- Choose a primary font, which will be used for as much as it can be used for.
- Optionally, choose a different secondary font which is used when the primary font is missing certain characters - for example, Trebuchet doesn't include any Greek/Cyrillic/Hebrew? characters, so these will be taken from Arial Unicode MS (by default) instead.
- Use the Preview font button to see what the font looks like by rendering the contents of the textbox. Adjust the font settings until perfection is attained.
- Choose a desired character list - a text file containing all the characters that must be in the final font. The standard files are latin.txt (containing ASCII plus some accented characters, mainly useful for non-localised text) and standard.txt (containing Latin, Greek, Cyrillic and Hebrew characters, for text that could be in any language).
- Click Generate texture, and select a name for the .fnt file. A .tga texture will also be generated, in the same directory with the same name. Depending on several random coincidences, the texture generation might be very fast or might take quite a while. When it finishes, the excitingly patterned texture will be displayed.
- Save your settings through the File menu so that you can easily recreate the font later.
The font builder is intended to be used with Unicode characters. Unfortunately, most fonts aren't. The font builder tries to use Arial Unicode MS by default: this seems to be installed by some versions of Microsoft Office, or can be downloaded from locations such as this (12MB self-extracting 7-Zip). It's probably worth getting, since it includes almost every Unicode glyph that you could wish for.
Another potentially useful Unicode font is Bitstream Cyberbit (available from Netscape's FTP server here, 6MB).
All fonts must be installed into Windows before you can use them in the font builder.
- Size - size of the font in arbitrary units.
- Boldness - if you don't have a proper bold variation of the font, the boldness setting fakes it by drawing the character several times.
- Italicness - if you don't have a proper italic variaton, the italicness setting slants it in 5-degree increments. Negative values slant the other way.
- Tracking - extra spacing in pixels added between every non-zero-width glyph.
- Leading - extra spacing in pixels between lines of text.