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Font Software for Creating Fonts

Compiled by Jacci Howard Bear

When you can't find the perfect font for your needs - make your own. But first, you'll need the right kind of software for making digital type and editing fonts. From the standard of Fontographer to up-and-coming contenders and specialty font editors for beginners and pros, design fonts with one of these font creation software programs.

Commentary/News: Fontographer is Back
While it never really left the scene entirely, Fontographer has been languishing unsupported and with no updates for a number of years - an eternity compared to most other design and typography software tools. But the program is now in the hands of Fontlab Ltd.

CompoCompiler [Win]
Create composite fonts from existing ones. Requires add'l Pyrus programs.

FONmaker [Win]
Create Windows screen fonts, Windows font resources, HP Soft Fonts, and BDF font files. Convert TTF & Type 1 fonts to bitmaps with this font design software.

Font Creator [Win]
Download High-Logic's shareware TrueType font creator and editor for Windows.

FontLab [Mac, Win]
High end font editor for designing or modifying fonts. From Pyrus.

Fontographer [Mac, Win]
Professional, commercial tool from Macromedia is now part of the Fontlab Ltd. family of font editors. For creating new fonts or modifying existing ones, Fontographer is the granddaddy of font creation software.

Convert Mac fonts to PC format (TT & Type 1). From Acute Systems.

RoboFog [Mac]
Scriptable type hacking tool with many features, for professional type design.

ScanFont [Mac, Win]
Font editor and high end autotracer. Supports TrueType, Type 1, and AI-EPS. Demo version available for download.

SigMaker [Win]
Integrate signatures or symbols into TrueType fonts. Add your signature or other characters seamlessly into existing fonts. From Pyrus.

TransType [Mac, Win]
Convert cross-platform TrueType and Type 1 fonts, do batch conversions, generate bitmap fonts when converting PC fonts to Mac. Download a demo.

TypeTool [Win, Mac]
Basic Font Editor has lets you add ligatures, special characters, em and en dashes, etc. to your fonts. Make new fonts. Hinting and kerning. More. Demo available. From Pyrus. Previously only available for Windows, there is now a Mac version as well.

Type Tools
Free downloads for TrueType developers including programs to check font hinting, create TrueType Open Tables, and other developer tools, from Microsoft.

Your Handwriting 2.0 [Win]
This inexpensive font creation program from Data Becker does an admirable job of turning your handwriting into a TrueType font.

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