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FAQ Fontographer

IMPORTANT! Most of the tech issues discussed below apply to Fontographer 4.1 or 4.7. They do not apply to Fontographer 5.

Windows: Error -30202


Fontographer crashes with a -30202 error in Windows NT, Windows 2000 or Windows XP


Macromedia Fontographer 4.1.x for Windows was created in 1995-96, at the time when the current operating system from Microsoft was Windows 95. In 2005, Fontlab Ltd. acquired development and distribution rights from Macromedia with the goal to upgrade Fontographer to meet today?s technical requirements. In December 2005, we released Fontographer 4.7 for Mac OS X that is compatible with Mac OS X. Unfortunately, due to technical limitations, upgrading the Windows version takes longer. Currently, the only version of Fontographer available for Windows is the ?old? 4.1.5. There are a number of compatibility problems that may prevent Fontographer 4.1.5 from working on Windows 2000 or XP. The -30202 error is listed among Microsoft's error messages as "an invalid 16 bit application is installed. The Vdd registry entry is invalid." Fontographer is a 32-bit application but has not been optimized to run under Windows 2000 or Windows XP. The problem seems to be a RAM allocation issue.

Please read all three solutions described below before trying them. Note that Solution 3 has been added recently (March 2006).

Solution 1: Adjusting Virtual Memory

Our suggestion is that you edit the Virtual Memory settings in order to function with Fontographer's older memory management. Note: Fontlab Ltd. or Macromedia cannot offer tech support on how to set Virtual Memory for your machine. For detailed instructions on Virtual Memory settings see Microsoft tech note Q259184 .

Use Microsoft?s tech note to navigate to Settings / Control Panel / System / Advanced and then select the Performance Options button and then the Change button under the Virtual Memory group. Most users have been successful while using settings of 500 MB for Initial and 500 MB for Maximum. Fontographer was written before the large memory models used today were available. Set the Initial and Maximum sizes both to the same value. It is recommended that you select a partitioned drive, if one is available and has sufficient free disk space. Be sure to click on the Set button to apply the new settings.

Restart your machine and attempt to run Fontographer. If Fontographer runs, your next challenge will be to see if the smaller Virtual memory setting affects the performance of other applications. If this is the case, you will need to use the new settings when using Fontographer and create a Hardware Profile to restart the machine with the old settings for running your system normally.

If you still get the -30202 error, try Solution 2 as listed below.

Solution 2: Reinstall in Safe Mode

Some users who have reinstalled Windows and then reinstalled Fontographer in Safe Mode or NT VGA mode have been able to work around this problem. Try reinstalling Fontographer in Safe Mode:

  1. Start / Settings / Control Panel / Add/Remove ? use this control panel to remove Fontographer. If there is a message stating that "not all items could be removed", the Windows Registry has trash in it which must be removed. All occurrences of Fontographer items in the Registry must be deleted. Fontlab Ltd. or Macromedia Tech Support cannot be responsible for editing which users make to the Registry.
  2. Insert the Fontographer CD and drag the Fontographer setup.exe installer to the C: drive
  3. Restart the machine in Safe mode ? i.e., holding down F8 while restarting. Or select NT VGA mode when restarting NT.
  4. Double-click the setup.exe installer
  5. Restart in normal mode
  6. If this doesn't work, reinstalling Windows has worked for some users.

After the software has successfully installed, reboot the system again. Launch Fontographer (you'll need to reenter the serial number) and try working with Fontographer again, to see if the issue has been resolved.

Solution 3: Using VMWare

An alternate solution to the problem may be to take a completely different path. Fontographer 4.1.5 work perfectly fine in Windows 95, 98, 98 SE and ME, while it presents problems in Windows NT 4.0, 2000 and XP. Therefore, ideally, users should run Fontographer 4.1.5 under Windows 95, 98, 98 SE or ME. It may not to be very practicable to install an old operating system on your machine only to run one application but the recent advances in virtualization technology show that this approach may not at all be such a bad idea. Virtualization applications such as Microsoft Virtual PC or VMWare Workstation allow older operating systems to be executed in a "sand box" and allow the user to work in their main operating system paralelly to running an old operating system. This is a scenario that some of our users adopted to run Fontographer successfully on their modern machines.

