FF Subsetter launched

July 7th, 2011

FontShop International launches FF Subsetter, a tool for optimizing and customizing Web FontFonts in three easy steps. The free service — found at www.subsetter.com — lets users significantly reduce file sizes to reduce bandwidth costs and make their websites faster.

FontFont Subsetter
Screenshot FontFont Subsetter user interface

18 months ago we released Web FontFonts, becoming the first major foundry to offer fonts in WOFF, the format which has now become the webfont standard, supported by all major browsers. We started with a simple pay-once licensing model and optimized every font for the best possible display across platforms. This month, to celebrate the news of broad WOFF support (with the upcoming version of Safari), our Type Department further improved the files, making them up to 60% smaller with additional optimization for new versions of Windows and improved vertical metrics for consistent baseline positions in all browsers. Upgraded files will be available starting July 20 at no additional cost.

But that wasn’t enough for our Marketing Director Ivo Gabrowitsch. “Users should have more control over their fonts. One of the reasons our customers rely on FontFonts is because of their comprehensive character sets, but in the web environment cutting back on file size can be important, especially when speed matters. That’s why we built the Subsetter,” said Gabrowitsch.

FontFont Subsetter
Subsetter allows you to strip out extraneous glyphs and data that you may not need, like unused language characters, punctuation marks, and kerning information.

Smaller files mean faster websites and a better user experience. Dropping inessential characters from a webfont can make a big difference in the long term. It also gives designers the opportunity to use more font styles with less of an impact on speed and bandwidth.

Smaller files are less expensive too. As a website becomes more popular they cost more to host and maintain. Every bit of saved bandwidth saves money.

FF Subsetter optimizes and tailors fonts to each unique website in three steps:

  • Upload a Web FontFont.
  • Strip out glyphs and data that may not be needed for a particular site, like unused language characters, punctuation marks, and kerning.
  • Download your optimized font file.

File sizes can be reduced up to 90% and the new fonts are instantly usable on the web, just like the originals.

The tool is simple to use, thanks to the work of our very own Clemens Carlstedt and Christoph Koeberlin. “I’m excited about the idea of customizing your font according to your personal needs. You don’t need to be an expert to use it, but if you are, you’ll discover great possibilities,” said Koeberlin, who adds this tip: “Even if you don’t want to modify the font, FF Subsetter’s glyph table is very handy to see what’s contained in your Web FontFont.”

FontFont Subsetter glyph table
FontFont Subsetter glyph table

FF Subsetter is a free tool for any licensed Web FontFont user.
Find it at www.subsetter.com, try it with the free FF Nuvo Web Medium.