FontTastic Font Installation

It's relatively easy to install PostScript Type 1 (aka ATM) or TrueType fonts via the FontTastic font server software provided with ApplixWare. To do so, perform the following steps:

  1. As root, launch ApplixWare ('applix' from an xterm).
  2. From the "Tools" menu, select "Font Installer," and click "OK" on the dialog that pops up asking if you really want this.
  3. From the "Catalogues" menu, select "Create" and type in the name of a font catalog. Be sure that the font path is set to your Applix font path (applix/axdata/fontmetrics/gallium/fs/aplxfont), not to your X11 font path (/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/misc). Then click on "create" and "OK" to dismiss the dialog. Your new catalog should now be listed in the "Catalogue Manipulations" portion of the FontTastic window.
  4. From the "Services" menu, select "Install Fonts Into-> FontTastic Font Server." Select the catalog you've created in the lower list box, then click the "Select files" button.
  5. Using the file selector box, select the file(s) you want to install. If these are Type 1 fonts, FontTastic seems to want to be pointed to the .pfb files. Note that FontTastic will ultimately copy the files to the path you selected in step #3, so you can install directly from a font CD if you like. When you've selected the files, click on "OK" and you should see the files you've chosen displayed in the upper list box of the "Font Installation" window. You can check the font names and, if necessary, correct any errors at this point.
  6. Click the "Install" button. If all goes well, FontTastic will copy the fonts to the destination directory. Then click the "Close" button to close the installation window.
  7. From the "Services" menu, select "Update." On my system, FontTastic complains that it can't update the service but that it'll be done when the server is executed again. I don't know if this step is actually necessary, but I've always done it.
  8. Exit the FontTastic font installer and any open Applix windows. The next time you re-start an ApplixWare application, the new fonts should be available.

This procedure is relatively easy, and offers the advantage of being able to temporarily disable a set of fonts, so you can install, say, seldom-used Gothic fonts but still be able to get at them by exiting ApplixWare, starting up the FontTastic font manager, activating those fonts, and re-starting ApplixWare. This also lets you use the fonts on both PostScript (or Ghostscript-driven) and PCL printers, whether the fonts are Type 1 or TrueType.

Activating and de-activating fonts becomes easier if you change the permissions on the appropriate directories and files; then you can do it as an ordinary user, not just as root.

Unfortunately, this procedure has the disadvantage of causing ApplixWare to download the font to the printer as a 300 dpi bitmap, so if you have a 600 dpi or better printer, you'll lose the benefits of your printer's resolution when printing with any fonts you install this way. The 300 dpi bitmaps also get embedded in the PostScript or PCL files you create, so if you change fonts or font sizes a lot you can create some truly enormous print files, which might be a concern if you're short on disk space or have a true PostScript printer with limited memory.

It was these problems that made me look for another solution, and I found one with some help from the mailing list and a lot of experimentation.

Go on to the PostScript install instructions.
Go back to the Applix fonts main page.

Copyright © 1997, 1998 Rod Smith,