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FontForge Translation Project. Presented by Rachel Reyna. Why Font Creation?: Are fonts even worth a second thought?. Why would someone want to be able to create his or her own font? Pre-created fonts can be limiting in creativity

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fontforge translation project

FontForge Translation Project

Presented by

Rachel Reyna

why font creation are fonts even worth a second thought
Why Font Creation?: Are fonts even worth a second thought?
  • Why would someone want to be able to create his or her own font?
    • Pre-created fonts can be limiting in creativity
    • Fonts advertised as ‘free’ (i.e. may be misleading
      • These fonts tend to charge a fee if you plan to use them commercially
      • Unnecessary costs for groups such as start-up companies or underground artists
why font creation the current market situation
Why Font Creation?: The Current Market Situation
  • Creating your own font seems like the perfect solution, however it is not as easy as you think
  • Programs available are either:
    • Commercialized, with prices ranging from $50-$200
    • Free, but most likely limited in what the user is able to do

My goal: to help font creation programs become less restrictive and more accessible to users.

why fontforge
Why FontForge?
  • Two types of font creation programs:
    • Online Programs
      • Allow user to create fonts online without downloading or installing any software
      • Examples: FontStruct (
    • Vector Manipulation Programs
      • Allows user to create more complex fonts using vector manipulation
      • Vector manipulation is the manipulation of “geometrical primatives such as points, lines, curbes, and shapes or polygons” (Wikipedia)
      • Examples: FontForge (

DoubleType (

  • Vector manipulation programs are more powerful
  • FontForge was more organized, powerful and user friendly
how i planned to contribute spanish translation
How I Planned to Contribute:Spanish Translation
  • Originally wanted to focus more on issue with using FontForge in Windows
  • Tutorial available in Japanese, German and Chinese
    • No Spanish translation, listed on the website as a suggested way of helping the project
  • Fit my goal of helping make font creation less restrictive, and more available to the general population.
    • Different than expected but still fit
strategy overview
Strategy Overview
  • Shouldn’t translating be very easy?
  • Tutorial length: 37 pages
  • Four major steps:
    • Save and format the HTML code from the site
    • Translate the text
    • Insert the translated text into the HTML code
    • Reformat HTML code
  • Go more in depth about each step
step 1 save and format the html code from the site
STEP 1: “Save and format the HTML code from the site”
  • Use Notepad
  • When first open


  • Reformat so it’s

easier to


step 2 translate the text
STEP 2: “Translate the Text”
  • I used two files
    • File with original English text
    • File with the translated Spanish text
  • Why have a separate file for the translated text instead of translating directly in the code?
    • Easier to separate code and text
    • Easier with the Spanish accent codes
      • i.e. accented e = é or n with a tilde = ñ
step 3 insert the translated text into the html code
STEP 3: “Insert the Translated text into the HTML Code”
  • Seems like the easiest step
  • However, formatting complicates things
    • Links
    • Italicizing, bolding, etc.
    • Tables
step 4 reformat the code
STEP 4: “Reformat the Code”
  • Some of the reformatting was mentioned in the previous slide
  • Also need to check:
    • Page links
      • the Spanish pages have different titles
    • Picture links
      • because the Spanish pages refer to a different folder for the pictures
implementing translated tutorial
Implementing Translated Tutorial
what i learned from this project
What I Learned from this Project
  • An appreciation for open source projects
    • All of the time and effort
    • How many people it can take to make a project work
  • Learned more tricks with HTML coding
    • Differences in how I would have coded something vs. how the FontForge team chose to code it