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Handwriting Font

Letters look different each time you type them
  [vote for,

This font is actually a family of 20 complete character sets. You create the character sets yourself.

This kit comes with a grid of graph paper. Write the alphabet 20 times, including numbers and punctuation. To be realistic, don't dot all of the i's, and put some sloppy letters in there, too, towards the end.

Then scan in the paper and now your computer knows how you print.

Every time you type "b" on your keyboard, one of the 20 b's is randomly selected to appear. (Some template attachment would be included in order to make this system work with, say, Microsoft Word.)

If a letter comes out looking sloppy, delete it -- the way you would with a real pencil -- and rewrite it! Or, a good word-processor may let you overstrike it with a second attempt (also realistically like writing with pen or pencil).

Upon request, the computer will start each document with the neater specimens of each character, but towards the bottom of the page degrade towards (a) using your sloppier specimens, and (b) altering the shapes of loops and curves to simulate hand fatigue.

phundug, Jun 29 2004

V Letter http://www.vletter....products_vl_pro.htm
Probably doesn't have the random aspect of this idea, but looks like it crosses out errors with a scribble [luecke, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

turn your scribble into a font http://www.fontgod.com/
lacks the whimsy of [phundug]'s idea [xclamp, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Half Baked http://www.halfbake...le_20density_20font
Discussed hereunder. I leave it to jutta's discretion whether this should be [marked-for-deletion]. [DrCurry, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Beowolf http://www.letterror.com/foundry/beowolf/
1989 random font... each time you typed a letter it was/is a little bit different to the last time. [xenzag, Jun 21 2007]


       Could work, but i bet you could still tell the difference. I used to write with a fountain pen quite a lot (at school and Uni.) Seems that I only type or scrawl now. My loss.
gnomethang, Jun 29 2004

       Nice idea, [phundug]! I've never really liked the impersonal look of standard typing, and yet I'm so much quicker with the keyboard than the pen. This is a good solution to that. +
evilmathgenius, Jun 29 2004

       make yor own handwriting font software has been around for ages, but i like the randomness of your variation. would be good for personal use, but wouldn't necessarily want to expose someone else to my pen scratch. but (+) for fun.
xclamp, Jun 29 2004

       There's stuff out there that does this, but I like that your idea randomizes among 20 different letter choices - definitely more realistic.   

       You could extend this further to have a "tired" version of your handwriting and "nervous" and "excited" and so on and so on. Bun!
kevindimie, Jun 29 2004

       Printed in three common pen colors. This is awesome, no more "hand written assignments" for me! ++
swimr, Jun 29 2004

       so [kevindimie], when I type slowly, would it tend to prefer the neater variations, and when I type quickly, would it prefer the sloppier ones?   

       I think this would work better if the "programming" phase consisted of a carefully constructed paragraph in order to capture the varying transitions from letter to letter while building up a multi-sample database.   

       Basic "make your own font" software has been baked for a while, but I like the multiset variation. (+)
Freefall, Jun 29 2004

       Eraser marks and smudges would also be part of the font set. You could choose how often one would appear.
phundug, Jun 29 2004

       Very phunny.
DesertFox, Jun 29 2004

       I've come across random variation within letters before, using random numbers generated within postscript code and applied as offsets to points within letters.
hippo, Jun 30 2004

       Great! Anyone out there able to do it? If not //random numbers generated within postscript code and applied as offsets to points within letters// who and where please hippo - I'd love to find out more.
wagster, Jun 30 2004

       There have certainly been handwriting fonts which take into account ligatures, and typographical fonts which include random variations in letterforms. Including 'good' randomness in a handwriting font is apt to be a little tricky, though.   

       In a font that's designed to mimic 18th-century lead type, a typographer will have many almost-but-not-quite identical copies of each letter in his typecase. When typesetting copy, the selection of the letters within each bin will be basically random. A computer program mimicking this process could simply use a few dozen copies of each letterform and select randomly among them. Even if a particular "o" had some defect that worked particularly well next to the defect in a particular "r", it's unlikely the typesetter would bother with such details; indeed, if the defects on a letter were significant enough to make such things noticeable, the typesetter would likely throw those type pieces into the melting pot.   

       Handwriting, however, is a different matter. There, defects on consecutive characters are apt to be related. I would expect that to some extent this could be simulated by writing a program to simulate the trajectory of the pen, adding random amounts of inertia and damping to it. Even that's unlikely to match real-world results, however, because different people are apt to vary their grip strength depending upon what they're thinking which will in turn be a little ahead of what they're writing.
supercat, Jun 30 2004

       this one's good, and feasible. +
django, Jun 30 2004

       [-] Possibly interesting...but IMO, only a true sucker would spend that much time, money, and energy just to have a handwriting font.
Pocketassreturn, Jul 01 2004

       // Possibly interesting...but IMO, only a true sucker would spend that much time, money, and energy just to have a handwriting font. //   

       Y'know, not everything has to be lucratively efficient or efficiently lucrative to be a good idea. Sometimes, the aesthetic result of the idea is much more important than it's commerical viability.   

