1.lrrrrrsOKFonts The Defective Font Finder
Windows 3.x is terrific! With Adobe Type Manager and TrueType fonts installed, you have access to a complete font library that would make Gutenberg envious. Hundreds of TrueType and Type 1 PostScript fonts are readily available at little or no cost, just for the downloading. But there's a serious catch!
Some fonts available both online and commercially are defective, and that can mean big trouble for you. A font may seem OK, but then you try to display or print a particular character and you get a Windows crash rather than the character you want. It happens all the time, and a good percentage of the problems people have with Windows is due to a bad font on their system.
But, how do you spot these fonts. Until OKFonts, there really wasn't a way to do it. OKFonts performs the tests necessary for you to find and eliminate bad fonts from you list. Here's a guaranteeif you have over 100 installed fonts, at least one of them is going to be defective, especially if you download fonts from online systems.
OKFonts will find those fonts and let you delete them. The process takes time, but so far, it's the only program that'll do the job. Best of all, OKFonts is a free program from OsoSoft.
OKFonts requires Windows 3.1 and a computer capable of running Windows. OKFonts was written in Microsoft Visual Basic 2.0. For that reason, it requires that a copy of VBRUN200.DLL be in your main Windows directory. If you did not obtain this file with the program, you may obtain it from the OsoSoft BBS, at the number listed below, or from CompuServe, in the MSBASIC forum. You'll also need a printer that's fully supported by Windows, and at least 4 MB of free space on the drive or partition pointed to by the SET TMP= line in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file.
OKFonts works only with Adobe Type Manager and TrueType font scaling technology. While it may work with other font scalers, it has not been tested with them. Also, some PostScript cartridges and printers limit the number of fonts that can be downloaded at one time. If that problem occurs, you'll have to limit yourself to however many fonts your system can handle at one time, using the [Selected Fonts] options in the program.
Although OKFonts is a free program, it is Copyright, 1992 by OsoSoft and George Campbell. You may use it as you wish, but may not alter it in any way. If you distribute this program on a BBS or in a catalog, you must include OKFONTS.EXE and OKFONTS.WRI without changes. You must also either include VBRUN200.DLL or make that library file freely available to your clients or users. You may not distribute this program in conjunction with any commercial program without express written permission from OsoSoft.
To install OKFonts, copy the files, OKFONTS.EXE and OKFONTS.WRI into your Windows directory, or into another directory of your choice. You must also copy the Visual Basic runtime library file, VBRUN200.DLL into your main Windows directory. You need only one copy of this file to run all Visual Basic 2.0 programs, which is the reason that file may not be included in a compressed version of OKFonts.
After copying the files, start the Windows Program Manager. Click inside the program group where you want the OKFonts icon, then select <> in the Program Manager. Select [OK]. In the dialog box, type OKFONTS in the Description field, press , then type the complete path and filename for OKFONTS.EXE in the Command Line field. Press , and enter the path to OKFONTS.EXE in the Working Directory field. Select [OK] and the OK Font icon will appear. If it is not visible, scroll the program group window until you find it, then drag the icon to a new location.
To start OKFonts, double click its icon. You'll see the OKFonts main window after a short delay.
On the right, you'll see a list off all your installed printer fonts, in alphabetical order. Don't be alarmed if some fonts don't display. OKFonts only displays the normal weight listing of fonts which have separate files for different weights.
To select a font in the list, click once on it. To select multiple fonts, drag the mouse over the fonts. To select multiple fonts which are not adjacent to each other, hold down while you click on each font in turn.
Removing Fonts from the List
You may find some duplicate fonts in the list. To remove these, or to remove any other font you don't want tested, select it, then click the [Remove Selected] button. You may also remove multiple fonts if they are all selected. Use this feature to remove fonts during tests to avoid retesting fonts you know are good.
NOTE: Removing a font from the list does NOT remove it from Windows or from your hard disk.
To test a single font, or to test multiple fonts you've selected, click the [Test Selected] button. To test all fonts in one pass, click the [Test All] button. In either case, all the command buttons other than [Cancel] will be grayed out.
At any time, click the [Cancel] button to end the testing. OKFonts will go ahead and print all the fonts and characters printed so far.
How Testing Works
OKFonts tests your fonts by printing every character in a font both to the screen and to the printer. This is the only way to find defective fonts, since the fault may lie in any character. As the test proceeds, you'll see the characters, one-at-a-time on the screen. Simultaneously, OKFonts is printing them to the printer, and writing the names of the fonts into a file called OKFONTS.DAT. Once a full page of fonts goes to the printer, the program will pause or slow down to allow printing to take place.
