TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Sat Jun 22 21:02:14 EDT 2024






Font editors (Mac)

[Self-portrait of Joan Miro after he threw up a Big Mac on the ramblas in Barcelona]


Allan Murray
[Type 3.2 (was: CR8type)]

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Apple Font tools to unpack, change, and create TrueType fonts

Downloadable tools and utilities, including TrueEdit (a truetype table editor), AAT Font Tool, Dehinter, DumpCMAP, DumpCMAPPost, FuseCMAP, DumpFOND, FuseFOND, DumpMetrics, DumpPOST, fbitEnabler, Fuser, DumperFuser (TTF -> text -> TTF), AAT Font Tool (UNICODE features), RoyalT (outline editor), Sbit Editor, TrueEdit (table editor), Fissioner (bitmap generator), Font Proofer, FontRuler, FontSummarizer, TypeWriter (TTF font dumper), Font Validator, GXW Waterfall, Merger, Mutator, and Slider. [Google] [More]  ⦿

AsiaFont Studio

Font editor by Pyrus/FontLab for Asian type design. Mac and Windows. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Ben Kiel
[Python scripts for typeface design]

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Part of FontLab, this was a full-fledged bitmap font editor for the Mac developed around 2000. It imported Mac OS NFNT, Windows FON and FNT, TrueType (embedded bitmaps---Mac and Windows versions), IBM AFP, HP PCL SFP and SFL, BDF (black/white, grayscale and color), ABF, FontLab Template, unpacked FBIT, PhF. It exports Mac OS NFNT, Windows FON and FNT, TrueType (embedded bitmaps - Mac and Windows versions), IBM AFP, HP SFP and SFL, BDF (all modes), FontLab Template, and PhF. [Google] [More]  ⦿


Free open source graphical tool that allows the import of scanned (tiff, jpg, gif) and vector (postscript, pdf, dxf, hpgl) data, the vectorisation, editing and creation of data (and page layout), and the export of vector data. It runs on Linux (X-Windows) and Mac OSX. It can be a useful tool as a preprocessing step in the creation of fonts, when starting from scans of drawings or from pictures of typefaces. [Google] [More]  ⦿

DTL FontMaster
[Frank E. Blokland]

A set of utilities by the Dutch Type Library for Mac and PC that allows one to professionally produce and correct fonts. Developed in coordination with URW Hamburg. Includes BezierMaster, ContourMaster, InterpolateMaster, KernMaster, IkarusMaster, TraceMaster and DataMaster. The DTL FontMaster team:

  • Frank E. Blokland: leader.
  • Dr. Jürgen Willrodt: URW software man.
  • Axel Stoltenberg: URW software man.
  • Peter Rosenfeld: coordinator of the programming team at URW in Hamburg.
  • Gu Jun: Ikarus expert.
  • Hartmut Schwartz: one of the developers of Ikarus M.

PDF file with a presentation by Frank E. Blokland entitled FM Automation at your Fingertips. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Font Remix tools
[Tim Ahrens]

Mac and PC software, initially free, and requiring Python. The tools written by Tim ahrens are plug-ins for FontLab that allow scaling of glyphs without affecting the stroke weight. Also, they allow to tune the width, height and weight of single letters interactively, automatically generate small caps, generate superiors, inferiors, numerators and denominators, create true condensed and extended versions, generate tabular figures with only a couple of clicks, and slant glyphs while keeping vertical tangents straight. [Google] [More]  ⦿


A major font editor originally marketed by Pyrus, which also published TypeTool, BitFonter, AsiaFont Studio, TransType, FONmaker, ScanFont, FontFlasher, SigMaker, and CompoCompiler. It acquired Fontographer. This popular commercial font editor can be used for designing and editing glyps, drawing type, kerning, spacing, and hinting. FontLab VI was released in December 2017. It covers multi-color and variable fonts on both Mac and Windows. [Google] [More]  ⦿

