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Acorn Arcade forums: News and features: Elesar brings back Font Directory Pro for modern machines
 

Elesar brings back Font Directory Pro for modern machines

Posted by Mark Stephens on 09:53, 25/3/2017 | ,
 
Acorn brought us the exciting world of fonts
One of the things which first excited me about the Acorn Archimedes was the excellent font support (which in some respects is still unique). Once you had tired of Homerton and the other built-in fonts, there is a whole world of fonts out there including high quality conversions of professional libraries like Monotype and URW, the huge EFF font collection and lots of fun fonts included with !Artworks.
 
The problem that then strikes you is that you have a huge collection of fonts. If you put them all in !Fonts, you get a huge list to scroll down and the whole process slows down. You also find that you spend hours trying to select a font (because you do not get a WYSIWYG view). So you end up sticking with Homerton and a few other fonts.... These are the problems which Font Directory Pro solves very elegantly.
 
LOOKsystems gave us a way to make it workable
 
Font Directory Pro was one of two software products which allowed you to easily manage your growing font collection. It provided you with the following functionality:-
1. A font filing system where you could store all your fonts and arrange in whatever way you wanted.
2. A WYSIWYG font viewer which allowed you to see what all your fonts look like and dynamically switch them on (so the appear in !Fonts only when you want them).
3. A document scanning capability where you could ask the software to scan a file and it would automatically switch on any fonts which were needed in the document.
4. The ability to define collections of fonts so you could easily have different sets of fonts which you could switch on (for example a myDTP fonts collection).
 
The way I used to use it was to have a small core collection of fonts permanently in !Fonts (I am a big fan of EFF's London font and their fancy Malinka cat font) and some collections for different uses (like Artworks header fonts for posters). It is very flexible so you can take control of your fonts and get the best of both worlds with both a small workable setup and the easy choice of a huge font collection.
 
and Elesar has brought it back for Modern machines in 2017
 
The software was originally written by LOOKsystems and the last release was a patch to make the software work on the new Iyonix. Now Elesar's Rob Sprowson has tracked down the original author for permission to use the software, updated the source code (which consisted of patching together multiple versions/sources), made it work on all the latest hardware and rewritten/updated the manual.
 
The software is now available from the Elesar and there is even an upgrade price for existing users. You can buy the software directly from Elesar through their shop for 22.50 pounds as an upgrade ot 45 pounds new.
 
The software upgrade will update your existing setup (so you can keep your existing setup) and it just works perfectly (I love those types of installers).
 
There are no new features in this release but Elesar are asking for your ideas on features you would like to see in future versions.
 
Since I stopped using Font Directory Pro I had forgotten just how pleasant it made using RISC OS as a publishing platform and I think it is another step in again making RISC OS a really exciting platform for getting my work done....
 
But are there still any fonts for RISC OS
If you are looking for fonts, there are lots available on RISC OS still. You can find them on the Internet, several free ones are available in the RISC OS package manager and !PlingStore, CJEmicros still appear to have lots of fonts in stock, the charities stands at RISC OS shows sometimes have some gems, and we will be reviewing the new font collection from DRAG'nDROP in a future review. Looks like you may need a tool to help you handle all those fonts....
 
Elesar website
 




 


 
  Elesar brings back Font Directory Pro for modern machines
  markee174 (14:17 26/3/2017)
  riscosbits (16:40 26/3/2017)
    Elesar (13:10 27/3/2017)
      microbits (18:51 27/3/2017)
        Elesar (19:04 27/3/2017)
      bengershon (08:09 31/3/2017)
        arawnsley (14:49 31/3/2017)
          bengershon (21:11 1/4/2017)
 
Mark Stephens Message #124054, posted by markee174 at 14:17, 26/3/2017
Member
Posts: 17
Any chance Elesar might release some of the font packs from Adrian or do a similar detective role to bring back the EFF fonts (which are no longer on the Internet)? I would love see a EFF CD3 with all the RISC OS fonts on.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
RISCOS Bits Message #124055, posted by riscosbits at 16:40, 26/3/2017, in reply to message #124054
Member
Posts: 3
I would love see a EFF CD3 with all the RISC OS fonts on.
Ditto. I always keep an eye on eBay for it, but it never pops up! I so regret not buying that at the time.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Robert Sprowson Message #124056, posted by Elesar at 13:10, 27/3/2017, in reply to message #124055
Member
Posts: 2
A few people have asked about the LOOKsystems font collections, so at the next quarter licence review we'll ask if they survived and what their status is.

The EFF fonts require a little more sensitivity following the death of Edward Detyna, and Jim Nagel (of Archive fame) is acting as single point of contact with his estate.


[Edited by Elesar at 19:02, 27/3/2017]
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
rob andrews Message #124057, posted by microbits at 18:51, 27/3/2017, in reply to message #124056
Member
Posts: 21
Hi rob do i have to dig out my old copy of FDPro to get an upgrade it's on a risc pc in storage i will have a look at the weekend but i would be registered as Microbits.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Robert Sprowson Message #124058, posted by Elesar at 19:04, 27/3/2017, in reply to message #124057
Member
Posts: 2
do i have to dig out my old copy of FDPro to get an upgrade it's on a risc pc in storage
To qualify for an upgrade you'll need to send either the activation key (from your previous upgrade) or one of the files from an existing install (you'll be told which when the order is placed).
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Michael Ben-Gershon Message #124060, posted by bengershon at 08:09, 31/3/2017, in reply to message #124056
Member
Posts: 3
If someone is tryng to do a deal with the estate of Dr Detyna of EFF, it would be worthwhile including their effTTT software for converting Truetype fonts to RISC OS format. That would also open up many more useable fonts.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Andrew Rawnsley Message #124061, posted by arawnsley at 14:49, 31/3/2017, in reply to message #124060
R-Comp chap
Posts: 454
I'm not sure if you've seen it, Michael, but there's a free TTF convertor that I found as part of NetSurf...

http://www.netsurf-browser.org/projects/ttf2f/

I actually had far more success with that than I ever did with the EFF one. It is also unicode aware.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 
Michael Ben-Gershon Message #124062, posted by bengershon at 21:11, 1/4/2017, in reply to message #124061
Member
Posts: 3
Thanks! I shall have a look at that.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
 

Acorn Arcade forums: News and features: Elesar brings back Font Directory Pro for modern machines