|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (June 2012)|
FontForge running under Xubuntu 14.04
|Original author(s)||George Williams|
|Developer(s)||Frank Trampe, Ben Martin, Adrien Tétar, Khaled Hosny, Jeremy Tan|
|Stable release||20150430 / April 30, 2015|
|License||Mix of GNU General Public License v3 and BSD license (Free software)|
FontForge is a full-featured font editor which supports all common font formats. Developed primarily by George Williams until 2012, FontForge is free software and is distributed under a mix of the GNU General Public License Version 3 and the 3-clause BSD license. It is available for several operating systems (including GNU/Linux, Windows and Mac OS X) and is localized into 12 languages.
To facilitate automated format conversion and other repetitive tasks, Fontforge implements two scripting languages: its own language and Python. FontForge can run scripts from its GUI, from the command line, and also offers its features as a Python module so it can be integrated into any Python program.
Fontforge supports Adobe's OpenType feature file specification (with its own extensions to the syntax). It also supports the unofficial Microsoft mathematical typesetting extensions (
MATH table) introduced for Cambria Math and supported by Office 2007, XeTeX and LuaTeX. At least one free OpenType mathematical font has been developed in FontForge (see below).
FontForge uses FreeType for rendering fonts on screen. Since the November 15, 2008 release, FontForge uses libcairo and libpango software libraries for graphics and text rendering providing anti-aliased graphics and complex text layout support.
The FontForge source code includes a number of utility programs in the 'fonttools' directory, including 'showttf' which shows the contents of binary font files, and a WOFF converter and deconverter.
FontForge supports a wide variety of font formats. Its native Spline Font Database format (
.sfd file name extension) is text-based and facilitates collaboration between designers, as difference files can be easily created. FontForge also supports the interoperable UFO source format, which is based on XML.
The software supports many other font formats and converts fonts from one format to another. Supported font formats include: TrueType (TTF), TrueType Collection (TTC), OpenType (OTF), PostScript Type 1, TeX Bitmap Fonts, X11 OTB bitmap (only sfnt), Glyph Bitmap Distribution Format (BDF), FON (Windows), FNT (Windows), and Web Open Font Format (WOFF). FontForge also imports and exports fonts to and from the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format and the Unified Font Object (UFO) format.
George actively developed, maintained and supported the program and related utilities for around 12 years. In mid 2011 Dave Crossland began proactively contributing to the project, and the project migrated development from SourceForge to Github. As Dave is not a software developer himself, he began offering introductory type design workshops through the TeX Users Group to raise funds to hire contract developers to maintain and develop the program. FontForge's development became more active, and Khaled Hosny and Barry Schwartz were notable contributors, but in late 2012 they and Dave disagreed about the direction of the project so they forked FontForge as SortsMill Tools.
In 2011 FontForge was packaged for easier installation on Mac OS X by Dr. Ben Martin with support from TUG. Meanwhile Matthew Petroff published his Windows Build System and unofficial Windows builds. In 2013 the fontforgebuilds project was started on sourceforge to extend this; it was subsequently entirely rewritten, and is today maintained by Jeremy Tan as an official Windows package.
In 2012 Dave organized a new project website to be hosted on Github Pages, http://fontforge.github.io, and used funds raised from teaching fontforge to beginners to hire a contract web designer. With his support Ben added a real time collaboration feature that was presented by them both as a keynote at the Libre Graphics Meeting 2013 in Madrid.
In 2014 with financial support from Google, Frank Trampe added full support for the UFO font source format.
Free fonts developed with FontForge
- Cantarell (typeface)
- DejaVu fonts
- Free UCS Outline Fonts
- Linux Libertine
- M+ Fonts
- Squarish Sans
- XITS font project
- All fonts from Open Source Publishing Foundry (Alfphabet, Belgica-Belgika, Cimatics, Crickx, DLF, Le Patin Helvète, Libertinage, Limousine, Logisoso, Mill, NotCourierSans, OSP-DIN, Polsku Regula, Reglo, Sans Guilt, Sans Guilt Wafer, Univers Else, VJ12, W drogę)
- "Releases · fontforge/fontforge · GitHub". GitHub. frank-trampe. Retrieved 2014-12-30.
- FontForge LICENSE file
- Gurdy Leete; Mary Leete (12 June 2007). Microsoft Expression Blend Bible. John Wiley & Sons. p. 295. ISBN 978-0-470-05503-8. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- James, Daniel (2009-12-04). Crafting Digital Media: Audacity, Blender, Drupal, GIMP, Scribus, and other Open Source Tools (1 ed.). Berkeley, CA: Apress. p. 114. ISBN 1430218878.
- Yannis Haralambous (3 October 2007). Fonts & Encodings (1 ed.). O'Reilly Media, Inc. pp. 444, 988. ISBN 978-0-596-10242-5. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
- "Writing scripts to change fonts in FontForge". Fontforge.sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2009-11-09.
- "Writing python scripts to change fonts in FontForge". Fontforge.sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2009-11-09.
- "FontForge's implementation of Adobe's Feature File syntax". Fontforge.sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2009-11-09.
- "MATH typesetting information". Fontforge.sourceforge.net. 2007-08-04. Retrieved 2009-11-09.
- "Building FontForge from source". Fontforge.sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2009-11-09.
- "Change log for FontForge". Fontforge.sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2009-11-09.
- "LuaTeX — Taco Hoekwater, July 24, TUG 2008" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-11-09.
- Lunde, Ken (2009-01-13). CJKV Information Processing. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly. p. 447. ISBN 9780596514471.
- "Spline Font Database File Format". Fontforge.sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2009-11-09.
- "The history of the development of FontForge". Fontforge.sourceforge.net. Retrieved 2009-11-09.
- "SortMill Tools". Barry Schwartz. Retrieved 2015-02-27.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Fontforge.|
- Official website
- "I think the ideas behind it are beautiful in my mind": long interview with George Williams, July 8, 2007