I couldn’t find a simple answer on the web at first, so here’s my take for Googlers.

When you need NSGlyph (which is a UInt32), you probably want to use NSATSTypesetter.insertGlyph(_:atGlyphIndex:characterIndex:) or NSGlyphStorage.insertGlyphs(_:length:forStartingGlyphAt:characterIndex:) which in turn is implemented by NSLayoutManager. But the useful glyph types to use like NSControlGlyph are Ints. How do you get a NSGlyph-pointer from these?

Thankfully, in Swift you can satisfy UnsafePointer<NSGlyph> in two useful ways:

  1. Pass a reference to a mutable variable with the & prefix, like:

     let glyphIndex = ...
     let charIndex = ...
     var glyph = NSGlyph(NSControlGlyph)
     layoutManager.insertGlyphs(&glyph, length: 1, forStartingGlyphAt: glyphIndex, characterIndex: charIndex)
    
  2. Pass an array of immutable values that is going to be kept alive for long enough, like:

     let glyphIndex = ...
     let charIndex = ...
     layoutManager.insertGlyphs([NSGlyph(NSControlGlyph)], length: 1, forStartingGlyphAt: glyphIndex, characterIndex: charIndex)
    

Since the exemplary insertGlyphs method call uses a plural-s, it’s pretty straightforward to use an array once you stop worrying about the question “where do I get a pointer from?”