ and ‘gvar’ tables.
– One can add additional predeﬁned instances in the ‘fvar’ table.
– There is a ‘variation viewer’, which has sliders for all available axes. Moving the sliders will immediately change the glyphs displayed in the ‘font viewer’ or in the editing window. The ‘variation viewer’ can be used to add, modify, or delete instances for the font.
The ‘Side by Side’ viewer has an option to show all deﬁned instances. Of course, this only make sense for fonts with a relatively limited number of instances, such as Skia.
OTMaster is available for macOS, Windows, and Linux. Older free 32-bit ‘Light’ versions can be downloaded from the ‘Test/demo’ page on this site. The downloads also include the extensive and detailed manual , written and designed by Karsten Luecke, in pdf format.