Win / Mac: New tool "Find my Font" to identify fonts in images

fvilanakis's picture

Hi everybody,

my name is Fivos Vilanakis and this is my first post in Typophile forums.
I'm the chief technical officer at Softonium Developments Inc and I'd like to introduce our new application named "Find my Font".

Find my Font Screenshot 1 Find my Font Screenshot 2

Product site: http://www.findmyfont.com

'Find my Font' reads scanned images or photos and then goes through all the fonts on your computer and matches the letters in the scanned image against the fonts in your computer. You are provided with a list of matching fonts along with the matching accuracy for each one. You may also type some text and see how well the matching went.

It's ideal for font designers, graphic designers and creative professionals who would otherwise spend hours trying to find a matching font.

The main features of "Find my Font" are:

1. It runs natively on both Windows (XP, Vista, Windows 7) and Mac OS/X (intel based)

2. It works with all common image formats or a screen capture
You can load any common image file (bmp, gif, jpg, png, tif, +others) or use the screen capture tool to work with a web image or a the on-screen image of another application.

3. Smart selection tools - No special image preprocessing required
It provides special tools to easily select any letters present in a color image with no need for a white-background or special image preprocessing. You can e.g. rotate the image, make the text baseline horizontal, split any script letters, or select a letter placed on a complex color background with a few simple clicks.

4. Matches all of your OTF/TTF fonts either installed or not
It matches the letters you select from an image, against all Open Type (*.otf) or True Type (*.ttf) fonts installed in your system. You can also specify any number of additional folders containing not installed OTF/TTF fonts and even switch on/off any of these font-sets on a specific matching.

5. Unicode support
The Find my Font (Pro edition) supports both matching & indexing on the full unicode range of font characters.

6. Incredible matching speed!
The latest version of 'Find my Font' achieves incredible matching speeds. Thanks to our new proprietary indexing algorithm the application is able to scan up to 5 million fonts per minute. At these speeds you can examine e.g. 100.000-200.000 fonts in just 5-10 seconds!

7. Precise Matching!
You can find both exact matches of the font you are searching and/or similar fonts.
When it comes to matching accuracy we are confident enough to say that, If you don't see an exact match of the font you are searching on the top 5 matching positions, this font probably does not exist in your computer!
Try the free-trial edition to believe it!

You can find more on product-editions or download the free-trial application here:

http://www.findmyfont.com/index.php/download/compare-editions

Using "Find my Font" as a copyright protection tool
There is a special use of Find my Font for font designers: To protect your copyrighted work.
We all know there are many sites out there claiming they have "free fonts" but most of these are not actually free but illegal copies of commercial fonts packaged under different filenames and/or different family names.
If you download all available fonts of a "free fonts" site and use your font design as input, Find my Font can tell you in seconds if there are any illegal copies of your design in the downloaded fonts.
...and this is only possible because you can instruct Find my Font to match against e.g. 100.000 fonts and still get very accurate results in just 5-10 seconds!

I know that font designers are actually the most demanding users of our application and I'd love to hear your opinion and thoughts whatever it is - things you like, you don't like, things to improve, anything.

For this reason we have decided to give 15 Promotion-Codes for Typophile users to download the Find my Font Pro edition for Windows or Mac OS for free.
The only thing we ask in return is to write your opinion here in this thread to help us improve our product.

Feel free to respond to this message and ask me to send you a free promotion-code to download the Pro Edition.

Current Count: All PROMO-CODES are given!

I wish you lots of creative time!

Fivos Vilanakis
Software Engineer
Softonium Developments

PS: Although the main purpose of this message is promotional, I have to admit that I'm personally involved in both design and coding of the product and I'm really proud of the final result, therefore I really need to hear your opinion about it. Thank you for your time!

===================================================
UPDATE - 11 May 2012
New posts:
7 Dec 2011: Find my Font v2.3.0 - Find fonts in Images & Browse fonts by Visual Similarity
11 May 2012: Find my Font v3.0 - Find fonts in Images: Both Local and Online font matching is now supported!

bojev's picture

Welcome Fivos - Sounds like an interesting tool - send me a promo code - look forward to trying your product

fvilanakis's picture

Thanks Bob,
I just send you a promo-code and I 'll be glad to read your comments :-)

5 more promo-codes to go...

Richard Fink's picture

I'd like to check it out. I also blog about font related stuff like this at:

Readableweb.com

email is:
rfink - you know what to insert - at the domain above.

Anything that might help with font-finding is worth checking out - IMHO.

