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What is this?
| fontTools is a library for manipulating fonts, written in Python. The
project includes the TTX tool, that can convert TrueType and OpenType
fonts to and from an XML text format, which is also called TTX. It
supports TrueType, OpenType, AFM and to an extent Type 1 and some
Mac-specific formats. The project has an `MIT open-source
licence <LICENSE>`__.
| Among other things this means you can use it free of charge.
`User documentation <>`_ and
`developer documentation <>`_
are available at `Read the Docs <>`_.
FontTools 4.x requires `Python <>`__ 3.6
or later. FontTools 3.x requires Python 2.7 or later.
**NOTE** From August 2019, until no later than January 1 2020, the support
for *Python 2.7* will be limited to only critical bug fixes, and no new features
will be added to the ``py27`` branch. You can read more `here <>`__
and `here <>`__ for the
reasons behind this decision.
The package is listed in the Python Package Index (PyPI), so you can
install it with `pip <>`__:
.. code:: sh
pip install fonttools
If you would like to contribute to its development, you can clone the
repository from GitHub, install the package in 'editable' mode and
modify the source code in place. We recommend creating a virtual
environment, using `virtualenv <>`__ or
Python 3 `venv <>`__ module.
.. code:: sh
# download the source code to 'fonttools' folder
git clone
cd fonttools
# create new virtual environment called e.g. 'fonttools-venv', or anything you like
python -m virtualenv fonttools-venv
# source the `activate` shell script to enter the environment (Un*x); to exit, just type `deactivate`
. fonttools-venv/bin/activate
# to activate the virtual environment in Windows `cmd.exe`, do
# install in 'editable' mode
pip install -e .
Optional Requirements
The ``fontTools`` package currently has no (required) external dependencies
besides the modules included in the Python Standard Library.
However, a few extra dependencies are required by some of its modules, which
are needed to unlock optional features.
The ``fonttools`` PyPI distribution also supports so-called "extras", i.e. a
set of keywords that describe a group of additional dependencies, which can be
used when installing via pip, or when specifying a requirement.
For example:
.. code:: sh
pip install fonttools[ufo,lxml,woff,unicode]
This command will install fonttools, as well as the optional dependencies that
are required to unlock the extra features named "ufo", etc.
- ``Lib/fontTools/misc/``
The module exports a ElementTree-like API for reading/writing XML files, and
allows to use as the backend either the built-in ``xml.etree`` module or
`lxml <>`__. The latter is preferred whenever present,
as it is generally faster and more secure.
*Extra:* ``lxml``
- ``Lib/fontTools/ufoLib``
Package for reading and writing UFO source files; it requires:
* `fs <>`__: (aka ``pyfilesystem2``) filesystem
abstraction layer.
* `enum34 <>`__: backport for the built-in ``enum``
module (only required on Python < 3.4).
*Extra:* ``ufo``
- ``Lib/fontTools/ttLib/``
Module to compress/decompress WOFF 2.0 web fonts; it requires:
* `brotli <>`__: Python bindings of
the Brotli compression library.
*Extra:* ``woff``
- ``Lib/fontTools/ttLib/``
To better compress WOFF 1.0 web fonts, the following module can be used
instead of the built-in ``zlib`` library:
* `zopfli <>`__: Python bindings of
the Zopfli compression library.
*Extra:* ``woff``
- ``Lib/fontTools/``
To display the Unicode character names when dumping the ``cmap`` table
with ``ttx`` we use the ``unicodedata`` module in the Standard Library.
The version included in there varies between different Python versions.
To use the latest available data, you can install:
* `unicodedata2 <>`__:
``unicodedata`` backport for Python 2.7 and 3.x updated to the latest
Unicode version 12.0. Note this is not necessary if you use Python 3.8
as the latter already comes with an up-to-date ``unicodedata``.
*Extra:* ``unicode``
- ``Lib/fontTools/varLib/``
Module for finding wrong contour/component order between different masters.
It requires one of the following packages in order to solve the so-called
"minimum weight perfect matching problem in bipartite graphs", or
the Assignment problem:
* `scipy <>`__: the Scientific Library
for Python, which internally uses `NumPy <>`__
arrays and hence is very fast;
* `munkres <>`__: a pure-Python
module that implements the Hungarian or Kuhn-Munkres algorithm.
*Extra:* ``interpolatable``
- ``Lib/fontTools/varLib/``
Module for visualizing DesignSpaceDocument and resulting VariationModel.
* `matplotlib <>`__: 2D plotting library.
