Using AFDKO To Build OpenType Fonts

News|Adobe Blogs|Hua Gu 2009-02-26 15:39:42


AFDKO 2.5 is released!

If you want to learn what new features AFDKO 2.5 brings, please access the article entitled "AFDKO 2.5 is released!" on typblography blog, the author is Read Roberts who develops and maintains AFDKO.

If it is the first time you learn AFDKO, perhaps the following questions are of interest to you.

Q1: Can I use AFDKO to design or edit glyphs?

A:No, you can't. AFDKO does not offer tools for designing or editing glyphs. it is for building OpenType fonts using existing and fully-designed PostScript fonts, and for proofing them. Some of the more advanced AFDKO tools, such as tx, mergeFonts and rotateFont, can be used to manipulate the glyph sets of existing fonts.

Q2: Is the AFDKO free software?

A:There are no charges to use AFDKO, meaning that it is free. However, you need to accept the FDK end-user License agreement first, and use them at your own risk, and with no guarantee of support. Of course, if you encounter any problems or issues with the AFDKO tools, please report them so that they can be fixed.

Q3: Where to get AFDKO tutorial?

A:AFDKO tutorials are included in the sub-directory "Technical Documentation" of the unzipped AFDKO. The document entitled "AFDKO Version 2.0 Tutorial: mergeFonts,rotateFont and autohint" in the file "5900.RFMFAH_Tutorial.pdf", that provides further information for these three tools. And Chinese and Japanese translations of this tutorial will soon be ready.

Q4: Does AFDKO have different versions according to OS?

A:Yes, AFDKO has Windows version and Mac OS X version, so please download proper version as your system.

Q5: How to install AFDKO?

A:An installation guide is included in the Read_Me_First.html file, which is in the root directory of the unzipped AFDKO.

Q6: What are the system requirements for the AFDKO 2.5?

A:AFDKO 2.5 requires Mac OS X 10.4.x or later, or Windows XP or later.

Q7: Can I use batch processing to run these tools?

A:Yes, this is one of the strengths of AFDKO, because it represents a suite of command-line driven font development tools.

Q8: Who uses AFDKO to build their OpenType fonts?

A:Adobe! We use the AFDKO tools to develop our own OpenType fonts. Several type foundries are also using AFDKO to develop their OpenType fonts.

If you want to learn more information about AFDKO 2.5,Please access

The following introduction was extracted from Ken Lunde's "CJKV Information Processing" second edition. I strongly recommend you this book if your work or interest is related to Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese information process. This book covers a lot of knowledge of CJKV process text, such as character set standards, encoding methods, input methods, font formats and so on.


Adobe Systems released a suite of command-line–driven font development tools, called AFDKO (Adobe Font Development Kit for OpenType), which are specifically designed to ease or simplify the development of OpenType fonts.† These tools are updated on a regular basis, in order to address any bugs and to provide enhancements or new functionality, with new options for existing tools, and sometimes in the form of new tools. It is important to note that the tools provided in AFDKO are the same tools that Adobe Systems uses to develop its own OpenType fonts, meaning that I and other members of Type Development at Adobe Systems use them to develop and test OpenType fonts; because they are command-line tools, they are suitable for batch processing. The tools provided in AFDKO are thus industrial-strength, and have a high level of support commitment by Adobe Systems. In case it is not painfully obvious, I highly recommend their use. In addition, Font-Lab and DTL licensed portions of AFDKO as the basis for the OpenType support for their font production applications, such as FontLab Studio and DTL FontMaster.

Table 6-55 lists the majority of the font development and testing tools that are included in AFDKO, along with a brief description of their use and whether it is intended or suitable for development, testing, or both.

AFDKO tools, their p Table 6-55. urposes, and descriptions.

Tool namePurposeDescription
autohintDevelopmentApply hinting to Type 1 or Type 2 charstrings
checkOutlinesDevelopment and testingDetect and fix outline issues, such as overlapping or reversed paths
compareFamilyTestingCompare family-level attributes of multiple fonts
detype1DevelopmentDecompiles a Type 1 font into human-readable form—see type1
MakeOTFDevelopmentOpenType font compiler
mergeFontsDevelopmentMerge multiple fonts, add/remove glyphs, and change glyph names
rotateFontDevelopmentRotate/shift glyphs and change glyph names
sfntdiffTestingCompare OpenType (aka 'sfnt') tables
sfnteditDevelopment and testingAdd, remove, replace, or delete OpenType (aka 'sfnt') tables
spotTesting'sfnt' resource analysis
tx (Short for Type eXchange)Development and testingFont conversion and analysis
type1DevelopmentCompiles a Type 1 font from human-readable form—see detype1

Careful and effective use of the AFDKO tools can be used to establish a complete font production workflow. The mergeFonts tool, for example, is a very rudimentary CIDFont resource compiler, able to merge multiple name-keyed Type 1 fonts into a single CIDFont resource. Precise use of this tool, specifically through the use of carefully written mapping files that drive the specification of hint dictionaries and the mapping of glyph names to CIDs, can result in a truly industrial-strength CIDFont resource compiler, as opposed to a rudimentary one.

