created_at2022-12-13 23:36:29.390926
updated_at2023-07-15 21:17:21.11064
descriptionA parser and writer for UFO `.glif` files
Fredrick Brennan (ctrlcctrlv)



glifparser v1.2.8 (⏫︎2022-12-20)

(c) 2020–2022 Fredrick R. Brennan and MFEK Authors

A parser and writer for UFO .glif files.

glifparser is a core MFEK library. Almost all modules and non-core libraries are expected to in some way rely on glifparser and its types.

glifparser supports the entire .glif spec as of 12 April 2021 (0a79aa7), when components were added with full validation support (components may not include themselves, nor may they include a component which somewhere in its inclusion tree includes any parent glyph). glifparser supports images completely, including colored images, and can generate the colored to-spec UFO bitmaps for you.

glifparser is meant to be tuned for situation using Cargo's features mechanism. See the § "Discretionary features" for non-default features, and default features which can be disabled to make it smaller.


glifparser's main type is Glif<PD: PointData>. You can get this type by calling glifparser::read_from_filename.

Toplevel type: Glif

/// A UFO .glif
/// TODO: use different generic types on Anchor and Guideline, making this declaration
/// `Glif<PD,GD,AD>`
#[derive(Clone, Debug, Default, PartialEq)]
pub struct Glif<PD: PointData> {
    pub outline: Option<Outline<PD>>,
    pub order: OutlineType,
    pub anchors: Vec<Anchor<PD>>,
    /// Note that these components are not yet parsed or checked for infinite loops. You need to
    /// call either ``GlifComponent::to_component_of`` on each of these, or ``Glif::flatten``.
    pub components: GlifComponents,
    /// .glif guidelines. Note: glif may have more guidelines, not listed here. It will also have
    /// an asecender and a descender, not listed here. You can get this info from `norad`, reading
    /// the parent UFO and telling it not to read glif's (via UfoDataRequest) since you're using
    /// this for that.
    // Command line MFEK programs can also get it from MFEKmetadata.
    pub guidelines: Vec<Guideline<PD>>,
    /// glifparser does support reading the data of images and guessing their format, but in order
    /// to allow you to handle possibly erroneous files we don't do so by default. You need to call
    /// ``GlifImage::to_image_of`` to get an ``Image`` with data.
    #[cfg(feature = "glifimage")]
    pub images: Vec<GlifImage>,
    pub width: Option<u64>,
    pub unicode: Vec<char>,
    pub name: String,
    /// This is an arbitrary glyph comment, exactly like the comment field in FontForge SFD.
    pub note: Option<String>,
    /// It's up to the API consumer to set this.
    pub filename: Option<path::PathBuf>,
    /// glif private library
    pub lib: Option<plist::Dictionary>,

If you do not need to associate data with points, it behooves you to stub out the generic type with () as early as you can…

fn main() {
    let mut input_glif: glifparser::Glif<()> =
        glifparser::read_from_filename(&path).expect("Failed to read .glif file!"))
            .expect("glifparser couldn't parse input path glif. Invalid glif?");


API consumers may put any clonable type as an associated type to Glif, which will appear along with each Point. You could use this to implement, e.g., hyperbeziers. The Glif Point's would still represent a Bézier curve, but you could put hyperbezier info along with the Point.

Note that anchors and guidelines receive the same type. So, if you wanted to put different data along with each, you would need to make an enum like:

use glifparser::{Point, PointData};

#[derive(Debug, Copy, Clone, PartialEq, Eq, serde::Serialize, serde::Deserialize)]
pub enum MyPointData {
    Anchor { good: bool },
impl Default for MyPointData {
    fn default() -> Self {
impl PointData for MyPointData {}

fn testing() {
    let mut point = Point::default(); = Some(MyPointData::Point(true));

Comparison with Norad

First and foremost, glifparser has different goals than Norad. glifparser is intended to support only the .glif part of the UFO spec, while Norad intends to support the entire UFO spec. Furthermore, glifparser intends to optionally serialize/deserialize the <lib/> elements used by the MFEK project (when compiled w/--features=mfek)—therefore, many non-UFO .glif types can be found in e.g. src/glif/

The reason this library only implements .glif is it considers .glif files as being possibly detached from .ufo files (“unparented .glif”). At the time this library was written, Norad did not consider unparented .glif files as being legitimate, but has since added some support: norad::Glyph::load(path: impl AsRef<Path>). Despite this, however, a lot of Norad's functions won't work as expected on an unparented .glif. glifparser, on the other hand, considers all .glif's unparented until proven otherwise. This means that there are two versions of all types that rely on other glyph files: a Glif prefixed version means that it is a close representation of the .glif XML. For example, GlifImage provides you a close representation of an <image> element, while if you upgrade that to a regular Image, (which can fail, if the .glif is unparented), that new type which will contain the data if it indeed exists in the parent UFO.

The same goes for GlifComponent (an unparented .glif file referring to a component that may or may not exist) vs. Component (a validated component retrieved from a GlifComponent). glifparser can also flatten components (as in, apply their matrices and insert their points into the parent .glif) and print trees of arbitrary depth representing the base/component relationship.

Another huge difference between glifparser and Norad is that glifparser returns Skia-friendly points. Its cubic Bézier Point has two handles, a and b, and glifparser parses the list of on- and off-curve points to come up with this. (A quadratic Bézier spline uses the same Point type but will always have handle b set to Handle::Colocated.) Norad however does no contour parsing and just gives you the points to parse yourself.

Useful traits

There are a lot of useful traits for glifparser types that aren't implemented here, but in other MFEK libraries. For example, MFEKmath::PolarCoordinates, implemented on Point, allows for getting/setting point handles by polar as well as Cartesian coordinates (in polar mode, the point is the origin).

You can also find in MFEK/math.rlib piecewise spline types that can be converted to and from glifparser's Glif<PD> and Outline<PD> types.

Discretionary features

All discretionary features can be enabled with the meta-feature named fat. By default, the enabled features are image format support (glifimage) and Serde (de)serialization of all types (glifserde; which also enables Serde in the libraries we use, such as Kurbo and IntegerOrFloat).

The feature skia adds conversion into and out of SkPath for the Outline and Contour types.

The feature mfek adds a bunch of types which are represented in .glif files in their <lib/>.

Both skia and mfek require default.

Finally, more-image-formats enables GIF, JPEG, WEBP, BMP and TIFF support for .glif's—note the caveat that because only PNG are in the spec, only PNG will be "seen" by other software, and this feature only exists for "drafting" / "background" images, not images you expect to appear in final fonts if you run e.g. fontmake on a UFO containing a .glif glifparser has put a non-PNG image in.


Copyright 2020–2022 Fredrick R. Brennan and MFEK Authors

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.
Commit count: 213

cargo fmt