Really giving Fony a test, and so far have made some neat bitmap fonts. Being my first time at it, I'm terribly surprised by the ease in creating them. Not only do they work in Windows XP, they actually look good for the size/resolution -- so a thumbs up despite it being "alphaware".
Have two requests, if possible:
1. Export/Saving header info (e.g., especially creator name and copyright) with the .fon file. Although not necessary for the desktop, it gives the finished product a polished look.
2. Ability to draw two-tone bitmaps (e.g., shadow effect).
Like to thank you Hukka for making this program. Been years that I wanted to create a font or two for the desktop for custom themes, but either the software available was beyond expensive; or it required a steep learning curve. This program made a dream come true. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Didn't notice until I looked around the Windows Fonts directory, that .fon files don't include the creator name/copyright in the preview screen like .ttf do. Sorry about that. :/
As for the two-tone effect: what I was referring to is 8bit/256 grayscale bitmaps. This is so needed for black/white two tone shadow fonts (RGB 255 255 255 / 0 0 0); and "gray pixeling" sharp jaggies (poor man's anti-aliasing). Some other font software has this ability all the way upto 32bit for photo bitmap fonts, but 8bit is all that really is needed for pure monochrome fonts.
Indeed; WinXP and Vista contain several font-smoothing options, but on XP they don't seem to apply to FON files. For TTF and other files that contain information to let the glyphs be drawn in any desired size, one algorithm would be to render text to a buffer at double size, then translate a 2x2 block to a single screen pixel using four gray shades. Without such work by Windows, however, a font is not a collection of images but merely a way to specify where to put "ink" (your desired foreground color) and where not to (leaving your desired background, which may be an image).
xflare, if it would meet your needs to smooth a limited amount of text, such as a banner for your web page, use an ordinary picture editor. Type in a line of text at large size, then Resample to a smaller size, and it may render your text using colors between the foreground and background color.
(Some of us spent entire workdays staring at a CRT with a 5x7 dot matrix. Although Fony enables unprecedented customizing of the PC, and it would be nice to push it further toward perfection, to us the screen is already virtually print-quality.)