NewDeal Hot Tip 1401

[Hot Tips for...] Fonts

Bitmap Fonts vs. Vector Fonts

There is a big difference between the fonts in NewDeal software and the fonts on older computers like the Commodore 64. Commodore GEOS uses simple bit-mapped fonts: easy to create and relatively easy to write font editor software for. Similar fonts and font editors are available on the PC for downloadable soft fonts and for software packages like First Publisher.

NewDeal, on the other hand, uses a much newer outline font technology that has several advantages. Beside the fact that the fonts for Newdeal are of a quality simply not available in Commodore GEOS, they are fully scalable from 4 points to 792 points. Also, the software can adjust such fine tuning features as leading and kerning. I can't count the number of times while using Commodore GEOS that I had to choose a font on the basis of the point size or the width of the characters, rather than for the design of the typeface that I felt was most appropriate for the topic of the document.

With NewDeal, I can produce documents that better reflect the best of my design abilities and rival what the folks down at the print shop could do for me. I can make use of the best of the desktop publishing fonts available in the marketplace, by converting fonts from many of the major software font distributors for use in Newdeal.

The drawback to all this power is that the outline font technology is much more complex and, therefore, much more expensive than the Commodore's bitmapped fonts. The software to create and modify outlined fonts is very large and costly, but is already available. Right now, you can create and modify outline fonts with the right software (like Corel Draw or Fontographer) and then convert them for use in Newdeal.

A good quality outline font can take as many as three people working full time for a year to create, using special software and hardware tools. Yes, that's as many as 5,000 to 6,000 person-hours, even with large computers doing most of the work. Considering that, the cost of purchasing a font and being able to use it in NewDeal software is really a pretty good deal.

Any fonts that you import to NewDeal are fully scalable, just like the fonts that come with the software. Some of the fonts I've imported are of good quality and some are not. Commercially distributed fonts are usually good quality and usually work well. Some public domain fonts are excellent, some are poor, and a few will not work at all or do not work properly.

If you create a document using a font that only you have and you give this document to someone who does not have the font, they will see the text in the system font. The system font looks similar to the font used for the menus in NewDeal. It is a fixed point size, so it will appear in that one size, regardless of how large or small you have scaled that text in your document.

This means that the text might not fit in the space you provided for it in your document (it might appear cut off, although none of it is really lost). The recipient of the document can select the text and change it to a font that he or she does have and will then be able to see all of the text.

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Last Modified 2 Mar 1999