FontForge – Windows

Newer builds are available from the FontForge Builds project on SourceForge.

The rest of this page is out-of-date and is only kept here as reference.

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FontForge is an outline font editor officially distributed in only source code form. Expanding on prior work to create a Windows build system, this package aims to distribute user friendly FontForge binaries for Windows as well as the underlying build system itself.

If prompted with a Windows Firewall dialog, FontForge will function if “Keep Blocking” is selected. However, one needs to allow a connection if one wants to use FontForge’s collaboration features.

Previous Versions

FontForge Windows Binaries (2013-11-21) (unofficial):

FontForge Windows Binaries (2012-07-31) (official):

FontForge Windows Binaries with Python Support (Git dd73d0a354) (unofficial):

Note: A preexisting Python 2.7 installation is needed in one’s PATH.

FontForge Windows Binaries (2011-02-22) (unofficial):

Build System (unofficial):

Development can be followed on the package’s Bitbucket site.

Separate but related, a Windows package of Glyphtracer:

115 Responses to FontForge – Windows

  1. banajit says:

    Are you planning to release a newer version of your FontForge pack for Windows? Waiting eagerly.

    • Matthew Petroff says:

      I plan on releasing a new version of my Windows build once a new version of FontForge is released. Currently, the latest version is still 2011-02-22.

  2. Sander says:

    Is autotrace included or is it possible to include?
    I like this build, because I really dislike Cygwin.

  3. Robert Rees says:

    Thank you, Matthew. Your build saved me a bunch of time. Appreciate you doing this and making it available.

  4. ChrisGr says:

    Thank you for this Win Port. It allows me to experiment with FF on Win (much better than do that in a VM)

  5. rkmugen says:

    A quote from the Sourceforge page for FontForge…

    “You will need the default stuff, plus the X window system, binutils, libpng, libjpeg, and libxml2.”

    For the kind of non-Linux and non-Unix-inclined person that I am (and probably a whole bunch of other people who’re like me), this is a great way to just dive into the act of making fonts instead of getting lost in all the installing, debugging, and frustration of dealing with the loose ends of all those libraries and components.

    Seriously, only programmers care about that.

    And the best part about FontForge that I was after is the ability to actually import glyphs from SVG… which is great for me since I do a lot of work on Inkscape (which also happens to be sweet and free).

    So, I want to give a big THANK YOU for giving us non-programmers a nice, integrated solution!

    • Reuben Thomas says:

      Note that FontForge is distributed in many GNU/Linux distributions, like Ubuntu and Debian and there it’s actually easier to install than on Windows (you get it from Software Center or equivalent, the same as any other program that comes with the distro).

      You only need to know how to compile from source for distros that don’t include FontForge. It’s not hard to learn how to install dependencies (either from Software Center, as above, or in the same way as the program), and nice to have the option. It’s certainly not “only for programmers”.

  6. ebourg says:

    Thank you very much for the port; it worked perfectly on Windows XP.

  7. rnkantan says:

    i paid for a costly windows font editor software and later found that it cannot edit the substitution tables in OT and TT fonts (GPOS, etc); for indic characters, it is very essential; then i thought i would use fontforge as many references are available and it is open source and re-scritable;

    however i am not a linux guy; and in linux you need to build build build….

    so i took cygwin and installed a crappy 1.8 gb(yes!; windows xp sp3 is only 3.5 gb; leaving aside the program files etc) when i selected the base, lib, x11 utils option; and the system slows down drastically showing a snowy fontforge menu) and to open a font file it takes a lot of time; so i decided to move away from cygwin.

    so i thought i would use your installer (or try from 7zip); it installs beautifully but nothing shows up; i waited for the xwindow… no go! when i check the task manager the fontforge.exe and Xming.exe are listed; i tried to force run the fontforge from within the bin folder ; it gives a pop up of missing pthreadgc2.dll (though it is present in the xming folder; i copied it to the main folder (fontforge) and again tried fontforge.bat; now a command window opens
    Copyright (c) 2000-2011 by George Williams.
    Executable based on sources from 13:48 GMT 22-Feb-2011-ML-TtfDb-NoPython.
    Library based on sources from 13:48 GMT 22-Feb-2011.
    but nothing happens; a X window icon appears on the sytem tray; but no further progress; i could not close the xwindow or cmd window; i have to go to the bin folder and click on the xmingclose. and then kill the command window

    i am using winxpsp3 (32 bit) on a dual core machine;

    now my questions:
    is your installer a standalone version; or it requires mingw preinstalled?
    my windows system folder is called winxpsp3 (not windows); is c:\windows\… is referenced anywhere? or it is %system as is normally done in windows.

    should i build the later version and try?


