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Webfont Converter/Generator Ware

To use @font-face link­ing you need of course the fonts. You can reg­is­ter on some of the web­font online ser­vices like Kernest, Type­kit, Font­Deck and have easy access to a bunch of free and com­mer­cial fonts. You get an css or javascript code snip­pet, include it in your web­site and you are done. If you want host the fonts by your­self you must pro­vide all the needed font for­mats and the proper css code.

Some browsers accept the plain desk­top font for­mats True­Type .ttf or Open­Type .otf, but most font foundries deny­ing the link­ing of desk­top font for­mats. Of course they don’t want their fonts spread­ing around the net with­out proper paid licenses. You have to respect that.

Some free fonts com­ing  with an Open Source like license and can be linked this way. But this has sev­eral bad con­se­quences. Not all browsers sup­port these font for­mats. The for­mats are meant for desk­top usage, the fonts are big. Some­times you need only a por­tion of the font data, so it would be wise to use the parts you need only to spare bandwidth.

Besides the desk­top font for­mats there are the online font for­mats called web fonts or web­fonts. I pre­fer and use web­fonts like the term website.

.eot for Mir­cosoft Inter­net Explorer browsers
.woff the pre­ferred and fea­tured for­mat by Mozilla, sup­ported by Fire­fox 3.6 and Google Chrome 8
.svg/.svgz sup­ported by iPad and IPhone browsers
.ttf (.otf) the plain desk­top for­mat sup­ported by all cur­rent ver­sions of Safari, Opera, Fire­fox and Chrome

But how to gen­er­ate or con­vert these opti­mized web­font formats?


Online Software

Fontsquir­rell @fone-face generator

The Fontsquir­rel con­verter is one of the best con­vert­ers on the net. It’s also an gen­er­a­tor, because it can rescale, re-hint and sub­sets the font data, opti­mizes the met­rics, gen­er­ates sam­ple html files and con­verts to all needed web­font for­mats like .eot .woff .ttf .svgz .svg and Cufón.

Fontsqir­rel can analyse the Open­Type font fea­ture code and can replace for exam­ple the lower case let­ters with their cor­re­spond­ing small caps in the final web­fonts and many more. Of course this works on fonts only with have these fea­ture code on board. A free sam­ple you can try is Charis SIL.  The Fontsquir­rel gen­er­a­tor can dras­ti­cally reduce the file size by sub­set­ting the fonts so only parts needed will be in the final webfonts.


Offline Software

sfnt2woff (.woff)

sfnt2woff was the first con­verter for the .woff for­mat. It’s avail­able includ­ing source code. Not user-friendly!

Weft (.eot)

Weft is the Microsoft .eot Gen­er­a­tor. It has some unique fea­tures like URL bind­ing and addi­tional com­pres­sion. Not user-friendly! Win­dows only!

eot-fast (.eot)

Eot-fast is like its name a quick and pain­less .ttf to .eot con­verter. Win­dows only!

Till today there is no user-friendly offline web­font con­verter or gen­er­a­tor avail­able cov­er­ing all web­font formats.

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{ 1 } Comments

  1. Torben | February 7, 2014 at 11:40 | Permalink

    Hej :)

    I just want to add, that Font Squir­rels hint­ing algo­rithm seems to be opti­mized for sys­tems with­out font-anti-aliasing (mainly Win­dows XP). On sys­tems with anti-aliasing enabled (Win 7+) this hint­ing pro­duces quite bad results.

    There­fore I’ve cre­ated my own web­font gen­er­a­tor Fontie (http://fontie.flowyapps.com/). It uses ttfau­to­hint by Werner Lem­berg (prob­a­bly the best free auto-hinting algo­rithm avail­able) and also offers sub­set­ting, CSS gen­er­a­tion, a smooth-fonts fix for XP and some other optimizations.

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