Category Archives: GLCD Fonts

Anti-Aliasing and Smoothing of GLCD images and fonts

Anti-Aliasing and Smoothing of GLCD images and fonts

Anti-aliasing or “font smoothing” is a process to make your images look smooth and your text more readable.

Anti-aliasing or font smoothing is a technique to make flat color images and text look smoother on grayscale GLCD screens. The font generator in the Bitmap2LCD tool features font smoothing for 16 grayscale OLED GLCD (4 bit pixel depth)
A graphic liquid crystal display shows an image in bitmap mode. It means that every image is really a bunch of tiny little squares that make up the image. In other words, fonts on monochrome GLCDs or monochrome fonts displayed on grayscale GLCDs, can’t display chars with smooth curves. With anti-aliasing, the curve is created with squares of color that are shaded darker or lighter depending on how much of the curve would take up that square. For instance, if a portion of a curve takes up 10% of a pixel, that pixel would be shaded with 10% of the color saturation of the curve, in fact in case of a 16 grayscale level GLCD, the nearest gray level of the 10%

Anti-aliasing Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Makes fonts look smoother
  • Rounded edges look round
  • Type is easier to read (for some) because it looks more like what printed type looks like
  • Some people feel it’s prettier

Cons

  • Small fonts become too fuzzy to read
  • Sharp edges may be fuzzy and not precise
  • You can’t print anti-aliased text as it comes out blurred
  • Images are generally larger
  • Type is easier to read (for some) because the blurring is reduced and the fonts are clear

Note : This post summarizes information found here and there on the web

 

Example of an Antialiased Character View in the Bitmap2LCD Font Panel

bitmap2lcd-antialiasing

 

Creating A GLCD Font

Creating A GLCD Font

Standard Edition , Update V3.7c

Bitmap2LCD can generate two different types of GLCD Fonts :

  • System Fonts : Fonts of the Operating System, like .TTF (True Type Fonts) , .FON
  • Editable Fonts : Fonts you can edit yourself (modifying the pixels) from a system font source, or Fonts you can create from scratch.

There are ANSI Fonts (system) , Unicode Fonts (system) and Editable Fonts (custom)

bitmap2lcd-font-menu

Choose the main menu GLCD Fonts tab, and click Enter Font Script Mode item to enter Font Creation Mode

Data Setting Parameters are located in Data tab. You can edit the values by clicking on parameter value of the parameter list, only when in Font Script Mode and with Standard Edition.

At the top of the font panel , the caption includes [Font Script Mode] when in Font creation Mode. Use the Door Icon exiz Button to exit this mode when willing to quit.

bitmap2lcd font creation

 

bitmap2lcd Font Panel 2

fontw Enter Font Script Mode

In Font Script Mode (see caption at the top) select a list of chars to export with the mouse (Orange arrow) or write or paste a list of characters into the field (blue arrow)

To delete the selected list , use the [Clr] button or the Clear Selected Chars List drop down menu item (Green arrow)

There are 3 different Font types : ANSI, Unicode or Editable (see Red Arrow)

A right side of the font panel, there’s a field where you can define the Font Export parameters (Purple arrows) in the Data tab -> See screenshot below

For example the Font Data Structure : Raw Font or Structured Font

NOTE : With Trial/Demo Version, there’s a limitation : Only Char “A” is generated as an example !

bitmap2lcd-font-parameters

Example : Modifying a Font Generator Parameter

 

Buttons

fontw Enter Font Script Mode

Start  convert selected List of chars to GLCD data

exiz  Exit Font Script Mode

toolSyntaxbig Font Settings

 

The Font Script (Red Arrow) can be found in the Script (or Name.FSC) Tab of the Text editors. The script itself is not editable. The parameters can be set in the Font Panel, and the orientation of data generation and endianness at the top of the script (Blue Arrow)

bitmap2lcd Font Script Panel 3

The GLCD data generated can be found in the Text editor, first Editor tab on the left

bitmap2lcd Font Gen

Next screenshot shows a comment block at the right side that shows the character of the generated data.  ( monochrome, 8 bit output only )

bitmp2lcd-font-output

 

Rotating A GLCD font charset with Bitmap2LCD

Bitmap2LCD is a tool for programming small Graphic LCDs in embedded systems and a programmable text processing tool.

Rotating A GLCD font charset with Bitmap2LCD

Update V3.7c

Here’s an example on how to rotate a selected charset of a system font (90 degrees CW)

1.  In the GLCD font main menu, click on the Enter font Script Mode item

2.  Select the system Font, the font size and the fixed font option  (Green Arrow)

3. Select the set of chars you want to rotate Inside the font panel, for example here  ABCDE (Red Arrow)

bitmap2lcd-rotate-font_1

4.  in the Font Edition main menu , or on the Editors Panel click the Convert LCD Font script to an editable Font button ( Start editable font Orange Arrow fig 1)

 

Answer to the dialogs, until you see the open editable button in the dialog

–> A .EFF (Editable Font File) has been created

Then, you can see the editable font chars in the char list  (orange Arrow, fig. 2)

5. Rotate the chars 90 degrees clockwise (Purple Arrow )

bitmap2lcd-rotate-font_2

–> The font has been rotated

bitmap2lcd-rotate-font_3

6. Convert Font Script to Data ( Yellow Arrow)

7. Job done !

 

 

 

Bitmap2LCD :: Generating International Fonts / Characters

Bitmap2LCD is a tool for programming small Graphic LCDs in embedded systems and a programmable graphic and text processing tool.

