“Example-based hinting of true type fonts” by Zongker, Wade and Salesin

  • ©Douglas E. Zongker, Geraldine Wade, and David Salesin




    Example-based hinting of true type fonts



    Hinting in TrueType is a time-consuming manual process in which a typographer creates a sequence of instructions for better fitting the characters of a font to a grid of pixels. In this paper, we propose a new method for automatically hinting TrueType fonts by transferring hints of one font to another. Given a hinted source font and a target font without hints, our method matches the outlines of corresponding glyphs in each font, and then translates all of the individual hints for each glyph from the source to the target font. It also translates the control value table (CVT) entries, which are used to unify feature sizes across a font. The resulting hinted font already provides a great improvement over the unhinted version. More importantly, the translated hints, which preserve the sound, hand-designed hinting structure of the original font, provide a very good starting point for a professional typographer to complete and fine-tune, saving time and increasing productivity. We demonstrate our approach with examples of automatically hinted fonts at typical display sizes and screen resolutions. We also provide estimates of the time saved by a professional typographer in hinting new fonts using this semi-automatic approach.


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