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GNU font utilities to allow conversion of a scanned type specimen image into an outline (PostScript or Metafont) font
GNU font utilities to allow conversion of a scanned type specimen image into an outline (PostScript or Metafont) font. These fonts can be used with Ghostscript or TeX.
Since the fontutils were originally written in the early 1990's, other programs have been developed which do a better job of some parts of this task. Here is a list of the fontutils programs with indications of their current status:
imgrotate: rotates images 90 degrees, an inefficiently-implemented subset of pnmrotate (from netpbm).
imageto: extracts individual characters from a large image; still useful.
fontconvert: some features may still be useful, such as creating a tfm file from a bitmap.
charspace: allows non-interactive side bearing specification, so possibly still useful. On the other hand, fontforge allows interactive specification, and has a very nice preview window for testing side bearings.
gsrenderfont: a shell script that converts outline fonts to bitmaps at a given size. This is called from TeX programs under certain circumstances. The version here has long been replaced by the scripts in the TeX distributions.
limn: does the actual conversion from bitmaps to splines. These days, you're much better off using autotrace or potrace.
bzrto: conversion from the generic homegrown `bzr' (Bezier) format output by limn to PostScript Type 1, PostScript Type 3, or Metafont. Obsolete.
bpltobzr: translate the binary bzr format into an equivalent text format `bpl' (bezier property list), for editing. Fortunately, a full-featured free outline font editor, fontforge, has been written (by George Williams).
xbfe: bitmap font editor for shapes and metrics; astonishingly, it seems there are still no bitmap editors for any format except BDF, so still useful.
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