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Issue 20.3 ('XDC Anywhere')
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Making a Fontbook

Creating a PDF font catalog with Xojo

Issue: 20.3 (May/June 2022)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Author Bio: Marc taught himself programming in high school when he bought his first computer but had no money for software. He's had fun learning ever since.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 36,036
Starting Page Number: 45
Article Number: 20306
Resource File(s):

Download Icon project20306.zip Updated: 2022-05-05 14:11:50

Related Link(s): None

Excerpt of article text...

A while back Xojo added a new feature to the PDFDocument class that supposedly let you use fonts in your PDFs without having to install them in the operating system. This sounded really cool, as I love fonts and have collected thousands of them.

Since I don't do freelance graphic design any more, I don't use fonts enough to justify buying expensive ones, so most of mine are cheap clones I got on sale in huge bundles ("10,000 fonts for $10!").

For my minimal needs these are fine, except these collections never include a font catalog—a way for you to preview the fonts without having to install each one. (Even worse, these cheap fonts use weird names that don't give you any idea of what the font is like.)

Professional fonts usually come with pages showing all the font's characters, sample text blocks, and usage examples (see Figure 1). This makes it much easier to find a font and tell if it will meet your usage need.

My first thought when reading about Xojo's .addFont feature was that I could use this to make an app that would generate a fontbook PDF for me. I pictured an app where I could drag in font files and, poof, it would generate a beautifully formatted PDF I could then scan to see which fonts were which and decide which I wanted to use.

With Xojo's demo to guide me, this would be a breeze and a lot of fun to make. Right? Sadly, not.

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