FontLab 7 Python API

Version: 2020-08-09

The Python API for FontLab 7 consists of 4 packages:

You can also use the PythonQt package to interact with the OS and build GUIs.


TypeRig is a Python library and set of tools for FontLab 7. It is developed by Vassil Kateliev. TypeRig provides several plugins that extend the functionality of FontLab, see documentation. But it also comes with a typerig package that provides a simplified, alternative “pythonic” API to FontLab. TypeRig is written in Python.

To use the typerig package, run FontLab 7, choose Scripts > Update / Install Scripts. Click OK in the dialog, wait until the installation completes. When you see the TypeRig is up-to-date dialog, click OK and restart FontLab 7.

fontlab and fontgate

The fontlab package exposes most or all of the FontLab 7 GUI and high-level font-related objects. The fontgate package exposes more technical aspects of fonts, and does not include GUI functionality.

Some functionality is in fontgate, some in fontlab, but typerig abstracts and combines both packages. Both fontgate and fontlab are “bindings”, i.e. they’re not true Python packages, but instead interfaces that you can use from within Python.

  • fontlab: the API docs for the fontlab package
  • fontgate: the API docs for the fontgate package


The FL package exposes a legacy API that is largely compatible with the old FontLab Studio 5 Python API. However, we no longer actively develop it, and it’s only useful for very simple scripts.

  • FL: the API docs for the FL package


FontLab uses Qt, a cross-platform set of APIs for user interface development and interaction with the operating system. Qt provides a unified API whether you use macOS or Windows. The PythonQt package exposes the entire Qt API to Python.

  • PythonQt: FontLab’s API docs for the PythonQt package
  • official PythonQt: the official documentation of PythonQt
  • PySide2 by Qt: documentation of PySide2, which is an alternative Qt-Python bridge. The documentation is useful in exploring what you can do with Qt. Some details differ between PySide2 and PythonQt, so always check PythonQt documentation.