17 Very Useful Free Online Typography Tools
Have you ever wandered what is the font used in the DzineBlog logo? Have you ever had a client requiring you to do some graphic design for some banners, brochures or for a specific web-page with a specific font, and asking if you could take it from a .pdf file? And have you ever got some text for a site, blog or newsletter written with CAPITALS, with incorrect spacing and badly formatted?
For all these problems or for other everyday font-related tasks there are online type tools and using these tools, you can save hours of searching, typing, testing and coding, and the most important thing: the tools are all free!
I know some of you already know some of the tools above or at least have similar tools installed on your computers. But imagine you are not home and you are working on a computer where you don’t have any of these installed or that you are somewhere and you just feel creative.
1. WhatTheFont – Identify a Font From a Picture
This is a very professional site, excellent if you want to identify a font. It is an easy as 1,2,3: you just upload a picture of your font and WhatTheFont will give you the exact match and/or some approximate matches from the database! From there you can buy the font or download it for free (if it is free of course).
2. IdentiFont – Identify a Font From Some Clues
But what if your picture of the font is too distorted and the previous tool doesn’t work? Don’t worry, there is a solution: Identifont. There you should go to “Fonts by Appearance” and answer some questions describing the font you’re looking for. You are sure to find a satisfying example in the database! If this is for a logo or something similar and you don’t get the exact font you can download the best similar font and edit it in Illustrator letter by letter or you can try TypeNav and see if you have more luck with it.
3. Online Font Converter
Another very useful site is OnlineFontConverter.com, where you can upload a font and convert it in whatever format you want: .otf .ttf and so on. In addition, with this tool you can extract a font from a .pdf file, if the file has the font embedded! As a bonus, if you make yourself an account you get a history of every font you have converted.
4. sIFR Generator
5. Text Fixer – Text and Html Tools
Another great site is Textfixer.com. Here you have a series of useful text tools such as capitalizing the first letter of sentences or removing whitespaces or removing line breaks and so on. You have also some nice html tools for converting badly formatted word text to clean html, CSV text to html tables or for compressing/uncompressing html code.
6. BitFontMaker for Small Pixel Fonts
7. Wordle – Text Cloud Generator
If you want to make yourself a cool text cloud and you don’t have the time to type every word in your favorite graphic application you can use Wordle. With just a few mouse clicks you can make something similar with what you see here by inserting the same text or by pointing Wordle to your Blog RSS. You can then print the text cloud on paper or if you have a Acrobat Professional installed you can print it directly into a PDF file that you can edit with Illustrator or Corel Draw if you are not satisfied.
8. STC FontBrowser – Browse Your Own Fonts
This tool is the equivalent of Bitstream Font Navigator, Font Manager or other applications. The only difference is the fact that it is online and, perhaps, that is free. It is not so customizable, you can’t see the detailed character map but it is the best choice for you when you want to show the clients what fonts they have (or not have) installed on their computers.
9. CSS Grid Caclulator
This tool is a CSS generator. You can create columns, rows, you can set the gutter the width, the font, make custom-size divisions etc. quickly and effortless. The CSS code will be generated in a separate window in real time, so you can copy it and use it anytime.
10. Font Struct – Online Font Maker
Font Struct is a site where you can build your own font using a grid system. Basically, you can use simple geometrical shapes that you put together. It all depends on your own creativity! The results can be amazing! You can then use your font, if you are satisfied with it, as the site offers you true type file once you have finalized your project. It’s a great way to build your own font in a very short time.
11. Horus – Online Font Editor
If Font Struct is not enough for you, you can modify your font with Horus, online font editor. With this tool you can edit fonts: just open it and go to the desired letter or number from the glyf section. Unlike FontStruct, you can edit any point of your vector and thus you have full creative freedom.
Another interesting tool is Typetester, which is useful for comparing screen types. Here you can choose several fonts if you can’t decide which one to choose and you can vary the size of the letter, leading, tracking etc. and compare the results at the same time. When you have reached a conclusion, just indicate which column you prefer and you will get the CSS code.
13. Text Ascii Art Generator
With the tool on this site you can easily create ASCII Art files. Just type your letters or text and choose some symbol patterns that you want to use. You can quickly switch from one pattern to another and see how your text looks. In this way it will be easier to make a decision.
14. Pixel to Em Converter
PXtoEM is a tool that allows you convert pixels in/from Ems. Ems are a relative measurement unit. One ‘Em’(1em) is equal to the height of the capital letter “M” in the default font size. This is often used in CSS sites where you want to allow the user change the font size at will.
15. CSS Gradient – Gradient Text Generator
This site is a tool to turn the text upside down. This is a very non-conventional tool but you could use it if you have in mind a creative text-arrangement on your site. Unfortunately this tool is useless for rotating the text 90 degrees. For that there are multiple different methods depending on the browser.
17. Free OCR
Free OCR is a site where you can upload scanned document and convert it into text. It’s free and it works perfectly if the text is readable enough.
Hopefully, you will find these tools useful and they will help you in the creative process. They can surely allow you to save time and, most of all, they are all free to use online so go ahead and try them out! Do you use the above tools or other tools? Share your thought in the comment below.
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