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Archive for the ‘Fonts’ Category

The quickest and best free online font identification is to be found at WhatTheFont from ( You simply upload an image file either from a url on the Internet or from a file on your local drive. The website will do character recognition on your image and separate the image into individual letters on a subsequent screen. Here you will have a chance to make corrections, such as replacing lower case letters with uppercase or vise-versa. On this screen you can also re-combine compound shapes that have become separated like the dotted “i”. You simply drag and drop the dot over the dotless “i” and assign the letter “i” to that re-combined shape. You can repeat this process for any letters that have become separated. After you have made corrections, simply click the “Search” button. You will be directed to a list of possible fonts that match the uploaded sample.

Tips for preparing images for upload:

  1. The maximum image size allowed is about 360 px x 275 px. I believe it goes by total number of pixels.
  2. The recommend ideal letter height is around 100 px.
  3. Try to make sure that each letter is separated and not touching.

The service will accept most common image file formats like GIF, JPEG, TIFF or BMP.

This free service is dead-on. If you have a good quality image that has been prepared well, it rarely misses. This is an invaluable tool that I use all the time. Here are a few tips that I have figured out from my own experience using Photoshop to prepare the images to be uploaded:

  1. Try to use black letters over a white background. If you are working from a color image you can convert it to grayscale first, then use the Photoshop Levels adjustment or brightness and Contrast adjustment to make the letters black.
  2. If you are working from a low resolution image sample that is not accurate enough for a good sample, sometimes it is possible to upsample the image to 150 ppi or 300 ppi.
  3. As an alternative to upsampling, you can sometimes use the Magic Wand to either select the letters or select the background – then invert the selection – whichever gives you a better selection of the letters. Make sure the “Anti-aliased” checkbox is selected in the Magic Wand Tools options. Then you can copy the selection to a new layer or a new file, then click Select > Transform Selection. Hold down the Shift key while dragging one of the corner selection handles and enlarge the selection area to a decent size. Then click Edit > Fill and choose Black as the fill color. This is one way to get a little more detail for the letters.

I can’t tell you how many times this service comes in handy. Many times I will get a job that requires small changes to some website graphics. Most of the website owners don’t have access to any of the source files that could be used to identify any of the fonts and have no clue what the fonts are. With this free service I can ID the fonts in short order.

Due to font embedding restrictions on some TrueType fonts, sometimes you may need to print TrueType fonts as graphics instead of sending them to the printer as outlines. These new tutorials – one for Windows XP and one for Windows 98 will show you how to configure your PostScript printer to do just that.

I have just added a new and very important tutorial on avoiding font substitution when printing TrueType fonts to a PostScript printer in Windows. There are also two new tutorials for configuring a PostScript printer to avoid font substitution – this one for Windows XP and this one for Windows 98. I have also revised the Windows XP and Windows 98 tutorials for PostScript printing without a printer to include a note aout font substitution in Windows.

Announcement – We have just added a new font – Terminator Real NFI. This is a great display font which is perfect for bold headings and logos. It is available in Macintosh TrueType, Windows TrueType, Windows Type 1 PostScript and OpenType formats.

I’ve added a new and very important tutorial – on OpenType® fonts. Please take a look at it. I believe this new font format will take hold and eventually be in wide use by graphic design professionals. OpenType is still a relatively new font format even though it has been released for several years now.

I have also added another new tutorial that is related to OpenType fonts – Using OpenType Fonts With Adobe® InDesign®. This tutorial deals with how to access OpenType special features with InDesign.

Also, I revised the Font Basics – Part One tutorial to include a note about OpenType fonts.