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DfontSplitter – convert dfont files to TTF

UPDATE: Windows users, you now have a version too. More details on the new project page.

This post is no longer up-to-date. Please go to the DfontSplitter project page.

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Mac OS X does some weird things sometimes. One of these is that some fonts are packaged in a format with a .dfont extension. This format allows multiple files to be contained within one dfont file, but doesn’t really make an awful lot of sense to me (why not just use a standard bundle?).

But anyway, there’s a BSD-licensed program called Fondu, designed to split these dfont files so you can get at the goodies inside. That’s all very well and good, but it’s a command line program, so not everyone will be comfortable using it.

As a sort of messing about with AppleScript project, I’ve put together an AppleScript based application that wraps around Fondu and allows you to pick a dfont file, pick a destination folder and it will do the rest.

Here’s a video of it in action. It’s simple enough not to need one, but if you want to see how it works before downloading…

Download now (120 KB)


UPDATE: Please note that DfontSplitter is only tested on Mac OS X Leopard, 10.5. It should work on both Tiger (10.4) and Leopard (10.5), but is known not to work on Panther. Unfortunately I do not have the resources to fix it for Panther, as I only have an Intel Mac.

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  1. Cyriel van Doren wrote:

    It looked all very promising. Just what I wanted. But the result was just a message that louded (in Dutch ‘Het woordenboek van het programma of de uitbreiding kan niet worden geopend omdat het niet scriptgeschikt is.’ The Sherlock tranlation is more or less: The dictionary of the program or the extension cannot be opened
    because it’s not the script-suitable.

    Activated in Scriptmaker it a panel shows this:

    sh: line 1: /Applications/AppleScript/ No such file or directory

    And on the same moment Scriptmaker selects the last rule:

    do shell script “cd \”” & posixDestFolder & “\”;\”” & posixFonduLocation & “\” \”” & posixDfontFile & “\””

    Maybe do you know what went wrong?

    I hope this description will be a help.

    Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 16:46 | Permalink |
  2. Peter wrote:

    This looks like an issue with the, admittedly rather hacky, detection of the current folder and therefore the location of the fondu script.

    A few questions:

    • Did you rename the package to anything else? This is known to break the reference to the fondu command line program.
    • Right-click dFontSplitter, choose Show Package Contents. If you browse to Contents/Resources, can you find the fondu executable file?
    • What version of Mac OS X are you running?

    If those steps don’t throw something up, then please zip up your copy of the program in /Applications/AppleScript and email it to me and I’ll see if I can spot anything out of the ordinary.

    I have a feeling this could be due to me failing to make the Universal Binary properly (as you’re on PPC, and I only have an Intel Mac, that’s the only place I can test).

    Anyway, if you get back to me with these things, I’ll see where I can go from there to try and get it working for you.

    Thursday, April 10, 2008 at 16:56 | Permalink |
  3. Cyriel van Doren wrote:

    When I open dfontsplitter.dmg it shows: The Applications alias, dFontSplitter (Info shows under name en extension and Readme. I put dFontSplitter in The Applications folder and changed nothing.

    Cliccking on fondu file activates Terminal with this: Last login: Mon Apr 21 15:56:14 on ttyp2
    /Applications/; exit
    Welcome to Darwin!
    Computer-van-Cyriel-van-Doren:~ office1$ /Applications/; exit
    dyld: /Applications/ Undefined symbols:
    /Applications/ undefined reference to ___stderrp expected to be defined in /usr/lib/libSystem.B.dylib
    Trace/BPT trap
    [Proces voltooid] (Means: proces accomplished)

    My OSX version is 10.3.9

    Here the system info:
    Computermodel: Power Mac G4 (AGP-video)
    Processortype: PowerPC G4 (2.9)
    Aantal processors: 1
    Processorsnelheid: 400 MHz
    L2-cache (per processor): 1 MB
    Geheugen: 704 MB
    Bussnelheid: 100 MHz
    Opstart-ROM-versie: 4.2.8f1
    Serienummer: CK0123WVHSE

    Thank you for your efforts.

