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Birdfont 6 unveils faster, more responsive user interface and snap-to-guides for point-editing tools

12 February 2024, Nick Peers

Johan Mattsson has released BirdFont 6.0.1, a major new release of his cross-platform tool for creating fonts. Free for personal use (users must release fonts under the SIL Open Font License), the tool provides users with a means of creating and editing fonts.

Version 6 unveils what it describes as a 'new' (but visually similar) interface, accompanied by performance improvements and a handful of changes.

Users can scan in their own hand-drawn fonts, then import individual characters as SVG files.

The new user interface will appear visually similar to previous releases, but no specific changes are mooted. There is a new tooltip available from the main screen, but the main effect of the change appears to be snappier performance over the older design.

Some functional improvements have been made – users can now move the canvas using their middle mouse button, while point-editing tools now come with the ability to snap to guides for more precise alignment.

Users also gain a new option to render the existing Dark and Bright themes in greyscale – simply click the newly added droplet button on the main toolbar to toggle it on and off.

A new greyscale option has been added to further augment Birdfont’s themes.

The program offers a range of packages. The free version restricts users to producing fonts under the SIL Open Font Licence. Two paid-for tiers exist – Commercial ($4.99 or more) purely for commercial use, and Plus ($9.99 or more) that also offers support for a wider range of font types (including OTF, colour and variable fonts). Paid-for licenses offer free updates for a year, but will continue to work indefinitely.

BirdFont 6.0.1 is rounded off with numerous – again unspecified – bug fixes. It’s available now as a free-for-personal download for Windows (10 or later), Mac (macOS 14.0 or later) and Linux (flatpak required). Older builds remain available via Birdfont.org for older Macs and PCs.

Birdfont 6.2.1

Create commercial or open fonts using this design tool

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