    • Matthew Petroff says:

      Both the 7z archive and the installer are designed to be stand-alone. The system folder is referenced with %SystemRoot%, so a different system folder name should not be an issue, although I have never tested it. Running fontforge.exe from the the bin folder will not work because the PATH environmental variable is not correct. The main executable, run_fontforge.exe, is simply a wrapper that calls fontforge.bat, to configure the environment, without displaying a console window, so try running fontforge.bat and see if that works.

  8. rnkantan says:

    thanks for your response;

    i spent already some time trying to figure out various files in your folder; i opened the bat file and noted the -notrayicon and -nosplash options.
    i removed the notrayicon to get the xming icon on the tray; it is useful as i can open the log; in the log i found
    Could not init font path element C:\ff2011\bin\Xming-, removing from list!
    Could not init font path element C:\ff2011\bin\Xming-, removing from list!
    Could not init font path element C:\ff2011\bin\Xming-, removing from list!
    Could not init font path element C:\ff2011\bin\Xming-, removing from list!
    Could not init font path element C:\ff2011\bin\Xming-, removing from list!
    Could not init font path element C:\Program Files\Xming\fonts\dejavu, removing from list!
    Could not init font path element C:\Program Files\Xming\fonts\cyrillic, removing from list!
    Could not init font path element C:\WINDOWS\Fonts, removing from list!
    winProcEstablishConnection – Hello

    then i checked various files for the “;list”; it is the font-dir in the xming…. folder; i edited it to add c:\WINXPPRO\Fonts; when i restarted no luck;
    Could not init font path element C:\WINXPPRO\Fonts, removing from list!
    then while reviewing the old (2010 version) fontforge.bat i found that it is looking for msgothic.ttc in windows fonts folder to copy to the TTF folder. so i checked my winxppro/fonts folder and there is no MSGOTHIC.TTC file; i found msgothic.ttc in the win7 fonts folder and copied it to the winxppro/fonts folder. still no luck; i left it at that overnight and restarted the computer today; and presto it is starting and the xming log though has the error messages, it is not talking about winxppro/fonts

    thanks for the effort; it is now working.

  9. rnkantan says:

    Mathew Petroff!

    may be i was too happy to see the selection window; but the program is not stable:

    1) if you close and restart the it doesnot open; the processes are started (cmd.exe, Xming.exe and fontforge.exe) but the fontforge selection window doesnot open
    2) if you shutdown and restart the xp then again it starts first time; but again fails if you close and rerun; what it means is that some residual trace is left which is preventing it if you want to rerun the fontforge. i tried winpatrol but no service is seen linked directly to fontforge; probably because it is not linked to any registered dlls?
    3) again when you have the fontforge running (after again shutdown and restarting the machine), some actions (i actually wanted to open two windows (an existing old font and a new font to which i am planning to shift the glyphs) freeze the xming and nothing other than killing is possible. again you cannot rerun it without restarting the windows

    PS: i was in a mind to build it using your repository and the latest fontforge. but i find the links are not working:

    i checked and found that proper link is

    (it is Base and not BaseSystem)

    any suggestions?

    • Matthew Petroff says:

      Although I cannot reproduce any of your issues on my machine, I don’t think it’s an issue with your fonts, as I get the same font path related errors in my Xming log and do not have MSGOTHIC.TFF on my machine, but it works fine for me. I think your issues are likely related to Xming, but unfortunately, there have not been any free Xming releases since 2007. As for the broken links, they are fixed on Bitbucket, but I have not made a new release of the build system as there has not been a new FontForge release.

  10. Simon Patrick says:

    Many congratulations on making FontForge so accessible in Windows. Any chance of working the same magic on Glyphtracer, which appears to be written in Python, but I can’t find a version for Windows?

  11. rnkantan says:

    thanks for your efforts to re-generate the issues and see the problem; as you mentioned it is important to organize the software bugs, to recreate them, to see exactly the problem;

    coming to my issues:

    1) i have downloaded these meiroo’s available builds:
    a) fontforge-mingw_2009_10_28.Zip;; they have a prebuit bin folder with ming; using fontforge.bat first time the Xwindow (named Xming starts) with fontforge; the only issue is that you cannot close and re-run it again without rebooting the computer.
    if you try to rerun it without rebotting, the cmd window opens hanging, (in task manager i see cmd.exe, xwin.exe and fontforge.exe); i am not still able to trace which client remains connected to xserver as xming re-opens but only fontforge selection window is not reopening.
    (btw msgothic.ttf is required in 2008 build and not in 2009 and 2010 builds)

    b) and; they have cygwin build within a compressed file; the bat file on first run extracts the relevant files (cygwin folder containing the relevant subfolders). after extraction, rebasing is done and the xwindow (cygwin server) is called.

