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BirdFont Reviews

3.32.2
02 December 2019

Font editor.

Johan Mattsson
15 January 2019

Most helpful

Has anyone tried Birdfont on Mojave? Does it work?
Like (1)
Version 3.19.0

Read 20 BirdFont User Reviews

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Johan Mattsson
15 January 2019
Has anyone tried Birdfont on Mojave? Does it work?
Like (1)
Version 3.19.0
Mr-Mike
18 December 2018
A month or so I sent a support email about some display issues and within a few hours there was a reply. Short version after a quick few rounds of back and forth, Johan (the developer) fixed the issue and the next day the update was on this here site. Great help and I really like where this app is going.
Like (3)
Version 3.18.0
Jminnihan
05 September 2017
Already donated, but couldn't install the latest "commercial" version due to issues in its licensing capabilities.
Like (1)
Version 2.19.4
1 answer(s)
Johan Mattsson
Johan Mattsson
27 September 2017
Please send me an e-mail so we can get this sorted out.
Cheers
Like
Ranjansen
28 November 2015
It crashes in El Capitan! Please fix it.
Like
Version 2.14.0
1 answer(s)
Johan-Mattsson
Johan-Mattsson
29 November 2015
Yes, a new version should become available soon.
Like
incrzr
28 October 2015
10.11 only :-(

Is there an older Version for 10.10? Thanks
Like
Version 2.13.0
1 answer(s)
Johan Mattsson
Johan Mattsson
18 February 2018
Yes, check the download page at https://birdfont.org
Like
Derekcurrie
27 September 2015
v2.12.0 is out.
Like
Version 2.11.3
Spank-Me-Baby
28 March 2015
You know I really want to like BirdFont a lot. I see a lot of potential in what's emerging out of this tool and the things one can do with it. And, to some extent, I still do like what the developer has achieved so far. Perhaps the biggest plus is the ability to create new font characters in a package that is essentially free (well, donationware to be more precise) is really a gift to the Mac community. Furthermore, I really hate to criticise any software that is freeware, but I do have a few qualms about this one. I won't go into a lot of details (as I see the developer is working hard to fix up bugs and all the rest), but I would really like to see the following improvements (if it is possible)::

1. Yeah alright, I can see the developer is going down the path of Adobe CS6 with its darker theme for the UI, but if this is to be attempted and become the norm for this tool, make sure the graphics and text representing the buttons on the UI are clear. And I mean much more significant contrast. I'm not sure about other users' Macs (perhaps the brightness has been set all the way to the top to make it work for them), but even with my maximum brightness, I do have to squint hard to look at these buttons to see what they are.

2. I can see the developer is trying to be original with the menu command (File, Edit etc). Yes, I give him credit for being different. But one of the things that I find fairly annoying are the number of extra clicks I need to press just to access a particular menu command. I mean, now, we have to make an extra click into what appears to be the settings button (I have seen a similarly designed button for this purpose on other apps), but initially I had no way of knowing the menu commands are actually hidden in there. When I found out, I thought "Yay, I can use this tool again". But then I realise, I need to click at least twice to actually get into the menu grouping I want, and eventually another click to finally use the menu command I want. My recommendation: put the menu commands across the top of the window (or what's wrong in the menu bar created by Apple's own Finder app? While it isn't the most exciting and original way of doing things, I find that it just works and simplifies the process of accessing fcommands so much.

3. Can we not have to show the initial window on startup asking if it is for commercial or free use. For a software that is described as free, this is confusing. Should I actually pay for this tool? I don't know. If I don't have to, just let us choose and the app should remember. If we want to change it to "commercial", we should be able to go into the settings to change this. Again this just saves an extra click on launching just to get into the app.

4. Is there any chance we can get an instructions manual to learn all the amazing things this tool can do (no need to be detailed like it came from Microsoft, just a nice compact Mac-like and intruitive manual that explains everything). In particular I like to see where I can apply high-end time-saving features such as the ability to apply an automatic slanting of all characters in a font set for setting up the italics font set quickly, of the ability to enlarge all characters to create the bold font set, that kind of thing.

I probably should leave it there for now. But already I can see great potential in this app. And I certain;y do not want the developer to give up on this tool just because some people are saying things could be better. Just as an encouragement, I like to give the app the rating as shown above.