Bitmap2LCD :: Generate International Fonts / Characters

Standard Edition Update V3.7c

There are different ways to select the Unicode characters to generate GLCD Font data.

  •  Enter Font Script Mode ( in the GLCD Font Main Menu ) , select the Unicode mode , the font, the font Size and Unicode Block.
  • Select the Chars to export with the mouse inside the grid ( Are selected = Teal Color )
  • Generate Data  Start

bitmap2lcd-unicode-font_1

way to generate GLCD Fonts, for example when more than 256 Chars :

  •  Enter Font Script Mode ( in the GLCD Font Main Menu ) , select the Unicode mode , the font, the font Size and Unicode Block.
  • Enable the Address Range Selection (red Arrow)
  • Enter the Start and End Hexadecimal Addresses ( From Hex and To Hex )
  • Generate Data  Start

bitmap2lcd-unicode-font_2

Then read the font script (see below) for the other settings to be defined first to generate Font Data : The data orientation, the endianness, the Font Size, if fixed or variable length etc…

bitmap2lcd-unicode-font_3

 

 

Families of Fonts in Bitmap2LCD

Families of Fonts in Bitmap2LCD

Bitmap2LCD is a software tool for programming small Graphic LCDs in embedded systems and a programmable text and graphic processing tool.

Update V3.7c

With Bitmap2LCD , you can of course write text and place symbols and glyphs inside the WORK CANVAS. by the way, Some system fonts families ARE collection of glyphs. You can find fonts on specialized websites like dafont.com and easily install them on you computer.

With Bitmap2LCD Standard Edition, you can also generate GLCD fonts to data arrays, in other words, convert the matrix of pixels of the glyphs into hexadecimal  data.

Families of Fonts

ANSI FONTS

Generate GLCD Fonts from System Fonts ( Glyphs are not editable )

fontw Open / create a Font     exiz Quit Font Script Mode

Directly select chars to convert to data inside the ASCII grid

bitmap2lcd-font-families

 

UNICODE FONTS ( International Characters Sets )

Generate GLCD Fonts from Unicode System Fonts ( Glyphs are not editable )

fontw Open / create a Font     exiz Quit Font Script Mode

bitmap2lcd-font-families-unicode

EDITABLE FONTS ( Freely Editable Fonts )

Create glyphs from scratch or export Chars from a System Font ( Glyphs are editable )

qervg2 List Editable Fonts  scratchw Create Editable Font From Scratch

exiz Quit Editable Font Script Mode

Bitmap2LCD Editable Font

 

ANTI-ALIASED FONTS

Generate anti-aliased Fonts, except in monochrome, 8 and 16 colors modes

bitmap2lcd-antialiased-font

 

Other buttons related to Fonts

Start  Create GLCD Font Data inside Text Editor

Start editable font  Export Selected Chars of a System Font to an Editable Font

exportcharw  Export the selected Char in the ASCII Grid to the WORK CANVAS

.

 

Bitmap2LCD : Info About The System Font Generator

Info About the System Font Generator

Standard Edition

Update V3.7c

Bitmap2LCD is a software tool for programming small Graphic LCDs in embedded systems and a programmable text and graphic processing tool.

Bitmap2lcd generates GLCD FONTS from UNICODE and ANSI SYSTEM FONTS  ( fonts currently installed in Windows ) and from EDITABLE FONTS, chars and symbols you can create yourself. Chars of a System Font can be exported to EDITABLE FONTS to be freely editable.

Font Chars can also be stretched. ( See below, the panel above the displayed Character A )

Info about Fonts in Bitmap2LCD

.

To Generate GLCD Font , ENTER and QUIT the Font Creation Mode, click the following buttons or the associated main menu items :

fontw Reload / Create Font Script

exiz Exit Special Mode > Exit Font Script

Start Generate the GLCD FONT DATA as defined in the FONT SCRIPT

bitmap2lcd-font-generator

bitmap2lcd-variable-and-fixed-fonts

Fig 1. At the left side, the FONT PANEL and and the right side, the FONT SCRIPT located in one of the TEXT EDITORS

Blue arrow : The FONT SCRIPT is NOT a directly editable script. The purple Parameters displayed  are defined with all the other arrows shown on the above screenshot.