    when 2011 version is tried, the Cygwin/X fatal error window pops up: “A Fatal Error has occurred and Cygin/X will now exit. Can’t read lockfile /tmp/.x9-lock; blah blah: package: Version 1.10.1-1 built 2011-04-22. Xwin was started with the following commandline: Xwin:9 -multiwindow -nomultimonitors -silent-dup-error” (as this webblog doenot allow images, i cannot add the screenshot)

    (by using fontforge-xming.bat from, the xwindow opens; but again not usable as the start/selection window is functional but without any characters; the cmd.exe window comes out with ” Pango-CRITICAL **: pango-xft-render: assertion ‘PANGO-XFT_IS-FONT (font) failed” messages. as i mentioned the window is fully functional, but the menu items are not visible;) (you can see the screenshot in

    when 2012 version is tried, the startmenu comes out but again with pango-critical error!
    (PS: here i can close the fontforge or xwindow and again restart;)


    • Matthew Petroff says:

      As they are not my builds, I can’t really help you with them. I’m not sure why you have an error with Pango, but it makes sense that none of the text is displayed since Pango is a text rendering library.

  12. Glory says:

    Hi, I don’t know much about computers… but I’ve been trying to download FontForge with no luck… searching on how to do it I found this site! Can you tell me which link I have to click? The one that says Installer (5.8 MB) or 7z Archive (5.5 MB) or do I have to click both? Sorry if it sounds dumb… but I really don’t know much about computers… Thanks in advance :)

    • Matthew Petroff says:

      You only need to download one. I would recommend downloading the one the says “Installer” since it does not require additional software to run.

  13. M. Gavioli says:


    Having a working Win version of FF is a blessing: I’m keeping a Linux box (almost) only to run FF and this version un-ties me from that computer. It is not 100% stable, true, but the original version isn’t either…

    In previous answers, you say a new Win version will be available ‘when a new FF release will be available”. Apparently, there will no longer be any ‘official’ FF release: the git source code is at any moment ‘the’ official release.

    So, please… … …



    • Matthew Petroff says:

      I have not read anything saying that there will be no more tarball releases. Where did you find something that said that?

  14. Looks like it works well on my Windows 7 box. Last year I wrote a blog post about Installing Cygwin and FontForge for Windows since installing it via Cygwin was such a difficult process for newbies, but your solution seems to work really well. Thanks for making this available — it must have been a bit of work to make this happen!

  15. Joe says:

    Hi Matthew,
    Looked at the diff file and was thinking… would you be interested in merging these fixes into the fontforge main-line code? There seems to be a fair bit of activity happening, so that means this patch would have a good chance of being checked, viewed, accepted by the maintainer(s).

    Latest fontforge code can be currently loaded via git (you can download a copy by doing this):
    cd \
    git clone git:// my_local_dir

    …where my_local_dir is a new directory created on your computer where it gets cloned into.

    diff updates would go on sourceforge in the fontforge patches bug tracker here:

    • Matthew Petroff says:

      I’m currently updating the diff to work with the current code. When the configure script was updated in commit 6d853051b4dc4211ecd9fca2ff31f25fe79b1341, it broke linking with my build. I’m still in the process of fixing it. After I get the build working again, I’ll see about cleaning it up and submitting a patch.

  16. Spirou4D says:

    Thanks a lot for your excellent job! Like everyone, with the source was a disaster for me!

  17. RAb says:

    Hi dude! Thanks for the great installer! just read that you plan to release a new version of this only when the new version of fontforge is out…well, guess what, tis out now! We would all greatly appreciate when you come with the new installer. thanx very much again, cheers!!!

  18. Alex says:

    Thank you very much for this! This is tremendous.

  19. Steve McClellan says:

    I have installed this on 64 bit Windows 7 Enterprise and it works great. I can copy my previous font files into the FontForge folder and I can edit and see them in Windows. The problem that I am having is that new files created with FF are not visible to Windows; they are only visible in the dialog boxes in FF and since there is no way to copy/paste from these dialog boxes, I can’t use the files that I just created. Since FF is not able to browse to my Flash drive, I am unable to transport the files to other machines and try them there.
    Have you experienced this before? I have a feeling that I would be able to see the files from the Ming shell but can’t figure out how to invoke it; it is the version that is included in your install and I have not installed Cygwin or another version of Ming. Do you have any suggestions (short of installing Cygwin or other)? I know that there is some new Windows 7 Subsystem for running and compiling Unix applications but I don’t want to try that yet.
    Thanks. -Steve

    • Matthew Petroff says:

      Not being able to change drives comes from the fact that Unix does not have a concept of drives, and this limitation isn’t going to change anytime soon (not until FontForge is ported to a modern GUI toolkit). If you save a file with FontForge and are subsequently able to open it with FontForge, the file is on your hard drive. MinGW compiled executables, such as this FontForge build, are native Windows code; Windows system calls are used to access the file system. Are you sure you looked in the correct folder? The only thing I can think of is showing hidden files. Also, open a Command Prompt, “cd” to the directory you saved the files in, and run the “dir” command; this will list all files in the directory. Installing a MinGW shell will not help.

