Special Character Fonts

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Cristina Hanlon 1 week ago.

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    Marlene Lingham

    I love fonts and after the tutorials and challenges on using special characters I downloaded quite a few free ones. I got a bit frustrated for 2 reasons: finding an easy way to keep track of these fonts (thought of using folders etc); and being able to see the special characters – I find Character Map is very small and not easy to see, Babel Map is a bit better but not so easy to use. Back in 2014 there was a blog about font managers and I had downloaded a couple of these, using whichever one seemed best for my needs. I then found Font Runner had a 64 bit version and downloaded this, then decided to have a look at all the features (probably should have done this earlier!). I was pleased to find a solution to my frustration so thought I would share it with you.

    Font Runner is easy to use as you just click on the folder with the font and it displays, then you select which one you want to see more detail about. There is a preview pane where you can type in the text you want and see what it looks like. What I hadn’t realised is there is a drop down box which gives you the option of Font Map – and there are all the characters, including the Private Use Area, just scroll down to see them all. And the best bit is you can alter the font size to make them easy to see, or click on them to get a larger image. There is also an option to append the character to your preview text. Otherwise you copy and paste as with Character Map – and unlike in the blog the fonts are available in PSP (2018 definitely, I haven’t tried the others) – make sure “Share Fonts” in the View Menu is ticked.

    The other good thing is you can create a Project – select New Project and name it, then you can drag and drop fonts into this project – the fonts don’t move, a link is created (like a shortcut), so when you click on the Project you can see all the fonts together. I have made a Project for Special Character Fonts and have other ones in mind. This is good if you want to group fonts for a major project without installing them.

    The link is http://codeandrun.com/john/font-runner-2/font-runner/

    Hope you find this useful.


    Marlene Lingham

    I love fonts, and since the tutorials and challenges for Special Characters i have downloaded a number of these fonts (there are lots of freebies around). I got a bit frustrated however in trying to find an easy way of identifying these fonts on the computer, whether to put them in a separate folder or what to do with them, and I also struggled to see the Private Use Area characters using Character Map, they were rather small. Back in 2014 there was a blog about Font Managers, and I had downloaded a couple of them which I use to see what fonts look like but they all seem to do different things. I was looking for updates and found Font Manager now has a 64 bit version, so I downloaded that, then thought I should probably read the help files and see what features the program had – I was just using it for display purposes. I was pleasantly surprised to find it actually solves my problems!

    Font Runner is easy to use, just click on the folder/subfolder you want in the location panel and all the fonts appear in the right hand window, select the one you want. In the bottom pane you can write the text you want to preview. The mode has a drop down box and from that you can select Font Map – and there are all the characters, including the Private Use Area, just scroll down to see. And best of all you can select the font size to make the characters easier to see. Clicking on a character shows a larger version (same as Character Map) and to use the character you just copy and paste the same way as Character Map. You can even append the character to your preview (right click). The font is also available in PSP 2018 (haven’t checked previous versions) without installing, just make sure the “Share with other programs” menu under View menu is ticked (this wasn’t the case in 2014 apparently).

    Another useful feature is the ability to create Projects. Under the location pane there is a “book” called New Projects, click this and enter the name of the project. You can then select any font you have and drag and drop to the project – a link will be created to that font – and when you want to use the project just clicking on it will display all those fonts. I have created a Special Character project and put all my fonts with Private Use characters in it so I only need to look in one place. Useful if you have a major project with different fonts that you don’t want to have to install.

    There are other features like Search which I haven’t investigated fully yet.

    Font Runner can be found at http://codeandrun.com/john/font-runner-2/



    Cristina Hanlon

    Marlene, thanks for sharing! I will definitely take a look at this site.

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