Need help in creating a Open Type font that works in mapping software

I have run into a technical issue related to a open type font (.otf) I have created to be used in a desktop mapping application.

The issue relates to the fact that the font does not have the "SYMBOL_CHARSET" flag set so the font does not appear in the list of available fonts to use. In effect the font is not usable.

Other TTF font sets are usable as map symbols but not this one.

The font is made up of glyph icons (imported SVG files) and was originally created with the "fontastic" tool (http://fontastic.me/).

Does anyone know how I can set the "SYMBOL_CHARSET" flag on a Open Type font?

Many thanks
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Comments

  • A symbol font as you describe is in my opinion legacy. Only the first 224 characters will be accessible, so better avoid it. Besides you can add icons, symbols, and emoji to Unicode fonts.

    If your mapping software really only supports this format, then convert your Unicode font into a Symbol font. With FontCreator you just open the font and from the main menu select Tools -> Convert Font -> Convert to Symbol Font.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,153
    edited May 2015
    “A symbol font as you describe is in my opinion legacy.”

    Sure, but if it just doesn’t show up in his app, his legacy app needs it.

    “then convert your Unicode font into a Symbol font”

    That's not what setting this flag does. The font is no less a Unicode font, it just has this extra flag that causes it to behave in additional weird ways in some apps.

    Personally, I'd do it with TTX: decompile to XML, do the same to a font that works the way you want, verify that’s what the difference is, add the flag, recompile.
  • Vaughn StanworthVaughn Stanworth Posts: 7
    edited May 2015

    I’m looking to recruit a type designer for a short term project who can create a custom font that can be used in a mapping application.

    Requirements
    Font will contain symbols (Points of Interest) made up from a set of 125 SVG files which will be provided.

    The font needs to have the “SYMBOL_CHARSET" flag set in the software used to create the font so it can be used in a mapping application.

    Currently the font that was originally created does not have the flag set so it’s not usable.

    Please send me your CV, with contact details and rates which will be forwarded on to the software company that I represent.

    Many thanks

  • The Symbol Character Set flag in a Unicode font is not allowed, but can be done. In FontCreator, select Font Properties from the main menu, then go to the Ranges tab, and set the specific Code Page Character Range:



    But if you need a font like Webdings or Wingdings, then you need to convert your Unicode font to a Symbol font, as I told you before.

    With FontCreator you can decide which of these two options suit your needs. Both require a couple of mouse clicks, and you don't have to understand the technical details involved.


  • Thanks Erwin for your comment which is very helpful.

    In FontCreator, can I import all the 125 SVG files (created in Illustrator) to make the symbol font or do I have to redraw all the glyphs again?
  • Erwin DenissenErwin Denissen Posts: 129
    edited May 2015
    No, but FontCreator supports many other image formats.

    For best results do read this topic:
    From Vector (e.g. an Adobe Illustrator image) to Font

    But why not just open your original font file and edit it?
  • Thanks Erwin, a colleague of mine purchased a copy of Font Creator and was able to convert the set to a symbol set which now works nicely!
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