Fontify Your Handwriting

Published Date
01 - Mar - 2007
| Last Updated
01 - Mar - 2007
 
Fontify Your Handwriting

Turn your scribbles into readable art!

Fonts may just seem a fancy at first, but when you think about it, we've all seen the impact a good font can make (and the negative impact a bad one can). Do you think you have good handwriting? If you do-or even if you don't-how cool is the idea of creating a font from it?

This can be easily achieved. Apart from Windows XP, you'll need a dark marker pen, a printer and a scanner, an image editing software, and High-Logic FontCreator from www.high-logic.com/fcp.html. This is a fully-functional 30-day demo. Armed with the above, we begin by...


Step1. Creating the template for the handwritten character set

For this, you need a piece of paper. Draw small boxes-about 2 centimetres tall by 1.5 centimetres wide on it. These will serve as the bounding boxes in which you can write. Bounding boxes are necessary because they help you to keep check on the size and consistency of the font. Use a sketch pen or a marker pen. Make sure you draw the characters well inside the boxes. The cells, as shown, should have three little openings on the left and right at the 0.8 cm, 1.3 cm and 1.7 cm along the height from the bottom. These will serve as the guidelines for the upper-case-height (U), middle-height (M), and the baseline (B). Create such templates for all the letters.

In addition to the alphabet, you should also create such templates for additional characters and symbols. Once you are done creating samples of your handwriting, scan the template as a greyscale bitmap at 600 dpi. Make sure you save the file in the JPEG or bitmap format with no compression.

Step2. Create a new font
Start FontCreator and go to File > New. Type in a name for the font in the "Font family name" field, and leave the default settings for Character set and Font style. Click OK. The Glyph Overview window will open-this is a grid with sample characters. Double-click on the cell with capital "A" to bring up the Glyph Edit window. Now, go to Tools > Import Image. On the Image page, set Smooth Filter to Super. Sharp corners will now be rounded; if you do not want it that way, use Smooth. On the Glyph page, select the Image radio button under Bounding. Under Position, select the middle radio button in the bottom row and enter 500 for the X position and -750 for Y. Then set the Size Multiplier to 6.00. Then, check the Default box and press Cancel. (The import operation will be cancelled, but the settings are saved for future use.)

Step3. Select the image file for upper-case "A"

Without closing FontCreator, start your image processing software and load the scanned image with your character set. Zoom in as much as you can, select "A", and copy it to the clipboard.

Step4. Import the outlines for upper-case "A"

Paste the image into the Glyph Edit window of FontCreator. The top of the outline should be near 1400 units, and the bottom should be on the red horizontal line (also known as the "baseline"). Also make sure the left side is close to the red vertical line. Adjust the size and placement of the contours by selecting all contours and using the mouse or the arrow keys. Drag the corner handle with the [Shift] key pressed to resize it proportionally. You can also drag the vertical dashed lines to their desired position and change the left and right side bearings. Position the glyph between these lines to avoid overlapping of the characters. The left side bearing should be near the red vertical line, and the right side bearing should be placed immediately after the outlines. Close the Glyph Edit window. Save the font file as a .ttf.

Step5.Finishing Up

Repeat the procedure for the remaining characters. After all the characters have been imported, you can remove the incomplete glyphs from the font: go to Edit > Select Incomplete and then Edit > Delete. Save your font, then install it.

jayesh_limaye@thinkdigit.com

Out Of The Blue
My laptop keeps restarting randomly. What could be the problem?
Bikram Rathod

There could be many problems that can cause your laptop to restart automatically and randomly. Here are a few common problems.

Faulty battery: Most spontaneous shutdown and restarting problems on laptops are due to a faulty battery. Laptop batteries are like mobile phone batteries-they do not last forever. A heavily-used laptop, where it is often running only on battery power, will use up its battery at any stage between the first and second year of use. What is not very well known is that even if you always use your laptop from the mains rather than on battery, a faulty battery will still adversely affect your laptop's operation, from unwanted shutdowns to spontaneous restarts or freezes. Take the battery out, plug the laptop directly into the power mains, and see if you still experience spontaneous shutdowns or reboots.

