I've found a font that only comes in Linux and Windows versions, is there any way to install it on Mac OS X using either of these versions?

EDIT: I am open to format converting, but preferably with free software.

  • Are you open for format conversion using free/commercial programs in case it's not possible?
    – Daniel Beck
    Feb 9, 2011 at 18:30
  • @DanielBeck: Yes, but free would be best.
    – Wuffers
    Feb 9, 2011 at 18:31

2 Answers 2


AFAICT, .fon represents a Windows bitmap font. For the most part, pure bitmap fonts aren't supported in Mac OS X, so you won't really be able to easily convert this to a Mac version that is usable in most native Mac OS X environments. I say "for the most part", because the only part of Mac OS that may have supported explicit bitmaps was QuickDraw, which has been deprecated for quite some time.

The Mac OS X font architecture requires that fonts be vector-based. So, for instance, you might be able to convert the FON bitmaps into a traditional Mac font suitcase that would hold several 'NFNT' (New FONT) bitmap entries, one for each size. However, without corresponding outline font information (either in the form of 'sfnt' TrueType outlines, or in externally referenced PostScript Type 1 Outline fonts), the font won't be usable to the native OS X environment.

Now, given enough time and the right software, it would be possible to trace the bitmaps to create a vector version, though we'd be talking hours to days of time invested.

I'm not as sure about things under the X11 environment, as it may support the X11 form of bitmap fonts, though these won't be available to other native OS X apps.

If you're looking for a programming font, I use my own tweaked version of ProFont:


This version of ProFont looks best at 9pt, and IMO, doesn't work as well at larger sizes. (I'm pretty sure that could be improved by tweaking the hinting in the font, but I haven't even begun to understand how TrueType hinting works).

  • better then monaco (not anti-aliased) 10px???
    – holms
    Feb 10, 2011 at 3:10

Mac OS only accepts TrueType fonts (.ttf) or OpenType fonts (.otf) but not Generic fonts (.fon). However, there are online converters available to convert .fon to .ttf or .otf. An example would be this one: http://files-conversion.com/font-converter.php

  • Neither of those seem to work. They both give me errors.
    – Wuffers
    Feb 9, 2011 at 18:40
  • Mac OS X also accepts Windows TrueType Collection fonts (.ttc), traditional Mac OS font suitcases (file type 'FFIL') which can house either TrueType fonts (sfnt resources), or the bitmap font portion ('NFNT') of PostScript Type 1 fonts (which must have corresponding printer/outline fonts (file type 'LWFN')). And also the data-fork-based version of traditional Mac TrueType fonts, .dfonts.
    – NSGod
    Feb 10, 2011 at 2:22

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .