Get Calamus Fonts Without Selling the House
When I first worked with
Calamus SL ten years ago, Calamus fonts were a rare
thing. Each "CFN" Calamus font was sold for
about $50. For a font family with different cuts it
would have been up to $700, even. So there were graphic
agencies who bought 50 font families for about $20,000
I very quickly discovered
the font converting function in 3K Computerbild's Didot
Professional. This was disabled in later versions because
DMC went to court against 3K. But I had it and used
it. I got some cheesy software by the name of Corel
Draw 4, which came with ten gimmicky discs full of EPS
graphics (mostly made with Illustrator and Freehand
as I found out reading the EPS source) and fonts. Yes,
fonts. Real PostScript Type 1 fonts. Wow. I felt like
plundering Aladdin's chest.
So I loaded a font in
Didot Professional, which read it fine.
I saved it as CFN, and
there it was, a Calamus font.
I thought, "OK,
cool. Let's start Calamus". But what is this?
"This font is not
licensed to be used with Calamus". Argh. Grr. OK.
I checked Avant Vector Pro, my favourite vector editor.
It read the font without any trouble.
Lovely. I loaded a freeware
font, which was accepted by Calamus, into Avant Vector.
area was different. So I loaded my converted Corel font
again and removed the sentence, "PostScript Type
1 font" and checked Calamus. Yes, it went directly
into Calamus, but there was no picture in the list of
the Calamus font module.
asked a friend who was familiar with Typeart and he
gave me the hint, "Load the font, and press [Alternate]+[Control]
while clicking in the top-left corner".
was, the menu to make a nice logo for the font. I did
it and my converted font looked like any expensive DMC
Today, Calamus SL2002
can directly read all kinds of fonts, but many Atari
programs still only accept Calamus fonts. So it still
makes sense for an Atarian to convert fonts. In old
times, DMC spread the myth that Calamus fonts were more
precise than PostScript fonts. I converted some original
URW PostScript Type 1 fonts, which were available from
DMC as CFNs too. The font size was identical and when
I examined the kerning and single letters, everything
was like the CFN version. It was just a myth.
Eight years later, a
friend bought a DMC type collection, there were some
fonts which were about three times as big. I examined
them, and there were many more Bézier curves,
but I don't think this will make much more quality.
The Corel Draw 4 fonts
were not all good. One third were very good quality,
one third needed a little kerning correction with Typeart
and the remaining third were really messily vectorized
or not even accepted by Didot Pro. In 1995 I bought
a Hewlett Packard font CD with 50 fonts for $25. That
was "Power Wihout the Price", which every
Atari user likes.
There is a little program
called SERIALNO.PRG, which allows you to change the
CFN's serial number. When you have Avant Vector Pro,
and you want to load an original CFN font with a serial
number, Avant Vector refuses to load it. This is because
Avant Vector can be used with alternate fonts too, and
they didn't want trouble with DMC.
So when I wanted to work
with an original CFN font, I had to set the serial number
to 000000 for Avant Vector. But Calamus didn't accept
the font without a number afterwards. So I had to put
the original serial back in it. Or I just saved the
zeroed CFN with Avant Vector after loading it, and then
it was accepted by Calamus as a free font, because Avant
Vector Pro removed a flag from the code of the CFN.
This might work with other non-DMC type editors, too.
I recommend to zero all fonts, so you can use them with
Calamus95 PC/NT, for example, too.
Today the DMC company
doesn't exist any more. The right to develop and sell
Atari Calamus now belongs to Invers Software, which
is a very customer-friendly company. Calamus as whole
belongs to MGI.
If you have questions
about converting fonts, feel free to send me a mail
Thanks to Frank Harenberg
for the hint with Typeart.