Originally developed by the same team as the drawing program Freehand, Fontographer (or “FOG”) was the first software product on the Mac ever to include Bézier drawing tools, and is still famous for its clean, robust and easy-to-use user interface.
Draw curves with the classic Bézier Pen tool or use the Curve, Corner, Tangent, Arc tools to build your outline step-by-step. Draw geometric shapes with the Rectangle or Polygon tools (including stars and rounded corners), and with the Ellipse tool. Draw calligraphic strokes with the pressure-sensitive Calligraphy Pen.
Add nodes and slice through segments with Knife. Remove nodes manually with Merge Points and automatically with Clean Up Paths while keeping the shapes of the curves. Turn on Auto Curvature to keep nodes extra-smooth.
Scale, Rotate, Slant losslessly thanks to the fractional precision, Align Points to Grid to snap the points to preview the final font outlines in integer coordinates.
Draw on the Outline layer. Place curves and bitmaps into the Template layer for reference. Turn template bitmaps into outlines with precise Auto Trace. Measure distances with the Measurement tool, and use arbitrary vector shapes as guides in the Guidelines layer.
Make the glyphs lighter or bolder with Change Weight. Create intermediate weights with Blend Fonts.
In FontLab 8, you can draw and edit many glyphs at once with our next-generation drawing tools: a live calligraphic Power Brush, an easy Rapid drawing tool, a live pathfinding Fill tool. Edit your outlines faster with Power Nudge, slide node, G2 Genius nodes, revolutionary Tunni lines, live rounded corners.
Each glyph is a design on an advance width. When you type text using a font, each glyph appears and the text cursor is shifted by this glyph’s advance width. Then, the 2nd glyph is placed at the text cursor. If a kerning pair is defined between two glyphs, the 2nd glyph’s placement is shifted by the kerning pair value. Your glyph contours are drawn inside the advance width (but may also overhang outside the width). The distances between the contours and the advance width on each side of the glyph are called sidebearings.
Use Auto Space to automatically set the metrics (widths and sidebearings) of all or some glyphs. Use the Metrics Window to manually tweak the glyph metrics. Use Metrics Assistance to copy metrics to other glyphs.
Use Auto Kern to automatically generate kerning pairs for glyph pairs that need placement correction. Turn on Kerning in the Metrics Window or use Edit Kerning to manually edit kerning pairs. Use Kerning Assistance to set equivalent pairs for glyph groups/classes, for example accented characters.
Turn on Preferences > General > Asian CJK font editing and turn on Vertical in a Metrics Window to edit the top and bottom sidebearings.
FontLab 8 lets you space, kern, draw and edit glyphs in its unified windows. Build complex spacing relationships with metrics links, view kerning classes as you kern, apply OT features to space & kern alternates. Dock windows into tabs or float them across monitors, all in gorgeous Retina / High DPI quality.
Edit fonts with up to 32,000 glyphs from any writing system, with any Unicode codepoint. Create accented characters using components. Use built-in and custom encoding filters to view your glyph set. Add alternate glyphs, small caps, ligatures or glyphs from other writing systems. Add OpenType Layout features: use the Adobe FEA syntax to write the feature definitions in an external text editor, and include them in the exported font.
In Fontographer 5, you only need to set some basic technical parameters to generate a font. The app will figure out the rest, and export the font using our industry-proved high-end FontLab engine. Fontographer automatically optimizes the font rendering in small sizes using sophisticated autohinting, or lets you manually define hints.
Generate PostScript-flavored OpenType PS (OTF) fonts and TrueType-flavored OpenType TT (TTF) fonts. Also generate Type 1 and Mac Classic font formats. Export glyphs as Adobe Illustrator 8 EPS (.ai + .eps). Save Fontographer FOG files or export FontLab VFB files, and open them in FontLab VI or FontLab Studio 5 for professional-quality technical post-production.
Create monochrome bitmap fonts from scratch or from an outline font, and edit them, in multiple sizes, export BDF bitmap fonts, and open them in BitFonter for professional post-production, or import them into FontLab Studio 5 for embedding into TrueType SBIT fonts.
If you have a Fontographer 5 serial number, download the installer for the most recent version.