      • Steve McClellan says:

        Yes, those are the obvious things to try and the first things that I checked when I couldn’t see them, but it turns out that Windows 7 has a Compatibility Files view that will show these types of files. I have some nice screen captures to show that the files are there in FF, not there in the cmd or Explorer windows, but show up by themselves in the Compatibility Files view (from a VirtualStore folder). These captures may be something useful to post because I can’t be the only one that will come across this.

        • Matthew Petroff says:

          As a Windows XP user, I had never heard of that. Apparently, it happens when one tries to save a file somewhere where elevated privledges are needed, such as in “Program Files.” It shouldn’t happen if one saves files where elevated privledges are not needed, such as one’s “Documents” folder.

      • Lief Swanson says:

        but you can change drives… You just need to type the drive name into the bar at the bottom of the browser. (eg E:/)

        Are you guys talking about an older version? or am I simply misunderstanding the point?

        P.S. Thanks for the port, I think I love you. I use FF on Arch Linux on my laptop, and I didn’t really feel like making my desktop dual boot yet (and I really wasn’t feeling the idea of Cygwin or a VM), I just wanted to get working. You my good sir have made that a possibility. You are a Scholar and a Gentleman.

  20. Joe Casper says:

    I have installed FontForge from your installer on my Windows 7 machine. I can very well open and edit fonts. The problem is, while I try to save the modified font file, it gives an error message saying the font file could not be written. This makes all my efforts in vein since I cannot save my work. My aim is to edit one of the indic fonts to replace an existing glyph with a more accurate one. I also need to alter the anchoring accordingly. Other font editors do not allow to do these things. Therefore I have stick on to FF. Is there any hope?

    • Matthew Petroff says:

      Are you trying to save a font to the Windows font folder? If so, you need to save it somewhere else and then copy it in. Otherwise, could you please post the exact text of the error message?

  21. Joe Casper says:

    No. I was not trying to save to any system folder. I was trying to save to my desktop. While trying to save, it gives an error message which when closed, reappears continuously until I finally quit the application by invoking “Task manager” and pressing “End task”. Please see this screenshot:

    It creates a .ttf file, but no content (0 bytes).

    • Matthew Petroff says:

      That’s definitely a bug. You could try saving it in a different format, opening the newly generated file, and saving that as a *.ttf file. Otherwise, I would suggest trying it on Linux as the Windows build is a bit of a kludge. If it still doesn’t work, it’s a bug in FontForge itself in which case you should file a bug report at: You would probably need to provide the *.sfd file so the bug could be reproduced.

  22. First of all thank you for creating this – it’s extremely useful for those of us who are dedicated Windows guys.

    I’m running the batch script directly on a Windows Azure cloud service, using Process.Start with a set of arguments to convert a .ttf file to a .woff. This works fine, as long as I run it on the Azure emulator, or if I log in to the cloud box and run it manually there, but fails if I run it on the cloud box without any desktop session connected. I can’t seem to parse an error message from the output, which looks identical to a successful operation, except for a single line “: No such file” – the problem is, I don’t know if this error is coming from Font Forge, or Xming.

    Do you have any idea how I can go about debugging this, or where (which newsgroup) I might post a question to? I have a full dump of output from the tool but can’t really make head or tail of it.

    Many thanks in advance.

    • Matthew Petroff says:

      I would guess it has to do with Xming, but as I’ve never done anything similar to this, I’m not sure. I think you can avoid this problem by using FontForge’s scripting capabilities.

      Create a text file called “” with the following content:

      Generate($1:r + “.woff”)

      Then run following commands from the command prompt in the FontForge bin folder, changing “FONTFORGE” to the absolute path of your FontForge directory and “INPUT” to the full path of your input file:

      set PATH=FONTFORGE\bin\Xming-;%PATH%
      fontforge.exe -script INPUT.ttf

      It should result in a file called “INPUT.woff” in the same folder as “INPUT.ttf”.
      For more informations see:

  23. woka says:

    Hi Matthew , thanks for your great job. I have it installed in Windows, and it works perfectly. However, I am looking for pre-built libraries to work on MinGW too. Do you have any idea or suggestion how to compile it with MinGW instead of MSVC? Thanks.

    • Matthew Petroff says:

      I’m not sure what you’re asking. The build uses MinGW, not MSVC.