    By email you’ll receive the programs I found in my AppleScript map.

    Monday, April 21, 2008 at 15:12 | Permalink |
  4. Kris wrote:

    Thanks Peter! This is exactly what I needed. Easy.

    Thursday, May 22, 2008 at 22:48 | Permalink |
  5. Peter wrote:

    @Cyriel van Doren

    I’ve identified that dFontSplitter is incompatible with Panther, and I’ve emailed you about it.

    Monday, June 2, 2008 at 12:44 | Permalink |
  6. Patrick Berkeley wrote:

    Thanks for this. Just what I needed for sIFR.

    Friday, August 22, 2008 at 05:27 | Permalink |
  7. pamela wrote:

    I downloaded dfontsplitter, clicked the icon, was asked to select a file, which I did….then nothing happened….

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008 at 20:51 | Permalink |
  8. Peter wrote:

    @pamela – Which stage did it ask you for a file? The first time (when it asks you for the source file) or the destination folder?

    If it’s the latter, DfontSplitter does its work automatically, and doesn’t provide notification that it has done.

    Check the destination folder you specified in the last step for the TTF files.

    If it’s not that, and nothing comes up at the first stage (asking you for the source file) let me know here or by email and I’ll try and work with you to track the issue down.

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008 at 21:05 | Permalink |
  9. Ryan Hilton wrote:

    Awesome man! Thanks, It Helped a ton! Exactly what I needed!

    Thursday, September 25, 2008 at 19:58 | Permalink |
  10. Thanks, thanks, thanks! 🙂

    Sunday, November 2, 2008 at 23:59 | Permalink |
  11. Tim wrote:

    This is an anwser to 40mins of searching in google for just this. Thank you heaps. Great job! 😀

    Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 01:46 | Permalink |
  12. Mitch Cohen wrote:

    Kudos! Found via a quick Google, and worked as advertised without difficulty. The UI could be happier, but really, what’s to complain about? Thanks!

    Monday, December 1, 2008 at 23:24 | Permalink |
  13. Ed wrote:

    Excellent! Works perfectly! THANK YOU : )

    Monday, December 8, 2008 at 08:13 | Permalink |
  14. Dani wrote:

    Thank you thank you thank you! I am grateful for generous and savvy people like you. Keep up the good work!

    Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at 02:30 | Permalink |
  15. kim wrote:

    Tried to run this on Intel Mac Mini running Tiger 10.4.11 but the script aborted on

    “The command exited with a non-zero status”.

    Any ideas?

    Friday, January 9, 2009 at 20:58 | Permalink |
  16. Peter wrote:


    Can you email me, including any relevant output from in /Applications/Utilities so I can see exactly what went wrong?

    Relevant lines should be at the bottom of the log marked ‘applet’.

    Friday, January 9, 2009 at 20:59 | Permalink |
  17. JD wrote:

    Sweet! Thanks for this. We use .ttfs embedded in Flex applications and linking .dfont files does NOT work. 🙂

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 21:03 | Permalink |
  18. Andrew wrote:

    Fantastic job! Outstanding! Just the thing I needed and did it quickly and directly too. Its great to know that there are people out there who are every bit as thoughtful and gererous as they are clever.
    Thanks again

    Monday, January 26, 2009 at 17:17 | Permalink |
  19. benjamin wrote:

    guess it is a very nice programm:) Unfortunatly I got the same error like kim. Is there any (standart) solution yet?

    Saturday, February 14, 2009 at 09:38 | Permalink |
  20. Marilyn B wrote:

    1. I opened Applications
    2. I clicked on FONT BOOK (it does not open further to allow me to pick a particular font)
    3. So I copied the Zapfino.dfont file and put into my applications folder.
    4. Clicked on dfontSplitter and it asks me to choose a font first
    5. I clicked on the Zapfino.dfont
    6. Then asks me to choose a destination folder which I did (folder on desktop called Font Splitter)
    7. then I got the following message: “The command exited with a non-zero status”
    As you can probably tell from my “computer language” here that I am not a super savy computer type. I am trying to get this font ttf file so I can transfer it to my PC side and do a wedding invitation up. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Marilyn B Edmonton Alberta Canada

    Friday, February 20, 2009 at 17:20 | Permalink |
  21. kevin wrote:

    very good! thank you for sharing this.

