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TransType 4 released!

Dec 2013: The long-awaited universal font converter ...


TransType™ 4 — Convert Fonts, Fix Fonts, Color Fonts, Have Fun!

Improved font conversion, new font family organization, with CSS web font, color font and UFO support

December 2013, Port Angeles, Washington, USA

Fontlab Ltd. has announced the release of TransType™ 4, the latest version of its popular font conversion software. This new version includes a carefully redesigned interface, new font format compatibilities, a new FontLab® technology engine, and font family naming and organization features. It is available for both Mac OS X and Windows.

“TransType had its start in the days of the ‘font wars’ — when the manufacturers of operating systems were battling it out over font formats. Anyone who worked with fonts needed TransType’s quick and easy conversions between the different formats and platforms. Meanwhile, OpenType® has established itself as the font format of choice on desktop computers,” said Ted Harrison, President of Fontlab Ltd.

“But we have new font formats which are used on the web (WOFF, EOT, SVG), and by font developers (UFO, VFB), so the need for conversion tools is just as strong. It still does matter whether the OpenType font exists in the PostScript® or in the TrueType® flavor (OTF or TTF). Also, a number of legacy PostScript Type 1 fonts still exists, which makes it difficult to move documents between Mac OS X and Windows. TransType 4 supports all these formats (new and old), and makes font conversion between them easier than ever before,” Harrison continued.

One of the greatest hassles of converting fonts between platforms has always been the incompatible font family structures and naming systems on different operating systems. As a result of this, fonts have about a dozen of different naming fields and settings which control how they appear in the applications’ font menus. Making sure that these fields follow the various specs and guidelines set up by OS and app vendors, and that they’re consistent within a font family, has always been a nightmare for font vendors, and especially for font hobbyists and beginner type designers.

Three years in intensive development, TransType 4 is the first application on the market that virtually eliminates this problem by introducing a revolutionary, intuitive visual approach to font family management. “All you need to do is tell TransType to optimize the styling, and all fonts will be neatly arranged within the family. To make corrections, drag-and-drop a few font thumbnails, or click-and-edit one or two text fields — and your fonts are guaranteed to work cross-platform,” said Adam Twardoch, Fontlab’s product and marketing manager.

The time required to turn any type design project (in VFB or UFO format) or any existing desktop fonts into a font family that works across all operating systems and all web browsers — with TransType 4, it’s literally reduced from hours to minutes.

But fonts are not just about work and hassle — they’re primarily about fun and creativity. So TransType 4 includes a number of sophisticated effects, which can be used to change the font’s appearance. “Some are purely functional. The Blend effect allows the user to take any two fonts, and create a new font that looks like a bit of both — perfect for making a Medium weight in a family where the Regular is too thin, and the Bold is too dark. The Tracking effect simply adds or removes space between characters and ‘hardwires’ the changes into a new font. Other effects are much more experimental — Blur or Distort will add a grunge look to the most ‘corporate’ sanserif, while Round will add warmth to the coolest ‘techno’ letterform by softening its hard corners. The effects are not a replacement for a professional type designer’s work, but they’re fun to use,” said Twardoch.

On top of all that, TransType 4 is the first application on the market to fully support the possibly most exciting new development of font technology in 2013: multi-color OpenType fonts. “Black-and-white movies are wonderful — but fortunately, Hollywood has discovered color many years ago. 2013 marks the year when the font industry has also finally decided to jump onto this long-overdue bandwagon,” said Twardoch, and went on to say: “Color fonts open up entirely new possibilities for calligraphers, graphic artists and other creative minds to breathe in fresh life into the world of lettering and typography.”

As multi-color OpenType fonts are currently an emerging technology, there are four competing proposals for extending the OpenType font format with color: from Apple, Microsoft, Google as well as a joint Adobe-Mozilla proposal. Some of them are already supported natively by the newest versions of Mac OS X and Windows, or by newest versions of some web browsers. TransType 4 allows to convert between any of these, and allows easy creation of new multi-color OpenType fonts in all formats, by overlaying existing monochrome fonts or by importing Photofont PHF fonts created in FontLab’s BitFonter app. “We think color fonts are the most thrilling aspect of our new TransType release, and will soon permanently change what we think of as a ‘font’,” Twardoch concluded.

For font foundries or type designers who enjoy the creative process of designing a typeface, and want to produce OpenType fonts or webfonts, but do not want to be bothered with font format technicalities — TransType 4 is a perfect companion for their font editor, whether they’re using FontLab Studio™, Fontographer®, TypeTool™, or one of the applications that support the UFO format. Early adopters will find the comprehensive support for all multi-color OpenType extensions an indispensable tool in the process of bringing their new color fonts to the market.

For professional graphic designers and art directors — TransType 4 can help them experiment with their typeface collection, but customizing a font’s weight, adjusting the slant angle or permanently modifying the font’s tracking. It can also help them enhance their typographic palette by adding color to fonts.

For regular font users — if they’re troubled with platform and application incompatibilities, TransType 4 can fix these problems; and if they’re just bored with the fonts they have, they can try making some new with more pizazz.

(Please note that many font foundries do not allow modification of their original font files, or distribution of such modified fonts, so users should consult the font’s End-User License Agreement before using it in TransType.)

TransType 4 retails for US$97. It replaces both TransType Pro and TransType SE. The upgrade cost is the same for either previous version: US$39. Fontlab offers a 60-day money-back guarantee and unlimited tech support for its products. For more information please browse to the TransType product page on the FontLab website: http://www.fontlab.com/font-converter/transtype

Fontlab Ltd. has specialized in the development of digital type design tools since 1993. The FontLab® product line includes FontLab Studio™, Fontographer®, TypeTool™, ScanFont™, BitFonter®, and Photofont® WebReady. Other company and product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

Contact: Ted Harrison, This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , +1 509-272-3260