      • woka says:

        Matthew, sorry for my misleading question. Someone told me that’s compiled with MSVC, but I just find out that it is compiled with MinGW. Anyway, I wonder if the build instruction from here is still valid or not. I download that package, following the instructions but with all needed libraries updated to the latest one. Also, instead of compiling the 2011 FontForge source, I use the latest one also. I think the patches as well as the configuration are no longer valid for the latest version, and also, when I compile FontForge by following, lots of errors shown. Any suggestions? Thanks.

        • Matthew Petroff says:

          Use the most recent version:
          It worked as of August.

          • woka says:

            That’s great. It goes perfectly! Thanks a lot. Happy New Year :)

          • woka says:

            Hi Mathew, it took me quite a long time to run the compilation. Long time later, I thought it’s done, but when I check the compiled executable I just found that the compilation terminated while it is compiling the xkbui

            checking for pkg-config… no
            checking for XKBUI… configure: error: The pkg-config script could not be found
            or is too old. Make sure it
            is in your PATH or set the PKG_CONFIG environment variable to the full
            path to pkg-config.

            Alternatively, you may set the environment variables XKBUI_CFLAGS
            and XKBUI_LIBS to avoid the need to call pkg-config.
            See the pkg-config man page for more details.

            To get pkg-config, see .
            See `config.log’ for more details.

            Any idea? Thanks.

          • Matthew Petroff says:

            The issue isn’t with compiling XKBUI, it’s with the FontForge “configure” script. Looking at your other comment, my patch to fix this error appears to be one of the patches that failed.

  24. woka says:

    I have downloaded all packages and src of the exact same versions as shown in the readme.htm in the package. I got the error message while compiling XKBUI as shown above. By ignoring that, I run the build.bat again and it compiled the rest libraries and packages but when it come to fontforge, it terminates with the following errors

    patching file
    Hunk #1 succeeded at 5 (offset -2 lines).
    patching file
    Hunk #1 succeeded at 5 (offset -2 lines).
    patching file configure
    Hunk #1 succeeded at 4571 (offset 326 lines).
    Hunk #2 FAILED at 4276.
    Hunk #3 FAILED at 12597.
    Hunk #4 succeeded at 21116 (offset 7666 lines).
    Hunk #5 succeeded at 21468 (offset 7666 lines).
    Hunk #6 succeeded at 21513 (offset 7666 lines).
    Hunk #7 succeeded at 22989 (offset 7663 lines).
    Hunk #8 succeeded at 23016 (offset 7663 lines).
    2 out of 8 hunks FAILED — saving rejects to file configure.rej
    patching file
    Hunk #1 succeeded at 928 (offset -2 lines).
    Hunk #2 succeeded at 955 (offset -2 lines).
    patching file fontforge/bdfinfo.c
    patching file fontforge/fffreetype.h
    patching file fontforge/fontinfo.c
    Hunk #1 succeeded at 6650 (offset 221 lines).
    patching file fontforge/freetype.c
    patching file fontforge/noprefs.c
    patching file fontforge/startnoui.c
    patching file fontforge/startui.c
    Hunk #1 succeeded at 145 (offset -1 lines).
    Hunk #2 succeeded at 319 (offset -1 lines).
    Hunk #3 succeeded at 443 (offset -1 lines).
    Hunk #4 succeeded at 450 (offset -1 lines).
    patching file fontforge/svg.c
    patching file fontforge/ttfinstrsui.c
    patching file gdraw/gxdraw.c
    patching file inc/dynamic.h
    checking for gcc… gcc
    checking whether the C compiler works… no
    configure: error: in `/D/mpe/_work/fontforge-20110222′:
    configure: error: C compiler cannot create executables
    See `config.log’ for more details.

    • Matthew Petroff says:

      There seems to be something wrong with your version of gcc, at least that’s what it’s failing at. Also, my patches are no longer up-to-date as three of them failed.

  25. Andr1y says:

    Hi Matthew,
    Thank you for porting FontForge to Windows.
    I have one question and would be appreciative if you could help me.
    I want to edit BDF font 2.1 version. The original font file starts with “STARTFONT 2.1”. After I save modified font the format of the BDF file is different. The modified font file starts with “SplineFontDB: 3.0”.
    How can I save BDF font in 2.1 version.

    • Matthew Petroff says:

      Saving the font saves it in FontForge’s internal format. To create a font in a usable format, one needs to select “Generate Fonts” and select the desired format (probably either TrueType or OpenType).

  26. Andr1y says:

    It works for me!

  27. Rupert says:

    Matthew, this looks like exactly what I need, and have installed the FontForge Windows Binaries (2012-07-31) (official): on a W7 64 bit machine, and all seems to work, but not for many minutes.
    I am creating a font from a photograph of numerals on a clockface, cut into small monochrome bitmap imported and started to create a spline around it, but almost immediately I get a Windows error. Fontforge.exe has stopped working.
    Problem signature:
    Problem Event Name: APPCRASH
    Application Name: fontforge.exe
    Application Version:
    Application Timestamp: 503119a3
    Fault Module Name: ntdll.dll
    Fault Module Version: 6.1.7601.17725
    Fault Module Timestamp: 4ec49b8f
    Exception Code: c0000005
    Exception Offset: 000222b2
    OS Version: 6.1.7601.
    Locale ID: 2057
    Is there anything I might do to stop this please?

