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Old May 13, 2009, 10:10 AM   #1
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Help with fonts on Mac OS X

Hi everyone,

I'm using a python module that reads system fonts from the /Library/Fonts directory. It only reads .ttf and .otf file formats but it looks like most of my fonts are in the .FFIL (font suitcase) format. My question is if there's any way to extract a .ttf file from this font suitcase? Is there anywhere I can get the corresponding .ttf files? Or a conversion utility of some sort? If you know of anything that could help, I would appreciate it. Otherwise I will just get the .ttf files from my other computer (but I was hoping for something more elegant). Thanks for the help!

Last edited by css136; May 13, 2009 at 10:44 AM.
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Old May 13, 2009, 05:58 PM   #2
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What is the task that you are trying to accomplish?
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Old May 13, 2009, 06:01 PM   #3
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It seems strange you have /Library/Fonts full of suitcases; mine has only .ttf, .otf, and .dfont fonts.

Fonts with the .dfont extension are TrueType and can be converted to .ttf, it seems (I haven't tried): http://peter.upfold.org.uk/blog/2008...-files-to-ttf/

Font suitcases are Type 1 fonts; converting them to TrueType would require software that can actually edit the font.

Surely whatever it is that your Python module does, it doesn't need every font to do it?
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Old May 13, 2009, 06:02 PM   #4
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You can convert .FFIL to .TTF with fondu.

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Old May 14, 2009, 05:29 AM   #5
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Ah, thanks for the help. My macbook has 10.5 on it and it has .ttf files for most of the system fonts - perhaps it is only 10.4 that uses exclusively font suitcases? The reason I am trying to do this is because I am preparing figures for publication (using Python's matplotlib module to create the graphs). The current font (which is probably the only .ttf font I have on this computer) is rather ugly- but perhaps more importantly, since these figures will eventually be published, it is important I use a standard font such as Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman, on the graphs to maintain compatibility with the publisher.

To make a long story short (long, because I tried just about everything else), my solution was to send the python script to my macbook pro and generate the figures there. It was a bit of a hassle because I needed to download and install the python modules on my macbook, but it wasn't too bad. I am just surprised that Apple has eschewed the standard .ttf fonts for this new format, as it seems they lose some compatibility in the transfer. I thought there would be an easier solution (I tried 'forcing' the module to read FFIL, but surprise -it didnt work)... but it seems Apple has fixed this with their newer operating system, so there is not much that can be done about it.

Thanks for the help!
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Old May 15, 2009, 06:21 AM   #6
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Using Fondu


I'll admit straight up that I'm a newbie on the issue of opening font suitcases to extract the fonts.

I downloaded and installed Fondu and now don't know what to do with the font suitcase that's sitting there waiting to be 'opened'. COuld someone please give me a few hints?

I have a FFIL file (the suitcase) that I need to extract either ttf or otf files from .

Thanks in advance,

New Zealand
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