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View Full Version : Make your own dngbat fonts with Inkscape



RobA
02-10-2010, 11:00 AM
I just discovered this tutorial: http://cleversomeday.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/inkscape-dings/ that provides a template SVG to create a dingbat SVG font. Combined with this online converter: http://onlinefontconverter.com/ you can then turn it into a ttf, otf, or some other font usable by your system.

I tried it and it works quite well. Here is a screenshot of wordpad showing a ttf with four glyphs I doodled following the tutorial document.
22010

-Rob A>

Karro
02-10-2010, 11:28 AM
Wow...

That is cool.

So... let's say I had made a series of images of a con-alphabet for a con-lang in GIMP... would you say it's feasible to import these into inkscape, using this svg font tutorial, combined with the onlinefontconverter site, to turn that GIMPy alphabet into a semi-useable TTF? Granted, I realize it wouldn't be super professional-looking (not knowing a thing, as I do, about such subjects as kerning, etc.) And using the straight GIMP images without cleaning up into a smooth-looking vector image will mean I'd have scaling and anti-aliasing issues... but it sounds feasible..

RobA
02-10-2010, 01:50 PM
Wow...

That is cool.

So... let's say I had made a series of images of a con-alphabet for a con-lang in GIMP... would you say it's feasible to import these into inkscape, using this svg font tutorial, combined with the onlinefontconverter site, to turn that GIMPy alphabet into a semi-useable TTF? Granted, I realize it wouldn't be super professional-looking (not knowing a thing, as I do, about such subjects as kerning, etc.) And using the straight GIMP images without cleaning up into a smooth-looking vector image will mean I'd have scaling and anti-aliasing issues... but it sounds feasible..

Inkscape can do a fairly decent trace bitmap, so don't worry about anti-aliasing issues. Post up a png and I'll run a couple characters through the process for you!

-Rob A>

Juggernaut1981
02-11-2010, 10:22 PM
Oh great and wise and [begin ass kissing] [/end ass kissing] Rob A... does GIMP handle SVG on its own? Do we have to have Inkscape to undertake this miracle?

Gamerprinter
02-11-2010, 10:59 PM
SVG is a vector format, therefore you need a vector app to work with it. GIMP is raster and does not output vector objects. Though I might still have to use Inkscape to do this, I may try a workaround in Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0 as it can import/export SVG as well.

GP

Karro
02-12-2010, 12:24 PM
Inkscape can do a fairly decent trace bitmap, so don't worry about anti-aliasing issues. Post up a png and I'll run a couple characters through the process for you!

-Rob A>

Will do, but it will be tonight at the earliest when I do so, and possibly not then (I have to paint some cabinet doors tonight).

RobA
02-12-2010, 04:04 PM
Inkscape specifically supports SVG font sets (though poorly for the moment - it was a Google Summer of Code project last year), and the online converter will convert from SVG font sets. Don't know if XARA (while supporting SVG) can do SVG font-sets.

Gimp can do basic SVG import/rendering and path export (as SVG) but that is it. I like to use the two together.

-Rob A>

Karro
02-12-2010, 08:20 PM
Here are a few example characters of the alphabet I've worked on.
22059
22060
22061
22062

RobA
02-16-2010, 02:35 PM
Karro-

Here is a zip with the svg file and the ttf. I put the 4 glyphs into abc and d, and guessed at the glyph with. I didn't set up any kerning.

22176

-Rob A>

Karro
02-18-2010, 04:28 PM
Wow...

That is really cool. I am super-impressed! I'd been looking for a way to do this (to experiment with when I had free time) if it were possible, but this kind of blows my socks off.

Gamerprinter
02-18-2010, 06:35 PM
IDon't know if XARA (while supporting SVG) can do SVG font-sets.

Gimp can do basic SVG import/rendering and path export (as SVG) but that is it. I like to use the two together.

-Rob A>

I know Xara does NOT support SVG font sets, so that answers that question - I've looked at the tutorial and the software linked to it from the link you provided and understand what's going on. So I would have to play with Inkscape to even try.

I was sort of hoping to get my Gnomic Script converted to a basic font set - when I get the time (???) I might give it a try.

GP

mtbill
03-03-2011, 05:36 PM
I tried creating a font using this method and it turned out reasonably well, but I have some problems. Maybe some of you who have tried this can offer some advice. I am a complete newb with Inkscape.

First, carriage returns show up as big black boxes. I can get around that by selecting all the carriage returns and changing the font to a conventional font, but that is a pain. Is there a way to get rid of the big black box?

Second, I realize now that I should have mapped all the unmapped uppercase glyphs to their lowercase counterparts. Since I didn't do that, the font reverts to the default whenever I accidentally hit an upper case for a glyph that was not set. Is there any way to copy the glyphs for a lower case to an upper case, without re-importing, re-tracing, etc?

mtbill
03-07-2011, 04:46 PM
Well, I figured out what was causing the black boxes for carriage returns. Apparently I added a blank glyph in Inkscape and when the font was translated to TrueType, the blank glyph got mapped to CR. I was able to use FontForge to delete it. (I couldn't find any way to delete it in Inkscape.) So, maybe that will save someone some trouble in the future.

(Incidentally, fonts are much more complicated than I would have guessed.)