    • Matthew Petroff says:

      I’ve found that FontForge is a bit unstable on Windows. The older build from 2011 tends to be a bit more stable. Other than that, there’s not much else I can tell you.

      • Rupert says:

        Excellent advice; Installed the earlier one as you suggested, and it works without crashing.

      • Bryan Lee Williams says:

        Thanks so much for the note about the 2011 build. I just installed FontForge yesterday and was pulling my hair out from the crashes. The older build does work!

      • JPC says:

        Thanks for building this!

        I had the same crashing problems with Win7 64b and the issues went away after I switched to the 2011 version.

        This seems to be common enough that you should consider making a comment near the download links so that when people encounter it they know the solution immediately.

        Thanks again, great work!

      • Saulius says:

        Thanks a lot. Same problem. Some warning bout this problem would be really appreciated. :)

  28. Buzz Climis says:

    Replying to Steve McClellan on November 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm (and other interested parties):

    I, too, couldn’t see files created using FontForge and saved into the FontForge program file…until I clicked on “Compatibility Files” (show the compatibility files for this directory) in the section of the window just above the listing of files. Suddenly, the “invisible” files appeared, and I was able to do with them as I pleased. (Clicking the “back” arrow brought me back to the previous view of the FontForge folder (save files “invisible” again). Haven’t looked into what this actually is doing, but I know it solves the problem.

  29. Matt says:


    I read earlier that your older version works better on Windows? Is there a link to that version? I am running your newest version on Windows 8 and it crashes every two minutes. I would really love to get a hold of that more stable version.

    Thanks for bringing this wonderful program to Windows!

  30. Chris Hogan says:

    I think I must be missing something here: I have downloaded fontforge & started with a new font.

    I’m still at the experimenting stage, but I can’t get anywhere because after 2 or 3 simple actions it crashes.

    The crash happens on an old XP machine & a new Windows 7 laptop. I haven’t a clue what’s wrong.

  31. Jay Batch says:

    I’m really late in the game so…

    I’m using the FontForge without the Cygwin installed; is that okay or not? It seems without it, whenever I used FontForge, it crashed on me even on the old version.

    Any thoughts?

    Thank you.

    • Matthew Petroff says:

      I’m not really sure why it crashes so much. While the newer version is a bit unstable for me, the older version rarely crashes. If neither build works for you, you’ll probably have to run a Cygwin version or dual-boot Linux.

  32. alex says:

    Is fontforge for windows built with –python-extension? “import fontforge” gives error “No module named fontforge”

  33. Marius says:

    Unfortunately, both the new (2012_07_31) and the old version (2011_02_22) of Font Forge crash constantly on Windows 7 64 bit. I wasn’t able to even save the font. Once, when I “succeeded”, the font it created was rejected by Windows as invalid.

  34. Bill says:


    Thank you for these builds of FontForge!
    I am now using your 02-22-2011 build with Windows 7 Pro, 64.
    I also had trouble with crashing using the latest version from Sourceforge. So far no problems with the 2011 version you recommended.
    I also tried the Windows compatibility test mentioned by an an earlier poster with the current FF version, which recommended an XP SP2 mode yet still had no luck preventing crashes.
    Thanks for your work on keeping this great program available; especially for those of us whose eyes glaze over when we read than something must be built from source.

  35. Maciej says:

    my build is: FontForgePortable_2012-07-31.paf.exe
    system: Windows 7 Professional, Service Pack 1.

    Every time i try to generate a font it gives me a 0kb file.
    With OTF fonts i get the 0kb files,
    and with TTF fonts i get an error window that reopens after being closed (the process needs to be killed in task manager).
    Any Idea why it happens?

    I tried it on 2 Windows 7 systems, and 2 Windows XP systems – every time getting the same results, so it seems that it is not a particular system related problem, but someting in the Fontforge build.

    help ;)

    • Matthew Petroff says:

      I did not make the FontForge PortableApps package, so, unfortunately, I can’t be of much assistance.

  36. Hi Matthew

    Apparently FontForge release 20120731-b is required to run on a 64 bit system. Does the installer use that version?

    FontForge continually crashes when I attempt to use it with Windows 7 and installing the older version doesn’t fix this. As others seem to be encountering similar problems, if the use of 20120731 rather than 20120731-b is the root of the problem, could this be resolved?


