TopazExtras

 
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Introduction
The good old Amiga Topaz font. Some people love it, while others really hate it. Personally I'm more in the middle, where I can see it's usefulness on "not so clear" screens, since it looks relatively good no matter the quality of the display. Besides, it is the standard Amiga font, and I use Topaz as "System Default Text" font on all my Amigas.

But I have always thought that Topaz has its limitations, so over the years I had worked on various additions to the standard Topaz font. The results of all my efforts has now been gathered into this distribution, which contains two additions to the standard topaz font and a topaz_prop font.  It can be downloaded from here, and this YouTube video shows what the fonts look like.


topaz 6 and 13
These extra sizes of topaz have both different reasons for their existence. To take size 13 first: I have always found the height of Topaz 11 to really be a bit on the low side on interlaced screen modes (like 640x512). So a few years ago, I decided to modify a copy of Topaz 11 by adding a couple of pixels to the height of the characters (hence size 13).

Size 6 was simply born out of frustration over how much space Topaz 8 uses for Workbench icon text on non-interlaced screens (like 640x256). So here two pixels was chopped off the height. Have in mind that icon text is the main reason for this font, you can also use it as system and screen font as well, but text lines may appear to be too close together by doing so. Another thing I can mention is that you may find some characters, like "g" and certain international ones to look a bit "funky" with this size (I really did my best :-)


topaz_prop
This is a proportional version of the Topaz font, with sizes 6, 8, 11 and 13. Standard Topaz is really a mono-spaced font, which means that every character will use exactly the same space on screen. While this is fine for system text, a proportional font is best suited for icon and screen text. This is because each character will then use different widths on the screen, which leads to the text taking up less space (appearing a bit more "dense").

While working on the Amiga911 Maker project back in 2011, I wanted to include the option of adding a proportional font to the boot disks it could create. Just for fun I started messing around with the Topaz font by using a program called Typeface, and although the result looked kinda "weird", it really made the Workbench look a lot better. So this new topaz_prop font with sizes 8 and 11 was then added to Amiga911 Maker. Later on I decided to create proportional variants of topaz 6 and 13, which was then added to the topaz_prop font.

PS!  If you are interested in trying out Typeface, it can be found on Aminet.


Installation
This is easy! Just copy the contents of the included Fonts drawer into Fonts on your system partition, and then run the FixFonts tool. Or to make things even easier, just use the included installer which does all of this for you.


Legal Stuff
Quite strictly speaking, the Topaz font is still under copyright since it is a part of the Amigas operating system. So you might say that I have actually taken some liberties here. The potentially legal issues is also the reason why my modified versions of Topaz haven't been uploaded to Aminet.

As far as I'm concerned, you are totally free to do whatever you want with the included fonts, but do have in mind their legally "grey area" status.


The Future
I'm contemplating to create size 15 versions of the included fonts. Here two pixels will be added to both the width and height of the size 13 ones. Another thing is that I'm also toying with the idea of making some thin variants of both the original topaz and topaz_prop fonts.


The Past
In an earlier version of this distribution, sizes 6 and 13 of topaz consisted of a seperate font called topaz_extra. But they have now been joined together with regular topaz where they more belong.




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