Old font tools still in use?

Do you use old font design applications alongside new ones? Even though I mainly use FontLab 8, I still rely on a 22 year-old version of ScanFont for autotracing textured type. And occasionally, I need FontLab Studio 5 to do some things FontLab 8 can't do. I use TransType which hasn't been updated in a decade for a quick family grouping check. Does anyone else still use old font applications now and then?


  • Jeremy DooleyJeremy Dooley Posts: 67
    🙋‍♂️ Still rocking it old school with FL Studio 5 90% of the time. 
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,956
    I’m on an M1 Mac. None of my old software works anymore.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 2,098
    I still mainly use FontLab5 on my old offline iMac with other non-subscription software, just so familiar and comfortable with it all (including the original Creative Suite), but have Glyphs and CC Adobe on my new one, which I use if I have to.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,863
    I still use Microsoft VOLT very frequently.

    I may still occasionally fire up FLS5 to use some scripts that have not been ported, but most of what I need is in FL8 or elsewhere in our toolchain.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,632
    Nope. FontLab 8.2, and generally latest versions of various other tools. 

    There was a while after FontLab VI came out that I still used 5 as well, but that gradually changed over the following year or so.

    When a new FontLab beta release comes out I wait to hear what Vassil says before I update to it.   :p
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,629
    I still keep old versions of most of the font apps I've used over the years, going back to Fontastic, on either old hardware or emulators, such as Sheepshaver, which lets me run ancient stuff on modern Macs. Do I still use them? Not that much, except for opening old documents occasionally or documenting font making history for a presentation, for instance. But I almost never use them for current work. Except maybe BitFonter, which is still the best app for making bitmap fonts.
  • TAZINTAZIN Posts: 10
    Fontographer 3.5 & 4.1 for converting postscript fonts to truetype.  Admittingly, I never had to make a typeface with a complete character set...Only select characters or modify certain characters.
  • John ButlerJohn Butler Posts: 195
    I miss the old Microsoft OpenType Font Properties Extension, which seems to no longer work on Windows 10 machines.
  • André SimardAndré Simard Posts: 180
    I have always followed the development of a new version of an application. If I was still working with Page Maker or McDraw, I don't think I could get as good a result as what InDesign gives me for layout, Illustrator for drawing or of course Fontlab 8 for typography. 

  • Andreas SeidelAndreas Seidel Posts: 11
    FontLab 5.0.4 Windows

    Since the new FontLab 6, 7, 8 never provided a modus for older Fontlab users I still using FontLab version 5.0.4 on Windows - most stable version 5. But only for drawing and glyph operations.

    To work with multiple instances of FontLab at the same time as in "one app", I combine it with the tool "Groupy" from Stardock. This gives the old application a real boost when you want to work with multiple fonts (axes) at once.

  • I miss the old Microsoft OpenType Font Properties Extension, which seems to no longer work on Windows 10 machines.
    Hi @John Butler,
    Microsoft OpenType Font Properties Extension works in windows 64 if you do this:

    There is an unsupported version that DOES work on 64-bit systems. It can
    be downloaded here:


    Which is a shortcut to:


    Put the file into c:\windows\system32\

    Then register it.
    I think this is how I did it:

    Start / Run
    Reg c:\windows\system32\ttfextnt.dll
    or maybe just the file name without the full path
    It works for me in Windows 11 64
    I hope it helps.

  • John ButlerJohn Butler Posts: 195
    Thank you Sami! The command ended up being regsvr32, but otherwise it worked.

  • I am Glad it worked, John
    I am sorry about the Regedit part.
  • Hin-Tak LeungHin-Tak Leung Posts: 359
    I am curious about these unofficial bits of alternative /newer build of Microsoft tech - where did they come from? There is the 64-bit otf authenticode extension dll too (forgot it proper name, the one that creates and verify digital signatures...) .

    FWIW, there are two versions of regsvr32 .
    - one sits inside system32, and the other sits inside wow64  - one of them is for registering 32-bit extensions, the other for 64-bit ones. If you run the correct (32-bit) one, you can probably get the older/official 32-bit version of the font property extension dll to register and work. (I think this is known to work for the font signing extension dll?)
  • André G. IsaakAndré G. Isaak Posts: 624
    edited May 12
    My 2014 iMac running Mojave (the last version of macOS which supports 32 bit apps) just unceremoniously died. I will now be forced to give up FontLab Studio 5, which I much prefer to the current incarnation of FontLab.
  • Dave CrosslandDave Crossland Posts: 1,347
    Maybe @Adam Twardoch can share some tips on how to create a "Virtual Machine garden" as shown on the https://vimeo.com/fontlab page (scroll to the bottom)
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,629
    @André G. Isaak Why not get another old (but working) Mac to run Mojave? They are not hard to find and quite a bit cheaper than new.
  • Yves MichelYves Michel Posts: 124
    I still use Studio 5 for its printing capabilities.
    Printing in Fontlab 8 is not professional at all!
  • André G. IsaakAndré G. Isaak Posts: 624
    I have a Mojave parallels VM, so all is not lost.
  • John J. BlairJohn J. Blair Posts: 12
    @André G. Isaak Why not get another old (but working) Mac to run Mojave? They are not hard to find and quite a bit cheaper than new.
    I'm writing this on a 2011 MacBookPro (High Sierra) that I bought from a friend for $100.
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