ttfAutohint - Some advice from user would be useful.

I've seen some type designer used ttfAutohint http://www.freetype.org/ttfautohint/. For those who have tried it, can you give us your comments. Also, It seems possible to installed it on MAC OSX, however after a few inconclusive tests, I failed. Your help would be useful to help me to installed it. Thanks!

Comments

  • Haven't tried v1.0 but previous versions kind of worked. Requires lots of testing. Lots of blindly guessing and testing. And it's command line only.
  • I tried installing it on a mac and came to the conclusion that you need an intel processor, which I didn't have at the time. Might be your problem as well.
  • Ramiro EspinozaRamiro Espinoza Posts: 760
    edited March 2014
    You can buy a cheap second hand PC with XP or Vista and then enjoy easy installation and user interface (plus a good testing environment). I also managed to installed in my Mac and with some Karsten Luecke's assistance I can also do batch processing in the Mac.
  • Is it really that much better on a windows?
  • André SimardAndré Simard Posts: 158
    edited March 2014
    This morning I got some assistance from Karsten Luecke too. It gave me the right way to use it on my mac system. It's works well but I've to work around to know more about it.
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,688
    And it's command line only.
    TTFA has a GUI on Windows.
    Is it really that much better on a windows?
    If you don’t have a Windows system to test on how would you even test the fonts?
  • If you don’t have a Windows system to test on how would you even test the fonts?
    I know people who use browser grabbing services. I don't use them because typing and printing have a history of being important factors when testing hinting, particularly ttfah generated hinting.
  • Hi Andre, a quick 3 minutes screen cast:
    (The volume come out a little low, increase your volume as needed.)

    1) Installing, it's really easy.
    http://cl.ly/2a140h3u0T05

    2) Using it with the default options, also super easy.
    http://cl.ly/0w1o2l1m1G1g

    Next step is to read the documentation and explore the options. They are important.
    Try with a few different options to see what they do, and test results in a PC
  • Hi Pablo, Your presentation is pretty clear and easy to understand. That's much appreciate. I will try it, read the documentation and do some tests. Regards,
    André
  • If you don’t have a Windows system to test on how would you even test the fonts?
    As mentioned before, there are some services taking screenshots from basically any browser on any OS. Works quite nicely. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't you need to test on a few different windows OS's to account for all rendering environments, and thus need more than one Windows laptop?

    I found this on the typekit blog a while ago:

    "But what does all this mean for the web designer? Luckily, there are only a handful of browser/OS combinations that you need to check in order to have a thorough grasp on the way a particular font renders on the web:

    Any Mac browser
    IE9
    IE8 with ClearType enabled
    IE6 with Standard antialiasing enabled
    Firefox 4"


    Is there a single Windows OS that allows the user to chose to enable ClearType, or enable Standard antialiasing? If so, one machine should suffice.
  • PabloImpallariPabloImpallari Posts: 527
    edited March 2014
    If you can't test on multiple configurations and has to pick only 1: WindowsXP + Firefox is probably the ugliest combination of all. If you font survives there, there is a good change it will render pretty well in all other Os/Browser combos.
  • alternatively, if you already have an intel mac, you can install a virtual image of windows specifically for testing using xdissent/ievms shell script that pulls the machine images off of microsoft's modern.ie for helping web developers get a better handle on cross-browser issues by providing free virtual machines of their various OSes.

    the machines take up about ~8G each, but you'll at least be able to test without leaving the comfort of your desktop or laptop. For anything beyond testing in ie, the machines are probably too slow to run virtualized, but otherwise totally serviceable.

    fwiw, i have had good luck using homebrew to install ttfautohint but haven't delved too deep into anything beyond randomly twiddling values.
  • +1 for using homebrew to install everything
  • Is there a single Windows OS that allows the user to chose to enable ClearType, or enable Standard antialiasing? If so, one machine should suffice.
    You can test with a virtual windows environment on a mac, of course. You can always test with CT enabled and then disabled. What's tougher is testing with DirectWrite and GDI. You're usually limited to the one version of IE that you have, and that will either use DirectWrite or not. I haven't had any luck with IE's compatibility mode, FWIW.
  • Wait, so IE won't allow me install several versions of itself?
  • @Jasper: In IE9, by pressing F12 you can choose "Browser Mode" and simulate other IE versions up to IE7. I use this function to emule XP in my Vista machine (deactivating also ClearType).
  • Also an option I just thought of: installing windows on a mac pc. That way, you won't need a seperate windows pc.
  • @Ramiro Espinoza‌ I might be wrong, but I believe that the simulated versions don't always mirror the installed userbase. I thought there were at least a few bugs in IE 6 and 7 that were fixed in the simulated version, making it dubious.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,851
    If you still care about Win XP, then you probably need to proof on a native 96 ppi screen too, since that's what most XP installations will be associated with.

    [I like using a 96ppi screen when designing web fonts, in any case, since it means my device pixels equal CSS px.]
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