FontLab demo copies

FTP search for Fontlab yielded the following results: Ultranet site, Croatian site, UNC site, OIT Russian Studies, Russian site, Another Russian site. sf01 site. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Fontlab: free demo

Free trial of Fontlab. Limitation: you can export only 5 fonts. [Google] [More]  ⦿


Font editor first developed at Altsys and later taken over by Macromedia and finally, in 2005, by FontLab. The latest version (5.0, Mac and Windows) was released by FontLab in June 2010 and costs 400 USD. I applaud the fact that it still supports type 1 and in particular, type 1 multiple master format. But it also produces OpenType fonts and TrueType fonts. It is loaded with yummy features.

The original creators included Jim von Ehr, David Spells, James Brasure, Tom Irby, John Ahlquist, Kevin Crowder, Parry Kejriwal, David Fung, and Eon Chang. The pre-FontLab Fontographer was sold by Macromedia, Inc., 600 Townsend Street, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA. Fontographer v4.1 had a list price of $495, but was generally available for under $300. Fontographer used its own format for files, which has the same mathematical basis as Type 1, but could generate .TTF files. A copy of FOG4.1 was recently placed on alt.binaries.fonts. Free copies are floating around on some Russian FTP sites but you'll have to do your own detective work. Description. Technical notes.

In April 2005, Adobe bought Macromedia. John Hudson remarks about this sale: Regarding Fontographer: it is very unlikely indeed that Adobe's purchase of Macromedia will lead to a new version of Fontographer. It is much more likely that the produce will be retired completely, and will simply no longer be available. The history of Fontographer and FontLab has shown very clearly that for a large software company like Macromedia or Adobe a font tool is simply not worth development investment. The potential market is simply too small to interest them. Font tools need to be developed by small companies seeking a niche market, and FontLab has demonstrated that this approach can be very successful. I suggested some years ago that Macromedia should simply give the Fontographer code, including the aborted 5.0 version, to Jim Gallagher. He has spent a good portion of his life nursing this code and providing tech support to Fontographer users, so if there is any future to Fontographer it seems to me that he deserves to guide it and to benefit from it, if possible. Perhaps Adobe might consider this. They have been generously supportive of the makers of FontLab, DTL FontMaster, etc., with their OpenType SDK code, so clearly encourage competition in the font tools business. Giving Fontographer to Jim for a dollar, and letting him do whatever he wants with it -- which might include open sourcing it, I suppose -- seems to me the best thing that could be done with this product. Otherwise, it might as well be withdrawn from the market, because it is never going to be updated by Adobe or any other large software company."

In May 2005, Adobe/Macromedia sold Fontographer to FontLab, where Jim Gallagher (Der Fontmeister) will continue development of the software. In November 2005, Fontographer 4.7 was published--for the first time, it could be used on Mac OS X. [Google] [More]  ⦿

[Pierre Terrier]

Lausanne and/or Paris-based type site related to a project conceived and designed by two graphic designers, Franz Hoffman and Pierre Terrier from studio koilinen, and a software developer, Marc Escher. A quote: It provides the ability to create fonts that preserves the gestures of a given handwriting and the original look of the drawing appliance (ball-point pen, pencil, ink, paper, etc.)

Fontself allows one to make fonts directly in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. It appears that one can create, with their commercial software an Opentype font by simple dragging and dropping an image with the individual letters. It works on both Mac and Windows. This, in turn can be used to simulate handwriting. Fonts (format unclear, not downloadable) include grunge typefaces (Agrotesk, Linexspray), handwriting (Psycho, Mascara, Meriem, Bic, Ehcadnarac, Manu, Signo, Manuscript), and scanned text typefaces (Baskerville, Garabig, Franklin Multi, Sabon, Gothique, Dido). Fontself also provides an editor for creating color fonts. Creative Market link. [Google] [More]  ⦿

[Sajid Saiyed]

Fontula is the second iPad font editor (after iFontmaker) to hit the market in 2010. Developed by Sajid Saiyed, it cost only 2 dollars initially, but has been increased to 5 dollars. Discussion group. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Frank E. Blokland
[DTL FontMaster]

