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Locally convert fonts to web formats and generate CSS rules

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Web Font Generator

One font goes in, all web fonts come out.

The purpose of this tool is to automate the generation of web-friendly font formats and

CSS rules from arbitrary font files, without having to rely on web services or otherwise requiring a network connection. This tool can generate inline data URLs if needed.

See the Using @font-face article on for more information about maximizing embedded font compatibility.


./setup # Fetch and build third-party libraries
./bin/generate-webfonts MyFont.ttf -o assets/ # Convert a font


The driver script is

. At its most basic, it accepts a font file as its argument and spits out all of the converted fonts to a directory. It can also generate CSS for the appropriate
rule as well.
./bin/generate-webfonts -o assets MyFont.ttf --css MyFont.css

The command above, which uses the default output formats, generates the following files:

  • MyFont.css
  • assets/MyFont.woff
  • assets/MyFont.woff2
  • assets/MyFont.ttf
  • assets/MyFont.eot
  • assets/MyFont.svg

The file

will contain the following:
@font-face {
  font-family: 'MyFont';
  src: url('assets/MyFont.eot');
  src: url('assets/MyFont.eot?#iefix') format('embedded-opentype'),
       url('assets/MyFont.woff2') format('woff2'),
       url('assets/MyFont.woff') format('woff'),
       url('assets/MyFont.ttf') format('truetype'),
       url('assets/MyFont.svg#MyFont') format('svg');

Conceptually, given a list of input files and a list of output formats, the converter will attempt to satisfy all output format requirements by copying matching input files and converting files to fill in the gaps. Because of limitations in the underlying font converters, some intermediate formats not requested may be generated.

The command will avoid generating a file in a certain output format if a file matching that format is already listed as one of the inputs. In this case, the input file will simply be copied to the destination directory (or left alone, if it is already in the output directory). If such a file is not listed in the arguments, it will be overwritten with a newly converted file, even if it already exists in the output directory.

See the options below for more advanced usage.


The script

accepts a list of font files as input and a number of options:

-o --output

Destination directory for converted files. Even if only inline fonts are generated, a destination directory is needed to hold intermediate files.

-f --format

Comma-separated list of output formats. Possible formats are:

  • ttf
  • woff
  • woff2
  • eot
  • svg
  • otf

Any format suffixed with

will cause the font to be inlined in the CSS file as a base64-encoded data URL, rather than a URL to a file.

The default format list is


-c --css

Path for the generated CSS file. Use

for stdout. If omitted, no CSS is generated.

-p --prefix

Prefix of the font paths used in the generated CSS. For example, if your stylesheet is served from

and your fonts are served from
, then you will want to set the prefix to
. The default prefix is the name of the output directory.


Name of the font family used in the CSS file. Default is the base name of the first input file.


Show verbose output while running.

-v --version

Display version.

Supported Formats

supports the following font formats:
  • ttf
  • woff
  • woff2
  • eot
  • svg
  • otf

It can convert to and from any of the formats listed above, with one exception: it cannot convert eot to other formats.

Third-party Tools

The generator leverages three third-party libraries/tools for converting fonts. Since no single tool supports all font formats, the generator's job is to figure out a good chain of converters to use to convert between any two font formats. Under the hood, it's actually implemented as a shortest-paths problem on a dependency graph.

The third-party tools used are:

  • FontForge, a free, general-purpose, and scriptable font editor program
  • sfntly by Google, an open-source Java library which once powered Google Fonts
  • Google's woff2 converter

FontForge supports reading and generating a good number of font formats, although it has no support for the eot or woff2 formats. The blazingly fast sfntly library can convert ttf fonts to eot or woff, covering one of these gaps. The woff2 converter from Google is also used to convert between the woff2 and ttf formats.


As mentioned above, run

to download and build the third-party libraries. Running
will check out the sfntly and woff2 converter repositories locally where
can find them. Install FontForge using your package manager or directly from their website.

The setup process assumes a *nix environment. There is currently no support for setting up this tool on Windows.

The following commands are required to run the setup script: *



script itself requires Python 3.

Closing Thoughts

Please convert responsibly! Respect font creators' copyrights.

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