Importing artwork via a Print Screen from a pdf

Please try to keep all the discussions in the main forums on topic! If you have anything else, related to fonts, you want to share, please post it here!
Post Reply
Top Typographer
Top Typographer
Posts: 1992
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 6:41 pm
Location: Worcestershire, England

Importing artwork via a Print Screen from a pdf

Post by William » Mon May 18, 2009 6:28 am

I thought of a new way to produce artwork for a font and import it into FontCreator 5.6.

Well, new to me at least, others may well have tried it previously, yet new to me.

The idea is to produce artwork using vector drawing tools in PagePlus X2, which is a budget-price desktop publishing package, and produce a pdf. A master page is used in the desktop publishing package to form a background to each page of the pdf, the master page carrying some yellow bars and some black alignment squares. FontCreator 5.6 can ignore the yellow bars upon importing artwork, thus the yellow bars are for my use as alignment guides when drawing the artwork in the desktop publishing package.

The use of the pdf is so that I can also publish the artwork that I used for the font.

I know from experience that FontCreator 5.6 imports from (pixel count in some input artwork) to (font unit count in the font) with a scaling factor of what is selected, there is no arbitrary scaling factor involved in the process.


Here is a transcript of notes that I made.

Friday 15 May 2009

4:46 pm

I am trying to experiment with producing the artwork for a font as vector illustrations in a pdf document using PagePlus X2.

The idea is to minimize disc space usage.

Can the artwork be produced and the font constructed by displaying a pdf using Adobe Reader, then using Print Screen and then pasting direct from the clipboard into FontCreator?

Or should the artwork be saved in vector format?

Start PagePlus X2.

Start a file vector_artwork.ppp as A4 landscape.

Tools Options... Rulers Units Pixels - 10ths.

Using the default import settings of FontCreator 5.6 there is scaling by a factor of 4.

On the master page of vector_artwork.ppp, add bands of yellow for separating ascender height, capitals height, x height, baseline and descender. The yellow is for guidance when drawing letters, yet will be ignored by FontCreator 5.6 when importing.

Yet I want to be able to display a whole character on the screen, so make it half-scale and maybe scale by 200% in FontCreator 5.6.

Band 1, upper spare space, 32 pixels wide. Yellow.

Band 2, space above capitals and below ascender tops, 32 pixels wide.

Band 3, space above x height and below capitals height, 64 pixels wide. Yellow.

Band 4, above baseline to x-height, 128 pixels wide.

Band 5, below baseline to descender level. 96 pixels wide. Yellow.

Band 6, below descender level. 32 pixels wide.

Band 7, below font descender limit. Yellow.

When lines in the ppp document become lines in the font, they will become 8 times wider (x4 x 200%).

Lines about 128 font units are needed, so that would be 16 point lines in the ppp file. Use 15 point as it is a preset.

Try a, e, f, o, g, h.

Make a pdf, display at 100% and try to make a font From Vector Artwork 001 in FVECA001.TTF.

Autometrics with 128 each side.

Scale glyphs by 175% about (0, 0), preserving side bearings.

Autometrics with 64 each side.

This is quite a successful experiment.

6:05 pm.


Thinking about the experiment subsequently, I wondered why I needed 175% rather than 200%.

I had set the font metrics to 2048, -1024, 0.

I found that displaying the pdf in Adobe Reader at 100% and then using Print Screen and then measuring the bar width in Microsoft Paint, by drawing a red rule pixel by pixel at 8x magnification, produced a result of 38 pixels for the width of a 32 pixel yellow bar. I am wondering why this has happened. I am using a PC running Windows xp professional on an 800 pixel by 600 pixel display.

Does anyone know what is happening please?

Here is the artwork in a pdf.
Some experimental artwork for a font
(2.33 KiB) Downloaded 251 times
William Overington

18 May 2009

Post Reply