    • Matthew Petroff says:

      Anything that runs on 32-bit Windows will run on 64-bit Windows. The “b” release is a fix so one can build a 64-bit version, but as the Windows executable is 32-bit, it makes no difference.

  37. Henning Bopp says:

    First of all: Thanks for the great work!

    But I think there is a little bug: I have a dual LCD setup and use (1) as topright and (2) as bottomleft. That makes XY(0|0) and the last dot not visible. The initial “Open Font” window is displayed behind my START-Bar and can be dragged onto screen (perhaps it is at XY(50%|50%)). After opening the font the font window is displayed on-screen while the Tools, Layers and Char windows are out of range (at XY(0|0)). The Layer and Tools window remember their positions but the Char window doesn’t.

    Always having to maximize the window by WIN+UP (ALT+Space doen’t work to simply move the window) and then drag it to where I want it to be is really annoying…

    I don’t know if that is a bug in FF or in the window managing binary, so I hope you’ll be the right person to tell.

    Regards from the very western Germany

    PS: If you need any kind of testing get in touch by email…

    • Matthew Petroff says:

      I’m not really sure why it does that. FontForge was designed for Linux, so running it on Windows is a real kludge. This bug is probably a result of that, but I currently don’t have time to look into it, and it’s a much lower priority than fixing the bugs that cause frequent crashes on some machines. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.

  38. JFergus says:

    Having the same issues as others here. I’ve tried both the newest version and the 2011 version with no luck (windows 7, 32bit). FF crashes after a handful of operations, with no seeming pattern as to which operations might be causing the issue.

    Wondering if there are any other options, alternate builds, etc.? It’s the only program that seems like it’ll do what I want it to do, so am disappointed with the crash-bug.

    Thanks for working on this, anyway. Hopefully the next version will be stable enough. If it is, I’ll be the first to line-up for it.

  39. Maciej says:

    I thought this package is just a standalone version and doesn’t need Cygwin or other things like that. But after having the program installed there is no reaction after clicking the program icon. What’s wrong?

  40. Pingback: Adventures in Font Creation: BirdFont and FontForge | Run, Bean, Run!

  41. I need to extract font from pdf file. I’m able to extract a ttf font file from a pdf using FontForge. But now I want to do this process as a batch, because I have number of pdf files. So instead of opening each and every pdf file manually, is there any other way to do the same in batch process? Is any command line version of FontForge?

  42. Muhammad says:

    I had crashes like everyone else, almost went crazy trying to find a good alternative. But now I think I found some success, so I would like to share.

    Download cygwin, install it. Then go here for a 2013 cygwin version of fontforge :

    Extract and run the .bat file, now running fine for me on Win 8.1, looks nicer too. I hope it lasts :D

  43. mastaan says:

    Hi Matthew

    Please how to run FontForge without access to the network?
    I have installed Cygwin, but this isn’t working.


    • Matthew Petroff says:

      FontForge doesn’t need network access; it only connects to ports on localhost. Also, my builds do not require Cygwin.

  44. saj says:

    Thanks for the Windows version of FontForge.
    Please could you provide another link for your Windows package of GlyphTracer. The Dropbox link is returning a 509 error.

    • Matthew Petroff says:

      I just moved it over to Bitbucket as well. I can’t figure out why the Dropbox link was disabled. To exceed the 20GB/day limit, everything in my public folder would have to be downloaded hundreds of times, more times than I get visits to this site each day. Unfortunately, Dropbox doesn’t give any sort of download statistics to tell me which files are causing the problem.

  45. Sovichet says:

    Hi Matthew

    Thank for your hard works to make FontForge to be easy to install on Windows. I’m from Cambodia and I’m doing Khmer typefaces as my habit. I used to install FontForge on Linux and it displays Khmer unicode character very well. But FontForge in Windows, I can’t type Khmer in font preview (ctrl+k) and it doesn’t display Khmer characters as well.

    I hope you can find any solution. Although, I still appreciate your hard works. :)
    Sorry for my English.

    Happy New Year!

    • Matthew Petroff says:

      My builds are very much out of date at this point, so that might be the problem. I don’t use Windows much anymore, so I don’t have plans to update them. Sorry. Although, there has been more recent work on FontForge builds for Windows by others, but they aren’t ready yet.

  46. saj says:

    Glyphtracer doesn’t recognize the separate glyphs in my image, just the whole image as a single glyph. The image is 1-bit, with clear space between the glyphs.
    Have you any suggestions as to how to cure this?

    • Matthew Petroff says:

      I have no idea, sorry. I’ve never used Glyphtracer; someone requested a Windows build, so I produced one.

  47. gtdj says:

    Thank you for windows build. I saw two issues.

    1. The build is crashed when I try access the drive other than c:
    2. It might be a limitation in xming. Foreign characters appear as square blocks and cannot be typed in Metrics Window.

