Category Archives: Electronics/DIY

Byte-Font Designer

Recently I was playing around with an LED Matrix and a PIC microcontroller. I wanted to scroll some text across the matrix, but I ran into a problem when it came time to pick a font. The problem was.. well.. I couldn’t find a font to use with the matrix anywhere.

The next best thing I tried was finding a font creator…(which I did)… however, the font generator that I did find didn’t quite cut it for me. There was too much copy, paste, and editing I had to do in order to get it to work properly with the programming language I was using.

My final solution was to make my own font creator application and make it a lot more versatile than the ones I had found.

Enter “Byte-Font Designer”

Byte-Font Designer

Byte-Font Designer has an 8×8 grid of blocks that are initially set to a tan color. clicking on any of the blocks changes its state from a “0”(tan) to a “1”(green) and vise versa.

Once you have drawn the shape you want, click the big “ADD” button and your shape will be displayed in the output box. Your are given the option of representing your shape as a binary, hex, or decimal comma separated list. Each time you click the “ADD” button, the new shape will be added just below the previous one in the output box. Once you’re done you could copy the entire thing into your project with ease.

The feature that makes this application so versatile is the option to add prefixes and suffixes to your output. For example: If you had a byte such as this one “00000000” and you  wanted to use this app to display it in a way MPLAB IDE could recognize, you would add ” b’ ” in the prefix box, and ” ‘ ” in the suffix box and the output would look like this ” b’00000000’ “. I found this feature to be very useful when creating fonts, and it saved me a load of time!!

The rest of the features are pretty self explanatory so I won’t be mentioning them here.

Update: I created a Mac version of the software in response to a request made on another website.

Here is a screenshot:

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 12.52.17 PM

Both versions of the program are available from the downloads page: Downloads