Slid in amongst all the announcements for Ignite, Microsoft’s big conference in September, as a tool that I thought was quite cool. Not original, since similar things have existed elsewhere & when, but a nice option nevertheless.
Microsoft’s Font Maker allows you to create your own font using digital ink. You get all 26 characters, numbers and punctuation (for English languages) on which you draw your font for each character. (For me, it’s the first 128 printable characters out of the ASCII table!)
Using your #digitalink pen, you draw out what you want each character to look like. I just quickly wrote out the alphabet as you can see below:
You don’t have to do it all at once and you can keep working on your Font as you go; it saves as a JSON Project File which means you can send these between collaborators.
Once you have your font done, you can adjust the spacing between characters & words to make it look good (it uses a scene from Hamlet — I’m curious why…)
Then when you click CREATE, you get to save your font as a TrueTypeFont (which means it’s available for use on Windows or Mac).
Now my first thought was to hand this off to the Art Department and have them use it to actually create useful and beautiful fonts.
And then there’s Elementary Teachers … surely this would be useful for little ones learning their letters? Putting those dashed characters so that they can copy the letters and get used to making the Bs and Qs. Having the whole font means they can practice on ANY words.
But for me, I thought that it would be useful for substitution ciphers; I remember creating them as a kid.
You could then use them for a discussion of Cryptography … or for creating BreakOuts. One thing I know is that when you have an easy and quick tool to make digital content, teachers find cool ways to use it!