And welcome as well, Fivos.

Richard Fink

fvilanakis's picture

Hi Richard,

and thank you for the welcome :-)

I just send you a promo-code for "Find my Font Pro" by e-mail.
Thank you for trying our product

Fivos

4 more promo codes to go

Stephen Coles's picture

Would love to try the OS X version, Fivos.

fvilanakis's picture

Hi Stephen,

I see that I can't send you a message through the contact form of Typophile,
so I just send you a promo-code using your contact-form at:
http://stephencoles.org

If you don't receive it, please send me an e-mail to fvilanakis (at) findmyfont.com
to send it again.

Thanks for trying our product

Fivos

3 more promo-code to go

Seymour Caprice's picture

Fivos - I'll try out the Mac version of your "Find my Font" tool. Send me a promo code: seymour.caprice (at) gmail.com

fvilanakis's picture

Hi Seymour,

I just send you a promo-code to your e-mail.
Thank you for trying the product!

Fivos

2 more promo-codes to go

JamesT's picture

Fivos,

I'd love to try out the Windows version.

JamesToddDesign(at)gmail.com

fvilanakis's picture

Hi James,

I just sent you the promo-code.
Thanks for trying Find my Font!

Fivos

1 last promo-code left

Theunis de Jong's picture

This looks like it could be fun. I've been thinking about something like this but never had the nerve to pull through and actually program it. Can I go for the last Free voucher, for an OS X machine?

[removed at the request of poster]

(Is it my imagination or have all of the vouchers now been handed out to Europeans?)

Stephen Coles's picture

Not me, Theunis. I'm in Oakland, California.

JamesT's picture

I'm in Western New York.

fvilanakis's picture

Hi Theunis,

I just sent you a promo-code.
You are right, many promo-codes are given to Europeans
but not all of them!

I like that there are so many people in Typophile
wiling to try the product and say their opinion,
so I will increase the free Promotion-codes from 6 to 10
(and I hope I don't have to fire myself after that, due to lost sales :-) )

So...

...there are 4 more promo-codes to go

Theunis de Jong's picture

Oh good -- I was afraid time zones were in our (European) favor, but we seem to have a good geographic spread here.

Fivos, thank you very much! I'll give it a good run-around.

dinobib's picture

Hi Fivos,
That's a really useful software. Hope they're is still a promo code for me.
It happens I have an image of the font I can't remember, search on what the font or forum didn't point me to the result even if I know I have such font.

fvilanakis's picture

Hi Dinobib,

I just send you a promo-code for Find my Font using the contact form of Typophile.
I hope you can find the font you are looking for :-)

... 3 more promo-codes left

Floflo's picture

Hi,

Great soft! as Dinobib, I hope they're is still a promo code for me too...
I waiting your promo code.
Thank you very much.

fvilanakis's picture

Hi Floflo,

I just send you the promo-code through the contact-form of Typophile.
Thank you for trying the product!

... 2 more promo-codes left

bojev's picture

Now First impressions upon using the software: Like the interface - straight forward and easy to learn, uses standard keystrokes like shift to add element in multipart characters. I can see this as a great creative aid as well as for straight identification - gives you variants in same range for consideration from your font collection. Also the font preview window lets you compare the match to see how close other fonts are to original sample. Usefulness of this tool knows no limits as a way to view your font collection. Impressed on first half hour of playing with it.

Stephen Coles's picture

Had the same thoughts as Bob. The tools for adjusting the baseline and splitting connected characters make this far powerful than WhatTheFont. Now if only you had a connection to MyFonts’ library to increase the chances of a match.

The UI needs a new skin. It's not a good looking app — which is kind of a requirement for your target audience.

k.l.'s picture

Stephen – Now if only you had a connection to MyFonts’ library to increase the chances of a match.

I had the same thought after reading the description. But then I realized that its restrictions to one's own library, showing me what I have, is its strength. If I would want to (search for and) license fonts that I don't have, I would use something like WhatTheFont.

fvilanakis's picture

Bob, Stephen & Karsten
thank you all for your thoughts.

I'm glad you find the interface easy and straight forward because that was one of our primary goals.

I agree that a different UI skin would make the application more attractive, but there are some inherent limitations due to the Nokia's Qt framework we use to produce the dual Windows / Mac version. Every "beautification" of the UI must be designed & tested to work well on both Mac & Windows and this is not always easy.

