New VOLT release includes several important new features:
Context exclusion syntax for contextual lookups
This is the new way of using contexts in VOLT lookups, allowing font developer to do things that were not possible before and to implement lookups more efficiently. Inside the lookup user can use 'EXCEPT' contexts and substitution or positioning will happen only if input does not match excluded context. To do this, you simply type 'EXCEPT' word (case sensitive) in the beginning of context you want to exclude. You can use both normal and 'EXCEPT' context in one lookup. The only restriction is to put all 'EXCEPT' contexts before normal ones.
Here are few simple examples of how context exceptions can be used:
First, in this example we’ll substitute letters with special forms at the end of the words. Normally, you can't do this or can do with very unintuitive.
Letters -> EndOfWordForms
EXCEPT | Letters
The second example mixes normal and except contexts, making code more readable. Before, you would need at least two lookups to do this and this would cause unnecessary substitutions.
A -> A.1
EXCEPT | x y
Export and import for multiple lookups and multiple groups
You can now select multiple lookups and export them into single file. Same can be done with groups.
This change required slight changes in export file syntax. This is important if you have lookups or groups exported from older version and want to use them in the new VOLT.
Even if you have one lookup in the file, it should be appended with the 'END' keyword at the very end. (You can use your favorite text editor for that). Please note: if you import lookup from new VOLT into older version, only the first lookup will be imported.
If you have a positioning lookup that uses anchors, 'END_POSITION' keyword should be moved before all anchors in the file. And, of course, do not forget the 'END'.
Main window improvements
You can now select and drag multiple lookups from lookup list into feature tree. You can delete several lookups as well.
Feature tree is not refreshing and expanding after every change anymore. Also, if you select a feature node in the tree, lookup list will automatically select all lookups associated with this feature – a convenient way to check if some lookup is missing from the feature.
Users may re-import cmap table from the font at any time. It is useful when font had been modified outside VOLT with some other tools. You just should not forget to do this first thing after you opened font in VOLT - otherwise cmap will be overwritten by data stored in the VOLT project.
Proofing tool improved experience
Now, when you close the proofing tool window and open it again it restores all parameters that you used to test your font – input glyphs, script and language system, features applied.
Also, debugging your lookups is made easier. Instead of using lookup navigation buttons, you can just use combobox above it and jump directly to the lookup you are interested in.
Glyph properties window improvements
Character codes for surrogates can be entered as scalar values instead of surrogate pairs. Surrogate pair format is still recognized but immediately converted into scalar value. Please note that because of that change older versions of VOLT will not understand fonts saved from this new version, but only if surrogate characters are used in the project.
Search box had been added to glyph editor – at the very top, above glyph properties text box with Find button. Button is the same as it used to be, but when you type into the box VOLT will dynamically search for and select first glyph that has specified prefix. Also, if you type U+xxxx it will search for the glyph which has this character mapped to it, e.g. U+61 or U+0061 will select Small Latin ‘a’.
Positioning lookup editing
New, convenient model to restrict anchor movement added to positioning window. When dragging an anchor with the mouse you can press Shift key to allow anchor only move horizontally, and press Control key for vertical-only movement. If you press Control/Shift in the middle of the dragging it will have the same effect as if it was pressed from the very beginning - anchor will jump onto the original vertical or horizontal position.
You may now control compilation by instructing VOLT to use extension lookups or choose to use format 2 for pair positioning lookups (by default, format 1 is used). These options are saved in the project and used every time project is compiled. Use this option only when it is needed – when size of the tables in the font becomes too big to fit your lookups.
Various bug fixes
Multiple minor and not so minor bugs fixed in VOLT.
Supplemental files updated
Supplemental files are updated. New Uniscribe is taken from a recent Windows Vista build, integrating the latest changes to script shaping engines. Mangal font is also latest Vista version. It is renamed to "Mangal Sample" and has hints stripped out.