A long time ago in a galaxy far away (e.g., the mid-nineties) there was this service that would create a font from your handwriting. I’m not certain, but I think it was called Signature Software and it may have been the predecessor to this. As I recall, the application inserted a button or menu tool in Word. You would type the document, a letter at a time, in your custom font, and then with a single click the writing would be converted to almost perfect cursive writing.
It was really hard to tell the result from real handwriting. It worked really well. So well in fact that I used it to write thank you notes to people who sent remembrances after my mom died. No, I didn’t send a form letter. I just used copy and paste for the common parts.
Today I read about Fontcapture, a free service, currently in public beta, that lets you make a font out of your handwriting. In less than 15 minutes, I printed the font form, filled it out, scanned it, uploaded it, created a font and installed it on my computer.
It looks a lot like the Signature Software font did, before you hit the magic button that transformed the letters into connected, authentic looking cursive. Without that magic button, I’m not all that impressed with the result, at least as far as an actual handwriting replacement goes.
But it does occur to me that you could use Fontcapture to make some wicked secret codes. My buddy Tad and I had a secret code in grade school. Believe it or not, I still have one of our secret messages.
I have no earthly idea what that says, but based on the actual English on the other side of the page, at the time we were talking about dove hunting, rock bands and cars. Number 4 on Tad’s car wish list was a Pinto. The man always had taste.
If we’d had Fontcapture back then (well, that and computers, the internet, etc.) we could have created a whole new language. Then maybe Tad could have traded up to a Bobcat.
Or maybe even a Maverick.