I agree that a connection to a big external font library would be a great plus for the application, although as Karsten pointed out the "restriction" of searching only your own library can also be considered as a big advantage: You may find similar fonts that you already have and you could avoid to buy a new one (or the same one).

Another alternative could be to create a proprietary font library for each major font distributor (e.g. Adobe, Linotype) and let Find my Font download them and use them for matching. Such libraries will contain off-course only the required matching information -not the actual fonts- and maybe a link to the distributor's site to view/buy any fonts you need. But you already have WhatTheFont if you want to go this way.

We are examining carefully all the alternatives and some of them are even under development, but I can't say more or promise anything at the moment.

Best
Fivos

bojev's picture

Fivos, Really like the thought of a proprietary font libraries feature - set up so you could use your own library first and then go further afield if you do not have a match in house. Would think font foundries might like that too as a great selling tool.

JamesT's picture

I like that you can see (and adjust the number of), nearest results. The percentage indication is very nice as well.

Theunis de Jong's picture

What struck me is it's amazingly fast, considering the amount of work that has to be done -- even with several thousands of fonts.

Well done!

fvilanakis's picture

James & Theunis,

thank you for your comments.

I 'll be out of office for a week, so if anybody is interested in the 2 promo-codes left, please be patient until Sep. 12.

JamesT's picture

If you do end up including an online resource, it would be best to have options to search either online or on your system (and one for both).

riccard0's picture

Well, if there’s space for another European, I would very much like a promo code ;-)

Diner's picture

Hi Fivos,

Would love to try out your program! Hopefully I'm here in time . . .

Best,
Stuart

fvilanakis's picture

Hi again,

Ricardo I just send you a promo code through Typophile contact form.

Stuart, I see that you have not enabled Typophile contact form. You can send me an e-mail to fvilanakis(at)findmyfont.com - by replacing the (at) with @ - to send you back a promotion code.

All 10 promotion codes are given, so I'm now waiting for any more comments you may have.

Thank you all for trying our product.

Fivos

dezcom's picture

I see I am late to the party, Fivos :-(

fvilanakis's picture

Hi Chris,

There is always a drink left in parties in my country, even for the late ones :-)
I just send you a promo-code through Typophile contact-form.

Fivos

dezcom's picture

εφχαριστο πολλη!

Although the user interface seemed odd to me, it worked like a charm after I got the hang of it! Perhaps because I am using OSX Lion, the screenshot tool just gave a black rectangle the proportion of my screen. If I made a normal Mac screenshot with Command/shift/4 and selected a glyph with it, it worked fine. I could not get the cropping tool to do anything but draw blue lines. I also tried glyphs with diacritics such as eogonek but had no way to let the software no the proper glyph name? When I chose Greek glyphs and switched to Greek keyboard, it worked fine!

I gave it a tough time by using close valued colors and it did not blink!
I have designed a face which stays the same weight but varies in width with some fairly close gradations; and it picked the correct one each time! I will post a few images to show what I tested. As a general rule, it seems to need stem width of at least 3 pixels wide to get started, otherwise, it selects only a piece of the glyph.

I would say that this is a valuable tool for me!

THANKS!!!

dezcom's picture

Ligatures and swashes were problematic but as long as I chose a normal glyph, it works pretty well!


Handled the faux 3d shaded glyphs well at large sizes;


Did well with red on red;


could not separate reverse figure ground here;


Single greek glyphs were perfect but the double gamma was not appreciated.

fvilanakis's picture

Chris,
thank you so much for your time and the extended test you performed!

(a) Regarding the screenshot tool, you are right: It gives a black image in OSX Lion - we will fix this on next release.

(b) Regarding your comment "I also tried glyphs with diacritics such as eogonek but had no way to let the software no the proper glyph name?"
You are right again, although the "Text To Match" box accepts the full unicode range of characters you need to switch to the appropriate keyboard to type the character you want. I think we should develop an alternate input method to allow easy insertion of any unicode character.

(c) Many many thanks for the font-variations test!
We never performed such a test, and I'm glad the results are good.

