Best way to generate webfonts

Hi TypeDrawers,

Just curious how you all generate webfonts? After running ttf-autohinter, whats the best way to create woff (and woff2) without losing information?

I know about Font-Squirrel of course but I think I read somewhere it creates TTF flavoured woffs?



  • I am rather happy with TransType 4. However, a more professional version with more setting options would be ideal.
  • A more professional tool is this sfntly
    Amongst other functionalities it generates woff and (compressed) eot from ttf
  • About a year or so ago I bought FontPrep for converting web fonts,
    but I think it is free now. 
  • Fontprep is way behind TransType. I've been one of its tester and I corrected couple of its releases. 
  • Good to know, thanks Ramiro.
  • Glyphs 2 exports webfonts (woff, woff2 and compressed eot).
  • WH TypefacesWH Typefaces Posts: 12
    edited January 2015
    I'm curious to know too. Font Squirrel does not let me successfully retain my hinting when rendered in Windows in a browser (see following screenshot), I've contacted them but they've said I either have to use their TTFA options or 'Font Squirrel' mode (which is using FontForge).

    Re Glyphs: is there a way to generate woff from a TTF that is already hinted?
  • attarattar Posts: 209
    Had the same problems long ago and stopped using Fontsquirrel… Fontie works better in my experience. But you really only need pyftsubset and font-compression-reference in case you want to generate WOFF2.
  • Curious to hear why some people seem to prefer online services over desktop software (TransType 4, Glylphs 2) ... I've been thinking about setting up just another online generator (probably incl. hosting for generated kits), but I don't see any reason to do so, if there are so many (working) desktop based ways to do?
  • Ramiro EspinozaRamiro Espinoza Posts: 809
    edited January 2015
    @Frode: Having good subsetting capabilities would be nice in TransType. I would also like to have more control on what it does, something similar to the "Expert" view in the Fontsquirrel's generator. As it works now TransType makes some changes in the font info (E.g. it changes weight class values).
  • I highly recommend FontPrep, it's quick and simple and beds into my workflow nicely.
    I've never been a fan of web services, purely because sometimes they vanish and I'm a control freak.

    Good to hear good reports for TransType, for £50 it sounds well worth the punt.

    @Ramiro I haven't noticed any particular issues with FontPrep and I've been using it to deploy a household brands typeface. Anything show stopping I should know of?
  • And what about the hole workflow. What do you export from the design app? Do you use manual hinting? How do you subset?
  • side note: I'm not a lawyer, but I'm wondering if redistributing FontForge without the revised BSD license as used by FontForge is "o.k." and I also noticed that eotlitetool misses the original MPL license and ontributor notice block ... 
  • Ramiro EspinozaRamiro Espinoza Posts: 809
    edited January 2015
    In the past FontPrep couldn't generate proper EOTs (they frequently didn't work) and its "Optimize" command erased all hinting (!) and kerning. I corrected several versions until at some point I lost trust and gave up. 
    I also found problems in TransType (it wrongly modified GASP tables settings and it also generated bad EOTs), but they have been corrected and it now works rather well (despite the fact I don't like it changes weight class values). 
  • Lars: BSD only requires the copyright notice be included, not the license; however FontForge has many parts under GPL for a couple years now, which does include the requirement for the license and full sources to be available to users. 

    GS: What languages are the Glyphs 2 exporters for WOFF, WOFF2 an Compressed EOT written in?
  • Dave: According to the revised FontForge BSD license "Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution." ... not seeing anything like that in the fontprep dist?

  • Very thorough - thanks @Ramiro!

  • I have been pointed to a problem with FontPrep: the files are rather large. When I converted the same files with webfontmaker (abandoned but still available), they were much smaller. webfontmaker’s functionality is now part of Glyphs’ webfont export.
  • @wh typefaces what font tool, produced that absolutely crazy hinting?

  • Lars: is good, but yes, its missing from the binaries... I'll tweet to Brian now :)
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