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Freehand drawing programs

Type designers comment on freehand drawing programs besides Illustrator. They mention Inkscape, SodiPodi, Skencil and FontForge, which all run in Linux. Inkscape and SodiPodi both run on Windows and in the X environment on Mac OS X. FontForge will run in the X environment of Mac OS X and under Cygwin on Windows, too. Inkscape is an open source SVG editor with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, Visio, etc. Supported SVG features include basic shapes, paths, text, alpha blending, transforms, gradients, node editing, svg-to-png export, grouping, and more. Sodi Podi is a free vector-based drawing program, like CorelDraw or Adobe Illustrator from the proprietary software world, and Sketch or Karbon14 from the free software world. Sodipodi uses W3C SVG as its native file format. [Google] [More]  ⦿

[Peter Karow]

URW's font editor for UNIX workstations, Apple Macintosh and Windows 95/Windows NT PCs. Between 700 and 1000 USD. The web page says that the prices are for Macs only, so I am a bit puzzled. Do the other versions cost more? This superb piece of software was developed by Peter Karow. The first digital fonts were designed on the Ikarus system---it is said that the first font designed on the Ikarus system was Marconi in 1975---a cooperation of Rudolf Hell (the engineer) and Hermann Zapf. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Just van Rossum

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿


Web site jam-packed with links related to TrueType software (editors, converters). Demo versions of FontLab, Fontographer, FontStudio, IkarusM, Linus M, TypeDesigner, FontMonger, BitFont, ReAdobe, FontDetective, FontMonster. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Letterforms FontMaker
[Weijiu Qiao]

A commercial app in the Apple Store to design fonts on an iPad. Designed in 2021 by Weijiu Qiao. [Google] [More]  ⦿

LettError's Internet Font Editor

Free on-line internet editor by LettError, which requires Safari 2.02+ or FireFox 1.5+. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Macromedia (Fontographer)

Makers of Fontographer. Macromedia, Inc., 600 Townsend Street, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA. Fontographer v4.1: list price $495, but available for under $300. For example, Diskovery sells it to students in the US for 228USD (129+99), Windows and Mac. Also included in Macromedia Graphics Studio bundle, which may be available as a competitive upgrade. A well-established font editor on the Mac and the PC, the tool used for many fonts currently on the market. A demo version is available from Macromedia on CD. Fontographer uses its own format for files, which has the same mathematical basis as Type 1, but can generate .TTF files. A copy of FOG4.1 was recently placed on alt.binaries.fonts. Free copies are floating around on some Russian FTP sites but you'll have to do your own detective work. Latest deal: for 200USD, get the Macromedia Designers bundle, which included Fontographer, Freehand, Xres,&Extreme 3D. [Google] [More]  ⦿

NFNT Font Editor

The download link seems to have died. "NFNT Editor is an open source font bitmap editor that allows you to edit Macintosh bitmap fonts. Using NFNT Editor, you can create new screen fonts or modify existing screen fonts." The free Mac program is by Bill Woody at "The PandaWave", Glendale, CA. [Google] [More]  ⦿


The main digital type foundry in Russia. ParaType was established as a font department of ParaGraph International in 1989 in Moscow, Russia. At that time in the Soviet Union, all typeface development was concentrated in a state research institute, Polygraphmash. It had the most complete collection of Cyrillic typefaces, which included revivals of Cyrillic typefaces developed by the Berthold and Lehmann type foundries established at the end of 19th century in St. Petersburg, and artwork from Vadim Lazurski, Galina Bannikova, Nikolay Kudryashov and other masters of type and graphic design of Soviet time. ParaType became the first privately-owned type foundry in many years. A license agreement with Polygraphmash allows ParaType to manufacture and distribute their typefaces. Most of Polygraphmash staff designers soon moved to ParaType. In the beginning of 1998, ParaType was separated from the parent company and inherited typefaces and font software from ParaGraph. The company was directed by Emil Yakupov until February 2014. After Yakupov's death, Irina Petrova took over the reins.

