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comp.fonts FAQ: Amiga Info

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Archive-name: fonts-faq/part13
Version: 2.1.5

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
Subject: 8. Amiga Information
  Daniel Amor contributes the following sections:
  Font Concepts
  The Amiga is able to use two different concepts of fonts. First of all
  there are the bitmap fonts. These fonts are created by drawing a letter
   pixel for pixel onto the screen. The advantage is that they look good
  at   small sizes, but are not very good for printout. Also they don't
  look   very good when you change their size. Therefore you have to
  recreate the   font for each size. Second there are the vector fonts.
  They are created by   curves which are stored as mathematical formula.
  This has the advantage   that changing the sizes does not effect the
  output. But this only applies   for larger sizes and print-outs. Vector
  fonts also use less memory.
  Amiga Font Formats
    1. Agfa IntelliFont (suffix: .type or .lib) is the native font format
       on   the Amiga. You can use it in any application and it can be
       converted to the   standard bitmap format using the system
       utilities `IntelliFont'   (OS 3.x) or `Fountain' (OS 2.x).
    2. Postscript Type 1 fonts can be used within many applications, it
       can be   used in every word processor and DTP program. There are
       two versions of   the Type 1 format: Binary and ASCII (suffix:
       .pfb & .pfa). The Amiga   software uses the Binary format, but you
       can easily convert them with   TypeSmith or some PD software
       products (z.B. PFB2PFA) . In Addition to the   files mentioned
       above, there are the metrics files with the suffixes .afm   or
       .pfm. They contain information about the size (width) of the
       letters   and most programs expect this file to be in the same
       directory as the font   file.
    3. Postscript Type 3 fonts (suffix: .ps or nothing) are not often
       used on   the Amiga, but some applications do support this font
       format (e.g.    PageStream). There are also some download
       utilities from PD sources   available.
    4. Truetype fonts (suffix: .ttf) are not very common on the Amiga,
       there   is one word processor supporting this format (Wordworth
       3.0). Due to the   lower quality of the format, Amiga users tend
       to use higher quality for   their DTP, DTV and word processing...
       There are also two formats: Mac &   Windows available. The Amiga
       software is able to use the Windows format.
    5. DMF fonts is the privat format of PageStream (suffix: .dmf), since
        PageStream is the market leader in DTP programs on the Amiga, so
       this   format is very common!
    6. Bitmap fonts (suffix: .font and numbers in a directory by the name
       of   the font, sometimes .otag when converted from IntelliFont)
       were used in the   OS 1.x, but have been replaced by the  superior
       IntelliFont Format in OS   2.0. Under 2.0 or higher you still are
       able to use the bitmap fonts for   small sizes, but for printouts
       you should use the IntelliFont format or   any other vector font
       format mentioned above.
    7. Colour Bitmap fonts (same suffixes as Bitmap Fonts, but the
       numbers have   in addition a C, e.g. 35C) are also very common on
       the Amiga, they are   mainly used for DTV applications, like the
       Video Toaster and Scala.
  Frequently Requested Amiga Fonts
    1. First place to look for fonts is the AMINET archive. This is the
       biggest     archive of Amiga software and there you will find also
       quite a lot of     fonts. The Aminet consists of many mirrors
       around the world. Here are some     of them:
       Just log in as ftp and go to the directory
    2. Another good ftp server to look is the CICA-server:
       To this server are also some mirrors around the world available.
    3. Also a good place to look for is the following WWW server:
    4. Another good place is the Fresh Fonts I CD-ROM, there you will
       almost     certainly find some nice fonts. The CD is available from
         1. Fred Fish / Amiga Library Services (
         2. Stefan Ossowski / Schatztruhe GmbH
       The CD is for free when buying another CD from that company.
       You can also access the HTML pages on the CD under the following
  Commercial Font Sources
  Commercial fonts can be obtained from a number of different companies,
  including the large font houses: Adobe, Font Haus, Font Company,
  Bitstream, and Monotype. At these companies, fonts cost about $40 for a
   single face, and must be purchased in packages. Adobe, Bitstream, and
   Monotype also sell pre-designated type collections for slightly lower
  There are also a lot of PD reseller who have a vast quantity of fonts,
  check out your local Amiga magazin for more information.
  Please consult the vendor list for a more complete list of vendors.
  Non-Latin fonts on the Amiga
  Due to the really bad information policy by C= there was actually no
  information about non-latin fonts. But still it is possible to use them,
   without difficulty. You just have to get yourself some additional
  files.    First of all you need the non-latin font files. There is a
  large selection   of them on the Fresh Fonts CD-ROM mentioned above. In
  order to use the   non-latin font files, you have to get yourself the
  appropriate keymap   file, this will remap the keys on the keyboard to
  the appropriate letters   of the foreign alphabet, e.g. in order to use
  a Russian font, you should   set the russian keymap file in the
  preferences (via PREFS/INPUT).
  Not only that you can write with a non-latin alphabet, you can also
  localize   your workbench. How about a Greek workbench or a Hebrew
  workbench? Have a   look into the AMINET archive (mentioned above) for
  these files!
  In addition to this you can easily use Hebrew & Arabic in any word
  processor   incl. writing from right-to-left! This can be easily done
  by setting the   kerning value to negative values (like this the cursor
  moves left and not   right) and moving the characters into the negativ
  part! You can get fonts   from me with this feature!
  Amiga Font Installation
  The installation of Postscript, DMF and Truetype fonts is described by