Please keep up the improvements.
Like (1)
Version 2.4.2
1 answer(s)
Meitnik
Meitnik
29 March 2015
fully agree with all you said…visual clarity is the heart of any gui…
Like
Meitnik
18 March 2015
Thank you for making the UI changes so I can actually use the editor and to allow me to submit bug reports. Now to actually kick the tires and see how it does. Will rate it later.
Like
Version 2.3.0
Meitnik
05 March 2015
I waited a long time to get Birdfont. Now…the new UI is very hard on those who are visually impaired. UI: Poor color contrast, font size too small, too dark. help: poor route to get help which is very terse and often unhelpful. Once these problems are fixed I will gladly return to testing Birdfont and even donate some serious dollars! These comments are from the lead tester of Fontographer some 25 yrs ago; a tester for FontLab. So I know something about font editors ;-) Come on Birdfont folks give the tool polish and better accessibility.
Like
Version 2.0.4
2 answer(s)
Meitnik
Meitnik
06 March 2015
Tried to set up an account to report bugs but they have yet to send me the confirmation email or a password. How strange. I WOULD think they make sure there are no bugs in setting up an account. ;-) I first tried yesterday; still not reply. Oh well.
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Johan-Mattsson
Johan-Mattsson
07 March 2015
Thank you for the suggestion. I will create a high contrast theme with better readability.
Like (2)
Gregorgy
14 January 2015
I remember the first time I found BirdFont (v0.3) and I wondered then why it was free. I figured there must be something wrong with it. I was wrong - and I remember thinking I should donate. If you consider other tools like those from Fontagrapher run into the hundreds of dollars and waited for years before seeing Intel updates, this is worth every cent of $5 dollar donation. I have also used it to successfully repackage fonts for sending to my printers so that those foundries that don't allow embedding have no clue it came from me.
Like (2)
Version 1.9
Thomas1977
10 November 2014
If you need to edit fonts then this is the tool you need. Incredible easy to use and it just makes creating fonts fun. Incredibly why this is given for free. Very highly recommended !!! Full Five Stars
Like (3)
Version 1.9
Rsps
22 September 2014
It does not do Unicode fonts of other Languages, does it?
Like (1)
Version 1.4
1 answer(s)
Johan-Mattsson
Johan-Mattsson
22 September 2014
BirdFont has unicode support. You should be able to create a font in any language.
Like (2)
Spike Jones
14 September 2014
An incredible free font editor/creator. Clear and simple to use UI that just works. Pity it isn't stable at times on OSX10.9.4 with some random crashes. But you cannot get anything better for free. Very highly recommended stuff.
Like (2)
Version 1.3
Wts
07 September 2014
Trusting the integrity of MacUpdate i download the application directly thru MacUpdate clicking the download arrow without visiting the developer. The first thing that I discovered about BirdFont is when launched it asks what type of license do you want: SIL or Commercial. What the ***** ? Why not include a heads up READ ME FIRST text file ? The second annoyance was after selecting SIL even not knowing what the **** SIL is or means i wanted to start using BirdFont. Selecting Open from the drop down menu sweeps me into the Document folder. What the ***. Why does BirdFont not direct me directly to fonts wherever that may be in my Mavericks OS ? Perhaps that's the price of Free. Now i have to go the developers site to read how this works.
Like
Version 1.1
5 answer(s)
CS2530
CS2530
07 September 2014
Sure would hate to trouble you to actually read a few instructions.
Like (2)
Wts
Wts
07 September 2014
CS2530, interesting response.

I downloaded the file and there were no instructions included only a license read me.

