Google Chrome has a nice feature - it can create bold-italic letters on the fly from italic letters (in case a font has italic style but does not have bold-italic). The result looks good enough: letters become thicker only in vertical direction, thin horisontal lines are there. In comparison the same result from Firefox is awful.

Is there a way to do this automatically on the whole font in free font editor or any other free app (CLI is also OK)? May be Chrome uses some free engine...


Here is a screenshot of Linux Libertine in Chrome. Top example is a semibold-italic made by font author. Middle example is italic by author. At the bottom is an automatically generated by Chrome pseudo-semibold-italic from italic. In the red is a screenshot from FontForge after changing font weight.

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    I can't answer.. but this reminded me of a sign they had propped up at one of my first employment positions... "Good enough, isn't." – Scott Feb 9 '18 at 20:13
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    Type snobs don't care for automatic bolding or italicazation. If the process could be done automatically they wouldn't have to release these styles of type anymore. It takes people a long time to develop their letter forms in bold and italic to be optimized for reading. Can it be done with freeware? I don't know. – Webster Feb 9 '18 at 20:43
  • @Peter Zagubisalo There's probably a reason why the type creators haven't made a bold italic variant—if it was as easy as running a simple script on the italic variant, they'd do it. If you apply automatic bolding, the readability of your text is likely to suffer. Instead, I'd recommend a) using a different font and b) not using both italics and bold at once (except for a few corner cases, it's just bad practice) – Tin Man Feb 10 '18 at 1:05
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    Why do you expect it to be good quality – joojaa Feb 10 '18 at 6:32
  • @joojaa Because I see it to be a good quality. – Peter Zagubisalo Feb 10 '18 at 6:46

FontForge is a free font editor which can do that. Select all the glyphs and apply the command in the menu Element > Style > Change Weight... Then regenerate the font. As for how good it is, I can't tell; quality is subjective.

  • I tried this. This is slightly better than Firefox awful result. Still bad, though. – Peter Zagubisalo Feb 10 '18 at 3:47
  • Chrome makes a good job, indeed! Sincerely, I have never used any of the weight changing utilities in the font editors. The only solution (in FontForge) that I can see is writing your own weight-changing script in Python... -_- – Pepe Ochoa Feb 10 '18 at 16:28
  • Indeed. For me Chrome's work looks like magic. I don't know where to begin. I asked another question and opened issue on GitHub FontForge repo... I also thought about asking on StackExchange Machine learning community whether they know algorithms like that (you know: Google, magic, deep learning), but I hesitant :) – Peter Zagubisalo Feb 10 '18 at 17:30

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