    Wednesday, February 25, 2009 at 20:03 | Permalink |
  22. Jason Robb wrote:

    Wow. Thanks! That was really easy. I actually downloaded, installed, and ran the app before you even finished talking about it. Now THAT’S a well made app, sir!

    Thanks again! =)

    Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 04:50 | Permalink |
  23. Amber wrote:

    Works beautifully…thanks so much for putting time into this and sharing. I looked all over the web for something like this and yours works perfect. Thank you!

    Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 19:53 | Permalink |
  24. Robin wrote:

    KUDOS! Great work. Lil question, how can I convert Zipfino.dfont to bold? I need this for a button for a website.

    Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 20:02 | Permalink |
  25. Peter wrote:


    Unfortunately this isn’t possible. The authors of the font simply didn’t include a bold version of the typeface in the file.

    Some applications may emulate a bold effect in absence of a real bold version of the font, but I’m not aware of a way to ‘extract’ that into a separate file.

    Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 20:08 | Permalink |
  26. Jacqui wrote:

    Thankyou! Exactly what I was looking for and worked like a charm

    Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 06:26 | Permalink |
  27. Apryl wrote:

    Love that you’ve done this but can’t get usable .ttf files; it splits but when trying to install the fonts on Windows Vista, I get an error message stating that the font is not a valid True Type Font.

    Any suggestions?

    Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 16:24 | Permalink |
  28. Peter wrote:


    Have you tried the steps with FontForge as detailed in this post?

    Sunday, September 27, 2009 at 14:02 | Permalink |
  29. Brad Boyer wrote:

    Works like a charm! Great to simple enter “convert dfont to ttf” in Google and this was the first hit! Thanks so much, Peter! (Of course, I then had to donate! It’s worth it.)

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 21:17 | Permalink |
  30. Tom Wiltshire wrote:

    Thank you very much for this. It’s a very useful tool, and it’s enabled me to finally get the fonts I want into the PHP PDF-generating class FPDF. This in turn enables me to get PHP to generate PDF documents that look the way I want them. And all because of your script! Thanks again,

    Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 23:46 | Permalink |
  31. Sage wrote:

    Hi – this looks like a lifesaver solution. Trouble is that when I click Convert for the .dfont file and select to open the destination folder upon completion, there’s nothing there. Well, my pre-existing TTF files are there, but the new one’s simply nonexistant. I’ve retried a few times. This is in Windows Vista.

    Wednesday, May 5, 2010 at 01:05 | Permalink |
  32. Arvid wrote:

    Fantastic! Just what I needed to get Helvetica and some of the other .dfont fonts from /System/Library/Fonts working in Inkscape. Thank you!

    Sunday, May 23, 2010 at 02:14 | Permalink |
  33. Apih wrote:

    That’s great! Thank you for the utility.

    Friday, March 25, 2011 at 11:04 | Permalink |
  34. kar wrote:

    Thank for your script. For me it works very well!

    Monday, May 12, 2014 at 16:48 | Permalink |

34 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] Back to my predicament, I searched on Google for about two hours to find what resources were available in the field of SWF fonts for sIFR. Needless to say, I didn’t find what I was looking for. So I proceeded to come up with my own solution using two open source utilities that were available to me. They weren’t easy to find, so I’ve done the work for you: DfontSplitter by Peter Upfold […]

  2. […] Back to my predicament, I searched on Google for about two hours to find what resources were available in the field of SWF fonts for sIFR. Needless to say, I didn’t find what I was looking for. So I proceeded to come up with my own solution using two open source utilities that were available to me. They weren’t easy to find, so I’ve done the work for you: DfontSplitter by Peter Upfold […]

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