Multi Layered Editing of Type3 and SVG fonts

Normal builds of pfaedit do not have this mode enabled (it can eat up a lot of memory), if you wish to edit type3 fonts then configure pfaedit with

$ configure --with-multilayer

If you have done this, then loading a type3 font (or an svg font organized in a similar fashion) will cause PfaEdit to retain information on each stroke and fill command. Each command is placed in a seperate layer and may be edited in isolation.

A new font may be converted to a multi-layered font by selecting Element->Font Info->General->Multi Layered Editing.

Multi Layered editing in the outline view

In the image at left we have a glyph drawn by stroking two paths. One layer (containing one of the paths) is currently selected and is drawn in full. All its points are editable. The other layer is shown as a dashed line.

The Layer palette looks a little different here. There is no hinting information (hints are irrelevant in type3 fonts), instead there are two named layers (background and grid) which behave pretty much as they normally do. They may be made active by clicking on their names. They may be made invisible by turning off the check box associated with them.

Under these two are the layers that make up the glyph in the font. Each layer is identified by a small picture of what that layer looks like when rasterized. Clicking on the layer makes it editable.

The layers are ordered in the list as they will be drawn on the screen. The topmost layer is drawn first, the bottommost is drawn last. Regions drawn earlier will be overwritten by Regions drawn later.

Double clicking on a layer brings up the Layer Info dialog.

Clicking with the right button brings up the layer menu which contains:

Layer Info...
Brings up the Layer Info dialog on the current layer (same as double clicking)
New Layer...
Creates a new layer and brings up the Layer Info dialog to describe it. (the new layer will appear at the bottom of the layer list and will be drawn last)
Del Layer
Deletes the current layer (you may not delete the last layer in a glyph)
Make the current layer the first one to be drawn.
Make the current layer be drawn earlier. (swaps it with the layer above it)
Makes the current layer be drawn later. (swaps it with the layer below it)
Makes the current layer be drawn last.

Images are allowed in Type3 fonts (but not in svg fonts). You can use the File->Import command to load an image into any of the foreground layers. If the image is a bitmap image and the layer will be filled, then it will be output with an imagemask command (the bitmap will be drawn with the fill color), otherwise the image will be drawn with the colors specified in the image (Transpearant images are not supported here).

PfaEdit will not skew, flip or rotate images.

The Layer dialog

This dialog describes various attributes of the way the splines in the current layer are drawn.

A layer may be either stroked or filled. Or both. Or neither (layers containing only images need not be filled or stroked).

You may either specify a color to be used for stroking or filling the splines in the layer, or you may specify that the color should be inherited (in conventional fonts the color will be inherited so that the font user can specify the font's color). If you do want to specify a color, use a 6 hex-digit rgb value "#rrggbb".

SVG fonts may include an opacity level (type3 fonts may not). 0 is fully transparent, 1.0 is fully opaque, .5 is translucent. Again this value may be inherited from the environment.

A stroke has a width (which again may be inherited, but probably should not be). Strokes are drawn using a circular pen. An eliptical pen may be specified by giving a transformation matrix here.

Finally a stroke needs to know how to treat the ends of paths, and how to join non-tangent path-segments.

PfaEdit's rasterization leaves much to be desired. It does not support full color (rounding everything to a shade of grey), and its stroking algorithem is quite poor.

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