Products include FastFont, a simple TrueType builder, ParaNoise, a builder for PostScript fonts with random contours, FontLab, a universal font editor and ScanFont, a font editor with scanning module. Random, customized fonts. Multilingual fonts including, Latin, Cyrillic, Arabic, Greek, Georgian and Hebrew fonts for Macintosh and Windows.

Catalog. Designers. Alternate URL.

Famous typefaces by Paratype include Academy, Pragmatica, Newton, Courier, Futura, Petersburg, Jakob, Kuenstler 480, ITC Studio Script, ITC Zapf Chancery, Amore CTT (2004, Fridman), Karolla, Inform, Hafiz (Arabic), Kolheti (Georgian), Benzion (Hebrew).

The PT Sans (Open Font Library link), PT Serif and PT Mono families (2009-2012) are free. PT stands for Public Type. Another download site. PT Sans, for example, consists of PTSans-Bold, PTSans-BoldItalic, PTSans-Caption, PTSans-CaptionBold, PTSans-Italic, PTSans-Narrow, PTSans-NarrowBold, PTSans-Regular.

Other free ParaType fonts include Courier Cyrillic, Pushkin (2005, handwriting font), and a complete font set for Cyrillic.

Type designers include Vladimir Yefimov, Tagir Safayev, Lyubov Kuznetsova, Manvel Schmavonyan and Alexander Tarbeev. They give this description of the 370+ library: The Russian constructivist and avant garde movements of the early 20th century inspired many ParaType typefaces, including Rodchenko, Quadrat Grotesk, Ariergard, Unovis, Tauern, Dublon and Stroganov. The ParaType library also includes many excellent book and newspaper typefaces such as Octava, Lazurski, Bannikova, Neva or Petersburg. On the other hand, if you need a pretty typeface to knock your clients dead, meet the ParaType girls: Tatiana, Betina, Hortensia, Irina, Liana, Nataliscript, Nina, Olga and Vesna (also check Zhikharev who is not a girl but still very pretty). ParaType also excels in adding Cyrillic characters to existing Latin typefaces -- if your company is ever going to do business with Eastern Europe, you should make them part of your corporate identity! ParaType created CE and Cyrillic versions of popular typefaces licensed from other foundries, including Bell Gothic, Caslon, English 157, Futura, Original Garamond, Gothic 725, Humanist 531, Kis, Raleigh, and Zapf Elliptical 711.

Finally, ParaType offers a handwriting font service out of its office in Saratoga, CA: 120 dollars a shot.

View the ParaType typeface library. Another view of the ParaType typeface collection. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Peter Karow

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Pierre Terrier

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The world's leading typography tool outfit. Makers of the T1/TTF font editor FontLab3 and 4 (Mac, PC), FONmaker (create bitmap fonts from truetype or T1, for PCs), TransType (conversion from PC to Mac and vice versa), Scanfont 3.13 (from scanned glyphs to font), TypeTool (cheapo truetype font editor), FLcomposer (edit CJKV and unicode fonts), EuroFonter (adds Euro symbol to truetype fonts), Sigmaker (signature into truetype font), Compocompiler (composite fonts and templates). Alternate site. Excellent customer support. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Python scripts for typeface design
[Ben Kiel]

Ben Kiel offers some Python scripts for certain type design tasks that are used in conjunction with FontLab and/or RoboFog on Mac computers. [Google] [More]  ⦿


RoyalT from Apple creates TrueType fonts for Macs. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Sajid Saiyed

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ScanFont v3.0

Comments by Pritchard: From Pyrus at about 200 dollars. Will import data from a scanner and autotrace to convert to characters in a font: has basic editing tools for cleaning up images and adjusting the characters, etc. The results are surprisingly good, and this provides a short cut to getting useable characters which can then be fine-tuned. Could be a dangerous tool in the hands of the inexperienced, who may be tempted to let the first rough result loose on an unsuspecting world. Exports fonts in Type 1 or Truetype format. Mac and PC. Full version. [Google] [More]  ⦿

