Tutorial Customising a System Font

  • Thread starter Deleted User
  • Start date
  • Views 37,399
  • Replies 127
  • Likes 10
D

Deleted User

Guest
Hey, I'm showing how to customize a font for 3DS and install it. This requires Luma3DS and Boot9Strap.

Please backup your NAND before proceeding. I am not responsible if you brick. :)


----- Simple font editing -----

Requirements:
FontTool
Python (pick 2.7, not 3.6)
GodMode9
3dstool
ctrtool
make_cia
ctr_FontConverter (can't link this SDK here)


Let's start!

Onto PC:
1- Open ctr_FontConverter.exe
2- Go to Windows Font tab for Input section
3- Pick a font
4- Set the size to 25 px and the Bit depth to 16 levels (A4) - important: always use 16 levels, selecting 2 levels will make texts look corrupted (garbled) in some games!
5- On Output section, save as .bcfnt
6- Hit Convert
7- Move BCFNT to FontTool folder (you need 3dstool.exe, ctrtool.exe, and make_cia.exe in this folder)
8- Open up Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell
9- Type the following: FontTool.py -font <your output filename>.bcfnt
10- Hit Enter
11- Copy the .cia file to SD card
12- Remove SD card

Onto 3DS:
13- Insert SD card back into 3DS
14- Power on and hold START to launch chainloader
15- Open GodMode9
16- Navigate to SD card
17- Select .cia file
18- Go to CIA image options... > Encrypt file (...) > Encrypt inplace
19- Reboot 3DS
20- Open FBI
21- Select .cia file
22- Install it
23- Restart your system
24- Voila!


----- Advanced font editing -----

For those who want button icons included, follow this instruction:

Requirements:
FontForge
GodMode9
Some Nintendo TrueType fonts:
• CafeStd.ttf - a Wii U font
Dumped from NAND using FTPiiU_Everywhere, it's located at /storage_mlc/sys/title/0005001b/10042400/content

• nintendo_udsg-r_std_003.ttf - a Nintendo Switch font
• nintendo_ext_003.ttf - Nintendo extended character font. Includes 3DS and Wii U extended characters (such as controller buttons).
(These can be obtained off SDK or NAND.)

• nintendo_NTLG-DB_001.ttf - a 3DS font itself, found in Internet Browser. (Best way to deal with 1.5MB limit)
Launch GodMode9, go to CTR NAND:\title\00040030\********\content\
* Spider - JPN: 00008802 | USA: 00009402 | EUR: 00009D02 / Skater (New 3DS) - JPN: 20008802 | USA: 20009402 | EUR: 20009D02
pick the *.app file (there are two of 'em, select one that its filesize is larger than other), NCCH image options... > Mount image to drive
go to G:\romfs\browser\font , Copy to 0:/gm9/out

Important: To deal with 1.5 MB limit for BCFNT, use nintendo_ext_003.ttf as it only contains button chars, but it doesn't include Japanese chars (but not really needed, only for out-of-region HOME Menu game titles - example; マリオカート7 as Mario Kart 7.

If you want to preserve all 3DS text characters like accents (áëîōü) and special characters while it's under 1.5MB limit, see the last Q/A.

1- Open up FontForge
2- Choose your font you want for 3DS
3- go to Element > Merge Fonts...
(click yes for Kerning thing)
4- pick one of Nintendo fonts
5- go to Private Use Area starting with U+E000 (View > Goto > drop-down menu > Private Use Area > OK / or type "uniE000" then enter)
This is what it looks like:
y0BgCwW.png

6- Select multiple symbols up to U+E07E (left/right D-pad) or rest of Switch symbols
7- Right-Click > Transform...
8- Choose amount of number for Move
9- Expand the second option that says "Do Nothing" and pick Scale...
10- Change amount of number then hit OK
|
Amounts to set:
(Center of Selection) Move- X: 0 , Y: 120 | Scale- X: 195% , Y: 195%
or

If the font is too small, use this amount:
(Glyph Origin) Move- X: 0 , Y: -70 | Scale- X: 200% , Y: 200%
recommended, this fixes spacing
If the font is too big, use this amount: Scale- X: 100% , Y: 100%
|
eliminate Wii U and Switch symbols if you want, they still preserve, useful for custom keyboard such as giving amiibo its name without ending up blindly typing random chars, but it won't display these for other people's eyes in Friend List
You can also use slanted icons perfectly for Italic fonts.
A- Highlight those PUA chars
B- Go to File > Styles > Italic
C- Hit OK
11- finally Generate font.

