FontForge is an open-source software for font creation, editing, conversion and management. It offers a very comprehensive set of tools for new and experienced users alike. It is available for Windows, macOS and Linux. As such we are able to create fonts using FontForge that work on all these platforms.
If you have found a great font that works only on macOS then you can use FontForge to convert it into the formats that can be used on Linux or Windows. Of course, you have to watch out for the copyright statements and seek permission from the original font creator before editing, modifying or converting any fonts.
Using FontForge we can convert the font file formats in two ways – one way is to use the graphical user interface and another is through a command line interface which could be much faster for some users.
Convert font file formats using FontForge GUI:
- Download and install FontForge from https://github.com/fontforge/fontforge or https://fontforge.org/.
- Launch FontForge GUI using run_fontforge.exe or its desktop shortcut.
- Open the target font file by pressing Ctrl+O and select that font file.
- From the menubar, select File and then Generate Fonts.
- In the small window that opens, you can type in the name of the new font file and choose its format such as TTF, OTF, CFF etc. Finally click on the Generate button and you are done.
Convert font formats using FontForge command:
- Create a new text file using Notepad and copy-paste the following lines in it (of course, change the source and destination font file paths, use the double slashes):
- Save this file as trisha.pe somewhere that is easy to access.
- Launch FontForge command line interface by running fontforge-console.bat or picking “FontForge Console” shortcut from the Windows’ Start menu.
- In the command prompt, give the following command:
fontforge -script trisha.pe
- All done, you can check the converted font file now. If you want to convert multiple fonts, then you have to add Close() procedure before opening the new font.
For much more detailed information about how to use FontForge, you can check its online documentation at https://fontforge.org/docs/index.html. They have a really detailed section on scripting.