NOTE: Not every font has every character. As the font's characters display, you'll see blank characters if that character doesn't exist in that font. In some cases multiple characters are blank.
HINT: One of the benefits of OKFonts is that you get a printed list of every character in every font on your system. However, this list is not formatted for beauty. Try OsoSoft's Fonter for more useful font lists.
Finding Bad Fonts
What happens when OKFonts finds a bad font? And what do you do when that happens? There are three possibilities.
1. OKFonts crashes. This is the most common way for a bad font to show up. You'll know that OKFonts has crashed in one of two ways: No characters will display in the character window. The mouse pointer won't move, and the character count won't change. Note that during printing, characters may not display, but the mouse pointer will move when you move your mouse. Be patient, but if nothing's happening and the mousepointer won't move, you've found a bad font...the current font being tested. You'll have to press --
to abort OKFonts, or click OK if the General Protection Fault window appears. When the windows message appears, press Enter to close OKFonts and return to Windows.
Now, start the Notepad application and load OKFONTS.DAT into the Notepad. The last font on the list is the defective font. Use the ATM Control Panel or the Fonts icon in the Windows Control panel, whichever is appropriate to remove the font from the Windows environment. Now, before further testing, you need to restart Windows before restarting OKFonts for further testing.
NOTE: To save time after removing a bad font, remove all the fonts tested successfully OKFonts, then restart testing.
2. Suddenly, no characters display in the character box on the screen. You'll see the character number change, but nothing appears. Remember, though, that many fonts don't have a complete character set. However, if no characters between 33 and 126 appear, you've found another bad font. Click the [Cancel] button to stop the testing. When you click this button, the printer will go ahead and print the pages for all the fonts so far.
Now, the font which is not showing any characters is NOT the bad font. It's one of the fonts preceeding the first font which shows no characters that is bad. Usually, it's the font immediately preceeding the font that doesn't show up. If you haven't been watching the screen, wait for the printout. Look for the last font which printed correctly. That's your candidate. But, before you can test it, you have to exit and restart OKFonts. Then select the suspected font and one font following it and click the [Test Selected] button. If no characters appear, the crash is more serious and you'll have to restart Windows to reset the entire system. Watch the screen during the tests. If the font is defective, the characters will stop appearing either in that font or will fail to appear in the next font. Take your time here and test until you're sure you have spotted the bad font.
REMEMBER: It's not the font that doesn't print that's bad. It's a previous font.
Once you've pinned it down, follow the steps in the first example to delete the bad font from your system. Remember, if you make a mistake and remove a good font from Windows, you can add it back at any time. You haven't deleted it from your hard disk.
3. You've started a test run, then left the room. When you come back, OKFonts has stopped running or your printout shows blank areas where there should be characters for an entire font. As in the second example, it is not the blank font that's bad, but a font preceeding the first blank font. Again, check this after exiting Windows and restarting OKFonts, using the technique described above, selecting the suspected font and the one following it.
Speeding Things Up
Testing a typical font list of 100 fonts can take well over an hour, so be patient. If you're finding bad fonts, don't repeat the tests on every font on the list. Use the [Remove Selected] button to remove known good fonts from the list before continuing to test.
When narrowing down a suspected bad font, select it and the ones immediately adjacent to it to make sure you have identified the correct font as bad.
When You Add New Fonts
Anytime you add new fonts to your system, run OKFonts to check them. Select the new fonts then use the [Test Selected] button to test just those fonts.
Click the [Exit] or the Exit command in the File menu.
OsoSoft is a small shareware publisher, dedicated to providing low-cost, but powerful software for DOS and Windows. OsoSoft also publishes a number of free programs to introduce users to its products. You'll find a list of OsoSoft shareware programs and an order blank by clicking the OsoSoft Info... menu entry under the about menu. For descriptions of each program, click the [Info] button to the left of that program's entry. To order OsoSoft products, fill out the order blank on the screen as you would a database record, then click the [Print] button.
All OsoSoft products come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you order a product, then discover that it doesn't suit your needs, simply return it for a full refund. Shipping and handling are always prepaid.
To try out any OsoSoft product, call the OsoSoft BBS at (805) 528-3753. The BBS supports 300-2400 baud. Set your communications parameters to 8 bits, No parity, and 1 stop bit. The OsoSoft BBS uses Wildcat!. You can also find OsoSoft programs on CompuServe in the WINADV and IBMHW forums, and on GEnie in the IBM and WINDOWS areas.
If you like OKFonts and find it useful, you're sure to want to try other OsoSoft products. Please download or order other programs.
1472 Sixth Street
Los Osos, CA 93402
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The OKFonts program and documentation are Copyright, 1992, by OsoSoft and George Campbellnts so far.
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