Yellow Arrow : Select the SYSTEM Font , the Font Size, ANSI or UNICODE Chars ( script > Font Script Filename, Type, Name and Size )

Orange Arrow: Select the chars to generate in the ASCII Grid. Selected Chars are displayed in Color Aqua Blue. To clear all the selected chars in one click, click the Aqua Blue <Clr> button in the bar of icons. ( script > Selected Chars List )

Red Arrow: Font Height and Width limitations. A the right side, you can change from FIXED to VARIABLE LENGTH FONT. ( script > Font Size )

Green Arrow: Here you can move and frame all the chars in four directions. ( script > Font Size )

Purple Arrow: Here You select the direction of the GLCD Font data ( script > Font Orientation  )

FONT SCRIPTS (blue arrow) are saved to disk as [.FSC] files, and can easily be reloaded from inside the FILE EXPLORER (fig 2.). There’s a dedicated FONTS Folder (red arrow) . The font files there are filtered.

Bitmap2lcd GLCD Font Script Files

 

Example of Generated GLCD DATA for monochrome Display (Fixed Length 5×7 Font, Vertical Data Output)

/* @ 0 Char:’A’ Width in bits :5 */

0x20,     /* __#_____ */

0x50,     /* _#_#____ */

0x50,     /* _#_#____ */

0x70,     /* _###____ */

0x88,     /* #___#___ */

0x88,     /* #___#___ */

0x00,     /* ________ */

/* @ 7 Char:’B’ Width in bits :5 */

0xE0,     /* ###_____ */

0x90,     /* #__#____ */

0xE0,     /* ###_____ */

0x90,     /* #__#____ */

0x90,     /* #__#____ */

0xE0,     /* ###_____ */

0x00,     /* ________ */

Export Font Data to Binary File : Data Structure

Bitmap2LCD is a tool for programming small Graphic LCDs in embedded systems and a programmable graphic and text processing tool.

Export Font Data to Binary File : Data Structure

Standard Edition , Update V3,7c

When you export the Font Script to a Binary File, the data array is sent to the Hex Editor and saved as a .hex to Disk.

Output + Settings Main Menu :

bitmap2lcd-generate-binary-files

See below the data structure inside the Hex Editor.

In the following example the generated Font is Arial Unicode Size 10 , ANSI, Selected Chars are A B and C

Structure :

1st Line , red area 00 03 = Number of chars (decimal)

2nd Line, Character Info between 55 AA   ….  AA 55

00 01  Type of Font  >> 0001 = ANSI  >> 0002 = UNICODE  >> 0003 Editable Font

00 36  Char Data Count (decimal)

00 10 Char Width (decimal)

00 18 Char Height (decimal)

00 2D Char ASCII ( Optional > ANSI, Editable font ) or Unicode Char Address (hex)

00 50 First Address Next Char (hex)

Blue Area = Char Pixels data

Green Area = Data Filler, Forces next Char to begin from line begin

bitmap2lcd Font to Binary

 

Bitmap2LCD Stretching the Chars of a Font

Bitmap2LCD is a tool for programming small Graphic LCDs in embedded systems and a programmable graphic and text processing tool.

Stretching A Font

Update V3.7c

In the Font Panel there is a small Panel for stretching a GLCD Font (blue Arrow) , in width or/and in Height with the possibility to shift the stretched chars along the Y axis.

The “Stretch” checkbox enables or disables the stretching.

This features works when generating a Font, in the font script special mode and when exporting a system font to an editable Font.

bitmap2lcd-stretch-font

 

 

GLCD Font Output formats : Raw or Struct

Bitmap2LCD is a tool for programming small Graphic LCDs in embedded systems.

GLCD Font Output formats : Raw or Struct

Standard Edition, Update V3.7c

From release V2.4d , you can choose between two types of font data output, bitmaps in a raw data array or a C tfont structure

Check (raw) or uncheck (struct) the raw/-struct checkbox in the configuration settings panel

Version 3.7 +

bitmap2lcd-font-data-structure

C language tfont structure in stuct font output mode :

typedef struct {
long int code;
const tImage *image;
} tChar;
typedef struct {
int length;
const tChar *chars;
} tFont;


Previous Versions :

Version 3.0 +

Bitmap2lcd Font Settings

 

 

Before Version 3.0 +

Bitmap2LCD Configuration Settings Raw Struct

 

 

Import a Unicode Character into Work Canvas

Bitmap2LCD is a tool for programming small Graphic LCDs in embedded systems.

Import a Unicode Character into Work Canvas exportcharw

Update V3.7c

  • Open then Font Panel and select a Unicode Font, here for example Greek
  • Create a text frame and mouse click at top left text location in the work Canvas -> a red frame area appears (see red arrow)
  • Select a char in the Font Panel grid (yellow Arrow) and click the export button exportcharw (black arrow) OR  double-click on the char in the Font Panel grid (yellow Arrow)
  • When finished, move the Text frame to its location , and Paste paste the Text Area with keyboard key Enter or the Paste button.

bitmap2lcd-export-unicode-to-canvas