ScanFont v3.13 (trial version)

Trial (not demo!) version of ScanFont by FontLab, Yuri Yarmola's brainchild, lets you build five TrueType or type 1 fonts. " ScanFont is a program that can turn everything printed on paper or painted in computer program to a TrueType or Type 1 font. It does most of job automatically: from selection of images to autotracing, autohinting, autokerning and finally font generation. ScanFont includes both bitmap and outline editors." [Google] [More]  ⦿


A commercial piece of Mac software by FreeSoft (Limal, Belgium) for converting bitmaps and images into vecor format, and for editing figures and outlines. It exports EPS files. This could be used to make the outlines for glyphs of a font, assuming one has a font editor that imports EPS files. A few free trials when you download. Developers: Jean-Christophe Goddart and Renaud Pattyn. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Tim Ahrens
[Font Remix tools]

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A truetype table editor for the Mac. [Google] [More]  ⦿

TrueType Font Editor (TTFE)

A free truetype font editor for the Mac. TTFE version 1.0 came with the localized Chinese Mac OS 8.6 and CLK 2.0. TTFE version 1.5 comes with the Chinese Mac OS 9.1. It also comes with OS X 10.1. [Google] [More]  ⦿

[Just van Rossum]

TTX 2.0b1 is Just van Rossum's TrueType to XML decompiler and XML to TrueType compiler for Macs. It is free and allows editing and inspecting opentype and truetype fonts. It works on all platforms (UNIX, Linux, Windows, Mac OS) but requires Python. It is a great tool for changing a few things in a font by hand. Download the TTX/Fonttools package here. Warning: this software is buggy. Thomas Phinney writes: Currently, if I want a simple and accurate representation of the contents of a TrueType or OpenType font, and possibly to edit the info, I have been using the wondrous open source TTX tool, which is based on the FontTools library. This dumps the font info to an XML text file, which can be viewed/edited in any text editor or anything that can handle XML. It can also recompile the text file back into a font. (In fairness, Adobe's FDK for OpenType also has table dumping/recompiling tools, just not quite as slick as TTX. Even Adobe folks often use TTX.) [...] The downside to tools like TTX and OTMaster is that they make little effort to tell you the meaning of the various cryptic values for various fields (or the exact meaning of the field itself), even when said values are legal/legit. So you need to also have a copy of the OpenType or TrueType specification handy. Sourceforge link. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Type 3.2 (was: CR8type)
[Allan Murray]

CR8type for Windows is a commercial Windows truetype and opentype font editor written by Allan Murray. Free demo. Also, CR8tracer is a freeware utility based on Peter Selinger's 'Potrace' to convert bitmap images into monochrome vector formats. Combine with CR8type 2.0 to create fonts from scanned images of signatures, handwriting etc. Windows only. It can edit PostScript and OpenType fonts and has a knife and freehand drawing tool. It draws, kerns, deals with unicode, converts between formats, and basically is a full-fledged type design tool.

Type Light (2012) is a free light version of Type 3.2 for Windows. The full Type 3.2 program is for Windows, Linux and mac OS/X.

CR8 Software Solutions are an independant software vendor located in Auckland, New Zealand. A creation of Allan Murray - a self-taught software developer who began programming computers in the early eighties and who has been involved in the ID card and digital printing industries for the past twelve years. CR8 Software Solutions has had a web presence since 2006. [Google] [More]  ⦿

TypeTool 2

FontLab-based font editor (TTF and type 1) for Mac and PC. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Webfont Maker

Bitstream's 200USD product (free demo) for making .pfr fonts for use with trueDoc (dynamic fonts in Netscape). Comes with 200 truetype fonts. PC and Mac. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Weijiu Qiao
[Letterforms FontMaker]

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