After spending quite a lot of time editing, manipulating or creating several SMuFL fonts, I begin to get some idea on how it works and I could succesfully create a few fonts for my personal use.
But I am now wondering if this is worth the tedious and long work compared to the features in Dorico that allow to change pretty straight forward almost every music symbol.
I find the SMuFL standard a great one.
In an ideal case it allows to have everything in one place, and there is no need for several specialised fonts for percusssion, specific noteheads or such.
But it has it’s price!
You need a lot of glyphs in a SMuFL font!
There are also some inconsistencies that make it sometimes difficult to understand what is really needed for what.
In SMuFL there is a glyph for staccato above and another glyph for staccato below.
OK, it makes sense (though one could notice that some other notation application just need one glyph for this).
On the other side one can find glyphs for glissando and arpeggion but they are normally not used in Dorico.
Instead, Dorico uses several trills glyphs for glissando and arpeggio.
Why not, and indeed why re-create the same glyphs under another name.
But is it consistent to the use of two glyphs for the staccato dot?
And when you create a SMuFL font you have to know this otherwise your glissandi glyphs will not work.
But this thread is not about complaining about SMuFL, I just wanted to point to the fact that several things can lead to make the creation of a fully working SMuFL font a tedious work.
2. Edit Music Symbol and other tools
There are a few very interesting and powerfull features in Dorico that allow the user to change almost every musical symbol with anything the user wants.
These tools are not in one place.
Most of the music symbol can be edited in "Engrave Menu / Edit Music Symbol"
Noteheads in "Engrave Menu / Edit Notehead Sets"
Accidentals in "Right Panel / Tonality System tab / choose or create a tonality system and open the “Edit Tonality System” window.
There you can edit each accidental belonging to the choosed tonality system.
These are all great places where you can choose to either edit the glyph in use, choose a glyph from another font installed on your system or load an external graphic file.
I still do not have found a rule for the best size of an imported svg graphic to work well within these editors.
At the moment all imported svg are much much too huge and must be considerably scaled.
But beside of this I find that as far as I tried these tools, they seem to work pretty well.
It surely takes time to do this for a lot of glyphs but at the end it possibly does not take as much time as creating a new SMuFL font.
Now if Dorico could save and load several configurations for these edits it would almost work like fonts!
Provided one is not interested into creating commercial SMuFL fonts this is a great alternative to the use of other fonts.
I am interested and curious to hear what other people think about this?