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New OCR fonts, and a page for them

Sat 19 Mar 2011 by mskala Tags used:

Some years ago I posted TrueType conversions of the venerable Metafont OCR-A and OCR-B implementations. The TrueType versions were created by autotracing from the Metafont-generated bitmaps, and they weren't really very good; there were a bunch of problems with the glyph encoding and spacing and stuff. Nonetheless, those fonts have over the years been some of the most successful things on my entire site. They've gotten multiple third-party links, including from Wikipedia, and they've generated a lot of positive feedback for me from users around the world.

Just recently I found out that the original author of one of the Metafont packages I was working from has released a new version and (which is important to some users) opened up the licensing to allow commercial use. So I've taken the opportunity to re-work both typefaces and do it properly this time, by translating the Metafont versions to work with MetaType1 and produce vectors directly. I've also put the OCR-A and OCR-B faces together into one package, and set up a new page on this site for distributing them and my other font projects. Take a look at it here.

Something else of note is that I get a lot of incoming traffic from people who are using third-party translation services to view the OCR font pages in Japanese. Well, I'd like to get more Japanese-language traffic on this site, and I can do a lot better than the translation services, so I've also posted the font page in Japanese. And for fun and to encourage prompt updating of third-party links, the old pages that had the now-obsolete fonts, have been redirected to the Japanese version of the new page.

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