|★ APPLICATIONS ★ PAO/PRESSE ★ FLEET STREET EDITOR PLUS: FONTS'N GRAPHICS|8000Plus) ★|
|Fleet Street Editor Plus: Fonts'n Graphics||Applications Pao/presse|
Have you bought Mirrorsoft's Fleet Street Editor desktop publishing program? Now their Font Editor could revolutionise the look of your text.
This is an add-on for users of Fleet Street Editor Plus who feel that the quality and variety of their text is lacking something. Users of FSE Plus will not need telling that the design of individual letters of the alphabet is called the ‘font', and FSE comes with five different fonts to start with.
The Font Editor provides you with with five extra fonts and eighteen pages of graphics. Perhaps the most interesting feature is the facility to edit the fonts and modify the shapes to your taste, or even design your own completely individual typeface. Most of the package though is simply a bunch of accessories to the desk top publisher - even the supplied instruction manual is a set of loose punched pages to be inserted into your Fleet Street Editor manual.
The new fonts (Bold, Compact, Data, Freehand and Skeleton) have to be copied onto your original FSE program disc in place of other fonts if you wish to use them. As with any DTP font, the headines can be very jagged at large sizes and the fancier typefaces can look crude at small sizes, due to the restrictions of the 16-dot format.
Heading for success?
As for the extra graphics, most of the new selection look quite useful. They don't often print out on paper as well as they look in the manual though, and you may well be disappointed by the quality of the transfer to your publication. The collection of headings (Stop Press, Latest, Books, Notice etc) would be useful in any newsletter, and a few of the snip-art pictures such as the camera, wedding bells, postbox and fancy borders would also find suitable uses. Some of the more detailed pictures, such as a cartoon burglar or the upper half of a female model in a swimsuit, have a more dubious relevance.
The program can, however, be run per se, as a device to edit the shape of the letters in any of your FSE fonts, even to the extent of creating your own typeface. The main reason you'd want to alter the shapes of the letters might be for the headlines, which, being straight blow-ups of the basic letter pattern, look very awkward and jagged - you could devise a smoothed-off version of one of the typefaces specially for this use.
On starting up the program you are faced with a blank screen and the options of loading, saving, or editing a font. After loading the required font and selecting edit a grid with all the characters in that font show up. You can move the cursor over the letter you want to modify and paste it into a 16x16 grid at the top left of the screen; once here you can adjust the make-up of the letter pixel by pixel, totally redrawing it to save as a new font if you like. You can edit in three sizes, 18pt printer, 12pt printer, and 12pt screen, so those pedants among us who insist that the font designers have got the serifs all wrong have their chance to put it all right. You can also screen dump a test piece of text to gauge your new set.
Designing your own characters is fun but trickier than you'd think. The main problem is that sixteen dots simply doesn't give you much scope for designing anything at all, never mind a font which mimics the graceful curves of your own handwriting.
To be honest you're not getting a lot even for twenty quid. The graphics are nice but hardly indispensable, the extra fonts are unlikely to change your life and only the most dedicated hobbyists would be prepared to spend hours de-serifing the freehand font or constructing a set of runes to curse magazine subscriptions departments with. But, if you've had the patience to get Fleet Street Editor up and working, and your desk top publications are pushing the graphics and fonts library to their limits, you may well think that this little addition to your system is worthwhile.