FontForge
FontForge
20200314

4.3

FontForge free download for Mac

FontForge20200314

16 March 2020

X11-based, Open-Source font editor.

Overview

FontForge allows you to create and edit fonts in many formats: OpenType, TrueType, AAT, PostScript, Multiple Master, CID-Keyed, SVG, and various bitmap formats. It isn't a regular Mac application. It has been in development since 2001 as a UNIX application, so don’t expect it to look and behave like a normal Mac application. It runs on Macs thanks to a UNIX-compatibility layer called X11.

What's new in FontForge

Version 20200314:
  • FontForge now has much improved stroke expansion functionality. The main change is that it actually works most of the time. New features include support for arbitrary convex nibs and the miter-clip and arc join styles from SVG 2. All functionality is accessible from the Python and native APIs
  • Remove overlap handles certain important edge cases better
  • The Python API now has a function called genericGlyphChange that matches the "Change Glyph" command in the GUI. See #4133 for more details
  • The Python API now has functions for getting Unicode script and for interrogating glyph boundaries
  • One can now use text flags (rather than just numerical flags) when opening a font file via the Python API
  • UFO import now outputs the note field properly
  • SVG import is much more robust
  • We have dropped most gnulib and autotools logic in favor of CMake, which dramatically simplifies the build system and just as dramatically improves build time
  • As part of the switch to CMake, per the deprecation of Python 2, and per the lack of objections to the proposal on the mailing list, we have dropped support for building FontForge with Python 2 support. The non-build-system Python 2 code remains, but it is neither tested nor maintained nor supported and is likely to follow a trajectory of decay and then removal
  • Documentation is now rendered in Sphinx, which makes maintenance and improvement easier
  • Translations now happen on crowdin, which makes contributions easier
  • We got such a contribution for Croatian
  • Character view point coloring is more consistent, and preview fills support transparency
  • The user can now move and close tabs in the character view
  • The metrics view now allows for entry of negative kerning values and runs a bit more smoothly
  • There is now a warning when a user is about to discard an unsaved script
  • We fixed bugs all over, as always, with particular attention given to the metrics view, Python, Spiro, and high-resolution displays

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How would you rate FontForge app?

7 Reviews of FontForge

4.5
Cattus-Thraex
20 July 2013
Version: 20130718

Most helpful

Despite its ugly inbterface, as usual with most Linux apps (have never understood why), it is a wonderful tool for creating or modifying fonts, if this is allowed (sometimes it is). As a free app, beyond any criticism, use it.
(1)
Derekcurrie
21 September 2018
Version: 20161003
v20170730 is the current version of FontForge. You can download it directly here: https://github.com/fontforge/fontforge/releases/download/20170731/FontForge-20170730-Mac.dmg
(0)
Show comment (1)
Big-Mac-XXL
08 January 2015
Version: 20130718
Save some nickels and get a real font program. This is none. The GUI is simply terrible. I don't mean the menus etc. THIS crudeness is expected of Unix software. But the implementation of the Mac file system is terrible. To open and save fonts it takes ages to crawl thru the FF file browser. So bad. FF also crashes regularly (I use the newest version, not the MacUpdate old timer). FF gives lots of strange errors if you only want to fix a glyph in a font and refuses to save the file. And FF is so sloooooow. FontForge is really only for the desperate without a dime and with loooots of free time. I use Fontographer, FontLab and Glyphs since there is not a single one good font maker out there. All have shortcomings, all crash. Why is making a font generator rocket science? It's only vector graphics! Still I seek for the best font making program to rule them all. No crashes, easy to use for quick jobs, but very powerful for the expert. And faaaaast!
(1)
Big-Mac-XXL
08 January 2015
Version: 20130718
Save some nickels and get a real font program. This is none. The GUI is simply terrible. I don't mean the menus etc. THIS crudeness is expected of Unix software. But the implementation of the Mac file system is terrible. To open and save fonts it takes ages to crawl thru the FF file browser. So bad. FF also crashes regularly (I use the newest version, not the MacUpdate old timer). FF gives lots of strange errors if you only want to fix a glyph in a font and refuses to save the file. And FF is so sloooooow. FontForge is really only for the desperate without a dime and with loooots of free time. I use Fontographer, FontLab and Glyphs since there is not a single one good font maker out there. All have shortcomings, all crash. Why is making a font generator rocket science? It's only vector graphics! Still I seek for the best font making program to rule them all. No crashes, easy to use for quick jobs, but very powerful for the expert. And faaaaast!
(1)
Derekcurrie
18 August 2014
Version: 20130718
FontForge is an ongoing project that is frequently being updated. At the moment (on 2014-08-18) the current beta is 201408/18_0425, meaning that this beta came out today. Obviously, this is well beyond the version listed here at MU. If you'd like the most current beta, use the developer's downloads page. The most recent version is at the bottom of the list: http://fuuko.libferris.com/osx/packages/ Be sure to read the developer's page for important instructions about installing and using FontForge. For example: Because this is an X11 UNIX application, it must be kept in the root Applications folder. It won't work from elsewhere.
(1)
anonymous-swan-2390
24 June 2014
Version: 20130718
The latest version from 2014-04-11 is available via the developers site link above. MacUpdate seems to have missed that.
(1)
Show comment (1)
4.5
Jerry-Krinock
25 September 2013
Version: 20130718
Agree with everything said by Cattus. A few years ago I bought SigMaker from FontLab for 30 USD, but the current version on the FontLab website is still a PowerPC app which no longer runs on modern Macs. Apparently FontLab has decided to let it die, and my very occasional need for a font editor does not justify the price of a commercial font editor. For occasional use, FontForge is a good replacement for SigMaker, and I thank the developers. I needed to tweak one glyph in one font. When you launch FontForge, Mac OS X will probably tell you that you need to install XQuartz or X11. Follow the link given by Apple and do it. Then, FontForge will run. It's weird. X11 apps are like Windows apps. They do not use the main menu bar, so you need to use the menus and buttons in the window. Remember it's free, so don't complain! Just roll with it. I was able to figure out how to do what I wanted and get it done in about 30 minutes. The technology of fonts is deep and wide, and if I had any idea what the hell I was doing, it would have been much faster :)) FontForge does have a Help menu which can help you out.
(1)
4.5
Cattus-Thraex
20 July 2013
Version: 20130718
Despite its ugly inbterface, as usual with most Linux apps (have never understood why), it is a wonderful tool for creating or modifying fonts, if this is allowed (sometimes it is). As a free app, beyond any criticism, use it.
(1)