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Old 07-07-2011, 10:35 PM   #61
jackie_w
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Originally Posted by Japes View Post
A...I think oftentimes people get caught up on which is the prettiest/nicest font, when what should matter (in an ereader), is readability.
Some of us, with older eyes, never read at a small font-size, in which case the "prettiest/nicest" fonts may be perfectly readable.

I think Kindle's Caecilia and LexiaDaMa are beautifully clear. However, in the (too-many to admit) decades I've been reading I've never read a 'paper' novel which looks like that, therefore it doesn't 'feel right'. So, I choose something which looks more 'normal' to me.

Also, if I choose the same font for every book, I feel as if I'm reading one, very long, book. Variety is good for the soul.

Anyway, that's just my opinion.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:26 PM   #62
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Certainly, but, it applies to older eyes as well. If you find a font readable at a larger size than me (because I have better eyes), the principles of readability (as it relates to fonts), still hold true. Meaning, readable is readable is readable. And, many of the prettier fonts aren't readable (easily and for long periods) on an e-ink screen which is MUCH lower resolution than a printed page.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:46 PM   #63
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J have used in the last week the font Nimbus suggested and j find it is really super, but j have a problem: in the file provided in a precedent message, there are only two fonts: Regular and Italic. There are not the Bold and the Bold Italic typefaces.

According to the message of the person that provided the fonts (that j sincerelly thanks), the last two typefaces are useless, because the PRS will use those ones that are standard. But, according to my esperience, this is not true.

Not providing the system with the fonts bold and bolditalic, the system will trasform in the text these two typefaces in a regular font.

The ony way to solve this problem is putting, in the folder of the font, the font Times and writing this .css:

@page
{
margin-bottom: 1pt;
margin-left: 1pt;
margin-right: 1pt;
margin-top: 3pt;
}
@font-face {
font-family: "NimbusMod";
font-weight: normal;
font-style: normal;
src: url(res:///Data/fonts/NimbusMod.ttf);
}

@font-face {
font-family: "NimbusMod";
font-weight: normal;
font-style: italic;
src: url(res:///Data/fonts/NimbusMod_I.ttf);
}
@font-face {
font-family: "NimbusMod";
font-weight: bold;
font-style: normal;
src: url(res:///Data/fonts/timesb.ttf);
}

@font-face {
font-family: "NimbusMod";
font-weight: bold;
font-style: italic;
src: url(res:///Data/fonts/timesbi.ttf);
}

body
{
text-align: justify;
font-family: NimbusMod, "Times New Roman";
padding: 0;
font-size: medium;
}

But the font Times looks (even in Bold or BoldItalic) very different fron Nimbus.

Is possible to have the Nimbus font also in Bold and in BoldItalic? (j will double my thanks in this case).

Last edited by prsita; 07-07-2011 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:24 PM   #64
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. . .
Is possible to have the Nimbus font also in Bold and in BoldItalic? (j will double my thanks in this case).
I was a bit surprised by this, since my Sony reader does create the required Boldface fonts from the two fonts embedded the example EPUB that I provided.

I have also been informed that this is an issue for the new Kobo readers, so I am working on an update of NimbusMod that will include all four required font variations regular, italic, bold, and bold-italic.
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:55 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delphin View Post
FontForge can handle this kind of conversion easily.

My NimbusMod started out as a type 1 font, and I used FontForge to do the required edits and conversion to TTF.

I run FontForge in Ubuntu, where it takes about a minute to install directly from the main Ubuntu software repository, and works perfectly.

For Macs and Windows it's a little bit more of a PITA to install FontForge and get it setup, because you not only have to find the required executable for your system, but may also have to load cygwin (in the case of Windows), or other libraries (Mac), and then make a few geek-tweaks to your system after installation to get everything properly configured.

FontForge has a bit of a learning curve, because you have full editing control of every font attribute, but whether you want to just convert font types as you mentioned, or edit every character glyph individually, FontForge will handle the job for you.
I have managed to install and run FontForge on Windows at work, and that was the first-ever program I have installed that uses Cygwin X-window.

Be careful. When you convert otf font to ttf, FontForge will discard hinting info. Hinting is way of telling the font rendering engine how to fit font boundary to pixel boundary. There is *BIG* difference between displaying font with hinting info and without hinting info.
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:00 AM   #66
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I have managed to install and run FontForge on Windows at work, and that was the first-ever program I have installed that uses Cygwin X-window.

Be careful. When you convert otf font to ttf, FontForge will discard hinting info. Hinting is way of telling the font rendering engine how to fit font boundary to pixel boundary. There is *BIG* difference between displaying font with hinting info and without hinting info.
You are right about font conversions erasing the hinting. Even with TTF font's that FontForge opens with the hinting intact, if you do any significant edits you will break the hinting code, and then have to recreate it from scratch.

OR MAYBE NOT . . .

As you probably know, like a lot of other portable readers, the underlying operating system in the Sony eReaders is Linux.

Linux based systems typically use a font rendering engine named Freetype, and sure enough, if you check the User Guide for your Sony, you will find an acknowledgement that it uses Freetype.

Because of software patent issues, until 2010, the Freetype rendering engine code was not even legally supposed to use the font's embedded hinting, so to keep things legal, the developers created a very sophisticated auto-hint generator that generates its own hints directly from the font's outlines without using it's embedded hinting.

