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COREL fonting info font links bibliography Richard J. Kinch's
fonting info


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On Fonting

I have been asked a number of times about fonting. Here is what I know...and it is not that much.

To font you have to have a fonting program. Be aware that there is only ONE shareware fonting programs out there that I know of:

SOFTY (get it at Dave Emmett's Softy Support Page)
(Demo's don't count.) If you decide not to use Softy (It is limited in use), then you've either got to buy, steal, or to be given a commercial one. Fonting programs run from $90 - $500(+). So fonting is not a cheap hobby - but then neither is the computer you are reading this on. The programs for IBM I have heard the best reports of are Fontographer and Font Design Lab. FDL had a $89 "light" learning version special last year for a limited time. You can find these and many Demo's in the font links below.

There are different fonting programs for the Macintosh, IBM/clone, and for larger computers. There are also different forms of fonts - META, TrueType, postscript/adobe. I have dealt only with the IBM truetype myself. And all the supposed TrueType fonters for IBM/clone are really postscript fonters that modify their font (with varying success) into the TrueType format. There are no real IBM/windoz TrueType fonters out there that I know of. I understand Macintosh does have them, but Mac TTF aren't IBM TTF. confused? Well I just mean to say you can expect problems making a good/reliable Windows TTF. And it doesn't help that Microsoft made the TTF specs - they haven't stressed all the details too well, which means that some font generators have problems converting from postscript to TTF.

One thing you must remember when fonting is that a number of characters are reserved: char 0-32 are system calls, if you use them your system will not work right. Similarly some char keys in the 100s and above are used to pageup and pagedown, move cursors, return, ect. Be careful and think before you font!

A fonting program combines a vector based drawing system with a font generator program. Often one or the other leaves something to be desired. The steps are: First you draw in the vector based drawing system, then you adjust the points, path, rotate and scale. Second you then Kern, which means adjusting the spacing between letters, maybe having the top of the T overlap the e below. Third you adjust the overall font specs - is it normal,bold or italic, heavy or light, where is the underlining, the top and bottom. Don't forget the copywrite notice. Fourth you generate the font, then check it on a word processer, and go back and redo as needed. Details are important, but so is a sense of artistry. (Which I am weak in.) A little crazyness helps...(grin). You will also need a lot of time to do a whole alphabet.

You can do some fonting without a font program - some font managers like FontMonster have some limited font modification abilities. Corel Draw also has some limited font abilities, but it is very hard to get it to work right (I never could get it to work at all when I tried it.) and the size of the font you can make is limited. I think it was only designed to let you make a small "signature" font.

General Info/Top COREL fonting info font links bibliography Richard J. Kinch's fonting info

COREL DRAW fonting hints by other users (from usenet comp.fonts group)

For more detailed step by step instructions go to: Corel Fonting Tutorial by Rob Anderson.

Corel Draw can only create fonts from vector images; that is, you must convert your bitmap into a vector-based pic using Corel Trace and the like.

After you're done with it, you must:

1 - ungroup all object that make up your single letter.
2 - combine them into a SINGLE OBJECT
3 - set the line style to 0 pts and the fill style to black.
4 - Now you can export this object! (use export selected option)

Some Warnings: Don't even try to export more than one obj or the font export subsystem won't work anymore unless you restart your windows session (neat, huh?)

Hope It Helps, Max Lambertini (max@dsnet.it, max@italia.com)

Laurie McCanna - Free Art Website Artist, author and type designer has a page on using CorelDraw to create fonts...


I had the same problem [with COREL] when I designed my first font, it drived me crazy, after two long weekends, i came in touch with a guy who helped me to solve the problem, which I am passing to you :-)

You need to combine all the graphic parts in your page to be able to export them to a TTF. That all!

Another tips for you who want to create a font with corel 3.0 is to be aware of that the first character you put in the TTF file will be the default shape for all undefined characters, so start your job by putting a square or something like that otherwise your TTF file will be full of "A"s.

