Fontifier - create your own font! // Your own handwriting on your computer!

Fontifier Help

General questions about Fontifier

Printing out the template - Step 1

Designing your font - Step 2

Scanning the template - Step 3

Uploading the template - Step 4

Problems with the preview - Step 5

Problems downloading the font - Step 6

Installing and using the font - Step 7

General questions about Fontifier

How do I use Fontifier? Do I download a program or send my scan to you?

No. The Fontifier program is provided only as an automated service via the web site. To Fontify your handwriting, follow the instructions on the site from Step 1.

Can I use Fontifier to create a picture font?

Yes, just draw your pictures in each character position. After making the font type a character to get the corresponding picture in your word processor or graphics program.

Can I create fonts that I can choose using the Bold or Italic styles?

Yes, you can now create fonts from up to four different templates, using the same font name and different combinations of the Bold and Italic attributes. After installing them you will be able to choose between them with the Bold and Italic style options in your applications.

For example, you could create a font from plain and bold versions of your handwriting, using pens of different thickness, and use the Bold style option to choose between them.

To do this submit the templates to the following Upload template (advanced) page:

I've already created a font. Can I use the Bold option to add a bold weight to it?

Yes - create your bold template, select it on the Upload template (advanced) page as above, give it exactly the same font name as your original font, and select the Bold checkbox.

Can I include characters for which the template file has no positions eg accented characters?

Yes, International Templates are provided for a range of languages.

Can I create a right-to-left font, for example Hebrew?

Sorry, no.

How can I create a handwriting font that joins up?

You need to edit the font so that the entry strokes and exit strokes are in the same position for every character; see the next FAQ item.

My font is great, but I want to make some changes

You need to obtain a font editor. We recommend FontLab, or the lower-cost version TypeTool, both available from FontLab.

Can I use my handwriting font in email I send?

Yes – you and the recipient must both have the font installed, and be using an email program that sends and receives the font selection information. We've had mixed reports of results with Outlook Express.

Can I use my handwriting font on my Web site?

Microsoft's WEFT technology lets you embed a font in a Web page, so visitors can see your text in the correct font, even if it is not installed on their computer. For a demonstration see:

Who owns the fonts I create with Fontifier?

You own all rights in any fonts you create using Fontifier, and you are free to distribute or sell such fonts as you wish.

Printing out the template - Step 1

How should I print the template?

Print out the template as large as possible on a US Letter or A4 page.

For best results drag the template from your Web browser on to your computer desktop, double-click it to open it with the Image Preview application, then print it from there.

The template is designed to fit on a US Letter or A4 page when printed at 100%.

I need several copies of the template form - shall I photocopy it?

We recommend you print out a fresh copy of the template form for each font you want to design, rather than making photocopies.

We have found that many photocopiers introduce distortions that produce undesirable results when Fontifying the font.

Designing your font - Step 2

How should I complete the template?

Write your characters with a black pen, preferably a felt pen.

Leave a blank margin around each character; don't draw up to the edge of each cell.

Where should I position the characters?

The pips on either side of each cell indicate the baseline for your characters. Align your characters on this baseline.

You can rule a faint pencil line across the page to make it easier to keep to the baseline, and then erase it before you scan the page.

To see a sample completed template click here:

Sample template

Scanning the template - Step 3

How should I scan the template?

Scan the template in at a resolution of 72, 75, or 100dpi. The resulting file should have a size of between 384 x 512 and 960 x 1280.

Save it as an image file. Recommended formats are GIF, JPEG, PNG, or TIFF.

Make sure the file is saved with the template in the correct orientation, with the barcode at top right.

Make sure the outer border of the template is not cropped off. You can leave a margin around the template, but avoid leaving marks outside the border.

To see a sample scan click the link below:

Sample template

I don't have a scanner. Can I still use Fontifier?

You can load a copy of the Fontifier template into a paint program, draw your characters on the template using a mouse, or graphics tablet, and save the template. Then submit the template to Fontifier to create your font.

