Using FontForge application – part 001.

FontForge requires an X server to be running so it can display its user interface. This distribution happens to use VcXsrv, which can allow for remote connections – since FontForge doesn’t use (or require) that, it is safe to keep blocking vcxsrv.exe. – just check Private networks, such as my home or work network.
About VcXsrv.
This is a Windows X-server based on the Xorg git sources (like xming or Cygwin’s xwin). After you install FontForge you see one icon into system tray area.
About FontForge.
FontForge comes like a tool to create new typefaces. You can read this book to have a complete view.
First, is very easy to use it.
When you start this application then you have two choices: one is to open an old font and another is to create a new font.
1. If you open an old font then just double left click and a window editor will let you edit the letter.
2. When you create a new font then is open a default empty matrix to create your letters.
Double left click with your mouse into the area of the letter and the window to draw your letter will show you.
Shortcuts keys for created window letter:
– use wheel mouse to up and down the edit area;
– use Ctr+wheel mouse to zoom in/out;
– use Shift+wheel mouse to move left and right;
– use Ctr+A to select all;
– use Delete to delete;
– use Alt+Ctr+R to start python scripting to letter window or for start, window use this Ctrl +’+’+’.’;
Let’s try a simple example to make/extract one letter from an image.
– draw your letter ( for example letter A) into an image file to create a new font.
– double click to letter A from default empty font.
– use File – Import ( Ctr+Shift+I) to import your image to the edit window for letter A.
– use Element – Auto trace (Ctr+Shift+T) from menu file to make the letter for your font.
– use Element – Simplify – Simplify (Ctr+Shift+M) tool , see simplify help.
For python script just use the window to execute the script ( Alt+Ctr+R) and use these python extensions.
For example: to import one font just press Ctrl +. (Execute Script …) and run this into the main window:

This will open a new window with the font from a python script.
If you feel lost into the area of functions and tools then try the index webpage.

NOTE: The FontForge freeze few times but I think is normal when you use large or complex data. One time when I used the bitmap letter and I need to put a simple one. Another freeze was when I run the python script – I think is a normal response because is not doing anything else and you need to wait. The good news is this application will not crash. If you want to stop it just close the VcXsrv from icon tray.
The point is to have a a good hardware if you want to use large data.

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