Re: Fonts

From: Patrick Dughi (
Date: 05/31/00

> I had the idea to create a custom font for the mud I'm currently coding at,
> but I'm not sure about how to even make a font. Does anyone know a web page
> or something that has info on how to do it? Also, and more importantly, are
> there any compatibility issues for fonts and different operating systems?
> For instance if I made a windows font would people be able to download it
> and use it in UNIX mud clients?

Lets break this down into your target groups:

1. Xwindows users (*nix)

        Xwindows uses three popular font types, bitmap fonts (which are
not scalable), type 1 fonts (ie, adobe, ghostscript), and truetype fonts
though those usually require a special server, though redhat (below) ships
with one as default.

2. Terminal users (*nix)

        This would include anyone using tintin, tinyfugue, mcl, telnet,
well..  anything out there that runs off a standard console/vt.  These use
bitmap fonts only.

3. Windows users (95/98/NT)

        They have a wider selection, bitmap fonts, type1 fonts, type3
fonts, true types.  Of course, microsoft, wanting to be difficult usually
makes minor changes in the internal format of the files to make them
incompatiable (for example, windows likes distributing their type1 fonts
in a .pfm form for the metrics, whereas the standard is in an .afm form
...of course, you can always use pfm2afm if you're worried).

        Now, if you're lazy, just stick to a fixed-size bitmap font.  With
a bit of translation, a bdf/pcf can be easily generated in linux (I've
used free tools out there to do such a thing once) and translated into
windows.  That will make all three groups happy.

        However, it has been established that while many mudders are
computer-philes, they still don't have the basic understanding required to
- say - install linux.  If they do, you can almost guarentee that
they'll be running redhat, which attempts to be the windows of linux.
Right there, you can chop out the terminal bit, and that leaves you with
either type1 or true type support.

        I'd personally go with truetype.  Xfs - a truetype supporting
x-font server uses this, and it's shipped as your default server with
redhat. Xfs actually supports type1 and truetype so you shouldn't have a
problem either way, i just prefer truetype.

        So, your task is to simply grab one of the truetype generation
packages out there (and there are a million) and actually make a font.  If
you're proficicent with xwindows, it will be easier to go that route, as
all the tools are freely available.  There are probably 3x as many
font-generation tools for windows, but most cost money, or are poorly
featured shareware version used for creating all those fonts you see on
the cheap "65,000 fonts!" disks in the 3-5$ bargin bin at going out of
buisness computer stores (or radio shack, which now-a-days is nearly the
same thing).

some pages for info (windows):

microsoft typography

font creator program + borland/inprise stuff (C++ builder has the ability
to make fonts via some simple - yet non-trivial programming)

*nix info:

xmbdfeditor (bdf files only, last i checked)

freetype (a font library, but it comes with many font conversion

Linux font project (this one just came up on a random search)

In truth, most of the font creation for linux was done by simply finding
the tools which were already installed per most 'full' installations.
They're just waiting to be discovered.


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