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Free Font Maker

October 16th, 2009

Want a nice font based on your own handwriting? Maybe make your own dingbat font? Or try to craft a more interesting font?

Font Capture gives you a way to do this–for free. But you might need to do it soon: other similar free handwriting-font sites have appeared in the past, and have turned to charging for the service. Font Capture describes itself as being in “beta,” meaning it could go out of beta and start charging people.

You will need to have a decent writing pen and a way to scan a piece of paper to a computer. But if you can do that, you can make a very nice font.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Download the blank form form from the web site (PDF file link). You will need a PDF reader like Adobe Acrobat Reader or Foxit to read it (Mac Users can use the “Preview” app included with OS X).

2. Print out the form.

3. Fill in the form. Write all the characters as described above each square:

Template Guide

Remember, you can write anything you want in any square! You’ll probably want A-Z, a-z, 0-9, and most punctuation, but it’s easy to add little drawings or pictures in the other squares.

4. Scan the form (above 200 dpi is best). You will need a scanner to do this; taking a photograph will not work well. If you need help, ask Mr. Poza and he will scan it for you!

5. Save the scan as a JPG or PNG; the site says PNG is best.

6. Upload the scanned file here. You can give it a name there, too.

7. Submit the font. After a minute, the site will show you a sample of the font. You can write test sentences and they will display in your font.

8. If the font looks good, you can download it and then install it on your computer.

I made a font earlier this evening. The first attempt didn’t work out–too many letters were too high or too low, making it look strange. Using a lined template underneath the form to guide my writing helped the second time, and I got a serviceable font. I may try again with styled variants.

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