Handy tools for generating @font-face

I’ve always liked typography and having worked at a design agency, I’ve grown to love it even more. Because of the many and varied sites and projects I’ve worked on, it’s common for me to need to generate webfonts from a variety of font files. Here’s a selection handy tools that make it a breeze.

Font Squirrel

Font Squirrel is an excellent resource for finding and downloading fonts but it also has a great webfont generator service which will convert any TTF or OTF font-file into everything you need to include a custom font on your page.

Font Squirrel Generator Screenshot

But what if your font files aren’t in TTF or OTF format?


I was in this position recently and the guy that I usually ask for help with converting fonts for me (on his fancy expensive type-designy software thingy) wasn’t available. So I went on a Google search.

I came across a Stack Overflow thread and a link to a cross-platform app called DfontSplitter that does exactly what I was looking for; it would take a .ttc or .suit file - a font collection or font suitcase in addition to dfont files and output all the component fonts as a TTF in a directory of my choosing. Very useful!

DfontSplitter app screenshot

This worked great so I went back to Font Squirrel to create my webfonts.

Unfortunately, there was a problem with uploading the file. It was corrupt. According to Font Squirrel anyway.

Convert Fonts

Going back to the drawing board and 1 more Google search later, I found the imaginatively named Convert Fonts and tried the webfont creation process with them.

Boom. It worked. Their UI might not be as nice as Font Squirrel but when stuff works, I can let things like that slide.

Generating @font-face code with Sass

As a Sass lover and someone who always has a small handful of webfonts to use in my projects, I’ve written a simple Sass loop that does a lot of the heavy lifting of outputting all the necessary @font-face blocks.

// Generate @font-face declarations for a list of fonts
// relative path to fonts
$font-path: '../fonts/';
// the name that will be used in font-family property
$font-families: 'font1', 'font2', 'font3';
// the filename of your font without the file extension
$font-filenames: 'font1_filename', 'font2_filename', 'font3_filename';
$i: 1;
@each $font-family in $font-families {
  @font-face {
    font-family: $font-family;
    src: url($font-path + nth($font-filenames, $i) + '.eot');
    src: url($font-path + nth($font-filenames, $i) + '.eot?#iefix') format('embedded-opentype'),
         url($font-path + nth($font-filenames, $i) + '.woff') format('woff'),
         url($font-path + nth($font-filenames, $i) + '.ttf') format('truetype'),
         url($font-path + nth($font-filenames, $i) + '.svg#' + $font-family) format('svg');
    font-weight: normal;
    font-style: normal;
  $i: $i+1;

This snippet takes all the fonts in the list of $font-families and generates the necessary CSS for using them as webfonts.

It takes advantage of the Sass nth() function that returns the value of an item in another list variable at the index of the current list variable. As such, both the $font-families variable and $font-filenames need to be the same length and map their corresponding values at the same index. It might help to think of them as a bit like a JSON object:

	"fonts" : [
		{ "family": "font1", "filename": "font1_filename" },
		{ "family": "font2", "filename": "font2_filename" },
		{ "family": "font3", "filename": "font3_filename" }

All pretty straighforward - try it out yourself.

If you have any other recommendations for font related apps, tools and resources, I’d love to hear about them. Just drop me a tweet @guyroutledge and let me know

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