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Font Recognition Software

Discussion in 'Fonts and Typography' started by zapzaw, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. zapzaw

    zapzaw New Member

    Jul 12, 2006
    :Canada 2: Hi Group,

    Just wondering if a font recognition program existed that allowed you to scan a particular font and come up with a name or something close to it.

    Thanx ZZ.
  2. Pro Image

    Pro Image Major Contributor

    Nov 28, 2005
  3. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

    Nov 29, 2003
    Kahului, Maui
    There is one siftware that will recognize a font you scan if you own it.
    It has some type of way of working where it only searches among fonts loaded on your system I think.
  4. Ogriv

    Ogriv Member

    Dec 21, 2004
    Com'on Doug, Give us the Name!
  5. SqueeGee

    SqueeGee Active Member

    May 27, 2005
  6. jgolo

    jgolo Member

    Oct 19, 2005


    I think the one you are referring to is Imagaro Z and it will show you the font and will only let you use it if you own the font.
  7. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

    Sep 11, 2003
    Olympia, WA
    To the best of my knowledge there have been three programs that performed font recognition.

    The first was FontFinder which I coauthored and published in 1994. We only sold a couple of hundred copies even though we got three mice from Publish Magazine and a rave review from Sign Business Magazine. It wasn't the most user friendly application I had ever used but it worked. The principle was simple enough. If you give the program a reasonably accurate measurement of the height and width of three or four characters from a printed sample, and then compare the height to width ratio to a stored database compiled from the metric data (AFM files) of all the fonts you can get hold of, you will come up with a unique fingerprint or a very short list of possibilities. It worked extremely well and we even had a field for inputting a numeric variable in case the font had been stretched or squeezed. About 75% of our customers were professional forensic document examiners ... including the FBI, the US Secret Service and the CIA. Sign guys viewed it as too much trouble. FontFinder is no longer on the market and it is doubtful it would even install on current operating systems.

    The second was a Swiss program published by a German company and named FontExpert. My company was the US distributor for a couple of years. FontExpert is a very competent and user friendly application which will compare selected scanned characters against a stored database using a direct overlay of the pixels. It generates a percentage ranked list and a screen display of the font when you select each one from the list. It also includes their Database Generator thus allowing you to add in your own fonts. It lacks any ability, however, to adjust for width modifications, so if the font has been modified, the only recourse you have is to attempt to unmodify it in an image editor like Photoshop. Still, it will give you an accurate ID in a couple of minutes about 75% to 80% of the time and if you have some idea of what you are doing. FontExpert is currently available from Smart Designs for $149.00.

    The third is Imagaro Z who just released a new version that packs about 40,000 fonts in its database. The program is first and foremost marketed as an autotracing and vector editing application. It also will identify text and substitute it as part of the vectorization process (providing you own licensed versions of the fonts and in the particular way that they have them cataloged.) The application will also, according to claims made by the sellers, identify a font even if it has been modified. In a recent email exchange with the US distributor, he stated that the font substitution limitation is misunderstood and that the application will still tell you the font it thinks is the unknown sample. It just won't substitute it automatically unless you have met the program's requirements in proving that you own licensed versions. This from their website:

    Imagaro Z currently sells for $690.00. As far as I can tell, there is no capability to add you own fonts into their database in the event they haven't included some of them.
  8. zapzaw

    zapzaw New Member

    Jul 12, 2006
    Hi Group!
    Thanx for all the info.
    Cheers! ZZ.
  9. GB2

    GB2 Very Active Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Connecticut, USA
    ImagaroZ will search through it's own database of standard font sets, such as Adobe, Corel, etc., and will also search all of your own installed fonts, which you can of course add and remove at will. What it doesn't do is search through any un-installed fonts that you have even if they reside on your computer. It also does a fairly good job of searching streched or moderately altered fonts. Now as far as the autotracing capability.....I wish that worked half as well as the font recognition.

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