So what's wrong with Fontographer?

hyphen8's picture

Seems like everyone's going with FontLab, and I've seen quite a few negative comments about Fontographer. I'm looking to obtain one of these but know nothing about either of them. I'm mostly interested in TrueType fonts--can Fontographer handle this or no (money is an issue for me, and Fontographer is cheaper). What's the word?

John Hudson's picture

Fontographer has not been updated for more than five years and is unlikely ever to be updated again. It is not in development, and is becoming more obsolete all the time. It makes reasonably good -- although far from perfect -- Type 1 PS fonts, but the quality of its TrueType fonts is not very good, and you have very little control (it exports TT fonts as conversions, only letting you work in a PS outline and hinting environments).

If you are looking for a less expensive option, check out TypeTool from the makers of FontLab. It is a stripped down version of FontLab that is better for TT development than Fontographer.

Thomas Phinney's picture

What the other guys said.

Plus, it's just such a striking difference between an app that has huge bugs and hasn't had even a bug fix in about 6-7 years, versus one that gets constant updates and is really responsive to user needs and requests.

FontLab/TypeTool are harder to learn, but they are far more capable, while Fontographer seems like an all-but-dead product.


hyphen8's picture

I've been enlightened. I'll cut my teeth on TypeTool2 and move on to full FontLab later. Thanks for the advice, and to Stephen Coles for steering me toward

jordy's picture

I understand all of the complaints re Fontographer, crummy manual, no updates, no plans to revise, but it was the program of choice for thousands?hundreds of designers and millions or maybe just thousands of fonts were created using it. Yes, a pity that it is not updated, but I still use it, though am getting Type Tool2 now.

John Hudson's picture

It was not the 'program of choice': for a long time it was pretty much the only program readily available, particularly on the Mac. Unless you happened to be one of the lucky people with an old copy of Font Studio, there was no choice.

jordy's picture

There was another program around in the mid 80s, Ikarus, and it was expensive although it was very good. The Dutch Type Library includes it as a part of the current DTL FontMaster which operates using Mac OS Classic and Windows. Yes, Type Tool 2 is a very good choice. I believe the Windows version of Fontographer first appeared in 1992 or so, after the Mac version.

Stephen Coles's picture

John's point is especially strong in your case since you are new
to font design. It's much better to learn an app that is currently
under development than get used to Fog and then have to
convert later on due to newer/better features in FLab and
remaster a new way of doing things.

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