Posts in category typography - page 9

Envy Code B font available in TrueType format

It’s been a long time coming but finally – a TrueType conversion of my programming font Envy Code B.

Envy Code B on the Mac size 13It’s still a pixelated font so will only look good at 10pt (on Windows, 13pt on the Mac). There is no bold or italic variants but this should be enough to get it into those elusive TTF-only applications like CodeSmith and Flash.

Please note however that there will be color fringing on ClearType systems. This seems to be a limitation of the Windows XP font rendering system as it is even ignoring the bit-mapped font representation despite documentation I’ve read online to the contrary.

Envy Code B on the Mac at size 10 anti-aliasedYou can use the font on Mac OS X too – set to size 13 and turn off anti-aliasing where available (e.g. Terminal). It also looks quite good at 10pt if you can read text that small.

Now maybe I can get the hang of vector based fonts and produce a proper scalable version… Until then Anonymous or Monaco are quite worthy replacements ;-)


Palm OS font available

Palm OS fontMy conversion of the Palm OS system font – as seen on the Palm Pilot – is now available for download. I’ve re-created the original 7 point normal font, the 7 point bold and the 11 point larger text from Palm OS screen-shots.

If you need a really small proportional font that’s nice to read this could be what you’re looking for.


Envy Code A & Code B programming fonts updated

Screenshot of Envy Code B font at 9ptThis month has seen my Envy Code A and Envy Code B fonts stumbled upon some 4,000 times thanks to a Digg to KeithDeven’s programming fonts page that links here.

I’ve taken this opportunity to update the fonts – Envy Code B had a couple of issues with mis-positioned characters in the 9pt version especially with “il#” characters in the bold one. Fixed.

Screenshot of Envy Code A at 12ptI’ve also decided to add a whole new size to Envy Code A – no it’s not smaller than the existing 7pt but rather new regular and bold 12pt variants. This is my biggest pixel-font yet and frankly I was at a loss with what to do with all the pixels. I think it’s a bit big for regular programming unless you’re running as some uber-high resolution but might be useful for demo’s and mentoring.

I’ve got about 30 odd 8×8 pixel fonts I did for the Spectrum converted into Windows .FON format now that I’ll be putting up soon. I’m also hoping to convert a few to pixelated TrueType’s – you know those that only look good at a single point size. This is useful for Mac and Flash users.


ClearType, smoothed fonts and the bane of MS Sans Serif

Back in the days of Windows 3.1, 95, 98 and Mac OS 7 the operating systems used a bit mapped font as the default system font for the various windows and dialogs.

Apple replaced their venerable Chicago with a scalable version that took advantage of font smoothing and moved on. By Mac OS X they switched to entirely new fonts such as Lucida Grande.

Microsoft started their switch to the scalable Tahoma during the XP development cycle but there are a few areas where the old pixelated MS Sans Serif creeps through especially older apps that are trying to be compatible with pre-Windows 2000 systems.

It looks like Microsoft planned on replacing MS Sans Serif and indeed commissioned an OpenType replacement which they ship with XP called Microsoft Sans Serif but older dialogs and apps simply don’t use it – quite possibly because the spacing on buttons was so tight even a slight variance could result in a lost letter or two.

If you’re using ClearType then these instances of MS Sans Serif will show up like a sore thumb but help is at hand.

  1. Open your Fonts folder via Control Panel and drag MS Sans Serif somewhere safe in case you ever want it back
  2. Open your registry and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontSubstitutes
  3. Right-click on the FontSubstitutes folder and choose New > String Value</span>
  4. Over-type New Value #1 as MS Sans Serif</span>
  5. Double-click on the new value and enter Microsoft Sans Serif</span>
  6. Reboot (it really is necessary)

If you’re happy to trust me then here’s a registry file to do steps 2-5 for you. If you can’t find MS Sans Serif in your Fonts folder then you’ll need to go into Windows Explorer’s options and turn on “Show hidden and system files”.

In theory you could experiment with step 5 being Tahoma or the forthcoming Vista/Longhorn font Segoe but I think you’ll find the metrics are out.

Microsoft Sans Serif was designed to be as close to a drop-in replacement for MS Sans Serif as possible. It almost fits.