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DfontSplitter 0.2 for Windows

I’ve been sitting on this new version of DfontSplitter 0.2 for Windows until I had a solution to the corrupt font error. With a solution found, I feel ready to offer this improved version of the Windows product.

New DfontSplitter 0.2 for Windows interface

The new release has been rewritten from the ground up in C#, rather than Visual Basic and the interface completely redesigned in Visual Studio 2008. Compared to the previous 0.1 revision, this release has:

  • The ability to convert more than one .dfont at once (batch converting), using a similar interface to the Mac version
  • Runs fondu in a background thread so the user interface does not lock up during a convert operation with lots of files
  • Rudimentary drag and drop support — in most cases you can drag and drop .dfont files from an Explorer window on top of the list box to add them, as well as using the Add Files button.

It’s cleaner, hopefully more stable and brings the Windows feature set roughly in line with that of the Macintosh version. Remember, if you have issues with the TTF files being reported as corrupted, the FontForge workaround will help in almost all cases.

You can download this release from the DfontSplitter project page.

Let me know what you think and feel free to spread the word about this new version to people still using 0.1.

DfontSplitter — Solution to Windows Corrupt Font Error

UPDATE 2011-05-09: While some particularly stubborn fonts do require this process, users who have previously experienced difficulty with older versions of DfontSplitter should first try with DfontSplitter 0.3.1 or later, which include a possible fix for this issue.

I think I’ve finally found a solution to this annoying error message that Windows gives when you use DfontSplitter to convert some fonts and then try and use those converted fonts in Windows.

“The requested font was not a valid font file” error message

It involves using a third-party open source application called FontForge to convert the TTFs that DfontSplitter gives you from a Mac-specific TTF format into ‘regular’ TTF format.

A full tutorial on using this method is included as a YouTube video screencast below.

If you can’t or don’t want to watch the video, essentially the process is:

  • Use DfontSplitter on the .dfont file as normal
  • Open the resulting TTF files you want in FontForge
  • Export each TTF file from FontForge with File > Generate Fonts. Make sure TrueType format is selected.
  • Import the resulting TTF files into Windows fonts folder.

Please do let me know if this process works for you and give any feedback — especially if you’d previously had problems using a .dfont you had wanted to use on Windows.

Twitter Principles

Twitter logo

Its status as a relatively novel communication medium means that Twitter doesn’t necessarily have a clearly defined set of social expectations attached to it just yet. I think even now, post mainstream popularity, it is very much a service that you can use in the way that works best for you. Everyone doesn’t have to participate in exactly the same way.

Twitter is a useful tool for businesses to promote their products and actually connect with their customers. I think it’s great when a brand steps into this space and really ‘gets’ the nature of the service. It can make a brand feel a lot more human, enhance how you feel towards it; it serves as a great advertisement.

There are some practices on Twitter that I really can’t stand, however.

Now, as I said, one of the great things about the service is that there aren’t necessarily set rules which everyone follows in the same way. I don’t intend this post to be telling people what they should and shouldn’t do with the service, but I do want to point some things that really bug me. In short, this is somewhat of a rant.

Competitions Done Wrong: Hashtag Abuse

Twitter competitions are a marketing device that is becoming increasingly common. You convince people to follow your business’ profile, or tweet about the business or product, in exchange for a chance to win said product. Simple enough concept.

Some competitions in recent weeks have encouraged Twitter users to tweet anything they would normally tweet, but add a hashtag to that tweet relating to the product or promotion. I disagree quite strongly with this.

A hashtag is a short word or phrase starting with the # character.* You can add a hashtag anywhere in your tweet if you want to associate that tweet with that particular topic. It makes searching for tweets on a particular topic or event easier; it’s a great tool for hearing a collective voice on something.

Screenshot of Twitter search results for #snowleopard

Hashtags work because tweets that are related to the tag are the only tweets tagged with it. Encouraging users to randomly tag unrelated tweets breaks this model. And you’re ‘selling out’ your thoughts!

Twitter competitions can be done right, and I actually don’t mind seeing people tweeting something that promotes a business or product. But I’d like it if those tweets are clearly separate from other stuff and that you actually do care about the product as well and don’t just want free stuff.

Automated and Excessive Re-Tweeting

If you have something cool you have to share, whether you made it or just stumbled across it, I’d love to hear about it via Twitter. But once or twice a day for each cool thing is enough.

If people consistently tweet exactly the same tweet, or constantly re-promote something in case others have missed the last tweet, I get pretty frustrated, pretty quickly.

People will miss tweets. That’s the nature of the service — it’s dip in and dip out. If they do, tough. It’s not fair to keep constantly banging on about something to the people that heard you the first time and the second time and the third time!

“Please, Sir, Retweet!”

This is somewhat less of an emotive issue than the other two, but I think it’s still worth me saying.

If you put “please retweet” in your tweet, I won’t. With maybe a couple of exceptions.

If I’m going to retweet something (which is pretty rare) it will be on its own merit. I might help promote something a friend has done, but that will be because I believe in it, not because I’m told to.

Wrapping Up

These issues have been on my mind for a while. Twitter is constantly evolving and I personally think there really are roads that we shouldn’t go down and principles that we should uphold.

Integrity, honesty and loyalty are very important to me. If I stop ranting for a moment about specific issues, what I really want is that principles like these be respected, upheld and defended in the online world, as they are offline.

* Which is most definitely pronounced ‘hash’, not ‘pound’. This is pronounced ‘pound’ — £.