[OS X TeX] Help for FontForge needed

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Wed Aug 30 20:00:34 EDT 2006

Le 31 août 06 à 00:11, André Bellaïche a écrit :

> I fancied to install Small Caps and Oldstyle Figures to match with  
> Times and MathTime, so I bought the needed font from Linotype.
> I have read that the first step is to make .pfb fonts from the  
> files sent by the vendor. I could install FontForge, which, I was  
> said, can manage all types of fonts. The first answer by FontForge  
> is "There are several fonts in this file. Choose anyone." (In  
> French, in fact.) Easy step. But after that, there is nowhere any  
> mention of a conversion to .pfb. Only BDF, which is, I guess a kind  
> af bitmat format. What should I do now ?
> Neither Bruno Voisin, nor Philip Lehman or Matthew Amster-Burton,  
> or the University of Cambridge Engineering Department explain how  
> to convert vendor fonts to pfa/pfb with FontForge. Only Bruno does  
> it a little, the others suppose that the problem has already been  
> solved.
> Maybe I should try ttf2pt1 from http://ttf2pt1.sourceforge.net/
> But the main problem is that I do not know if the fonts I have  
> bought are ttf. Maybe there are already Adobe Type 1, .pfa or .pfb,  
> but included in a larger file (I choose Ps-Mac format).

Bonsoir André,

What is it exactly that you are attempting to do? Convert from TTF to  
PFB format?

There's more than a year that I last attempted to do such things, and  
I've forgotten most of it. Only thing I can say, I just got hold of a  
font file that I had created in FontForge's own private SFD format,  
and from which I had later produced PFB, AFM, FFIL and LWFN files. If  
only I could remember how!

I suspect this is done using FontForge's "Fichier > Générer fonte..."  
menu item (in French, in the X11 version), playing then with the  
format scroll-down submenu to specify the format of the generated  
font and with the options scroll-down submenu to specify whether an  
accompanying AFM file is generated. From the quick tests I just did,  
the format submenu must be interpreted as:

PS Type 1 (Ascii) -> PFA
PS Type 1 (Binary) -> PFB
PS Type 1 (Resource) -> LWFN
TrueType -> TTF
TrueType (Resource) -> FFIL
TrueType (Mac dfont) -> DFONT
OpenType (CFF) -> OTF
OpenType (Mac dfont) -> OTF.DFONT

For some strange reason:

- The TrueType (Resource) file is created with extension .suit and OS  
X thinks, apparently, that it is an alias. Odd! In order to cure  
this, I had to open the file in ResEdit, use "File > Get Info for  
This File" and then uncheck all the checkboxes that were checked:

Use Custom Icon

Even odder, I tried this several times, and it wasn't successful all  
times: on a few times, OS X persists in thinking the file is an  
alias. Last time I tried, a year ago, I think I did not have these  
problems, as FontForge wasn't dealing with resources then, it was  
only creating MacBinary files from which one extracted manually  
resource files using additional tools.

- I'm not quite sure a bitmap version of the font must absolutely be  
created, as indicated in the Help, by selecting "Éléments > Bitmaps  
disponibles...". If you do, then the bitmap submenu offers afterwards  
the choice of NFNT (Resource), which otherwise is dimmed, and  
creating PS Type 1 (Resource) or TrueType (Resource) creates, in  
addition to the above vectorial formats, a bitmap font file  
with .bmap extension.

The .bmap file is also of type FFIL for the Mac: the difference is  
that the .bmap file is bitmap FFIL (contained a NFNT resource) and  
can't be used by OS X, while the .suit file is vectorial (TrueType)  
FFIL (containing a sfnt resource) and can be used by OS X.

I hope this all makes sense to you. The FontForge Help isn't very  
helpful regarding Mac fonts formats, but neither is Apple's doc as  
far as I know -- when it does exist, which is generally not the case.  
FFIL and LWFN font files are, anyway, an OS 9 and Classic relic and  
are deprecated on OS X.

Bruno Voisin------------------------- Info --------------------------
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