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I will not let another month pass without a post. Remember when I used to do this every day?

For now I am simply throwing this out there. I made a font using fontcapture.com and I think it’s pretty awesome.

I’ve called it Gregory Handwriting. It’s a pretty cool system fontcapture.com has worked out, but there are two main deficiencies.

One: It would be nice to have more characters in the font. Right now it seems focused to English and Spanish. You wouldn’t be able to use it to write much French, for example. It would be better to have more of the extended ASCII accent characters. And I’m in physical sciences so there’s always room for Greek and mathematical characters. Ideally fontcapture.com would offer additional character sets that could be added to a font in addition to the basic one it provides now. It would be a huge feature if I could print out and scan new sheets and add to an already existing ttf file.

Two: I need some additional tweaking of my characters, specifically where the character’s borders are. While the slightly askew letters can be cute, it would sometimes be nice to have letters tuck into one another the way some fonts do. Right now the font I made has some character spacing issues that wouldn’t exist in real handwriting. I might be able to fix this with 3rd party software though. I just haven’t looked into it yet.

So there you have it, a nifty little make your own font tool that works quite well as long as basic alphanumerics are all you need. I might be incorporating my version into this blog’s layout. It’s about time for a redesign, I think. It might encourage me to post more often.

Update (2010-01-16): The font made by fontcapture has a few other glaring omissions, like opening curly quotes but not closing ones. Luckily, there is a linux utility that easily fixes this called fontforge. You can open the TTF font and edit characters, including their boundaries, and then use File->Generate Font to export the updated TTF. In the case of the above, where a missing character is just a mirror image of another, it’s easy to open the existing character, copy, open the empty character, paste, and do a transformation to flip it. I also was able to create an em dash by stretching out the basic hyphen without any trouble. Fontforge detects lots of errors in the fontcapture font, but it seems like these can be ignored pretty safely.

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