Uploading the template - Step 4

My browser says "server not responding", "the page cannot be displayed", or similar, or I see only a blank page

For efficiency Fontifier imposes a limit of 2 MBytes on uploaded templates. If your template file is above this limit save in a more compact format, such as GIF or JPEG, or scan again at a lower resolution, such as 100dpi.

I see a page with just three characters such as "EA4" or "E1D" displayed in the upper left-hand corner

This problem has been reported when using AOL's Web browser. Please try a different browser.

I get an error saying "The template appears distorted", "The scan is too skewed", or "Could not recognise the barcode"

Check the following:

  • The template must be oriented with the barcode at the top right.

  • The template must be as straight as possible - Fontifier can cope with a skew of up to about 10°.

  • The corners of the template must not be cropped off.

  • There should be no marks, lines, or text outside the template border.

For an example of a correct template click here:

Sample template

The best solution is to reprint or rescan. If this doesn't work, you can try loading the template into a graphics program and editing it.

Problems with the preview - Step 5

There are large gaps between some characters

There are probably dots or marks on your template that are being included as part of the character; for example:


Edit the scan in a paint program, or rescan the template after erasing the marks.

There are horizontal or vertical lines alongside some of the characters

You have probably inadvertently cropped off one edge of the template when you scanned it; for example:


This causes the edges of the cells to be included in some characters. You'll need to reprint or rescan.

The font is broken up into dotted lines

The characters are too faint on the template, or the strokes are too thin; for example:


Darken the image, or use a thicker darker pen such as a black felt-tip pen to draw your characters on the template.

The characters in my font look very small compared to other fonts

There are two possible problems that can cause this:

  • The characters were drawn above the baseline, indicated by the two pips on the left and right edges of each cell.

  • There is a dot near the top or bottom of one or more cells, which has been incorporated in those characters.

Either of these will cause the whole font to be scaled down, making the characters look smaller than expected.

The strokes of my characters have come out blocky or wavy. Can I improve the fidelity?

Yes – by scanning again at a higher resolution such as 100dpi.

Problems downloading the font - Step 6

When I try to drag the file into the Fonts folder I get an error message that says that the file is invalid or damaged

This problem is occasionally reported and appears to be due to an error during download. We are working on a solution - in the meantime please email us and we will email you a copy of your font.

I've downloaded my font and want to install it, but where is it stored on my computer?

It is stored as a file with the font name you chose, and the extension .ttf (eg My-Handwriting.ttf) in the folder that your browser offered you upon download. If you don't know which folder that was, click again on "Click here to download your font" and make a note of it. Alternatively, use the Find or Search For Files facility of your operating system to find files named *.ttf with a last modified date in the last day or two.

When I click to download my font, a window appears showing samples of my font and Done and Print buttons, but when I come to install it I cannot find the file

Your browser opened the font rather than saved it, due to the way it is configured. Try downloading again, but instead of clicking the Download button, if you are using Windows, try right-clicking and choose Save on the pop-up menu; if you are using MacOS X, hold down the mouse button and choose Save from the pop-up menu.

Installing and using the font - Step 7

How do I install the font?

Windows: Double-click the Fonts icon in the Control Panels folder. Then drag the font file into the Fonts window to install your font.

MacOS X 10.3 or later: Double-click the font file. A sample of your font will be displayed. Then click the Install Font button to install your font.

MacOS X pre-10.3: Drag the font file into the Fonts folder in your personal Library folder.

MacOS 9 or earlier: Fontifier fonts are not directly compatible with MacOS 9, but you can convert them to MacOS 9 format with a free utility, TTConverter, available at:

My font is great, but why do characters show as blank, or in a standard font such as Times Roman?

This sometimes happens in Microsoft Word, because Word's 'Autoformat as you type' has replaced the characters you typed (which are in your font) with another character, which is not in your font. Some characters that get replaced are "..." to an ellipsis character, "(c)" to a copyright symbol, and , "(tm)" to a trademark symbol. To avoid this turn off the "Autoformat as you type" feature (under Tools - AutoCorrect).

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