Optimize Fonts for the Web with FontForge

How to optimize a font for the web with FontForge. I'm going to remove symbols that I'm never going to use from the font and then I'm going to save it as a .woff file. The specific font I used became over 90% smaller.

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Video Tutorial

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Text Tutorial

  1. First open normal font file in FontForge such as a .otf or .ttf file.

Remove Unwanted Characters

  1. Once you have a font open, you'll see that FontForge displays a lot of empty characters that are not used in the font. To hide them select the "Encoding" menu and then select "Compact".
  2. Now start highlighting all the characters you'll never need in your website. Hold shift and drag with the left mouse button to highlight them.
  3. To delete the highlighted characters select the "Encoding" menu again and then select "Detach & Remove Glyphs…". Select "Remove" on the dialog that asks if you're sure.

Save as .woff File

  1. To save the font as a .woff (Web Open Font Format) file select the "File" menu and then select "Generate Fonts…".
  2. Choose a location to save your font file and then select "Web Open Font" as the font format.
  3. (Optionally) Select the "Options" button and deselect "OpenType" and "Old style kern". This makes it a little smaller and it should still work in all the major browsers. Now select "Ok" to close the Options window.
  4. Select "Save" or "Generate" to save the file. FontForge will show some error/warning dialogs, but you can dismiss them and it still produces a working .woff file.
  5. Now your font should be much smaller. I like to make a note above the font's license text that states that I converted the font to .woff and I remove characters I didn't need.