1. Start SimpleFont
2. The New project Window is displayed automatically. You can change the content of the Window by clicking on the three different tabs (New project, CodePage templates, Project name) on the left side.
In the New project dialog you can choose the way of your work process.
- New empty pixelfont project: Use this option to create an absolute unique pixelfont project, where you can specify the charatcers one by one.
- New pixelfont project with the selected codepage: Use this most common option to create a pixelfont based on a codepage. Different languages use different characters. By selecting the font template you are deciding which characters to include into your font. For creating fonts for the English language choose the WINDOWS-1252 template.
- New pixelfont project based on a TrueType font: Use this option to extend existing TTF fonts or pixelfonts.
- New pixelfont project based on a BDF font: Use this option to extend existing BDF fonts or pixelfonts.
- Load an existing font project from file: Use this option to open your existing SimpleFont projects.
|Select the way of your work process|
3. The user interface of the program consists of two parts. The character selection grid on the right side lets you select the character to edit.
|Select the character to edit|
4. After selecting, you can edit the character on the character edit grid (on the left side) using the drawing tools on the toolbar.
|Select the drawing tool you want to use|
|Edit the character you selected|
5. The kerning (distance between characters) can be set by dragging (moving the mouse while holding the mouse button down) the red kerning line. You have to set the horizontal kerning for each character according to the horizontal size of the character. For pixel fonts the horizontal kerning should be one or two pixels right from the right edge of the character. The red line defines the position of the next character's baseline. Read more about baseline in Section 2.
|Setup kerning for the character|
The vertical kerning can be set by dragging the thick green line. The vertical kerning is global for the font, while the horizontal kerning must be set for each character.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 to create all the characters.
7. Choose the pattern. Characters created in SimpleFont consist of units positioned on a lattice. The units are called patterns. The pattern should be chosen by the desired purpose. The pattern of a SimpleFont project can be changed any time. With SimpleFont you can create fonts with different patterns in a few seconds.
|Select the pattern|
Each cell of the lattice conforms to one pixel on the screen, when using the font in 8 pixel size. It means that in sizes 8, 16, 24, 32, etc. the font will be displayed crisp, without aliasing. The font rendering algorithm in Flash 4, Flash 5 and Flash MX has had rendering problems. If you plan to create fonts for these versions, use the "95 % square". For Flash MX 2004 and other projects use the "Flash default" pattern.
In SimpleFont 2 "Flash default" patterns will join into a contignious outline shape when exporting a TTF file.
Patterns different from square can be useful in larger sizes. At these sizes the patterns (circle, kite, diamond, star) are big enough to be visible. Using patterns different from square you can create interesting visual effects.
|Use the different patterns (square, kite, cross, circle)|
8. Exporting your font to TTF format (Ctrl+E). When exporting your font to TTF file, you should specify not only the file name, but additional name strings, like font family name, full font name, etc. If you specify only the file name, the name strings will be generated from the file name.
You can set additional settings in Font | Output options... like embedding licensing rights, version string, Trademarks, in Font | TrueType options... like subscript, superscript, underline, strikeout positions etc.
The folder where the TTF files will be exported is by default the c:\. You can specify a different folder by clicking on the browse button.
|Export your font|
10. Copy your newly created font to the font folder of windows (by default: c:\windows\fonts or c:\winnt\fonts) and start using it. If the program (i.e.: Macromedia Flash) you are using is open, then you should restart it in order to make the program notice the new fonts.
You can install your pixelfont automatically from SimpleFont by using the Font | Install font option after specifying the requested name strings.
11. Save your work to SimpleFont project file (SFP) to make it able to use in the future.