How to create bitmap fonts?
June 27, 2005 8:33 AM   Subscribe

How does one go about creating a 1 color bitmap font, pixel by pixel in Windows?

I am most definitely not a font expert, but I have a need to create a bitmap font ASAP. I need it so I can mock up text content and placement on an LCD (think in-car DVD player size). Right now I'm doing my mockups in Paint Shop Pro. I have a bitmap font set defined that I cut and paste from to put on the display mockup. This is fairly cumbersome, and I'd like to simply be able to type the text I want into Paint Shop Pro and have it be exactly what I want pixel for pixel.

What I want out of the font (the font is basically already designed in a .bmp file made in PSP):

* 16 pixels wide by 20 pixels high
* 1 color (well, 2 really, but one of them is transparent)
* Only defined for one point size (i.e. I don't have a need for defining the font for 8 point through 32 point)

What I want out of the font creation program:
* ability to "paint" the font on a pixel grid
* ability to define the font such that programs won't try to anti-alias it (i.e. it's defined by its pixels, not its vectors)
* can save the font in a format easily digestable and usable by Windows 2K.

I thought my requirements were pretty basic until I set about to finding a program to create my font. I've tried googling all kinds of variations of "bitmap font creation," "bitmap font creator," etc. This track has led me to Bitmap Font Edit v1.1, Font Creator 5.0 and FONMaker 1.01. None of these programs seemed to do the trick (or I'm missing something). They either want to make me design the font as a vector, or don't seem to want to save the font in any format that I can use. I also tried BitFontMaker but found that it restricted the size of the font to 10x10 pixels.
posted by udeups to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Oh, and ideally, the program/utility that I use to create these fonts would be free, but shelling out for it is also an option.
posted by udeups at 8:37 AM on June 27, 2005

How about this?
posted by Alison at 10:31 AM on June 27, 2005

Arg, but the grid on that one is probably too small.
posted by Alison at 10:33 AM on June 27, 2005

Yeah, I tried that one out. But yes, as you say, the grid is too small.
posted by udeups at 11:06 AM on June 27, 2005

It's a full VGA 7" diagonal display.

As far as creating fonts on the display itself, we're all good on that. We've got fonts pretty well handled in the display itself, which is driven by an embedded processor on a product my company is working on. The issue here is that I want fonts on Windows that I can use to mock up potential screen placement for various pieces of text. Windows will not be running this display, rather it will be used to create prototype screens. This allows me to very quickly set up proposals for others to see before implementing things in code.
posted by udeups at 3:06 PM on June 27, 2005

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