  the   application that use them. Please refer to the manuals of the
  software   packages.
  The installation of IntelliFonts is very easy. Just start `IntelliFont'
   (OS 3.x) or `Fountain' (OS 2.x) and follow the guidelines from within
   the program.
  In order to install bitmap fonts, either copy them to the logical device
   FONTS: or assign the directory with your bitmap fonts:
         ASSIGN Fonts: <your_directory> ADD
  Right after this you can start your application and use them. When using
   non-latin fonts, don't forget to set the appropriate keymap file!
  Amiga Font Utilities
    1. IntelliFont
       IntelliFont is the system program by OS 3.x which lets you install
       Agfa   IntelliFonts and converts them to bitmap fonts. The program
       is located in   the drawer `SYS:System/'. For more information
       read your Workbench 3.x   manual.
    2. Fountain
       Is the preceding program to IntelliFont and comes with the now
       obsolete   OS 2.x. Please read the section about Fountain in your
       Workbench 2.x   manual.
    3. PFB2PFA
       This neat little utility lets you convert Postscript Binary files
       to   Postscript ASCII files. This is needed in order to use DOS &
       Amiga   Adobe Type 1 fonts on the Mac!
    4. CacheFont
       This great program caches the fontlist for you, in order to save a
       huge   amount of time. The program looks for all fonts available
       on the system   and creates a special cache-file on disk.
    5. TypeSmith
       This is the best font converter on the Amiga, besides this
       function it is   also a full blown font editor (see below) :-).
       The program is able to   convert between:
         1. Truetype
         2. DMF
         3. Adobe (Type 1 & 3)
         4. IntelliFont
         5. Bitmap (Amiga, Adobe, DMF)
  Making Outline Fonts
  This is very, very difficult. Many people imagine that there are
  programs that will simply convert pictures into fonts for them. This is
   not the case; most fonts are painstakingly created by drawing curves
  that closely approximate the letterforms. In addition, special rules
  (which improve hinting, etc.) mandate that these curves be drawn in
  specific ways. Even designing, or merely digitizing, a simple font can
  take hundreds of hours.
  The easiest way of learning how to create fonts, is to have a look at
  existing fonts and try to change some letters.
  Given that, there are two major programs used for font design on the
  Amiga, TypeSmith 2.5 ($150) and FontDesigner ($100). These programs
  will allow you to import scanned images, and then trace them with
  drawing tools.  The programs will then generate Adobe type 1, 3,
  TrueType,   AGFA Intellifont, DMF and Bitmap fonts for either the
  Amiga, the Macintosh   or the IBM PC. They will also generate automatic
  hinting. They also open   previously constructed outline fonts,
  allowing them to be modified, or   converted into another format.
  As far as I know, there are no shareware programs that allows you to
  generate outline fonts.
  There are also two programs for creating bitmap fonts. Personal Fonts
  Maker and Calligrapher. The second one has not been updated for several
   years, but it still is a good tool to work with. The first Program was
   created by adding some features to a good bitmap paint program
  (Personal   Paint).
  There are some shareware tools to create bitmap fonts which you can
  convert to outline (vector) fonts with TypeSmith.
  Problems and Possible Solutions
    1. Pagestream does not recognize your newly installed font.
       This happens when you have two fonts with the same ID. The
       solution is   to load such a font into a font editor and enter a
       new ID for one of the   fonts. Still it might happen that you
       choose another one, that has already   been used by!
    2. Your application does not find the IntelliFont.
       This happens when you haven't set the locigal device FONTS: to
       your drawer.    You can change this by typing the following
       command into your SHELL or add   this line to your
       `S:User-Startup' file:
              ASSIGN Fonts: <your_drawer> ADD
    3. You're using a non-latin font and the wrong characters appear when
       This happens when you forget to set the appropriate keymap file.
       Enter   the Prefs directory and start the program `INPUT'. There
       you can   choose your keymap file.
  Adobe Type 1 fonts for the Amiga
  Darrell Leland contributes the following information:
  There are now three high end DTP packages for the Amiga that can
  directly or indirectly use Adobe Type 1 Fonts or AGFA Compugraphic
  fonts. The best of the lot in both my and Amiga World's opinions is
  SoftLogik's Pagestream, currently in version 2.2 but about to go to
  version 3.0.  Pagestream can take Adobe fonts in MS-DOS format directly
  with no format conversion needed. All you have to do is get them on an
  Amiga format disk, which is very easy using the new version of
  Commodore's Workbench operating system. Pagestream has import modules
  for MacWrite, Adobe Illustrator, and every other format in the universe
  (seems like). It is generally a very stable and well behaved program
  with a lot of features. I haven't had a chance to see 3.0 yet, but they
  are claiming it's going to be a real killer. We shall see. It does color
  seps, twists and rotates fonts, etc. Pagestream's job has been made
  easier with Commodore's (about time) release of their own Postscript
  printer drivers and Preferences postscript printer control tools.
  SoftLogik also sells a program called Typesmith, which is (at last!) a
  structured font maker/editor for the Amiga. Typesmith will work with
  both formats mentioned above plus SoftLogik's own font format, which I
  get the impression they are discontinuing in favor of Postscript. They
  also sell ArtExpression, a very nice structured drawing package that
  does everything I can think of. I understand SoftLogik has also been
  getting several Mac and PC font makers to make Amiga fonts for them too.
  They even have a program system that allows programs to publish to other
  programs, sort of like in Mac System 7.0. They are lisencing it out to
  any Amiga developer who pays a paltry sum to lisence it.

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