Down the Rabbit Hole with Apple's Ancient Font Editor… - Mark Simonson

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2024-06-08 10:00:02

In 1984, I bought one of the original 128K Macs. A big draw for me was how it could display multiple fonts—proportional or fixed-width—anywhere on its screen. I desperately wanted to make my own fonts for it. This was before modern PostScript/TrueType/OpenType fonts, back when there were only “bitmap” fonts—fonts composed of discrete black and white pixels.

That summer, I read about an Apple developer tool called Font Editor 2.0 and sent for a copy of it. It was crude and crashed easily, but it allowed me to make my first Macintosh bitmap fonts. (A little later, AltSys released FONTastic, which was better in every possible way, including being less crash-prone.)

Recently, I fell down the rabbit hole investigating and reacquainting myself with Font Editor 2.0. I wound up making a user guide and a video demo and walk-through. I also prepared some disk images you can use with a real 128K or 512K Macintosh computer or an emulator, such as Mini vMac if you want to try it out for yourself.

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