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Show HN: Create font in your own handwriting style (copymonkey.xyz)
174 points by swechha1605 9 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 47 comments

I did this in high school (albeit in a much simpler way) by writing every letter on the keyboard on a sheet of paper, scanning it, and using a free program to make a font out of each character.

I calibrated my MS Word settings so that I could print directly onto a sheet of notebook paper, saving me from having to hand-write a bunch of drafts in English class.

How could your teachers not notice that you were clearly using printer ink instead of pen ink or graphite? The materials are pretty easily distinguishable in how they dry and smear.

Either they were too busy shuffling through other papers to care, or they didn't care because I was their best student.

As someone who has used hand written fonts for Perso-Arabic script, I'm curious how'd you solve problems with cursive writing and letter-form changes (uppercase Vs lowercase in English; Perso-Arabic script has many more nuances).

I didn't bother with cursive. It was strictly print.

How did the kerning turn out?

The keming was fine.

Lovely :)

Screw my handwriting. Go straight to EWD font and skip the intermediate steps. https://joshldavis.com/2013/05/20/the-path-to-dijkstras-hand...

It's a bit ironic linking to that font in a blog post based on the topic of how improving your handwriting can be done through time and practice.

Doesn't make sense. My handwriting looks completely different when done with a pen on paper, as it is, when done with the mouse on the screen.

This app needs an upload functionality, where I can upload scans of my handwriting.

Just speculation but it's possible they take advantage of the temporal aspect of writing to improve the training. Google recently used this technique to improve handwriting recognition: https://ai.googleblog.com/2019/03/rnn-based-handwriting-reco...

Haven't tried it yet, but I assume one can get better results using a drawing tablet.

Used the pen with my galaxy note and the results aren't bad, but barely legible for the most part

I absolutely love this idea, but was surprised to see a digital input for handwriting style. I was expecting something along the lines of "take an image of your handwriting and upload it".

Where does the machine learning fit in? First guess is connection between letters but ill have to wait till I'm not at a keyboard to test this out.

You take picture of your handwriting and upload it, for this site: https://www.calligraphr.com/

They used to be myscriptfont.com and didn't have those premium features though. Don't know if it is better or worse.

I've used this to create a font for an app and it works well, given the effort it asks of you (not much!). It gives you a grid to print and then scrawl each letter. I brought the grid into my iPad, wrote over the top with an Apple Pencil, and then uploaded that. Here's what the grid with my handwriting looks like:


I found it actually quite hard to write exactly between the lines. I used an iPad, like you. When I upload the resulting PDF, it doesn't look great because the letters not on the same horizontal line. I tried to correct them and ran the procedure a second time, but it's going to take, in my estimation, at least an hour to get them just right. Not much for such a great tool, though.

But in general, I find it a bit hard to neatly write on the iPad. It doesn't matter much, I just use it to keep track of notes while programming and designing software. And I can read it myself just fine.

I think it's because the Pencil (version 1) feels more slippery than pen/paper while writing.

The advantage of writing on the iPad though: no more paper.

Yeah, I was hoping to be able to upload an image of my writing to try it out. Trying to work the touchpad or even a digital draw tablet to some extent isn't really an accurate representation.

I'd love to be able to import data from my ReMarkable tablet to this.

I work in a Museum, and I would LOVE to be able to upload the letters of J.F.K. or Abraham Lincoln to create a fonts based on historic personages.

My handwriting is illegible (except by me for two weeks at most), I don't want to make a font that's just as impossible to read.

Could it be used as a source of entropy for cryptographic purposes?

I've often described my "signature" as "more of a one-time pad than a signature".

I honestly find it shocking that anything in the modern world still considers a signature as any form of authentication whatsoever. (Nobody actually compares the signatures, and yet somehow people see signing as meaningful.)

When you sign for a credit card it's so the company can show you the signature if you think it might be fraud (forgot but recognize your signature)

They're also useful for acknowledgements in paper work.

They aren't for authenticating that you're you, they're just extra information.

You are probably thinking of the experience in e.g restaurants in the US.

In our business, we very much do verify signatures. The primary goal is to establish whether the signatures are intended to be the same - not as some kind of forgery detector.

Or a mechanism to transmit prescription drug parameters.

This is very relatable. My handwriting has all kinds of problems. It's like I tried to take all the best parts of cursive and print, and combine them into a perfect in-between style. Unfortunately the result is as far from perfect as I think any handwriting can be.

It looks like a combination between Elvish handwriting and the stuff you can find in the Voynich manuscript, but with all the elegance of Gregg Shorthand. I've somehow developed all kinds of weird habits. For example, beginning all my lines from the top and drawing down, or looping letter tails (like g and y) well beyond the line below them.

My ~90-100 WPM typing speed makes me feel okay about all this though because it's pretty rare that handwriting has much practical application these days.

Interesting; I made the same attempt, but based it off of italics and then got sloppy so that it would look like cursive to a teacher that refused to accept printed homework. All of my lines start from the top, my descenders and ascenders are huge to compensate for the miniscule x-height, and my "f" is an "l" with a "y"-style loop on it. (The "f" started out as a long "s" with a line through it; the line ended up joining up with the bottom of the "s" and then the curve at the top withered away)

It turns out that it looks reasonably nice in a font[1] (except for my horrible keming) because most of the ugliness came from the characters all being irregular.

[1]: https://imgur.com/a/cggDt6e

My handwriting is a little better than my mouse handwriting, but yeah - this is the result:


Yeah - same deal here - and I suspect for most engineers this is true

A bit off-topic...is there any project to create one's own OCR engine customized to one's own handwriting?

I've tried Microsoft Font Maker in the past to create my own font with a Surface Pro. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/microsoft-font-maker/9n920...

Curious to see if this one works better!

Unsurprisingly much like all ML things this (presumably) only works well if you're close to the training set. Even writing out pangrams the generated text only looks a little like my handwriting.

I specifically wrote double-decker As and Gs yet the the generated data has single story ones.

This is an awesome idea and a great learning project! It could be a cool tool for illustrating how different pieces of machine learning work together.

I noticed that it seemed to entirely ignore that I use small caps instead of lowercase in my (non-cursive) handwriting. Pretty neat, though.

Why would I want a font that nobody but me can read?

Now doctors can write unintelligible prescriptions at the push of a button. Gotta love the future.

You just gave me an idea.. a font that starts out normal, but every day is updated to be slightly more deformed, until nobody but me can read it.

Sounds like my signature in a nutshell. Started out quite legible back in, what, middle school? Now it's basically a scribble.

This reminds me that I can't recall the last time I wrote something by hand.

I don't even have a pen now on my desk.

The font that was generated is much nicer than mine. In fact it’s very different

Would like a tool like this that finds ligatures too. I combine certain letters when writing.

I wonder what impact the commoditization of this will have on forgies and fraud.

Doesn't seem to work with a pen input unfortunately.

This is pretty dope

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