*Extra:* ``plot``
- ``Lib/fontTools/misc/``
Advanced module for symbolic font statistics analysis; it requires:
* `sympy <>`__: the Python library for
symbolic mathematics.
*Extra:* ``symfont``
- ``Lib/fontTools/``
To get the file creator and type of Macintosh PostScript Type 1 fonts
on Python 3 you need to install the following module, as the old ``MacOS``
module is no longer included in Mac Python:
* `xattr <>`__: Python wrapper for
extended filesystem attributes (macOS platform only).
*Extra:* ``type1``
- ``Lib/fontTools/ttLib/``
Simplify TrueType glyphs by merging overlapping contours and components.
* `skia-pathops <>`__: Python
bindings for the Skia library's PathOps module, performing boolean
operations on paths (union, intersection, etc.).
*Extra:* ``pathops``
- ``Lib/fontTools/pens/`` and ``Lib/fontTools/pens/``
Pens for drawing glyphs with Cocoa ``NSBezierPath`` or ``CGPath`` require:
* `PyObjC <>`__: the bridge between
Python and the Objective-C runtime (macOS platform only).
- ``Lib/fontTools/pens/``
Pen for drawing glyphs with Qt's ``QPainterPath``, requires:
* `PyQt5 <>`__: Python bindings for
the Qt cross platform UI and application toolkit.
- ``Lib/fontTools/pens/``
Pen to drawing glyphs as PNG images, requires:
* `reportlab <>`__: Python toolkit
for generating PDFs and graphics.
How to make a new release
1) Update ``NEWS.rst`` with all the changes since the last release. Write a
changelog entry for each PR, with one or two short sentences summarizing it,
as well as links to the PR and relevant issues addressed by the PR.
2) Use semantic versioning to decide whether the new release will be a 'major',
'minor' or 'patch' release. It's usually one of the latter two, depending on
whether new backward compatible APIs were added, or simply some bugs were fixed.
3) Run ``python release`` command from the tip of the ``main`` branch.
By default this bumps the third or 'patch' digit only, unless you pass ``--major``
or ``--minor`` to bump respectively the first or second digit.
This bumps the package version string, extracts the changes since the latest
version from ``NEWS.rst``, and uses that text to create an annotated git tag
(or a signed git tag if you pass the ``--sign`` option and your git and Github
account are configured for `signing commits <>`__
using a GPG key).
It also commits an additional version bump which opens the main branch for
the subsequent developmental cycle
4) Push both the tag and commit to the upstream repository, by running the command
``git push --follow-tags``.
5) Let the CI build the wheel and source distribution packages and verify both
get uploaded to the Python Package Index (PyPI).
6) [Optional] Go to fonttools `Github Releases <>`__
page and create a new release, copy-pasting the content of the git tag
message. This way, the release notes are nicely formatted as markdown, and
users watching the repo will get an email notification. One day we shall
automate that too.
In alphabetical order:
Olivier Berten, Samyak Bhuta, Erik van Blokland, Petr van Blokland,
Jelle Bosma, Sascha Brawer, Tom Byrer, Antonio Cavedoni, Frédéric
Coiffier, Vincent Connare, David Corbett, Simon Cozens, Dave Crossland,
Simon Daniels, Peter Dekkers, Behdad Esfahbod, Behnam Esfahbod, Hannes
Famira, Sam Fishman, Matt Fontaine, Yannis Haralambous, Greg Hitchcock,
Jeremie Hornus, Khaled Hosny, John Hudson, Denis Moyogo Jacquerye, Jack
Jansen, Tom Kacvinsky, Jens Kutilek, Antoine Leca, Werner Lemberg, Tal
Leming, Peter Lofting, Cosimo Lupo, Masaya Nakamura, Dave Opstad,
Laurence Penney, Roozbeh Pournader, Garret Rieger, Read Roberts, Guido
van Rossum, Just van Rossum, Andreas Seidel, Georg Seifert, Chris
Simpkins, Miguel Sousa, Adam Twardoch, Adrien Tétar, Vitaly Volkov,
Paul Wise.
| Copyright (c) 1999-2004 Just van Rossum, LettError
| See `LICENSE <LICENSE>`__ for the full license.
Copyright (c) 2000 All Rights Reserved.
Copyright (c) 1995-2001 Corporation for National Research Initiatives.
All Rights Reserved.
Copyright (c) 1991-1995 Stichting Mathematisch Centrum, Amsterdam. All
Rights Reserved.
Have fun!
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