Trouble with font files

comradely edited this page Jun 3, 2013 · 5 revisions

Old-style Mac fonts

You may run into trouble trying to convert old-style Mac PostScript fonts with the generator. If your font file does not have an extension, it is most likely a PostScript font, and as such probably quite old, too. The problem is that all files on Mac OS have both a Data Fork, which contains the actual data of the file, and a Resource Fork, which can contain pretty much anything. Those old-style Mac fonts used to store everything to the Resource Fork. However, that information is easily lost as usually only the Data Fork (that is, the contents of the file) is transferred. This is the case with file uploads. So, as the Data Fork of these old PostScript fonts is empty, the generator sees an empty file and is therefore unable to do anything useful.

So what can you do? Fortunately enough there are ways to move the data to where it should be, but unfortunately none of them are effortless.

If you’re on a Mac

The easiest way is to do this is open up Terminal (it’s in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder). Now, move or copy the font file to your home folder. For the purposes of this example, we’ll assume that the full name of the file is “MyFontReg”. Now, write the following to Terminal (remember to replace MyFontReg with the actual name of the file) and press enter:

cat "MyFontReg/..namedfork/rsrc" > "MyFontReg.dfont"

If everything went well, you should now have a file called MyFontReg.dfont. Congratulations! You should be able to successfully convert this file.

Note: some PostScript font files contain bitmap versions of the font. There’s no easy way to tell this, but from our experience if the name of the file contains a space (or spaces), or is the full name of the font, it is likely a bitmap font. For example, Trade Gothic is a bitmap font, but TradeGot is a file you can convert. You cannot convert bitmap fonts. You should find a suitable file from within the folder the font file was originally in, as PostScript fonts rarely come with just a bitmap version.

If you’re on Windows

You’re screwed. The only way is to use a virtual machine emulating Mac OS or a Unix and follow the steps described for those systems.

If you’re on Linux/Unix/BSD

You can use fondu.

You can’t perform that action at this time.
You signed in with another tab or window. Reload to refresh your session. You signed out in another tab or window. Reload to refresh your session.
Press h to open a hovercard with more details.