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Jewish World Review
Turn your handwriting into a computer-based font that will allow you to churn out homespun greetings
Randy A. Salas
Have you sent holiday cards yet? How about those annual letters to update friends and relatives on what's happening with your family? Whatever you're sending, personalizing dozens of cards, letters and envelopes can be a chore. But one Web site can ease the burden by turning your handwriting into a computer-based font that will allow you to churn out homespun greetings by the stockingful. It's something to write home about.
Fontifier could be just the site you need this holiday season. You give the site a sample of your handwriting, and it turns it into a font that can be used with Word or any word-processing or image-making program on your computer. The cost, $9, seems reasonable considering the font's uniqueness and the time saved from doing the writing yourself.
Creating your font takes seven easy steps, although you must have access to a scanner:
1. Print out a template from the site.
2. Write out each letter and character as indicated.
3. Scan the template and save it on your computer.
4. Upload the saved file to the site.
5. Preview your newly created font and then buy it if you like it.
6. Download the font file.
7. Install the font.
The site walks you through all of these steps, which took me less than 10 minutes.
Here is what I created: (insert image of handwriting font here.)
Based on my experience, here are some things to keep in mind if you try Fontifier:
The site recommends using a felt-tip pen, but be careful not to use one that's too thick because the letters won't look nice.
Be sure to fill the space for each character on the template (leaving a small margin all around). I wrote my letters too small, which created legibility problems once I used the font in Word.
Be sure to position your characters relative to the baseline on the template, as indicated by marks on the side of each box, or your characters won't align correctly.
You can create bold and italic versions of your font, but be sure to read Fontifier's help file (www.fontifier.com/help.html) before starting.
There are ways to design your letters so that they connect with one another. Again, read the help file first.
Fontifier is not compatible with Mac OS 9 or earlier - something the site doesn't make clear enough before purchasing.
Give Fontifier a try. Because you can preview your font before paying for it, there's nothing to lose. It could help make your holidays happier.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Randy A. Salas is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Do you have a favorite Web site or a question about how to find something on the Internet? Send a note by clicking here.
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