  1. Download and install the 30-day trial version of VMWare Workstation in your current operating system (typically Windows XP).
  2. Obtain a license of Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (recommended). You may use Microsoft Windows 95, 98 or ME instead. You can get used copies of Windows 98 SE at eBay and in other stores, or perhaps you still have an installation disk of Windows 98 SE from your old computer?
  3. Run the VMWare trial version. Create a new Create new a "virtual machine" on your hard drive: a small .vmx file and a large .vmdk file. Follow the VMWare documentation for details.
  4. Install Windows 98 SE in the new VMWare virtual machine. Note that this will not in any way interfere with your current operating system installation. After you've set up Windows 98 in VMWare, you'll still be able to run Windows XP and in a "box" (a separate window), you'll execute Windows 98. This screenshot shows the concept though Windows NT running inside of VMWare that runs on Windows XP is shown here. We'll be running Windows 98 inside of VMWare that runs on Windows XP. Since Windows 98 SE is quite hard-drive efficient, your virtual machine will not take more than 400 MB or so of disk space. If you install Windows 95, it may be even less.
  5. After you've installed Windows 98 SE in VMWare virtual machine, start that system, and there, install Macromedia Fontographer 4.1.5.
  6. Run Macromedia Fontographer inside of VMWare. It should work fine and should not produce any memory problems. Since both Fontographer and Windows 98 were written with quite slow processors in mind and today's computers are very fast and have a lot of RAM, the application will run very swiftly despite the fact that it's being executed inside of a "virtual machine".
  7. Tip: Download and install Adobe Type Manager Light in your virtual machine. You will get an excellent testing environment for your fonts. You'll be able not only to run Fontographer but also test your fonts on an additional system.
  8. After you've completed your installations in the virtual machine, you may install the free VMWare Player. While you're using the 30-day trial version of VMWare Workstation, you can install new virtual hardware in your virtual machine. After the 30 days are over, you can continue to use your virtual machine and work with Fontographer using the VMWare Player which is completely free.

The workaround described above requires you to own a license of Windows 98 SE, 95, 98 or ME, and of course, of Fontographer. Other than that, you can just use the 30-day trial of VMWare Workstation plus the free VMWare Player. Of course, if you like VMWare Workstation and would like to use some of the advanced features of the full version that the free Player is lacking, we encourage you to purchase a license for VMWare Workstation.

Instead of VMWare, you can also use Microsoft Virtual PC or other similar solutions to set up and run virtual machines. We have found the VMWare solution the fastest and most reliable.

Windows: error in FONTG410.DLL


Error message "fontog.exe caused error in FONTG410.DLL"

The error alert box may appear with the following error message: "This application has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down". It may be necessary to view the error log file in order to confirm that this error is caused by a DLL conflict. To view the log file, the hard drive can be searched for *.log and the log file can be searched for "FONTG410.DLL".


There is a DLL conflict and font registry problems may occur with some Microsoft products and Fontographer.


Microsoft Word

To use Microsoft Word and Fontographer, do the following:

  • Run Microsoft Word before running Fontographer.
  • Type some text in Microsoft Word and then select that text and change it to a different font. This allows Word to read the Windows font registry.
  • Minimize the Microsoft application and then run Fontographer.

Microsoft Office

Try one or more of the following:

  • Remove Microsoft Office Startup from the Startup menu.
  • Restart the system after getting the "illegal operation" error.
  • When two versions of Microsoft Office are installed, run both versions and minimize both.
  • Use a third-party error handler.
    Two popular utilities are Ramgate and Norton Crashguard .
  • If none of the above solutions work then reinstall Microsoft Windows because some Windows system resources may be corrupt.

Mac OS X issues

Fontographer 4.1.5 will not run in Mac OS X ?native? mode, only in Mac OS 9 or in Mac OS Classic. However, in November 2005, Fontlab Ltd. released Fontographer 4.7 which is a native Mac OS X (10.2 or higher) application. We recommend the upgrade to all users of earlier versions of Fontographer.


All users: Please also consult our comprehensive collection of technotes (in PDF format) that cover various technical issues for Fontographer. Note that many of the technotes only apply to the old 4.1 version and not to the current 4.7 version.


Will Fontographer install into Vista? 64-bit Vista?

Fontographer runs on WinXP. Problem is a memory management of this old program.

You have 2 options:

  1. Remove DIMM(s) to reduce amount of virtual memory to <2GB
  2. Patch the function ASI_SetMemoryLimits() in FONTG410.dll file to set the limit in software.

    Patch offset =  0x000812E8
    Old data  = 00 00 00 00
    New data = FF FF FF 7F