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Old 04-13-2009, 11:42 PM   #1
Damętas
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Using Unicode Fonts for darker text

One of the many uses of the nice unicode font tool is the ability to load fonts on your Kindle 2 that you find more readable than the default font. I like the default K2 font more or less, but with a little experimentation, I was able to update my Kindle with just the right font for my needs. Using Font Creator 5.6, I made a font that is a little bit bigger and a fair amount darker. Now, my smallest size is just ever so slightly smaller than the default size 2 and noticeably darker. I also added support for all the languages in which I was interested. Font Creator is nice, because you can copy the glyphs for Chinese from one unicode font and the Greek glyphs from another unicode font and so forth and combine it all into one custom unicode font. It also has easy-to-use tools for enlarging and darkening fonts. The 30-day trial version is fully-functional. Here are my results ...




















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Old 04-13-2009, 11:46 PM   #2
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Wow! This is great! I haven't tried the font hack yet but you've just inspired me to step it up. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:15 AM   #3
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Those dark fonts do look great. I just tried the Unicode Font Hack and ended up uninstalling it because the fonts were still too light.

I'm a total newbie when it comes to fonts and would like to learn how you accomplished what you did. I checked out the site you pointed to but have no idea where to begin.
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:45 AM   #4
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Once you have downloaded and installed Font Creator, you can open up font files (*.ttf) and edit them. If you want, you can directly edit the 4 serif*.ttf fonts that come with the hack (in the /src folder) to make them darker. Or you can replace those files with your favorite base unicode font. (Do not modify the Mono*.ttf or Sans*.ttf files.) To make a font bolder, select the characters that you want to modify (you can select and shift-click to select multiple characters - for example, from the exclamation mark to the tilde), then from the pull-down menu select Tools | Glyph Transformer ... and expand "+Effects" and select "Bold" and click OK. To make a font larger, select the characters that you want to modify, then from the pull-down menu select Tools | Glyph Transformer ... and expand "+Outlines" and select "Scale" and increase both the Horizontal & Vertical percentage to somewhere between 105 and 110% around "Center of bearings" and click OK. You will want to make the same changes to all 4 font files. Once you are ready to try it on your Kindle, you need to run the "build-updates.cmd" in the /src directory to output the new *.bin files. To be safe, you should try the *install_browser.bin first to ensure that the font works in the browser before applying it to the reader as well.
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Old 04-14-2009, 01:14 AM   #5
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Thank you! I'm going to give this a try.
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:39 AM   #6
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Amazon's developers could not see the trees (readability) for the forest (new features). Mine gets this tonight.
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Old 04-17-2009, 06:27 AM   #7
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Damaetus, would you make your font set available to the board?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damętas View Post
Once you have downloaded and installed Font Creator, you can open up font files (*.ttf) and edit them. If you want, you can directly edit the 4 serif*.ttf fonts that come with the hack (in the /src folder) to make them darker. Or you can replace those files with your favorite base unicode font. (Do not modify the Mono*.ttf or Sans*.ttf files.) To make a font bolder, select the characters that you want to modify (you can select and shift-click to select multiple characters - for example, from the exclamation mark to the tilde), then from the pull-down menu select Tools | Glyph Transformer ... and expand "+Effects" and select "Bold" and click OK. To make a font larger, select the characters that you want to modify, then from the pull-down menu select Tools | Glyph Transformer ... and expand "+Outlines" and select "Scale" and increase both the Horizontal & Vertical percentage to somewhere between 105 and 110% around "Center of bearings" and click OK. You will want to make the same changes to all 4 font files. Once you are ready to try it on your Kindle, you need to run the "build-updates.cmd" in the /src directory to output the new *.bin files. To be safe, you should try the *install_browser.bin first to ensure that the font works in the browser before applying it to the reader as well.
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Old 04-17-2009, 08:41 AM   #8
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I'd love to but am restricted from doing so. Unlike the Droid font which comes with the hack, the "base" font that I used (Verdana) is not public domain. Even though I slightly darkened and enlarged it to create my own custom font, I believe it would be a copyright violation and against board rules to distribute it. However, if you already own this font, it is an easy process to make the modifications following the simple steps above. Bona fortuna!
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Old 04-17-2009, 04:32 PM   #9
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You are correct re: copyright. Thanks anyway. It does look great - enjoy.
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Old 04-17-2009, 05:56 PM   #10
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A really nice font that's had a good darkness to it but not too dark is Fontin. It is a serif font. But it's not as serif as the font that comes with the Kindle. And it even has a sans serif font. I think it would do quite well. I'll take some photos of my 505 using Fontin.
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Old 04-19-2009, 03:47 PM   #11
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OK - I must be doing something wrong. Here are the steps I followed:

1. Changed my own copy of Verdana to meet my needs (more bold)
2. Replaced the fonts in the src folder with Verdana copies renamed to fit all the fonts in the three different categories (Mono, Sans, and Serif) so that Verdana would now replace them all.
3. Ran build-updates.cmd
4. Used the update file to update my Kindle

Some fonts seem changed, but the serif font used to display the home menu is some serif font and not the modified Verdana, as is the fonts in my books. What am I missing?
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Old 04-19-2009, 04:44 PM   #12
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OK - I figured out where my problem is. I can modify the fonts fine. I don't understand how to use the build-updates.cmd to generate the new update files. I do have Python installed on my Mac and know how to get it running in the Terminal - but don't know enough to get beyond that.

Any help? Or someone could post a version of the patch with darker Android fonts for total idiots like me?

UPDATE: Running the script through terminal I get:

File "/Users/schulzmc/Kindle/kindle_font_hack_v01_droid/src/build-updates.cmd", line 1
python kindle_update_tool.py m -k2 unicode_fonts_droid_install install.sh Mono_Bold.ttf Mono_BoldItalic.ttf Mono_Italic.ttf Mono_Regular.ttf Sans_Bold.ttf Sans_BoldItalic.ttf Sans_Italic.ttf Sans_Regular.ttf Serif_Bold.ttf Serif_BoldItalic.ttf Serif_Italic.ttf Serif_Regular.ttf
^
SyntaxError: invalid syntax

Last edited by schulzmc; 04-19-2009 at 05:00 PM.
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