Altering Existing Fonts

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Dave Crosby
Posts: 793
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 1:13 pm
Location: Enoch, Utah

Altering Existing Fonts

Post by Dave Crosby »

Altering Existing Fonts

There are legal problems with altering other people's fonts without their permission, especially those of large corporations with lots of lawyers.

A safe way to avoid this If you would like to build your own Font Collection, is to make sure you have a sub folder in your Personal Documents folder named something like “My Fonts.” Then right-click and download the following fonts to that location:



Next, open Font Creator (FC) and open the font “FCBasicFont.ttf” that you just downloaded. TEST Font by pressing the button with an R on a white page logo at the top center of the screen to see the font in use, and note that it is a Rounded Sans Serif Font.
Note that this temporarily installs the font so you can find it (named FC Test Font + a number) and use it in your other applications.
Closing that window uninstalls it.

As the creator of those fonts, I give you permission to do anything to them you wish.

Click on Tools/ AutoNaming and re name the font. I suggest you use your initials to keep your fonts together in any collection, then the name you want. Perhaps “dlcRoundedSans.” Use something like “Galloping Geese” if you wish, after all, it is now YOUR font. Be sure to Save using the new name in your My Fonts folder.

You now have your first font. You can MORPH it any way you want. What design do you want next? Here are a few ideas:


Panose Latin Text defines 5 Sans Serif and 11 Serif Font Faces.

You already have one Sans. By simply going to Contour Mode, Select All, you can stretch, squeeze or rotate as you wish. Or go to Point Mode, then by adding, moving, or deleting a few points on each glyph you can easily curve, thicken, or make any part thinner.
remember, you can use Q or W to move from point to point or from contour to contour. Move them by pressing the arrow keys. Holding down the Ctrl key allows small adjustments. You can select groups of points by using the arrow to drag a box around them. Points can be added or deleted from the group by holding down the Shift key as you left-click on them. Press the H key to remove the background. H/Ctrl and a movement will lock the background removal while you continue to move the group. Press H again to release it.
This will allow you to transform this font to a Normal Sans, Perpendicular Sans, Obtuse Sans, or Flared Sans.

Be sure to AutoName and save each one before moving on to the next. You could now have at least 5 fonts.

:arrow: Just as easily, you can add Serifs. There are three ways to do this.
1. Add points at appropriate locations by selecting a point and press the A key as often as you wish and move the new points where you want. Press the Blue Arrow Button to move on to the next glyph.

2. Open the “FCShapesToolKit.ttf” font, select any shape and copy it to your clipboard. Change Windows to your original font and open the A glyph editing window. Paste your shape as often as needed and move them as you wish. In Contour mode, select all, and press the “Get Union” (all green overlapping square and circle) button. Be sure to SAVE your new font after altering each glyph. You never know when you could lose power.

3. Start with any version of your font, select Tools/ Options/ Sample/ Filename and open the FCShapesToolKit.ttf as the sample.

This will place the glyphs of this font into the boxes on the left side of your screen. Click on one, click again and drag the shape into the glyph editing window. Copy the contour(s) to the clipboard and continue as in 2. above. It is a good habit to get into to press the Validate Glyph button before continuing on to the next glyph. You could now have 16 fonts.

:arrow: Play with Tools/Glyph Transformer! You will learn a LOT!

:arrow: Do you want some Ornamented Fonts? Add your own designs to the FCToolKit. Flowers, stars, tears, butterflies, flourishes, whatever you want.

Just remember that exterior contours need to proceed in a clockwise direction from point to point. Internal contours need to go the opposite direction from the contour they are in.

Drop backgrounds on the glyphs in a font, or build a new font by pulling in glyphs from various fonts to make collages or montages.

:arrow: Flowing Scripts? Add a “tail” to your ToolKit. Move it to the appropriate location for most glyphs. Then you can drag it in to any glyph and get union of contours.

Rather than “Testing Font”to get the proper spacing to produce a flowing script, use
View/ Toolbars/ Comparison. Pick the glyphs you want to see on each side of the glyph you are working on.

:arrow: Want a FINISHED product? Select a font you really like and from the Glyph Overview Window, (GIVE IT A NEW NAME! Just adding a number or letter will do) Select Edit/ Select Incomplete/ Complete Composites.

There are two ways to complete composites. Use the button three places to the right of the gold key that would install your font if you wished. Or, right click in any selected glyph and find “Complete Composites” in the pop up window.

Take time to look at each glyph and make sure you like them. Sometimes you will need to make some minor changes. Other times, it is easier to start over, and move an element left or right, up or down for proper spacing and complete composites again.

Have Fun!
Aut nunc aut nunquam
Brother Gabriel-Marie
Posts: 284
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:12 pm

Re: Altering Existing Fonts

Post by Brother Gabriel-Marie »

Very nice, Mr. Crosby. Thanks for sharing.
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