Pixel Font Editor - SimpleFont The most simple way for editing pixelfonts and superpixelfonts
           
Tracing a handdraw or a printscreen

1. Start SimpleFont

2. Select the font template you want to use from the automatically displaying New project dialog | CodePage templates. For creating fonts for the English language choose the WINDOWS-1252 font template.

3. Click the Load background button on the Toolbar | Background tools, and choose the bmp or jpg file. The Background tools includes the functions related to the background image.

The background tools
The background tools

4. On the Background properties panel you can set the properties of the imported picture. If you want each pixel of the background to fit to one character grid cell - this is especially helpful when using print screen - set the Alignment to Grid Point (character grid cell unit).

Setup imported background properties
Setup imported background properties

5. Leave the Imported bitmap position X and Y value on 0. This way the background image will lay on the baselines. It's not worth to set the imported image position by numbers. It's much easier to set it using the background move and free transform tool. It is a good practice to crop the background image to contain only the characters you want to trace, because on a huge image it is hard to find the characters.

6. The imported bitmap width and height parameter is set to the image size by default, in order to fit each pixel of the image to one character grid cell. Do not change these settings.

The bitmap used for background in this tutorial. (Tip: You can test tracing with this image)
The bitmap used for background in this tutorial. (Tip: You can test tracing with this image)

7. Choose the character to trace with double click on it on the character selection grid, that can be found on the right side of the main window.

8. Move the background with the Move background tool (more about Background tools in Section 3) to make visible that part of the background that contains the letter you chosen on the character selection grid. It is a good practice to position the letter on the background to lay on the baselines. This makes it easy to setup the horizontal and vertical kerning.

Position the background
Position the background
Position the background

9. Select the Trace color tool on Toolbar | Background tools and click on a point of the letter you want to trace.

Pick background color to trace
Pick background color to trace
Pick background color to trace

10. Select the area of the picture you want to trace with the Background select on Toolbar | Background tools.

Select the area to trace
Select the area to trace
Select the area to trace

11. Start tracing with the Trace background tool on Toolbar | Background tools. To trace each character one-by-one repeat steps 7 - 11.

12. When the letters are continous - are not checked or dotted - use the Paint Bucket on Toolbar | Background tools. After selecting it, click on a point of the letter you want to trace and the background will be floodfilled with patterns.

Use the paint bucket tool
Use the paint bucket tool
Use the paint bucket tool

13. When the background contains gradient fills, for the effective trace you should set the treshold value. Open the Tracing Properties dialog (Background | Tracing properties) and set the threshold value with the slider. The higher value means the higher tolerance.

Select tracing algorithm
Select tracing algorithm

On the Tracing Properties dialog (Background | Tracing properties) you can choose between two tracing algorithms. The algorithm to choose depends on the background image complexity and quality.

14. The missing characters can be drawn by hand. Read more about drawing characters in Tutorial 1 Section 3-4.

Setup the kerning and line spacing values (read more about setting kerning and line spacing values in Tutorial 1 Section 5), and export your newly created font into a TTF file. Read more about exporting in Tutorial 1 Section 8.