WP34 S: Fonts (a bit OT)


I've created TrueType fonts from the bitmap fonts used in the WP 34S. This is mainly for Walter's documentation efforts but may be of more general use.

Here is what I do:

1. Let a program generate Windows style bitmap font files directly from the original bitmap definitions.

2. Use FontForge to import the *.fnt file(s).

3. Use AutoTrace to convert the bitmaps to strokes. It's a feature in FontForge but needs the external tracer. (Some images don't get traced correctly but this can be fixed manually.)

4. Export the result as a TrueType file.

So far, so good. But here the trouble starts. Somehow FontForge doesn't get the encodings right. On my Mac the font simply does not show the characters in their intended positions but scattered over the whole Unicode range. Windows works better but I still need a way to properly address the special characters (in the range 01 to 1F).

My first attempt was to create Windows bitmap font (*.fon). The font installs but doesn't show up in Word.

Anybody out there with experience in this area? I'm even thinking of creating the TrueType font directly from my program in step 1. Is the format easy enough to go this route?

I've committed my work to SVN (trunk/windows/winfont) for testing.


If Luiz Viera (Brazil) is available, he is the one to ask!


Hi, all;

sorry not being here with you these 'years' (I was actually 'called' by Gerson, who told me I was mentioned here...).

I was contacted some many months ago about these fonts, but free time seems to be water amongst my fingers. In fact, I do not even know if I remember how to use 'Font Creator', the application I got used to in order to organize final true-type font files. Characters were created and exported to a TTF file with CorelDRAW!, then I used FontCreator to arrange characters in places inside the TTF file CorelDRAW! was not able to set them.

I still have the drawing I was sent with the characters needed when compared to the TTF I created for the HP48/49/50 series menu font, but I just did not find the time to work with them. Will not promise I'll do that, but if you believe I could be of any help, I surely promise to try hard finding time to go ahead with this WP34S font file. Still have my calcs, my books and (hopefully) all collected knowledge base, but I'd need some time to go ahead with the font. Will let you know as it goes.

Best regards.

Luiz (Brazil)


Happy to read you again, Luiz!
Stay well,



Good to hear from you again.

Marcus has made some truetype fonts already, which look pretyt good. He just wants a bit of assistance figuring out the final little bits.

- Pauli


Olá Luiz,

Welcome back! Please see my mail to you.



Luis, thanks for offering help. I'm mostly worried about the Mac not being able to present a reasonable mapping of my font to the keyboard. If you need assistance with finding the fonts in SVN, ask here!


Hi, Marcus.

I had a reply from Walter and he told me you were working on the fonts. The Windows-based program I used in order to actually fit symbols in some 'forbidden' places was FontCreator, but it's been a while, though. I'll have to read the manual again, but I remember it was not hard to overlap CorelDRAW! and Windows restrictions. It seems to me the places that could not be used were saved for control characters, but FontCreator allowed user definitions to take place.

I'll post later, need to go now.


I went a totally different route with some success. I'm using FontForge on my Mac. My first attempts of importing a bitmap font weren't too successful, at least not with respect to my Mac. The little program which used to create the old fashioned FNT files does now generate the FontForge input file (of type *.fsd) directly. FontForge happily reads my files and creates OpenType fonts from it. The new fonts are here.


Hi, Marcus.

Thank you for your link, found the files.

I just did not find a way to visualize, neither use the .OTF files with my computer running Windows XP applications. Do they need to be converted? The fonts I created were all .TTF, an Adobe format (True-Type Font format). Is there a way to convert .OTF to .TTF?


Luiz (Brazil)


OTF loads fine in my Windows XP and on my Mac. I had trouble with the TTF fonts on MacOS but the OTF files are fine.

Internally, the OTF is a CFF (Postscript) font. I'm not aware that I have installed any special drivers to make the OTF fonts work on my machine. Maybe the download didn't work? To check this, what are the file sizes?

(Edited for typo)

Edited: 22 Feb 2012, 4:15 a.m.


I've put up the fonts on our release pages. They are slightly improved over what I had yesterday. :-)


HI, Marcus.

After [Properties] over both OTF files I have this:

WP34SRasterFontRegular.otf File size: 8,63 KB (8.838 bytes) Size in disk: 12,0 KB (12.288 bytes)

WP34SRasterFontSmall.otf File size: 8,60 KB (8.812 bytes) Size in disk: 12,0 KB (12.288 bytes)

Are these figures OK?


Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 22 Feb 2012, 1:42 p.m.


That's a broken download. I've put the fonts in a ZIP file (see post above).


OK, Marcus.

These ones downloaded and opened fine, thanks!


Luiz (Brazil)


I've now added a nice 7 segment font to the collection. It's generated in the same way the dot matrix fonts are, so changes in the sources are reflected in the font when it is regenerated. Dot and comma have zero width and are appended directly to the last typed digit. To emulate the exponent display just use the superscript function of your word processor.

As with the bitmap fonts which follow Unicode encoding instead of the internal mapping, I've rearranged some characters (codes 00 to 08, 18, 19 are on A0 to A8 and B8, B9, respectively), and added symbols for the separate segments. The latter can be reached (in Windows) with Alt+024x where x goes from 1 to 9. The funny thing here is that you can compose a character from the segments because these all have zero width.

Have fun!

Here you are: https://sourceforge.net/projects/wp34s/files/


Hi Marcus,

I have a question about all this fonts stuff:

Has this any influence or consequences for the WP34s emulator?

I've just seen your new SVN labeled "Reworked Unicode encoding of fonts" with new EXEs for wp34s and wp34sgui, but so far I haven't found any differences in the emulator since you're working on these new fonts (and I haven't even installed any of them here on my Windows).

So what's all this stuff really good for (despite of maybe using these fonts for Walters manual)???



Try the Menu option "Copy Textline" and paste the clipboard in Word (or any other program capable of displaying Unicode characters). If you have one of the non ascii characters (like an arrow or umlaut) in the display or in alpha then the result will differ when you are using an older emulator (without the Unicode mapping): The characters will not show properly in Word . With the new emulator, all special characters are mapped to their Unicode equivalent and the clipboard is flagged as containing Unicode text. The new fonts follow the same encoding so that you can create an exact representation of the display contents on your PC.



Considering that the new fonts are freely available, anyone willing to write about the WP34S will be able to do it and keep the corresponding visual appealing of the WP34S original LCD fonts. I had that in mind when I created the first fonts back in 2004: documents written for HP calculator users (or other brand, actually) with the display and keyboard references close to the original. Matter for fact, I think this is one of the custom fonts goals. I used my fonts to create the LCD pictures when writing the HP12C learning modules, available at the HP website.


Luiz (Brazil)

Edited: 24 Feb 2012, 11:10 a.m.

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