Faulty power adaptor: This is not a common occurrence, but power adaptors do go faulty-either through lack of care or through wear and tear. With the battery out of the laptop, if you have a spare power adaptor from an identical laptop, see if replacing it solves the problem. Otherwise, try wiggling the cord that leads from the adaptor to the laptop and see if that stabilises the problem-if it does, then the power adaptor needs replacing.

Problem with mains power: Is the switching off or restarting happening anywhere, or only in a particular place or room?
 
Faulty internal cooling fan: Most laptops have one or more internal cooling fans-it is those fans which produce the quiet whirring noise you can hear when you turn your laptop on. If any of these fans stops working, the laptop may overheat and, if it does, it will automatically shut down to prevent total damage. Observe whether your laptop shuts down after near enough the same amount of time every time (with the same amount of activity while it is on-and allowing the laptop to cool down between experiments). If it does, then it is quite probable that it is shutting down because of overheating. Feel the underside of the laptop with your hand-most often, it is possible to tell that the laptop is abnormally hot. If your laptop is indeed shutting down because of lack of cooling, you need to take it to the repair store.

Problem with mains power: Is the switching off or restarting happening anywhere, or only in a particular place or room?

Faulty internal cooling fan: Most laptops have one or more internal cooling fans-it is those fans which produce the quiet whirring noise you can hear when you turn your laptop on. If any of these fans stops working, the laptop may overheat and, if it does, it will automatically shut down to prevent total damage. Observe whether your laptop shuts down after near enough the same amount of time every time (with the same amount of activity while it is on-and allowing the laptop to cool down between experiments). If it does, then it is quite probable that it is shutting down because of overheating. Feel the underside of the laptop with your hand-most often, it is possible to tell that the laptop is abnormally hot. If your laptop is indeed shutting down because of lack of cooling, you need to take it to the repair store.

Note: These results are stored statically for this session. If the disk configuration changes during this session, in order to get an updated scan, you must first reboot the machine and then rescan the disks.
Total identified Windows installs: 2
[1]: C:WINXP
Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All):
When you type [Y], and then press [Enter], you receive the following message:
Enter Load Identifier:
Type the description of the installation that you want displayed on the Startup menu. For example, type "Microsoft Windows XP Professional", and then press [Enter].
You will receive the following message:
Enter OS Load Options:
Type the operating system load options that you want. For example, type "/fastdetect", and then press [Enter]. Then you can type "/exit" and the PC will restart.
More detail on this can be found at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/330184/en-us, or http://snipurl.com/qnadec3.

Getting Under The Hood

I need to change the boot device priority in the BIOS, but my computer assembler has set a password and I am unable to contact him. What can I do?
Ritesh Pendse


If you need to get into a PC's BIOS setup that has been password-protected, you will either need to crack the password, or you will need to reset the BIOS.
Most motherboards come with a spare 2-pin jumper installed in the Off position on some connector pins on the board. Most motherboards also have "Clear CMOS" pins. If you can find a spare jumper, and your motherboard has "Clear CMOS" pins (you can verify this by either checking the manual, or by looking directly at the motherboard next to the CMOS battery), you can reset the BIOS by taking the following steps: shut down the PC and turn it off. Remove all power cables, and take the case off. Place the jumper over the two Clear CMOS pins. Plug the power cables back into the PC (still leaving the case off), turn the PC on and wait for 30 to 60 seconds (most likely nothing will switch on). Shut down the PC and remove the power cables again. Take the Clear CMOS jumper off the pins. Put the case back on the PC and plug the cables back in. Turn the PC on and you should be able to get into the BIOS.
       If the CMOS battery goes dead, you lose some or all the BIOS settings and you have to install a new battery and reconfigure the BIOS. In a similar manner, often, if you remove the battery from the motherboard and leave it out for a while, this will reset the BIOS to its default state and thus enable you to get into it as a result of the BIOS password having been reset to nothing. Shut the PC down and turn it off. Remove all power cables and take the case off. Take the CMOS battery out of the battery chassis. Wait for at least two minutes and put the battery back. You should now be able to get into the BIOS.
       And here's a third method! BIOS passwords are stored with very rudimentary encryption and are, as a result, very easily decryptable. As a starting point, go to www.atwdownloads.com, and download CMOS Password v4.6.
This nifty little utility will successfully retrieve most BIOS passwords!



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