Like
CS2530
CS2530
07 September 2014
Ah! So now I get it -- no instructions to be found at all. That *is* a problem! Still, if you don't know what SIL is, or that a font editor can't edit an activated font, maybe you should read up on font editing first before you dive in to the deep end of the pool. Font editing/creating is not a simple, learn-as-you-go sort of thing! Very murky waters, indeed, especially when you get into OpenType fonts. I do give you best wishes, though -- the learning curve is intense, but rewarding.
Like (1)
Wts
Wts
07 September 2014
CS2530, perhaps however i thought that this a Mac programme and as such it should be intuitive and not some mystery game. But maybe that's what this application is and i am looking at it all wrong.
Like (1)
CS2530
CS2530
08 September 2014
I've used Fontographer and FontLab Studio, and while the drawing tools are intuitive -- or at least familiar, like FreeHand or Illustrator -- things like metrics and kerning pairs, and so forth, take a lot more instruction. So, yes, there should be some serious documentation provided.
Like (1)
Derekcurrie
18 August 2014
I've found BirdFont is a FREE useful tool for general users of fonts, not just font designers. Here is why: 1) You can open any compatible font, such as TTF, and view through all of its characters. This can be very useful for simply checking out a font's character list. It even lets you inspect all the unicode characters. 2) It provides the name and description of a font, including its copyright. This is great if you're checking out a "free" font you downloaded from somewhere in order to see if really IS free, or it's a pirated commercial font. Or you may want to simply learn more about the font. All of the good old free font utilities are either abandoned or only work on PPC. So it's great to find BirdFont to be a very useful replacement. Now back to learning the rest of this great application...
Like (2)
Version 0.47
Marcossi
20 March 2014
I paid $5 for this app and I'm primed to go and get a licence on http://birdfont.org. I can't find any where there how to get licence?
Like
Version 0.35
1 answer(s)
Johan-Mattsson
Johan-Mattsson
20 March 2014
Thank you. I will send you an e-mail.
Like
anonymous-dingo-653
14 February 2014
I use primarily FontLab and Glyphs, but this is pretty interesting project. Haven't had a chance to fully test it out, but hope to sometime soon. Any possibility of OTF support in the future?
Like (2)
Version 0.34
5 answer(s)
Johan-Mattsson
Johan-Mattsson
14 February 2014
Yes, OTF support is one of the features I want to implement.
Like (2)
anonymous-dingo-653
anonymous-dingo-653
15 February 2014
Thank you, Johan. I'll keep watching, though I haven't had much luck getting many ttf fonts to open in it and show characters. Must be something embedded by another font editor that is getting in the way.
Like (2)
Johan-Mattsson
Johan-Mattsson
15 February 2014
BirdFont uses Freetype to parse TTF fonts. Send me a font that can not be imported if you want this issue to be solved.
Like (1)
Appledogx
Appledogx
13 March 2014
I'd love to see this open existing truetype fonts as a starting point. I tried but get no results. Otherwise this is very good software!
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Johan-Mattsson
Johan-Mattsson
13 March 2014
TTF import should work rather well. I have so far only found one difficult font and many that can be imported. BirdFont uses Freetype to parse TTF and OTF fonts. Fonts that work with applications like Chrome, Inkscape, Firefox, etc. should also work with BirdFont since they use the same library. Which font should I do more testing with?
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Derekcurrie
13 February 2014
This version is bombing at boot on 10.7.5. Here are the Console logs: 2/13/14 11:55:08.290 AM [0x0-0x12d12d].org.birdfont.BirdFontLauncher: /bin/sh: -c: line 0: syntax error near unexpected token `font' 2/13/14 11:55:08.290 AM [0x0-0x12d12d].org.birdfont.BirdFontLauncher: /bin/sh: -c: line 0: `/Applications/-Fonts/BirdFont (font editor)/BirdFont.app/BirdFont.app/Contents/MacOS/BirdFont --mac'
Like
Version 0.33
3 answer(s)
Johan-Mattsson
Johan-Mattsson
14 February 2014
Thank you for the report. I will try to fix it.
Like
Johan-Mattsson
Johan-Mattsson
14 February 2014
I think the problem is that BirdFont won't start if the application is located in a folder with space in its name. Does BirdFont start if you move it to the Applications directory or is this a completely different issue?
Like
Johan-Mattsson
Johan-Mattsson
14 February 2014
This issue is solved in 0.34.
Like
Iheartbeer
04 September 2013
This looks promising. I just started using it today and so far, so good. 2 things: a) I wish I could just hit the backspace key (not the delete key) to remove anchor points (not a big deal since I can probably re-map that key, but it took me forever to figure that out since the backspace key is called "delete" on a Mac keyboard, too; and that's what's used in Illustrator), and b) I wish I could copy/paste artwork from Illustrator instead of exporting/importing SVGs. Other than those things, it seems pretty simple to use, and I like how you're licensing it. Nice.
Like (2)
Version 0.28
4 answer(s)
Johan-Mattsson
Johan-Mattsson
04 September 2013
Thank you for the feedback. I will implement the backspace feature immediately. Copy and paste from Illustrator is a little more difficult since I don't own a copy of that program. An alternative that might work for you is to open the file in Inkscape and copy the glyphs.
Like (2)
Johan-Mattsson
Johan-Mattsson
04 September 2013
You can download three packages under different licenses: 1. The source package code under GNU GPL 2. Freeware version for SIL fonts 3. A commercial version for proprietary fonts
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Iheartbeer
Iheartbeer
04 September 2013
From what I understand, in Illustrator, artwork is copied as Postscript. Then depending on the app, it's pasted as PICT (bitmap format-useless in this scenario), PDF or AICB (I've never heard of the last one, I'm guessing it stands for Adobe Illustrator Clip Board format). Don't feel like you need to implement this. I'm in no great need for this feature, but others might be. If you decide to try and add it, I would think PDF/Postscript would be the way to go. I just thought I'd offer up what I know in case it sparked an idea for you. Adobe use to offer a 30-day trial of their apps. If you're interested in adding this feature, I'd be happy to test it as well, but again it's not that big of deal to me.
Like (1)
Johan-Mattsson
Johan-Mattsson
04 September 2013
PostScript would be nice to have. I have added it to my list.
Like (1)
Valefar
03 September 2013
Does not launch at all in Mountain Lion.
Like (1)
Version 0.28
5 answer(s)
Johan-Mattsson
Johan-Mattsson
03 September 2013
Do you get any error messages?
Like (1)
Valefar
Valefar
03 September 2013
None. A phantom appears in the dock for a split second, then nothing.
Like (1)
Johan-Mattsson
Johan-Mattsson
03 September 2013
I run Mac OS 10.6.3 but want to fix this issue for 10.8 as soon as possible. Can you try to run it in a terminal and see if some error message appears. 0. Copy BirdFont to your applications directory 1. Open a terminal 2. Run /Applications/BirdFont.app/BirdFont.app/Contents/MacOS/BirdFont Cheers Johan
Like (1)
Valefar
Valefar
03 September 2013
Please delete the above review; BirdFont does open in Mountain Lion. It initially didn't launch because it was in a discrete folder within the applications folder and thus was not included in the applications directory.
Like (3)
Johan-Mattsson
Johan-Mattsson
03 September 2013
Thank you for reporting back. It should be possible to launch the parent application, (it is a hack that I need in order to get BirdFont running on 10.6). If you need to open the folder and launch the child application is it likely a bug.
Like (1)