Microsoft Font Maker review: Creating fonts with handwriting on Windows 10
Forget Comic Sans. Microsoft Font Maker lets you create custom fonts out of your handwriting.
Windows 10 has always made it easy to install different fonts, but now you can easily create your own fonts out of your handwriting. All you need to do is download the Microsoft Font Maker app and write some characters and sentences using a stylus.
The app is free on Windows 10. It's important to remember that this app requires a stylus. There seem to be a lot of negative ratings for the app in the Microsoft Store and my guess is that people downloaded the app and then weren't able to do anything with it without a stylus and assumed it was broken.
See in Microsoft Store (opens in new tab)
A simple font creator
Creating a font using Microsoft Font Maker couldn't be more straightforward. When it boots up, you have a screen full of characters to write by hand and then after selecting next you have to write some sentences. You can then make adjustments to kerning and spacing to make the font look more like your natural writing.
You can then save your font with whatever name you'd like. Installing the font is just like any other font on Windows 10. You can create the font on a device with a pen and then install it onto any Windows 10 device that you'd like.
There are quite a few bad reviews in the Microsoft Store about the app not detecting any input. My PC is four years old and didn't have any issues, but it is possible that the app has issues on some devices. While you can see in my photos that my created font looks bad, that's due to my poor penmanship, not the app.
A versatile creative tool
Microsoft Font Maker is a versatile tool. It allows anyone to create a custom font including calligraphers who want to use their talents on their PC, to kids who can use the tool to teach them penmanship and computer skills.
If you wanted to, you could create a custom code using your own characters or just transfer your handwriting to your PC so you can create notes and documents that look more personalized.
Overall thoughts on Microsoft Font Maker for Windows 10
I love seeing apps like this added to Windows 10. It brings inking and typing together and creates a platform for creativity. For example, my handwriting is terrible, but my mother-in-law could have had a career in calligraphy with how good her handwriting is. I'd love to have her create a font based off of her writing using this app.
- Easy to use.
- Drives creativity.
- Practically flawless.
See in Microsoft Store (opens in new tab)
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I don't know if this one is an evolution or just the same concept. The My Font Tool was pretty good already, but I always found it frustrating that you couldn't then embed the font in documents or on the web because they were flagged as copyrighted no-embedding. This new utility marks the fonts as embeddable-installable instead, which is a huge improvements.
To be usable outside of the US, and even for several loanwords and proper nouns in English text, we need to be able to write a set of characters with diacritical marks (accents,...). At least being able to use the tool to build a complete Latin-1 compatible font. Help tell them to work on a usable version and not leave it as a tech demo, upvote "Font Maker needs support for accented letters (and other diacritics)" in the Feedback Hub: https://aka.ms/AA1vk4l
Basically your document will appear in some standard font and your signature will show as the pipe character if the recipient doesn't have your personal font installed on their PC.
This means you can have a Word template with the signature as a set of ink strokes. They're technically seen as handwritten annotations, but you can include them in prints and PDF exports (enable "Print Markup" in Print Settings). This has several advantages over a private-use character, namely that you can easily change the thickness of the ink, as well as its pen style, depending on the size of the signature you want to use. For e-mails, Outlook lets you ink directly in e-mails, or copy/paste ink from other apps.
Unfortunately, it converts it to a PNG image for compatibility with other e-mail apps. Best would be to have the ability to send ink as SVG to keep it vectorial. InkPaint can convert ink to SVG, and copy/paste ink with Office apps. However, currently, even if you embed an SVG in an e-mail, it typically gets converted to bitmap (such as PNG) because some e-mail apps still cannot read SVG.
Unfortunately most things at Microsoft are only a question of metrics, the more of us tell them this is important, the more chances it has to get done.
Upvoting on the Feedback Hub can basically +1 that item in their priorities Excel sheet : https://aka.ms/AA1vk4l