BirdFont – Font Editor Software 4.8.7

December 11, 2020 - Johan Mattsson  (Free)
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BirdFont is a Free Font Editing Software for Mac that lets you create variable graphics and export TTF, EOT, and SVG fonts. This is free software, it enables you to easily start working on your own font as soon as you launch the program without confusing things with hard to follow tools. The interface is planned out in a very functional way providing you with easy access to all the features needed to start the creative process.

BirdFont font editing software

There isn’t really a stylistic recipe for fonts to make them particularly suitable to be translated into different scripts. – Bruno Maag

System Requirements

Operating System macOS 11.0  or later

Technical Specification

Software Name BirdFont For Mac V 4.8.7
File Size 42.8 MB
Language English
License Free
Developer Johan Mattsson

Features Of BirdFont Free Font Editing Software

Color Fonts with Embedded SVG files 

OpenType-SVG color fonts are a rather new format and some applications do not support it. Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge have support color fonts in their browsers but Chrome lags behind at this point. Creating monochrome fallback glyphs can take a long time if your glyphs contain many small parts (hundreds or even thousands). In addition, will glyphs with too many details hardly fit on the TTF grid? You can get around this problem by creating an empty fallback glyph and importing a monochrome version with fewer details of your colored letters.

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Stylistic Alternates
Alternates provide a way to put several glyphs on the same Unicode character and selecting which glyph that should be displayed when the font is used. The HTML preview file contains examples of how you select which alternate that should be displayed when the font is used on the web. (Ctrl+P or Command+P)

BirdFont for Windows

Line Spacing
You can change the line height by adjusting the top and bottom margin guides. The margin guides are red.

Edit the Path
Adjust the position of all control points and handles. You can add the points to the path by double-clicking on the path. Delete points with the delete or backspace keys (break the path with shift + delete). Click on a handle and hold down the shift key if you want to keep the angle of a handle while you are changing the length of the handle. Press w to toggle between the smooth node and the corner node. Hold down the space key and click to move the canvas. Click on a point and press shift to move the point independent of its handle.

Create a Font in Illustrator
The fastest way to get your drawings from Illustrator or Inkscape into BirdFont is the copy and paste commands but you can also save your work as SVG files and import them into the app. It is recommended that you convert your path to simple outlines, without strokes before you import them to the app.

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Differences Between SVG and TTF
There is a mathematical difference between quadratic and cubic Beziér curves. Most SVG editors use the cubic form but TrueType outlines can only contain quadratic control points. The app will convert your cubic splines to quadratic paths but the conversion is not lossless and the converted paths will contain more points than the original path. You can get around this problem by creating your glyphs directly in the app using only quadratic control points. Another limitation of the TTF format is the fixed number of units per em. Most TTF fonts use 1000 units per em, this might lead to distortions if your font contains small details. By default will Bird Font store control point position in floating-point format but you can change this in the settings tab.

Pros and Cons Of BirdFont Free Font Editing Software

Pros Cons
Thousands of fonts to select and edit A few bugs in the system
Very easy to use Not compatible with some platforms

Conclusion

This is not a program for a wide range of users and trying to learn the sequences may prove a difficult task. However, BirdFont is flexible enough to provide users familiar with font creation the possibility to become creative and invent new representations for alphanumeric characters.

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