PDA

View Full Version : PR: FontLab announces font converter


ktinkel
02-17-2005, 07:48 AM
FontLab has released TransType Pro 3, a font converter with OpenType support. It is available for both Mac and Windows.

According to the press release, the product “is the first consumer product on the market that allows seamless conversion to and from the OpenType format.” It can convert PostScript Type 1 (including multiple master fonts), TrueType, and OpenType fonts on both platforms, and will also convert “legacy-encoded Cyrillic, Greek, Central European, phonetic and other specialty fonts into the new universal Unicode encoding.” Type 1 and TT GX/ATT fonts converted into OpenType will gain some OT features (ligatures or fractions).

The software may also repair some forms of font corruption. The program can be used for batch conversions, and it includes support for the Python scripting language.

TransType Pro costs $179 (upgrades, $87), and runs on MS Windows 98, ME, 2000, and XP; and is a Carbon app that will run on Max OS 9 and OS X. Limited-function demos are available at the FontLab web site (http://www.fontlab.com). There is also additional product information there.

Michael Rowley
02-17-2005, 11:22 AM
KT:

TransType Pro 3 would be very useful if it does transform T1-flavoured OT fonts to TT-flavoured OT fonts, for although I have nothing against T1 fonts, Word will not embed them (although it supports them, either with ATM or with Windows NT5). I am a bi confused about whether it does or not.

ktinkel
02-17-2005, 12:16 PM
TransType Pro 3 would be very useful if it does transform T1-flavoured OT fonts to TT-flavoured OT fonts, for although I have nothing against T1 fonts, Word will not embed them (although it supports them, either with ATM or with Windows NT5). I am a bi confused about whether it does or not.You may want to check the FontLab site for those details.

Word’s peculiar approach to one side, fonts themselves can have restrictions on embedding. If the font maker has declared them unembeddable, I would bet that TransType would honor that.

I assume Word refuses to embed Type 1s because they cannot be marked with embedding restrictions, so they make things easy for the user and refuse to embed any at all. Just guessing, of course.

Michael Rowley
02-17-2005, 03:30 PM
KT:

'You may want to check the FontLab site for those details'

I have looked at all I could find, but that particular point appeared in two pages, one saying that TransType did export OT/TT fonts and the other saying that it only exported OT/PS fonts.

I have no idea why Word won't embed T1 fonts: it might be technically difficult or a matter of principle. For that matter, I don't see why OT/PS fonts don't have the desired degree of restriction in the font file, since the only remaining difference from OT/TT fonts seems to be the way the two describe the curves. Perhaps Thomas Ph. will explain it to us.

ktinkel
02-17-2005, 04:39 PM
KT:

'You may want to check the FontLab site for those details'

I have looked at all I could find, but that particular point appeared in two pages, one saying that TransType did export OT/TT fonts and the other saying that it only exported OT/PS fonts.

I have no idea why Word won't embed T1 fonts: it might be technically difficult or a matter of principle. For that matter, I don't see why OT/PS fonts don't have the desired degree of restriction in the font file, since the only remaining difference from OT/TT fonts seems to be the way the two describe the curves. Perhaps Thomas Ph. will explain it to us.

I am going to try to get someone from FontLab to come and explain all this to us. Where better than the horse’s mouth? <g>

Michael Rowley
02-18-2005, 01:44 PM
KT:

'I am going to try to get someone from FontLab to come and explain all this'

That sounds a good idea. In the mean time, I have downloaded and (partly) read the TransType 3 manual, which seems exceptionally good. TransType does change OT/PS fonts into OT/TT fonts (and vice versa), and the manual gives a good account of font-embedding restrictions; it doesn't say whether OT/PS fonts have any or not.

I have also downloaded the demo version, but whether I shall have enough courage to actually use it after reading the manual is another matter.

tphinney
02-23-2005, 07:07 PM
Yes, OT/PS fonts can have them. But current versions of Word won't embed OT/PS fonts at all, regardless of embedding information in the font. So I can see how such conversion could be useful.

Note that such conversion may or may not be permitted by your license agreement. When in doubt, read....

T

Michael Rowley
02-24-2005, 11:25 AM
Thomas:

'current versions of Word won't embed OT/PS fonts at all'

That has been a bone of contention for years (at least, to some). I notice that you offer, quite properly, I suppose, no opinion as to why it won't.

michelen
02-24-2005, 10:59 PM
Do I understand correctly, that if I pay a paltry $179, I can convert all of my postscript fonts to OpenType, so that they will then be available to my PC users?

Sounds too good to be true. What's the catch?

Best,
Michele

tphinney
02-24-2005, 11:32 PM
Well, if they're really *your* fonts, as in you made them, then there probably isn't much of a catch.

If they're fonts you license from type foundries, then most font licenses don't allow these sorts of conversions. (Adobe's license being one of the few that does.) Also, one is generally licensed for a specific number of users, so even if the license allows conversion, you need to have a license for the right quantity.

Regards,

Thomas

michelen
02-25-2005, 01:11 PM
Thomas,

No, they are not "my" fonts. Mostly a collection of Adobe postscript fonts in Mac format. I'm not sure what our license is, I'll check.

So, if we have a license for, say 20 users, then I can legally convert our Adobe postscript (Mac) fonts, currently in use on nine Mac workstations, to OpenType format to make them available to an additional 6 PC workstations.

Michele

Michael Rowley
02-25-2005, 02:27 PM
Michele:

'to OpenType format to make them available to an additional 6 PC workstations'

OT fonts are still either OT/PS fonts or OT/TT fonts; either can be used with Windows 2000 or XP or earlier Windows with ATM Light. But you can also convert PS fonts for the Mac to PS fonts for Windows.

The division between fonts for the Mac and fonts for Windows seems to be removed for OT fonts, which can be used on either platform, but OT fonts still have their bends determined by either portions of second order (TT) or third order curves (PS). According to Thomas Phinney, it doesn't make a ha'p'oth of difference, but Adobe still prefers PS—I suppose it stands to reason, for TT was invented (by Apple!) to avoid Adobe's Postscript fonts.

DickM
02-25-2005, 03:33 PM
KT: Does TransTypePro do anything that you can't do with FontLab 4.6? (I'm not sure about cross-platform conversions.) But it says the only restriction on the demo version is the placing of random glyphs which could then be removed with FontLab?

ktinkel
02-25-2005, 04:44 PM
KT: Does TransTypePro do anything that you can't do with FontLab 4.6? (I'm not sure about cross-platform conversions.) But it says the only restriction on the demo version is the placing of random glyphs which could then be removed with FontLab?To be honest, I do not know as I am far from mastering FontLab.

My impression is that they do reserve special functions to subordinate apps, but I need to study more to be sure.

Others here will know better, I am sure.

tphinney
02-25-2005, 05:31 PM
As far as I understand it, that's permitted by the Adobe license, yes. Standard disclaimer: Not that I'm a lawyer or anything.

T

tphinney
02-25-2005, 06:08 PM
There are no major capabilities in TransType Pro that aren't in FL 4.6. However, the engine in TransType Pro is actually based on the upcoming FontLab Studio 5 codebase. So there may be some minor things that work slightly better. The FLS 5 is due to ship in a couple of months (Win version first), so you could always wait and upgrade.

I do recommend FLS 5 for anybody doing actual font development. It's a major upgrade. For conversions, well, FLS 4.6 is probably just fine, and you don't need either of the new products so much. For somebody who doesn't already have FL 4.6, doing conversions, I'd say they should get TransType Pro; FL 4.6 and FLS 5 make it really easy to shoot yourself in the leg doing the simple stuff.

Regards,

T