71 Squared Blog

Bitmap Font Editor

Posted by Tom Bradley on Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

What is a bitmap font

A bitmap font is commonly used in games for displaying text and consists of a single texture and a control file. The texture contains all of your chosen characters styled and rendered at a fixed size and the control file contains all the information about each character.

To find out more about a bitmap font, check out What is a Bitmap Font

Creating a bitmap font

You can create a bitmap font quite easily, although its not much fun. Essentially you would have to perform the following steps.

  • Open up your favourite graphics package
  • Create an image of say 512px by 512px
  • Add each character you wanted to use
  • Style every character
  • Open a text editor and create a control file
  • Examine each character's position
  • Enter the information into the control file

Wow, that doesn't sound like much fun does it. It might not be too bad if you only needed numbers, but imaging doing this for the whole alphabet. And then different character sets for other languages!

Using a Bitmap Font Editor

A bitmap font editor is a program that automatically generates the texture and control file for you. As you can imagine, this is a massive time saving, not to mention far less tedious!

Using an editor built specifically for creating bitmap fonts brings the fun back and allows you to concentrate 100% on the finer details. One of our users said it would take him 4 hours to create a bitmap font. With Glyph Designer this was is reduced to minutes!

Which Editor

With the numerous editors available today, which one do you choose?

At 71Squared we believe you get what you pay for. We've spent months creating what we believe is by far the best editor on the market. We have focused on every last detail to make you more productive and to generate the best possible output giving your games the finesse they deserve.

What if you suddenly need to target multiple languages? We've got it covered using a companion to Glyph Designer called GDCL. GDCL is a command line app that allows you to automatically generate multiple bitmap fonts using different scales and character sets during your build process and it comes free with Glyph Designer.

With free editors available we are not the cheapest but we're not that expensive either. At time of writing Glyph Designer is only $39 USD which is no more than a few Lattes and muffins...and we like both :)

As well as putting effort into the app itself we also believe that the quality and speed of support should not be overlooked. We believe that getting the support you need when you need it is as important as the features of the app itself.

Excited to know more?

Check out Glyph Designer