And if you are making complex fonts and counting on a TTF file bigger than 64KBytes, then forget Corel 3.0 and buy/steal/borrow 4.0 because it distroys your font when the size of the TTF file is bigger than 63KBytes.

Regards, Farhad Abdolian, Stockholm/Sweden

General Info/Top COREL fonting info font links bibliography Richard J. Kinch's fonting info

 LINKS to font info

Thats about all I know. Again, for more info check out:

And also the Usenet groups alt.binaries.fonts and comp.fonts where you can find more font info.

General Info/Top COREL fonting info font links bibliography Richard J. Kinch's fonting info



"Fontographer: Type by Design" by Stephen Moye (1995) ISBN: 1-55828-447-8
"The Computer Font Book" by Glenn Searfoss (1993) ISBN: 0-07-881800-1
"The Font Problem Solver" by David D Busch (1992) ISBN: 1-55623-506-2
"An Eye for Type" by J. Stoke & C. Staley (1992) ISBN: 0-96326689-0-2


Image Club Software catalog (800) 661-9410

Serif Magazine,Dept. W-1, 976 W. Foothill Blvd., Ste.529, Claremont, CA. 91711, Subscription, $28/yr, $50/2-yrs.

WWW Publications:

Microsoft Typography Homepage

TrueType Typography site by Laurence Penney

General Info/Top COREL fonting info font links bibliography Richard J. Kinch's fonting info

On Character Metrics and Restrictions with Symbolic Fonts, by Richard J. Kinch, Ph.D.

Stephen Baynes (baynes@ukpsshp1.serigate.philips.nl) wrote: : Does anyone know if there are restrictions on the character values that : can be used in True type fonts with a windows symbol encoding.

There certainly are.

May I suggest that you try my ttf_edit TrueType encoding editor utility, which is presently available for free. It will reveal all the secrets to you, and allow you to examine and modify your TrueType encodings at will. See the URL given below.

I haven't exhaustively examined the behavior, but I have discovered the following scarcely-documented facts about Windows symbol fonts:

1. They use a 3.0 cmap number, instead of the 3.1 (3.1 is supposed to mean ANSI character set and encoding). A 3.0 cmap means that the encoding is deliberately random; it does not mean that some well-defined "symbol" encoding is present. This has a very sloppy explanation in the MS TrueType specification.

2. A TrueType symbol font for Windows must be encoded such that the symbols are in codes 0xf020 through 0xf0ff, part of the so-called private zone of Unicode. This is an arbitrary, unnecessary, and barely-documented aspect.

3. Non-Unicode rendering in Windows 3.1, 95, or NT will result in the codes being mapped up by 0xf000; i.e., you render 0x20 in a symbol font, you get Unicode character 0xf020. If you use Unicode rendering in Windows 95/NT you must directly access the 0xf0XX codes.

The commercial font editors purporting to create TrueType fonts all mess up various aspects of the results in regard to encoding, which is one reason I created ttf_edit.

4. The Microsoft "Symbol" font does not contain codes 0xf000-0xf01f, or 0xf080-0xf09f, and code 0xf020 is "space".

5. For brain-damaged reasons, when rendering with non-Unicode Windows (i.e., TextOutA()), codes 0x0-0x1f and 0x80-0x9f are variously and randomly remapped in various national versions of Windows. So perhaps these codes are forever "spoiled" now.

6. Symbol fonts (i.e., cmap 3.0) won't appear as a selection for the Windows 95 Desktop Properties (Appearance).

: Can one have characters < 32 including 0?

You can certainly create such a font (ttf_edit will do it for you), but Windows will not render those codes (except perhaps with Unicode rendering in 95/NT, haven't checked that yet).

: Does 32 have to be a space?


Appended, for your reference and amusement, is a manifest of the Microsoft Symbol (TrueType) encoding, generated with ttf_edit, in the AFM format.

FTP download ttf manifest text file.

Richard J. Kinch, Ph.D.
Publisher, TrueTeX (R) brand typesetting software.
See http://idt.net/~truetex
FAX (561) 966-0962

General Info/Top COREL fonting info font links bibliography Richard J. Kinch's fonting info


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