       I'm not necessarily talking about this idea, but I've noticed that you've been fishboning an awful lot of reasonable ideas for the sole reason that you don't believe them to be relevant. Not every idea is marketed to the business man on the move.
spiritualized, Jul 01 2004

       i would love the handwriting font they use for the handwritten annotations on magazine adverts +   

       especially as my hand writing is truely attrocious.   

       on the font thing with letters could special charachters be used so that any fancy letter combinations replace the 2 letters with one symbol.
engineer1, Jul 01 2004

       Certainly the program could (should) ask you to write "fl", "ti", "tt" and other commonly connected pairs to see how you'd do it. It would only take an hour to write up all the samples you'd need for a complete font.
phundug, Jul 01 2004

       [spiritualized] Ok...is that not the point? To express your opinion? Not to dig up old bones, but I've had plenty of my 'very reasonable' ideas fishboned for very similar reasons, when they in fact are useful.   

       And BTW, everyone here seems to think I'm such an asshole. In this case, I'm just expressing my opinion. The only time I'm really a true asshole is when people like you decide to take it upon themselves to ridicule me for the exact same reason I'm ridiculing you. It's a neverending cycle. I've done more than my share of effort to fix this problem, and you people just don't know when to stop. This is ridiculous.
Pocketassreturn, Jul 01 2004

       Nice one, phundug. +   

       [PAR] - cry us a river, you poor misunderstood child.
Lacus Trasumenus, Jul 01 2004

       // I'm such an asshole.//   

       Right. And your head is wedged tightly up it.
neelandan, Jul 01 2004

       If I'm reading something typed, I don't want to see the mess and randomness of handwritting. I want clear text that's easy to read.
nomel, Jul 02 2004

       So you only ever use one font?
angel, Jul 02 2004

       re the number of samples you'd need. You're assuming that 'handwriting' means cursive; if you read the idea carefully you'll notice [phundug] actually specifies this is a way to mimic printing. When I was at school, to 'print' meant to write each letter separately, as in a note a teacher once left on an essay of mine: "If you cannot write joined up legibly, then please PRINT."
spacemoggy, Jul 02 2004

       even with print peoples handwriting is odd i have a wierd joined up capitals style i use when i need something to be readable.
engineer1, Jul 02 2004

       I meant printing. Cursive takes me about a minute per letter, I'm so slow at it.   

       It just occurred to me how *easily bakable* this idea is. In Word, one can easily write a macro which selects each letter one at a time and changes it to a random font. So, simply create 20 handwriting fonts using a simple font-making application. Then type a document in Word using plain old Courier or Times font, and then run your macro to change each letter to a different kind of handwriting. (Code could be put in which causes a trend from the neater samples to the sloppier samples over time.)
phundug, Jul 02 2004

       If you're gonna go to all this trouble, why don't you just handwrite it?   

       Admin: I want to request user deletion of Pocketass. I think he's crossed the line with threats toward another halfbaker in the anno above. Time to lose this twit.
waugsqueke, Jul 03 2004

       [waugswhateveryournameis] I'm not threatening him...I'm just pissed off that everyone here is trying to put me out as the bad guy. You twit.
Pocketassreturn, Jul 03 2004

       You deleted your comment but I'm leaving mine up for the admins.
waugsqueke, Jul 03 2004

       HEY! I missed it. PAR please email it to me willya?
neelandan, Jul 03 2004

       Can I have a copy too?
spacemoggy, Jul 05 2004

       Pocketass... just play nice. Perhaps hold back on the negative annos for a while, and keep your head down a bit more when people react to your posts...   

       I'm not sure it'd take that much effort to do this. I'm with q2c on the problems with joined-up writing, but surely it wouldn't be that hard to do for individual letters. Just make sure you don't add "back to skool" ink-blots all over it though...   

       q2c //I've s**t faced at the moooent// ...no, really? :p
david_scothern, Jul 05 2004

       I am delighted you can write a Macro for Word. Somebody post that link! The other really cool part of this idea is the erasure when you change a word. Could you leave behind a light greyscale ghost of the letter? Maybe smeared a little? To do all the writer suggests, you might want a rather elaborate Photoshop plug-in instead. Could there also be a "thing" where the word is spell-corrected by being crossed out one-to-ten times then spelled correctly in the margin above it? And surely the ragdoll physics of a quill pen flinging a little spare ink here and there would not be impossible to program... The idea of fatigue entering into the document is brilliant.
cloudface, Jul 05 2004

       I thought of this idea and here it is, 3 years old. I have seen some graffiti fonts recently and some are quite good, except the letters are always the same. Once could choose randomly as proposed here. The preceding letter or letters might also influence the choice of letter - for example a T following an A might be a special T in which the bar of the A crosses the T.
bungston, Jun 21 2007

       Right, the "ligatures," as typographers call them. A lot of fonts have those - there were all kinds of rules about how to write two characters next to each other, pretty much from the beginning of writing, and they used to be expressed by making special two-character combinations when movable type came in.   

       I'm leaving this idea up for its details in spite of the redundancy of the basic idea with DrCurry's link (not to mention the reality that egnor and bristolz discuss there), but go follow it if you're interested in this.
jutta, Jul 13 2007


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