  48. Max says:

    Hi Matthew!
    Thank you for you work!
    Please, tell me – how can I build command-line version of FF without GUI in one exe?

    • Matthew Petroff says:

      You need to use configure to set the build to static and disable X11. As for how exactly to do that, I can’t offer any assistance. I’m also not sure why you would need such a build, since the GUI builds provide the same command-line functionality as the non-GUI builds.

  49. Max says:

    Thanks you for answer to my question.
    No need GUI in my case, because I use FF in cmd tool.

  50. Christopher Staffa says:

    Thanks very much for the Windows package. When I try to add pairwise kerning in the current version (2013-11-21), I get “fontforge.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close…” after hitting OK at the bottom of the subtable window. Error signature is AppName: fontforge.exe AppVer: ModName: ntdll.dll ModVer: 5.1.2600.6055 Offset: 0000100b

  51. JuicyFruit says:

    The same thing is happening to me as Christopher Staffa. I’m using the 2013-11-21 version as well. Every time I press “OK” in a subtable window the program crashes, regardless of what kind of lookup it is. Is there any kind of workaround for this?

  52. user says:

    Hi, first of all thanks for your builds, I finally got them working after reading on ONE site in the whole net to use “fontforge -lang=py -script” for getting the no module name fontforge error fixed…
    Next step was downloading your 2012 version and it seems to work although it crashes often and 2013 has no python support.
    Then I concentrated on 2012 fontforge version and wrote my script BUT when I tried to run it THE SUPRISE: “This version of fontforge cannot handle WOFF files. You need to recompile it with libpng and zlib” but the only thing I wrote all this was for using woff… :(

    Now my question: Is it possible that you could compile fontforge with the mssing or even ALL libs?

    Thanks in advance

    • Matthew Petroff says:

      Adding libraries tends to be difficult. Additionally, the 2013 build was actually compiled on the openSUSE build service. Since I have no control over that and my older build system doesn’t work with the latest FontForge source, the only thing I can really suggest is to run FontForge under Linux in a VM or off a USB flash drive.

  53. Gwen Le Page says:

    Hello !

    I wanted to have a go at FF and it’s about OK just now. Unfortunately, I encounter some difficulties with the file chooser window: I can’t choose the drive I want to read a file from or write it to.

    Going up the hierarchy stops at C:. But my documents are on E:. How can I access other drives ?

    • Matthew Petroff says:

      If you type E:/ in the file name box and press enter, it should change to drive E.

      • Gwen Le Page says:

        Excellent !

        I’ve been trying it the wrong way: I tried with “E:”, omitting the “/”.
        Thanks a lot, that’s make it muuuuch more usable !

        • Gwenael Le Page says:

          Hi Matthew,

          Here is another small question for you: I am making progress, but I am a bit disturbed by the french interface (My Windows 7 is in french). I would like the interface to be English but can’t find anything in the prefs…
          Do you know what steps I have to take ?
          I have tried re-installing, but one doesn’t get any choice…

          • Matthew Petroff says:

            If you delete the FontForge\share\locale\fr folder, I think it should revert to English. It also might revert to English if you open a command prompt, run set LANG=C, and then open FontForge from that command prompt. As my copies of Windows are in English, both are untested.

          • Gwenael Le Page says:

            Fantastic, you’re the boss!
            In fact I simply deleted all that’s not En – GB, and that works fine.
            Thanks for the lightning quick help replies!

  54. Gwenael Le Page says:

    Hi there !

    I have a question concerning usability of Font forge. I believe it has nothing to do with Windows…

    The thing is: if i use the version from 2012-07-31, I get the messy interface.
    So I installed the 2013-11-21 instead.
    It is so much more usable, that’s a delight.

    However, I encounter a very annoying thing with this version (ONLY), and I would love to know if you guys witness the same things: if i want to move a point, no matter what the settings in the preferences are, there is a sort of magnetism going on.

    So let’s say I have a point at 300, 185.

    If i grab and move it, it will be stuck on its position until my nouse is about 8 units away. Beyond that point it’s ok.
    But that makes things impossible to work with: if i want to grab one handle that is less than 8 units away from its point, the point itself will move, making it litterally impossible to adjust that handle !

    I’ve tried everything in the prefs. I’ve spent about 6 hours on the annoyance this day, and no progress.

    It seems that the snap distance value has an influence, but even at 0, it behaves badly…

    Can someone confirm ?

  55. Xosé Rodríguez says:

    I am trying to run the Fontforge in windows 7 64bits. The version I have is FontForgeSetup-18-10-2014_prerelease2.exe.
    I was working for 2 days until it crashes and now there is nothing I can do, I tried to reinstall and still nothing.

  56. Hannah says:

    I’m running the 2011 build, but I’m still experiencing crashes constantly.