Starting with Embird 2012 Build 10, it is possible to create lettering using Ready-made (3rd party) Alphabets. In previous version of Embird, it was neccessary to merge one character after other one into Editor, and manually place them over the work area and align them to create the lettering. Now it is possible to load whole alphabet and write words easily while using all other features of alphabet interface - moving along chosen baseline, gap adjustment, individual character moving/rotating/enlarging/skewing/mirroring, envelope, etc. (See also tutorials Lettering 1 (General), Lettering 2 (Individual Settings), Lettering 3 (Envelope) and Lettering 4 (Custom Baselines)). This new feature is enabled for all users who have registration of Font Engine plug-in. For others it works in demo mode, allowing to enter only 3 characters.
1 - Run Embird and click "Editor" menu to switch to Editor window.
2 - Select "Insert > Ready-made Alphabet Text" menu (Picture No. 1).
Picture No. 1
3 - The "Insert Ready-made Alphabet Text" dialog box will appear on the screen (Picture No. 2). All boxes are empty, because Embird is not supplied with any ready-made alphabet. It is supposed that you have purchased some alphabets from 3rd party digitizers, and have them stored somewhere on hard disk, each character in its own file. Click "Add ready-made alphabet to list" button as shown in Picture No. 2.
Picture No. 2
4 - There exist two ways how to load ready-made alphabets into Embird (Picture No. 3). Either you have the .TXT file which contains information about pairing "character X is stored in file Y" (button 1, see also step 12 below) or you select the whole folder which should contain only designs of ready-made alphabet (button 2). Click "Add Folder" button.
Picture No. 3
5 - Select the folder which contains designs of ready-made alphabet (Picture No. 4). It is supposed that each character is stored in separate file, and that there are only alphabet characters stored in chosen folder.
Picture No. 4
6 - Selected folder was added to the list (Picture No. 5). The preview of two characters is shown at the right side of window. Click "OK" button.
Picture No. 5
7 - Back in the "Insert Ready-made Alphabet Text" window you will see the icons of all available characters of chosen ready-made alphabet (Picture No. 6). It is possible to create lettering right now - by double-clicking the icon of character in the grid. However, because Embird does not know which character is shown on chosen icon, it will show different characters in "Text" box. Nevertheless, if you click "OK" button, it will compile the right text (lettering BIG in this example).
Picture No. 6
8 - If you plan to use this alphabet massively, it is recommended to map its characters. Embird will learn this way which icon is associated with which character, and so the pressing of "A" key on keyboard will write "A" character into the "Text" box, etc. To map the characters, just write down into the "Text" box the sequence of characters as you see them in the grid. If you write all characters shown in the grid, the "Map characters" button becomes enabled. Click this button (arrow 2 in Picture No. 7).
Picture No. 7
9 - Now you can create lettering by writing down the words into the "Text" box (Picture No. 8).
Picture No. 8
10 - Click "Properties" tab and "Layout tab" to change various settings of lettering (Picture No. 9).
There are several points shown on the layout area, allowing you the following:
A. Use red points to move the character along the baseline.
Depress CTRL key to move only selected character; otherwise, all characters placed after selected character will move.
B. Use green points to rotate the character.
Depress CTRL key to change the angle by 15 degrees.
Depress ALT key to set the angle to 0 degrees.
C. Use teal points to resize the character, either horizontally or vertically.
Depress CTRL key to change the size in larger steps.
Depress ALT key to maintain the aspect ratio of width and height.
D. Use purple points to skew or mirror the character, either horizontally or vertically.
Depress CTRL key to skew in larger steps.
Depress ALT key to mirror the selected letter.
Depress SHIFT key while moving the point to apply the operation to all characters.
Please note that undo/redo/reset operations are available for changes in Layout; use the buttons located below layout area.
Picture No. 9
11 - Click "OK" button to compile the lettering and place it into work area of Editor (Picture No. 10).
Picture No. 10
12 - The click on "Map Characters" button (Picture No. 7) creates .TXT file in which each line contains information "character X is stored in file Y" (Picture No. 11). If you are a digitizer who creates new alphabets and you plan to sell them, you should include also this .TXT file into your package.
Picture No. 11
Tip: You can prescribe also additional space which will be left before placing the character and after placing the character. For example, if you want to leave 3 mm before placing "I" character, and 4 mm after placing "I" character, please modify the line with "I" character this way: I="filename.ext",30,40. You can prescribe also negative numbers if you want to decrease the gap. The distance is specified in tenths of millimeter. Also, it is possible to prescribe the third parameter, which allows to make vertical shift of character. For example I="filename.ext",0,0,50 for moving the "I" character 5 mm up.
13 - If there is .TXT file with information "character X is stored in file Y" available, please select it by pressing "Add Text File" button in Step 4 above instead of "Add Folder" button (Picture No. 12). In such a case the alphabet is ready to use, because all its characters are already mapped - user does not have to make it himself/herself as shown in step 8 above.
Picture No. 12