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""Thicken" a font?" Topic

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1,731 hits since 30 Jul 2010
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Personal logo Saginaw Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member30 Jul 2010 9:02 a.m. PST

Is there a free program to "thicken" a font, that is, convert a light or medium typeface to bold?

Thank you.

Personal logo Doms Decals Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member30 Jul 2010 9:38 a.m. PST

Not sure how well it'd work to be honest – most bold typefaces aren't simply a thickening of the original, but subtly altered so that they look "right" afterwards.

Personal logo Saginaw Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member30 Jul 2010 10:51 a.m. PST

I've been pokin' around the Internet, and I've seen references to "outlining" the current font. How does that sound?

Now to find a free program to do that. If you find anything else, Dom, I'd appreciate it. Thanks! grin

jtkimmel30 Jul 2010 1:55 p.m. PST

Saginaw, applying an outline to a font and having a bold or heavy version of a font are not the same thing. Though in a pinch it may do what you want.

Personal logo Wyatt the Odd Supporting Member of TMP Fezian30 Jul 2010 6:47 p.m. PST

The short answer is "no".

You can outline a font to make it heavier (as opposed to making it bold) but only to a certain point (no pun intended). You can think of outlining as adding another pixel or more horizontally and vertically to each part of the letterform. If you add too many, you've really made it cease to be the font you started with.

Unfortunately, you really can only do that in Photoshop or Illustrator (definitely not free). Come to think of it, Gimp might have that feature.

You might be able to find a heavier version of a font on one of the free font sites. Commercial fonts aren't on these, but similar-looking ones with different names will be.


E Murray Inactive Member30 Jul 2010 8:32 p.m. PST

If you are using TeX or LaTeX, "poor man's bold" will do something like that for you. But that isn't really thickening the font, it's just making it look thicker in the document by printing the character several times with very slight offsets (i.e., you don't end up with a second, new, thicker font file). Perhaps whatever you are using to create your document can do something similar?

Whatisitgood4atwork Inactive Member30 Jul 2010 10:29 p.m. PST

I agree the short answer is no. Bold fonts are not just normal fonts thickened.

But you can pseudo-thicken a font by using a drop shadow effect. I'd only use that for a heading. It would be anightmare for bady copy.

Personal logo Saginaw Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member31 Jul 2010 2:38 p.m. PST

Thanks for the help and tips, fellas.

Whatisitgood4atwork, I tried the drop shadow technique, and after doing some "patch-up" with Windows Paint (which I primarily use), I got a satisfactory result from it. I'm still trying to master Gimp 2.6.

Whatisitgood4atwork Inactive Member31 Jul 2010 8:16 p.m. PST

Glad to help. :-)

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