Vertical Metrics Tool



Thank you for using Vertical Metrics Tool. What is it good for?

Well, I am an amateur type designer who is annoyed by manual setting of vertical metrics in font development. Sometimes when I have a sketch or an image of a new typeface design I need to get values for ascender, descender, x-height and cap height (vertical proportions).

Usually, you need to use the trial-and-error procedure. But it’s so boring!

For my needs I made this tool where you can insert your own image, adjust it between ascender and descender and move the baseline, x-height and cap height lines as you need. They are draggable! Then you can read the desired values in the Settings menu (it’s hidden, click on the three lines icon in the top left corner to reveal it).

How to use it? It’s simple!

  1. Open the Settings panel (three lines icon in the top left corner).
  2. Open your image with the Select... button. Your image should contain at least one of each characters: with ascender, capital, small letter and with descender. Please do not use round letters if possible (e.g. o, U, g...). Before opening in the VMT, crop your image as tight as possible for better image handling.
  3. Adjust the the image between the ascender line and the descender line. They are fixed (not draggable). You can drag the image, resize it with side and bottom-right-corner handles or rotate it via controls in the Settings panel. You may also use keyboard shortcuts (move cursor over the labels in the Settings panel to find them). If you are done, you can lock the image by clicking the lock icon to prevent any accidental movement.
  4. Adjust the cap height, x-height and baseline lines by dragging them to corresponding positions.
  5. Check the UPM settings (is it OK for you?).
  6. Read the values or refine them manually.

This tool is not perfect and some errors may occur. Please note that you work with a half or a quater of the original resolution. And please, be indulgent. :)
Have fun!