(d) Regarding your comment "could not separate reverse figure ground here;"
you can use the following options to separate/select letters when their color is very close to background:
1) Change the Tolerance Letter Selection Tool to a lower level from e.g. 32 (the default) to 10 or lower. This can be modified either in preferences or by click and hold the mouse button on Letter Selection Tool.
2) If after lowering the tolerance, the letter selection tool selects only part of a letter, you can hold-down the Shift or Control key and append many selections to the current letter until all main parts of the letters are selected.
(See also:
Help -> How To Procedures -> Letter Selection -> Selecting multi-part letters)

(e) Regarding your comment "I could not get the cropping tool to do anything but draw blue lines"
The Letter Splitter Tool does not actually crop the image but enables you to draw blue lines which are used as boundaries when you select the next letter. You just draw a line at the position you want the letters to be split and then you select the next letter as usual. I think it's easier this way...
This will also work well with the Greek double Gamma letters.
(See also: Help -> Tutorials -> Split Text)

(f) Regarding your comment "Ligatures and swashes were problematic but as long as I chose a normal glyph, it works pretty well!",
I suppose this is related to Letter Selection Tool tolerance and multiple selection method I described in (d) above.
If not, would you please elaborate more on this issue?

Thank you again for your time :-)
Fivos

dpb's picture

Thanks for your post. I also would like to receive a promo code (if still available)
to try out your program. Thank you very much for posting such a very much needed
tool.
dpb

fvilanakis's picture

Hi dpb,

I just sent you a promo-code using Typophile contact form.
I will be glad to read your comments.

Fivos

Alaskan's picture

I'd love to try this software...any promo codes left?

This looks like the software I've always dreamed about; not necessarily for identifying fonts themselves, but for finding similar styles without all those cumbersome keywords. If it works well, I can see Adobe interested in buying your company and making you a very rich man. :)

dezcom's picture

"I suppose this is related to Letter Selection Tool tolerance and multiple selection method I described in (d) above."

Fivos,
That is part of the story but not what I was looking for. For me, it would be valuable to find and match ligatures and even alternate for a font. When designing type, I often make many variations on either ligatures or mostly contextual alternates that only come into play in certain situations or combinations of glyphs. I find it hard to tell from my printed samples, which of the variants was chosen by the coding. Most variants are there to get around awkward joins. An example might be the ear of the g. It can work fine with most letters but get awkward next to a "y"--a common possibility. I realize that his is a very specialized need and surely not worthy of you losing any sleep. There might be 500 people in the world who might care--hardly a big market!

Chris

fvilanakis's picture

Chris,
thank you for the clarification
and yes I think this is very specialized need indeed.

Alaskan,
I just send you a promo-code using the typophile contact form.
I promise that if Adobe buys our company, I 'll make a special edition of Find my Font
only for you and I 'll send you updates for lifetime,
for the prediction you made! :-)

I just spoke with the operations dept. of our company and we
decided to set a final limit for the promo-codes here in typophile.
We already gave 13 promo-codes and we decided to set a final limit of 15.

So there 2 more promo-codes left and this will be final.

Thank you all
and I'm waiting for your comments

Fivos

koeiekat's picture

Fivos, my compliments! Finally one that beats Javier Guerrero's good old FontMatcher - and by far!

If you still have a promo code left over I would highly appreciate one.

fvilanakis's picture

Hi koeiekat,

and thank you for the kind words.
I just send you a promo-code
and I 'll be glad to read your comments when you try it.

1 last promo code left!

Alaskan's picture

Thank you for the promo code. I spent quite a while today using "Find My Font" and trying different settings -- it's very useful! For the record, I have a good friend who is a manager at Adobe and I'll show him the software next month when I see him. He doesn't work in Adobe acquisitions, but nonetheless I think he'll be impressed.

So, here are my notes. I've been told I can be brutally critical....so don't take my opinion personally. It's meant to be constructive criticism.

After I entered my license number to activate the software, a popup dialog said the application "will restart" so I clicked OK. It didn't restart; it just quit. Eventually, I stopped waiting and restarted it myself. No big deal, but it made me wonder how stable the software was.

It works pretty well; no crashes, freezes, or confusing/incomplete documentation. It accurately finds fonts based on pixels, which is impressive and quite useful. I expect to use it often. If I don't encounter bugs over the next few weeks, I'll gladly recommend it to clients and co-workers.

What would I change? Rather than showing a (text-only) list of possible matches, I'd like to see thumbnails. It's kinda cumbersome to scroll through and see each font preview individually. I'd rather compare thumbnail previews of all the possible matches visually in one window.

Honestly? This might sound harsh, but……I'd be very unlikely to buy this software based on the website and logo. No offense, but clearly your logo wasn't done by a professional graphic designer. Had I found your software/website via google, I'd seriously doubt this company knows anything about type design, graphic design or typography. In fact, the only reason I even noticed you on Typophile was because I was puzzled how somebody who used a faux-metallic gradient avatar (that isn't optically centered) had an eye sharp enough to visually identify so many fonts in the forum.

