NewDeal Hot Tip 1413

[Hot Tips for...] Fonts

Nimbus Font Converter

The Nimbus Font Converter is included in version 1.2.8 of the software. It is not available in newer versions of NewDeal software.

There may be more documentation on the NewDeal font format in the SDK (Software Development Kit), but here is some information.

char 4 dup "BSWF"
byte 0 ;minor version #
byte 1 ;major version #
word # ;size of header
word FontIDs ;unique 16-bit ID
word 0x1000 ;which font rasterizer to use (0x1000 == GEOS)
byte  FontFamily --
bit 7: must be 0
bit 6: 1 if fixed width, 0 if proportional
bit 5: 1 if landscape, 0 if portrait (bitmap fonts only)
bit 4: 1 if outline font, 0 if bitmap only
bits 0-3:
- 0 - serif (eg. URW Roman)
- 1 - sans serif (eg. URW Sans)
- 2 - script (eg. Shattuck Avenue)
- 3 - ornamental (eg. Cooperstown)
- 4 - symbol (eg. URW SymbolPS)
- 5 - mono-spaced (eg. Courier)
byte char 20 dup(?)
The name must be NULL-terminated (and therefore can be up to 19 characters).

If you have trouble getting the italic or bold versions of fonts to convert as part of the same file as the plain versions, here is some information which might help. Finding out if this is appropriate will require looking at the Nimbus font files with a disk editor of some sort, so it is not for the weak-hearted.

The Nimbus Font Converter looks at several fields in the header of the Nimbus files to get this:

(1) offset 84: full name of font
This should be the name of the font, plus any styles. For example, the original Nimbus file for the bold-italic version of URW Sans has "URW Sans Bold Italic" for this field. If there are several files that contain different styles of the same font, the basename in the fullname should be the same. For example, for "URW Sans", the 4 files would contain "URW Sans", "URW Sans Italic", "URW Sans Bold", and "URW Sans Bold Italic". If the basename does not match, then the fonts will not be placed together. If the fullname for any of the fonts is missing any part of the style, then the Nimbus Font Converter won't be able to distinguish which is which style.
(2) offset 304: weight
This should be the weight of the font, such as "Bold", "Extra Bold", or "Heavy". This should be set correctly so that for some fonts, the different weights of "Bold" can be distinguished. For example, many fonts may come with a "Normal" weight, and a "Bold" weight. However, some fonts may come with a "Heavy" weight instead of the "Bold". If this field is not set correctly, then the Nimbus Font Converter may have problems similar to distinguishing separate styles, as mentioned above.

Additional Notes

Some fonts that are compatible with the Nimbus Font Converter are included in ZSoft's "SoftType" program. It includes 60 or so Nimbus-Q font files, some of which are various styles of a particular font (eg. Bold, Italic, and Bold-Italic), and some of which are the same fonts that are already included with GEOS software (eg. URW Sans). There may be other sources of Nimbus-Q fonts, but this is one that we know of (because we used it for some testing of the Nimbus Font Converter.)

The Nimbus Font Converter will eventually create fonts with conflicting ID numbers if you convert enough fonts.

To use the Nimbus Font Converter to import Adobe Type 1 fonts, you must use Fontographer or MicroLogic's tools (MoreImport and MoreType) to convert ATM Type1 fonts to URW Generic or NimbusQ format, which the Nimbus Font Converter will recognize. AllType does not create a URW or NimbusQ format that the Nimbus Font Converter can read.

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Last Modified 2 Mar 1999