Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Roadsign Magic - Use your own fonts with MyFonts!

Roadsign Magic provides the ability to install and use any TrueType or OpenType font - normally something you would only be able to do on your Mac or PC.  This opens up a world of possibilities - perhaps use your own handwriting, add some graffiti to a sign or use an alternative Roadsign typeface.  This tutorial shows you how you can use 1000s of fonts within Roadsign Magic as shown below:

MyFonts is an in-app purchase so if you haven't already done so, you'll need to purchase MyFonts in the In-App Store available from the MySigns home screen as shown below.  If you tap on MyFonts (again from the MySigns screen), you'll see there are no fonts installed (yet).  Before we continue, we need to be able to handle Zip files on the phone (since most font files on the internet are packaged within a zip file).  If you haven't already download and install iZip, a free app available on the App Store (as shown below) - tap on any image to enlarge.


So first let's install a font from one of many excellent sites which provide free fonts for personal use (and some are even available for free for commercial use).  Tap on the help icon, and scroll down - you'll find some links already.  Tap on the www.fontsquirrel.com link, and then browse the fonts there.  Once you've chosen a font, tap on the "Download OTF or TTF" link next to the font - if iZip is installed, you should see a similar screen to that shown below.

Tap on the "Open in iZip" button.  iZip will then load and ask you if you want to unzip all files.  Tap on OK, and then you'll get a list of files in the Zip file.  Tap on the font file - below I've tapped on the "GoodDog.otf" row in the list of files.  You'll then see an option to open this file in Roadsign Magic as shown below.  Tap on this.

Now Roadsign Magic will load up and you'll see a prompt asking you whether to install the font.  If the font is invalid, an error message will be displayed instead.  Tap on Yes to install the font, and the font will now be added to the MyFonts list as shown below.  If you tap on the Blue disclosure button to the right then you'll get a new screen showing you a preview of the font.  You can also edit the Font name in this screen.  The MyFonts screen also lets you remove fonts and re-order them - simply tap on the Edit button to do this.

OK, now a font is installed you can use it within Roadsign Magic.  Create a new sign or pick a template.  From the toolbar tap on the Text button, and select "Fonts" from the Add Text screen.  You'll see a switch with "Use MyFonts" - to use one of the installed fonts simply switch this to On as shown below.  Then select one of the MyFonts (there's only one at the moment so it's selected for you).  Go back to the Add Text screen, choose some text and a colour, and then tap on Done.  You'll now get a label using the new font as shown below.

So that was how to install fonts using Safari and iZip.  You can also access fonts via email.  For example let's say you have some of your favourite fonts on your Mac or PC - simply add them to an email, and email yourself where you can access them on your iPhone or iPad.  You should see an email similar to below with the attached fonts.  Simply tap on any of the fonts, and you'll be asked to open the file - tap on "Open in Roadsign Magic"

Now it's the same process as before.  Tap on Yes to install the font, again you preview the font by tapping on the blue disclosure button, and again add a text label using the new font.

That's it!  There are some great fonts out there that are free for personal use.  Be sure to check the license before you install the font - not all fonts on the internet are free, and many are not allowed to be used for commercial use unless you pay an additional fee!