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FAQ ScanFont

Q: ScanFont 4 for Mac OS X cannot recognize FontLab Studio 5 as a "FontLab Server". What can I do?

In ScanFont's preferences / FontLab Server, make sure that the option Acrivate server application automatically is enabled. Then, make sure that FontLab Studio 5 is running, i.e. if it's not running, start it. When FontLab Studio 5 is running and you click on the Export button in ScanFont, the font will automatically open in FontLab Studio.

Q: Tell me in 3 words what ScanFont can do with an image?

A: Scan, Trace, Edit.

Q: What is the key difference between Windows and Mac versions of ScanFont?

A: Windows version of ScanFont is a complete solution for scanning, tracing and editing fonts. Mac version is a plug-in to one of our font editors: FontLab or TypeTool. On Mac you can use ScanFont without FontLab or TypeTool, but its features will be very limited. It is easy to describe the features of ScanFont on Mac and Windows with a simple equation:

ScanFont/Windows = ScanFont/Mac + TypeTool/Mac

Please, note that it is true for the price of products on Mac and Windows. For Mac you can buy a bundle product that includes ScanFont and TypeTool and matches all matches all features of Windows version.

Q: May ScanFont for Windows be used as a font-editor?

A: It is a very special kind of font editor. It includes an image editor (very powerful, with the ability to edit images in any zoom mode and multiple undo/redo), autotracer and middle-class vector font editor. It has a very easy drag-drop interface and a number of easy-to-use toolbars. ScanFont is a font editor for people who never need to edit vector fonts with sophisticated applications like FontLab or Fontographer. You can use the image editor to create your characters, or draw them on paper and scan them then trace and place them into a font. However, if you don't plan to use ScanFont to scan fonts, we recommend you to use TypeTool which doesn't include font tracing features but is two times less expensive.

Q: I create Web pages. I like to add fun to my pages, so I'm very open to any new technology. Would ScanFont be useful to me?

A: Sure! You can make images for your home page using your own handwriting font. You can use it anywhere: in buttons, headers, pictures. You can leave YOUR font to be downloaded by your friends. You can create fonts for all your friends, even when they don't expect it! Just take some correspondence, scan it and make fonts. Then make pages about your friends using their OWN handwriting. And with the new Web feature of embedded fonts, you can write all YOUR OWN FONTS! So, you see that ScanFont, an extremely easy-to-use font editor, can add a whole new dimension to the design of your Web pages.

Q: What about autotracing quality?

A: The quality of the autotracing algorithm is much improved from previous versions of ScanFont. Often, autotraced fonts require no editing at all, but it is flexible enough to handle handwriting fonts. Of course, the autotracer is completely customizable in easy (from loose to fine tracing) and advanced modes.

Q: Is it possible to add new characters to existing fonts?

A: Yes. In ScanFont you can open any TrueType or Type 1 font and add new characters to it or replace any of the existing characters by new ones, generated by the autotracer.

Q: What source formats for images are supported?

A: B/W TIFF files (compressed or uncompressed), B/W BMP files. TWAIN scanner interface. The Clipboard may be used to open images, so you can use any other image editing program to prepare images for ScanFont.

Q: Is it possible to convert fonts in different formats to TrueType and Type 1 using ScanFont?

A: Yes. This is one of the main purposes of ScanFont. You can take any font that you can print in sizes larger than 14 pt. or use in Windows as a system font and convert it to a completely hinted TrueType or Type 1 font in minutes. Look at the Tips page for detailed instructions.

Q: I want to make my own complete handwriting font. But, I want to use some characters from other TrueType fonts and some images painted by my daughter to add interest.

A: Not a problem. Open the TrueType font where you want to use some of the characters and remove all other characters. Take a black pen and draw on a piece of paper the images of the characters that you want to use in your font. Don't forget to draw your signature as well as any other symbols that you want to use. Put this paper in the scanner and scan it using ScanFont's own scan module or any other image-handling application that can save TIFF files. Take the paper with your daughter's pictures and scan it (or all of them) too. Open the images in ScanFont and put all the characters in their places. ScanFont can open many images of different size and resolution at the same time, using all of them as sources of images for the font.

Q: How much time does it take to create a handwriting font with all the standard characters?

A: Depending on the quality of the images and your experience with ScanFont it may take from 5 to 30 minutes. Of course, you can spend more time editing the resulting characters using ScanFont's internal vector editor.

Q: I tried to scan a font and found that it was very noisy. All the characters have white areas inside the stems and there is some noise around the characters. But this image comes from a very old manuscript and can't be replaced. Can ScanFont handle this kind of images?

A: Yes. ScanFont includes an image filtering feature that is custom-developed for ScanFont and is highly optimized for font scanning and further tracing. Of course, you can use any other image filter in any image-editing application, but ScanFont's filter usually produces better results.

Can ScanFont edit kerning for a font?

Yes. ScanFont includes an advanced metric/kerning editor window that even includes customized autospacing and autokerning features! Plus, any AFM file may be imported to use metrics and/or kerning from other fonts. And Kerning pairs from a different metric file may be imported and autokerning applied to only those pairs! Metrics/kerning information may be stored in a standard AFM file and embedded in a TrueType font.