This fear was not abated (heightened actually) when I saw the very first page of "Tutorial 1" boldly featured Arial, Comic and Calibri. (Shudder!) Frankly….I was embarrassed to have the window open to the tutorial graphics and looked over my shoulder hoping my co-worker didn't notice! :)

So, if your target market is graphic designers..….maybe hire one to add some visual sophistication? And, for the love of Jan Tschichold, stop with all the Comic Sans unless you're a kindergarten teacher!

On the upside, the documentation is comprehensive and well-written. So, in conclusion; it works well and does what you advertise, but it could use some refining from a type snob. If you can do that, well, "Find My Font" could become genuinely indispensable for anyone who works with type. (wow!)

eliason's picture

I'll take the last one if it's still available!

eliason's picture

Thanks for the code.
After my first few minutes, I'd agree that this seems powerful though the interface could use some polish.
Three quick things I'd suggest fixing:
1) Make the Mac version application menu read "Find My Fonts" rather than "findmyfonts"
2) findmyfonts > Preferences > General, "Torelance" should be "Tolerance."
3) As I'm choosing letters and my selected bits are turning red, I like that Shift can add bits (an expected behavior) and the addition of the plus-sign to the cursor is also good feedback. But wouldn't it also make sense to keep the reddened parts of the letter red as I add to them?

fvilanakis's picture

Hi Craig,

I just send you the last promo-code,
and I 'l be glad to read your thoughts.

EDIT: I just show your comments
We will take care of (1) & (2) for sure.
We would also consider point (3) but it would have some side effects which are not easy to overcome.
Thank you for the feedback!

Alaskan,
I enjoyed every word of your comments and I'm really thankful for the time you spend on Find my Font.

There is no reason to worry that I 'll take anything personally. I'm old enough to have a good sense of humor and to know that a sincere constructive criticism is the best improvement tool for all things.
I assure you that I already forwarded all your comments to the ...kindergarten teachers! :-)

Fivos

Alaskan's picture

Good to hear you're not thin skinned, Fivos. That's a great characteristic to have in your business!

Unfortunately, I've encountered some problems. The first odd behavior was bad; it would search for matching fonts, find a few (above an 80% match) then, when it was done searching, the window went blank. It showed the potential matches while searching...but once it's done, there's nothing listed. White space. I tested it on a font I own, so aside from the fact it found it while searching, I know there's a match.(BTW; is there a message to indicate "no matching fonts"?)

So, I decided to restart the application. As soon as I hovered over the "file" menu, I got a beach ball. It spun for about two minutes -- something that's never once happened on this computer before -- then, this:

Would you like me to send you the Mac-generated crash report details? I copied it into a text file just in case it's useful to you. I didn't send it to Apple.

Good news: I restarted it, and it seems to be working again. I'll let you know if any more problems arise.

fvilanakis's picture

Hi again Alaskan

Yes, please send the generated report to us for further analysis. The easier way to send it is using the 'Help' -> 'License Information' -> 'e-mail To Support' which sends also some technical info about your O/S version etc.

Regarding your other question, no there is no such message as "no matching fonts", you just get a blank list.

About the behavior you describe, i.e. to see some matches which disappear latter, this is perfectly normal. Each search is performed in 2 phases: The first one is faster and may find some fonts which are then rearranged or discarded in phase 2 according to your preferences.
If you want to make the application less strict and keep more matches, go to 'Preferences' -> 'General' tab and move the 'Matching Accuracy' slider to the right (best matches - value: 100).
This may slow down a bit the matching operation but it will usually provide you with more font matches.

Thanks again for your valuable feedback.

Fivos

Alaskan's picture

Move the slider to the right for more results? If that's true, the "matching accuracy" slider is completely counter-intuitive. Looking at it, I thought sliding left would get more results, and to the right would get fewer (more accurate) results.

I assumed "100" meant 100% accurate. That's one font. If I set it to "50" I assumed the results would show all fonts that matched 50%.

In short, I assumed the opposite of what you're saying, and I'd be surprised if I was alone in that assumption. Perhaps the language needs adjusting? Because what you're saying isn't an "accuracy setting" it's actually inaccuracy. :)

This aside, it wasn't showing any results at any setting. I slid that thing back and forth about a dozen times trying to get a result; nothing. Now, using the exact same image, it shows accurate results at the default setting, and at any setting +20/-20 points.

FYI: It crashed again when I went to quit the program. I'll send the data as you've requested.

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