FFIL and LWFN

sebsan's picture

Hi,

when I look into the font folder of, let say Palatino, I find 5 files. One is the “Font Suitcase” and the icon bears the letters FFIL. The 4 other files are “Postscript Type 1” and the icons bear the letters LWFN.
My questions are:

    What do FFIL and LWFN stand for?
    Is the “Font Suitcase” a bitmap font?

To rephrase the previous question:

    What's the FFIL file for and what does it do?

Cheers,

Seb

david h's picture

LWFN — this is the PS font files.
FFIL — this is the font "suitcase"

sebsan's picture

I found some of the answers—provided by Mark Simonson—I was looking for on this thread. I still wonder what the letters LWFN and FFIL mean though!

Mark Simonson's picture

LWFN = LaserWriter Font
FFIL = Font File

It's what I've always assumed. I don't know if it's correct according to Apple. It may be something inherited from Next.

Mark Simonson's picture

Forget about Next. These are Mac file types that predate OS X. They are always four characters. In older Mac OS's you never saw them unless you used a developer tool. LWFN is the file type of a PostScript outline font. FFIL is the file type for a font suitcase. Too bad they decided to use such generic looking icons. What was wrong with a picture of a suitcase?

sebsan's picture

Thanks Mark, that's very clear. I agree with you about the generic icons. However, since I am new in graphic design I am not familiar with the suitcase metaphor and therefore it doesn't help me understand what's in it. So, this lead me to ask you the obvious—why a suitcase?

claidheamdanns's picture

Although this does not explain what FFIL and < strong >LWFN stand for it has some good information about Apple fonts from Apple's developer notes:

http://developer.apple.com/technotes/te/te_21.html#Section2

Personally, I believe that LWFN stands for LineWork FoNt, since linework is a common term in the printing industry for vector graphics.

Claidheamdanns

claidheamdanns's picture

P.S. Everyone I've talked to is annoyed about the generic icons!

Claidheamdanns

Mark Simonson's picture

Personally, I believe that LWFN stands for LineWork FoNt, since linework is a common term in the printing industry for vector graphics.

That's an interesting theory. You have to remember, though, that the people who came up with these things were not printing industry people, they were programmers. For nearly a year, the only device commercially available that could output PostScript fonts was Apple's LaserWriter. PostScript fonts were commonly called LaserWriter fonts for a while. When the Linotronic and other devices came out, the usage faded, but even the Linotronic was accessed via the LaserWriter driver for years after, even when the LaserWriter was discontinued. Note also that Apple's icon for a PostScript font was a picture of a LaserWriter printer.

peterhaas's picture

At the time the "creater" LWFN was adopted, the Apple LaserWriter (PS level 23.0) was the only PostScript printer in existence.

LWFN is an Apple name for LaserWriter [outline] FoNt.

The screen fonts, which were bitmaps, were in separate font "suitcases".

The outline fonts were in Type 1 format, with each face appearing separately.

Times Roman had four outline files. Others had eight or more.

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