Importing fnt files into Pulp

Hiya! I was trying to import a fnt file from the SDK into Pulp but I got the error message “Invalid font image data”. Any chance we’ll be able to import fnt files into Pulp in the future?

Hey Julia! @shaun might know more about this

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We don’t have plans to support fnt files. Pulp uses a 2 color (just black and white, no transparency) 8x8 tile rendering system. These limitations extend to fonts as well. The import feature is designed to import fonts designed and exported from the Pulp editor. I can update the documentation to make that more clear. Sorry it wasn’t clear before!

If you’d like to convert an existing font to a Pulp font you can do that in an image editor like Photoshop. Just export the default Pulp font and open it in Photoshop. Then replace the characters with ones from your font, save, and import back into Pulp.

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Thanks for the details, Shaun! I appreciate it!

I was looking for a quick way to mock up some screenshots using the SDK fonts without cutting and pasting letters from the sprite sheets.

Figuring out a way to convert .fnt associated PNG files into TTF (or similar) is on my list. TTF versions of the system/bundled fonts would be very useful.

One of the tools in this other thread (which mostly talks about converting the other way, to PNG) will be able to do it:

https://devforum.play.date/t/alternative-bitmap-font-tools/399

Bits’N’Picas app would be my first try.

I’ll be sure to post here if I get some good results!

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Awesome! Good to know others can also see the handiness of having the SDK fonts in TTF format!

I took a look at Bits n’ Picas but I have no idea how to use it :sweat_smile:.

Understandable!

I’ll try my best to do it this week.

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Good news, everybody! It’s possible.

Bad news, everybody! It could take a while.

It’s only quick and easy for monospace fonts, as there’s no easy way to import the character glyph widths so individual widths would need to be set manually which would take… a while.

Really the best way would be to write a converter to swizzle the Playdate FNT+PNG into BDF, which BitsNPicas can load directly maintaining all font details.

Did I see that there is a new font tool on the way that will save as BDF? If so, maybe this will get a lot easier fairly soon?

Anyway! Guide is here: https://devforum.play.date/t/alternative-bitmap-font-tools/399/2

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Thanks so much for looking into this!

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I remembered where I read that. Apparently pdc (the Playdate compiler) has BDF reading compatibility.

But what we need is BDF writing/export (or better), so I filed an issue: https://dev.panic.com/Playdate/Playdate/-/issues/332

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