The document entitled AFDKO Version 2.0 Tutorial: mergeFonts, rotateFont & autohint (Adobe Technical Note #5900), which is included in AFDKO as part of its documentation, provides insights into making more effective use of some of its more powerful tools.



使用 AFDKO 创建OpenType字库

AFDKO 2.5 发布了!您可以访问获得该工具包。如果您想了解AFDKO 2.5 的更新内容,请访问typblography blog中标题为"AFDKO 2.5 is released!"的文章,其作者是Read Roberts,他负责开发和维护AFDKO.

如果这是您第一次接触AFDKO, 也许以下的问题也正是您所感兴趣的。

Q1. 我可以用AFDKO设计或修改字形吗?

A:不可以。 AFDKO不提供设计或修改字形的工具。它是在设计好的PostScript 字库基础上创建OpenType字库, 它也可以用来进行字库的验证。另外它还包含一些更专业的工具,比如 tx,mergeFont 和rotateFont,这些工具可以对已存在的字形进行操作。

Q2. AFDKO是免费软件吗?

A:使用AFDKO没有收费,所以它是免费的。不过,您需要接受FDK最终用户协议,自己承担使用中的风险,并且没有技术支持方面的保证。 当然,如果您遇到任何困难或发现AFDKO 工具的问题,请报告给我们,以便问题得到及时的修正。


A:AFDKO的帮助文档存放在解压缩后的AFDKO的"Technical Documentation"子目录下。"AFDKO Version 2.0 Tutorial: mergeFonts,rotateFont and autohint"(5900.RFMFAH_Tutorial.pdf)为mergeFonts,rotateFont and autohint提供了更进一步的说明,并且中日文的译本即将发布。


A:是的,AFDKO分Windows版和Mac OS X版两种,所以请根据您的系统状况下载恰当的版本。



Q6.AFDKO 2.5对系统有什么样的要求?

A:AFDKO 2.5需要Mac OS X 10.4 .x 以上或 Windows XP 以上的版本。




A:Adobe! 我们使用AFDKO工具开发自己的OpenType 字库。 有一些字库厂商也正使用AFDKO开发他们的字库。

如果您想了解更多关于AFDKO 2.5的信息,请访问

下面关于AFDKO的介绍节选于Ken Lunde 所写的第二版"CJKV Information Processing" 。如果您的工作或兴趣与中日韩越(CJKV)信息处理方面相关,我强烈推荐您去读这本书,该书介绍了大量CJKV信息处理方面的知识,比如字符集标准、编码、输入法和字体格式等等。


AFDKO (Adobe Font Development Kit for OpenType) 是Adobe 发布的一套支持命令行方式的字库开发工具,它专门为OpenType字库简易开发而设计。这些工具会随时得到更新,其目的是为了解决一些已有的问题并随时增加新的功能,一般会以添加新选项到已有工具中的方式来增加新功能,但有时也会以增加新工具的形式来实现。值得一提的是AFDKO工具包也正是Adobe开发自己字库的工具包,这意味着我及其他字库开发成员都用它进行OpenType字库的开发与测试。由于它们是命令行工具,所以非常适合运行批处理。AFDKO所提供的工具有如此的优势,并拥有来自Adobe的高水准支持,所以我强烈推荐大家使用它。另外,FontLab和DTL将部分AFDKO功能作为他们字体软件中OpenType支持方面的基准,比如Fontlab Studio 和DTL FontMaster。


autohint开发添加hinting到Type1 或Type2 charstrings.
detype1开发反编译Type 1 字库到可读形式的Type1数据
MakeOTF开发OpenType 字体编译器
mergeFonts开发合并多款字库,增加/删除 字形和改变字形名称
spot测试' sfnt' 资源分析
tx (Short for Type eXchange)开发和测试字库转换及分析
type1开发将可读形式的Type1数据编译成Type1 字库

合理有效地使用AFDKO工具可以创建完整的字体生产流程,以mergeFonts 工具为例,它是一个非常基本的CID 字库编译器,可以将多个按名称索引(name-keyed)的Type 1字库合并到一个独立的CID字库数据中。准确地使用该工具,特别是合理设置对应关系表,在该对应表中定义特定的hint字典和字符名称(glyph names)与CID的对应关系,通过和该关系表的结合运用,可以将原先基本的编译工具变成一个更强大的CID 字库编译器。

请参考AFDKO Version 2.0 Tutorial:: mergeFonts, rotateFont & autohint(Adobe Technical Note #5900), AFDKO工具包中包含该文档,它更深入地介绍了有效使用一些强大工具的方法。




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