NewDeal Hot Tip 1400

[Hot Tips for...] Fonts

AllType Font Converter

A company named ATech (Ancier Technologies) produced a font converter that will import True Type and Adobe Type 1 fonts into the Newdeal format. Atech is no longer in business, but as of this writing, Alltype is available from PageTech (

Some fonts, like Campfire or Cooper Black hollow, give the message "Too much outline data" when trying to convert to Newdeal format with AllType.

There are two potential problems with converting fonts into Newdeal format, and AllType can have either of them. MicroLogic's converter or the Nimbus Font Converter can, too.

First, the program can run out of memory during conversion. Some formats are larger than others for the same font (e.g. Adobe PostScript Type 1 is larger than many and requires more memory to convert because it is encrypted).

Second, Newdeal has limits on the amount of data that a single font can have. The characters 32-127 are one group, and 128-255 are another. Normal ASCII is one half (0x20-0x7f), the extended Newdeal characters are the other (0x80-0xff). Each of these are limited to 64K. You can look at the Newdeal character set to see what is what. It is possible to have a complex font (like Campfire) which may exceed this limit.

Some public domain fonts have flaws in the data. Some are minor problems (eg. pieces of characters overlap, causing areas of the characters to invert), and some are more serious, such that the font converters cannot correctly interpret the data.

There are some fonts out there, though, that are just too big for the Newdeal engine to handle. If you get errors when using AllType, here are some things to try:

  1. Increase your conventional memory by booting "clean."
  2. Convert to another format then convert from that format to Newdeal.
  3. Choose a smaller character set in AllType.
There are two reasons we know about for AllType to produce "too much outline data" errors:
  1. AllType may be unable to allocate sufficient memory to load the outline data. It has a bunch of data it needs in memory: code to convert from Type 1, the Type 1 font itself, and an intermediate font format. Once that is complete, it needs: code to convert from the intermediate font format, the partially converted font, and the Newdeal format font. In addition, Type 1 fonts are encrypted, and the decryption process generally requires a lot of memory.
  2. The other possibility is that the Newdeal font it is generating is too large. AllType converts to (the Newdeal equivalent of) Nimbus-Q V2.2, rather than Nimbus-Q V3.0 format. V3.0 fonts are anywhere from 10%-40% smaller, depending on the font.
A complex font like Campfire, which has lots of little curves and twists, would benefit greatly from being converted into V3.0. Eventually, someone may provide a software to convert to V3.0. In the mean time, fonts that have this problem can't be converted.

Anyway, if either the data for the characters 0x20-0x7f or 0x80-0xff are larger than 64K, Newdeal won't be able to handle it. This may be the case for some particularly complex fonts (eg. the "Igloo" font is complex because all of the little icicles at the tops of the characters). Again, this problem is worse for a V2.2 font than a V3.0 font.

Using the Nimbus Font Converter won't make any difference--it simply converts V3.0 Nimbus-Q commands to their Newdeal equivalents. It doesn't attempt to upgrade the V2.2 to V3.0.
Newdeal fonts are a bit smaller than their Nimbus-Q equivalents, but do have the restrictions mentioned above.

ATech used to sell a font pack called "Foreign Characters Font Pack #1" that includes Cyrillic and other international fonts. The font pack sold for around $79. Unfortunately, ATech is no longer in business, though old stock of their font packages may still be found on some retail store shelves.

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Last Modified 2 Mar 1999