I'm working on a project, which is a bilingual project. There are beautiful fonts for each language (I'm talking about free fonts). However, in any special case, only a subset of each font is suitable for me. For example, for titles and headers, one font is good, while for regular text, another font is more legible. For numbers in one language, one font is awesome, while when the language changes, glyphs of the other font make more sense and harmony.

What I have in mind, is to extract glyphs from each font (required glyphs) and create one unique font which is lighter than all of those fonts, and embed it into my website, so that user agents can download it.

I reckon the compiled font to be easier, because each font contains many characters that I actually don't want to use. For example, each font may have something around 400 glyphs. However, I only want something around 200 glyphs in total (36 glyphs from one font, 45 glyphs from another font, etc.)

However, I'm not sure this method work, and my question is, how should I do this?

  • 1
    Keep in mind that when it comes to websites and browsers, users have just as much of a hand in how the page gets displayed as you do, and all of that work with fonts will be lost on a certain percentage of readers. That's not to say don't move forward with your work, but rather to choose your battles wisely. Aug 16, 2011 at 12:20
  • To clarify, you're using@font-face to embed a .ttf/.otf?
    – e100
    Aug 16, 2011 at 13:52
  • 1
    Yeah @e100. I'm using @font-face CSS at-rule to embed fonts. :) Aug 16, 2011 at 14:03
  • .svg and .eot too?
    – e100
    Aug 16, 2011 at 14:05
  • 1
    Maybe, .eot yeah because of IE, but .svg, I don't know. Aug 16, 2011 at 14:14

2 Answers 2


Using a font-editing application like FontLab is really the only way to edit fonts at any level.

  • Not sure that's true if you're only subsetting fonts, rather than editing glyph shapes, kerning, etc.
    – e100
    Aug 16, 2011 at 13:53

I'd keep the fonts separate but investigate ways to subset them (that is, only include the glyphs you need) assuming that this is permitted by the font licences.

I thought I'd seen tools to do this, but perhaps I was thinking of Cufon.

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