FontCreator Tutorials

Running FontCreator on a Mac

written by Erwin Denissen, published March 17, 2020

Our first initiative to make a font editor started in 1996. At that time Apple had a hard time and Windows was booming. The software development environment used to make FontCreator is Windows only. Although Windows still dominates, many customers want to use our software on a Mac. Fortunately, there are plenty of options available to run FontCreator on a Mac; all require a Windows license. We will explain each one in detail:

  • Virtualisation
  • BootCamp
  • Portable (External Hard Drive or SSD)

Virtualisation

Virtualisation uses software to simulate the hardware of a conventional Windows PC. It allows you to run Windows within macOS itself. Thus you can run FontCreator side by side with Mac applications, without rebooting. Among other things, you can cut and paste text, and share files between them.

You will need a program that runs as virtual machine, creates a partition on your Mac disk, whether HDD or SSD, and loads Windows on that partition. There are several such programs, like:

Parallels Desktop (starting $79.99)
VMWare Fusion (starting $89.99)
VirtualBox (free for personal use)

BootCamp

Bootcamp is an Apple developed utility that allows you to run Windows. This utility is installed on every Mac. It creates a partition on the internal disk, downloads all the drivers from an Apple server to run all the interfaces of the Mac. On booting, press the Option key on the keyboard, and the Mac responds by showing a choice of two disks to boot from: one is Macintosh (the Mac) and the other is Windows. While running Windows, you won't be able to run Mac apps, so you really have to choose between Mac and Windows here.

Portable

This approach might be perfect for your needs if you don't want to use your internal disk. Obviously you need an external hard drive or SSD and install Windows on that. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Open Bootcamp Assistant from the Other Folder
  • Once launched do NOT hit Continue; instead select the menu Action from the ribbon menu
  • From there, select the submenu: Download Windows Support Software

When you want to run Windows, just insert this drive on an USB input on the Mac and boot up. Windows will then launch as if it was a native machine. This makes all the resources of the Mac, memory etc. available to Windows. Being an SSD is extremely fast. Like with BootCamp, you won't be able to run Mac and Windows at the same time.

Summary

If you want to run FontCreator side by side with your mac applications, use Virtualisation. Otherwise use BootCamp or the Portable option.

Let us know what choice you prefer, and how it worked out!

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