Since the basic patents covering hinting have now finally expired, Freetype can now legally use a fonts embedded hinting, but ironically, I have found that sometimes the auto-hinter works better anyway, and many Linux distros that use Freetype just use auto-hinting and ignore the Font's embedded hinting.

So, depending on how Sony has configured Freetype, it may NEVER use embedded hinting anyway.

Before I figured this out, I spent hours and hours figuring out how to reconstruct and optimize the hinting in FontForge and insuring that it was properly embedded into my fonts, only to find that it didn't seem to help much on the Sony.

For example, my NimbusMod font does not include embedded hinting, but was instead iteratively tested to make sure that is was working well with the auto-hinting built into the Sony's font rendering engine.

It's not just NimbusMod, I have found that many other favorite fonts for the Sony, like LexiaDaMa, also seem to lack hinting, and yet work quite well.

A lucky break, because FontForge is about an order of magnitude simpler to use if you don't have to deal with hinting.

Last edited by delphin; 07-09-2011 at 06:38 AM.
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:38 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delphin View Post
I was a bit surprised by this, since my Sony reader does create the required Boldface fonts from the two fonts embedded the example EPUB that I provided.

I have also been informed that this is an issue for the new Kobo readers, so I am working on an update of NimbusMod that will include all four required font variations regular, italic, bold, and bold-italic.
Hi delphin,

I just thought I'd mention that I also use a PRS650 and Bold and BoldItalic don't work for me in the NimbusMod embedded Alice epub you posted earlier. They just default to the non-Bold variation. So it's not just the Kobo. I made sure to disable PRSPlus css before testing so as not to confuse the issue.

I've attached a screencap of a slightly tweaked first page to demo the problem. The same paragraph is coded to be Regular, Italic, Bold and BoldItalic in that order.

I look forward to you completing the NimbusMod set, it looks promising. Keep up the good work
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:00 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delphin View Post
You are right about font conversions erasing the hinting.
...
As you probably know, like a lot of other portable readers, the underlying operating system in the Sony eReaders is Linux.

Linux based systems typically use a font rendering engine named Freetype, and sure enough, if you check the User Guide for your Sony, you will find an acknowledgement that it uses Freetype.

Because of software patent issues, until 2010, the Freetype rendering engine code was not even legally supposed to use the font's embedded hinting, so to keep things legal, the developers created a very sophisticated auto-hint generator that generates its own hints directly from the font's outlines without using it's embedded hinting.
I personally am not using Sony reader at the moment.
I have just observed that the same font acquired from another channel (or converted with FontForge) renders sometimes VERY differently on my reading device. For that reason I think that my reader might be using hinting info.

You can do a very simple experiment yourself.
Take a well hinted font (one of Microsoft base fonts) strip the hinting and compare rendering.

As for software patents, those shouldn't be allowed. I personally put [software] patent trolls in the same category with racketeering gangsters.
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:09 PM   #69
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Hi delphin,

I just thought I'd mention that I also use a PRS650 and Bold and BoldItalic don't work for me in the NimbusMod embedded Alice epub you posted earlier. . . .
Yes, I see what you mean.

I was fooled by some of the earlier passages that used the default font in bold, and the fact that the large headings have a bolder look (even though they are not really bold).

Sorry, having spent hours looking at NimbusMod at various font sizes while I was working on it, I should have noticed this.

Thank you for catching this, and to everyone else who has given me feedback on NimbusMod.

I am working on the new version now, which will include all four of the required font variations regular, italic, bold, and bold-italic.
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:22 PM   #70
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Sorry, having spent hours looking at NimbusMod at various font sizes while I was working on it, I should have noticed this.
Nothing to be sorry about. I'm sure we all appreciate the effort you've obviously put in and your willingness to share with the rest of us.
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:18 PM   #71
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Is there any chance at all of your also creating a medium or semi-bold version, if it's not too much work/trouble?
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Old 07-10-2011, 08:30 PM   #72
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Is there any chance at all of your also creating a medium or semi-bold version, if it's not too much work/trouble?
It's not too difficult to change the overall weight of the font either way, but NimbusMod is already an increased weight version of the original Nimbus font, so I am not quite sure from your comments which way you want it to go?

Are you looking for a version of NimbusMod where the 'regular' weight font is slightly heavier weight (bolder), or one where the regular weight is slightly lighter (less bold)?
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:14 PM   #73
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Slightly bolder. I already like NimbusMod alot, but find myself using the Caecilia Bold version more often because it's ever so slightly bolder/thicker, without being a TRUE bold (it's more a semi-bold). I would like it if NimbusMod were slightly thicker.
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:15 PM   #74
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Slightly bolder. I already like NimbusMod alot, but find myself using the Caecilia Bold version more often because it's ever so slightly bolder/thicker, without being a TRUE bold (it's more a semi-bold). I would like it if NimbusMod were slightly thicker.
No problem.

I'll probably rename my new Nimbus font to something like 'Nimbus Book' to avoid confusion with the previously posted NimbusMod version, and I can easily also create a 'Nimbus Black' version.

The 'Book' version would be about like NimbusMod is now (just a bit heavier than the original non-edited Nimbus font) and the 'Black' version would be about half way between the current NimbusMod weight and a full bold.

These are the same naming conventions used in fonts like Gentium Book, and Ariel Black.

What do you think?

Last edited by delphin; 07-10-2011 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:24 AM   #75
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Cool. Thanks.
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