Monday, April 22, 2024

Birdfont, for Windows, macOS, and Linux, unveils a faster, more responsive user interface and snap-to-guides for point-editing tools

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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.

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 grayscale — simply click the newly added droplet button on the main toolbar to toggle it on and off.

A new grayscale 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 License. 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, color 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.

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