Here's the result

Warning: If you are fiddling with original fonts that came pre-installed on your PC, please backup C:\Windows\Fonts to safe place.
Go to FontForge > Element > Font info... PS Names ,
change those fontnames to something else by adding something BEFORE font/family name (for example, family: Custom Comic Sans MS , name for human: Custom Comic Sans MS Italic), because even if you tried "Comic Sans MS 1", Windows still detects Comic Sans MS, ignoring the extra bit.
If you don't, it will collide font/family and permanently replaces the current font when installing. Always say No if it asks you to replace current font. You don't wanna fuck up your system fonts, though.
Now you can edit.

Test if symbols correctly show up on FontConverter or EveryFileExplorer by copy & pasting these: 
It shouldn't display squares and you're good to go.


----- Misc/Notes -----​

If you wanna revert the font, download 3DNUS, open it up, copy this TitleID into the box: 0004009B00014002 v0
It'll export .cia file.
Install with FBI and done.

@TheMachinumps posted this batch tool that converts multiple BCFNTs to CIAs which has been made easier: https://gbatemp.net/threads/tutorial-customising-a-system-font.477415/#post-7449721
This is better: https://gbatemp.net/threads/tutorial-customising-a-system-font.477415/page-2#post-7450055


----- Q & A -----

Q: Can I install font on completely stock/unhacked system?
A: No, you need CFW.

Q: I bricked my 3DS while trying to install font :(
A: Your font could be corrupted or it exceeded 1.5 MB. Restore NAND with GodeMode9.

Q: My custom font exceeded 1.5 MB!
A: Try a smaller filesize of the font.

Q: The texts are wide as hell!
A: On 'Font width' tick the box for "Specify average width" and try to adjust. I picked around 20-25px to squeeze the texts.

Q: Does it work with Citra emulator?
A: Yes, follow this instruction and acquire 00014002 folder located in 3dsutils\nand\00000000000000000000000000000000\title\ .
Go to File > Install CIA...
It has to be decrypted (usually from FontTool that converted it)

Q: I went to Super Smash Bros. and the texts look garbled!
A: You must set bit depth to 16 levels (A4), never 2 level.

Q: I gonna uninstall CFW before selling my 3DS
A: Do NOT uninstall CFW with such modded system files, it could brick! There is no point of uninstalling CFW plus it's a risk of ban without CFW. Leave as it is and try hiding those hacks while selling.

Q: I don't want Wii U / Switch symbols, just the 3DS symbols with all characters like Japanese/accent text characters.
A: Open the custom font in FontForge, go to Element > Merge Font... , select an original font called nintendo_NTLG-DB_001.ttf , adjust the size, generate font.
Only if you are not hitting the 1.5MB limit!


Video tutorial (does not include adding PUA characters)

I have custom fonts made by me. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/39dj49x9vzbd3yp/AADMApKfbEjzCId2bsWGCeGWa?dl=0
 
Last edited by ,

Beerus

Gbatemp's God Of Destruction
Member
Joined
May 3, 2017
Messages
1,339
Trophies
0
Location
Universe 7
XP
2,077
Country
Japan
the ctr_FontConverter is in the youtube video description for anyone wondering

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

i cant access the bit depth option
 
D

Deleted User

Guest
the ctr_FontConverter is in the youtube video description for anyone wondering

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

i cant access the bit depth option
Yea, that's why I am not allowed to leave download link here.

Your monitor screen has to be big enough to fit the window to be ablt to access bit depth, I know it's a pain. You can rotate screen by 90° by holding Alt Gr + Left/Right if it's 16:9 / widescreen.
 
Last edited by ,
  • Like
Reactions: Beerus

Beerus

Gbatemp's God Of Destruction
Member
Joined
May 3, 2017
Messages
1,339
Trophies
0
Location
Universe 7
XP
2,077
Country
Japan
Yea, that's why I am not allowed to leave download link here.

Your monitor screen has to be big enough to fit the window to be ablt to access bit depth, I know it's a pain. You can rotate screen by 90 degrees by holding Alt Gr + Left/Right.
lol thank you!

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

upload_2017-7-14_15-2-0.png got this error any idea how to fix this
 
  • Like
Reactions: Deleted User

8BitWonder

Small Homebrew Dev
Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2016
Messages
2,363
Trophies
1
Location
47 4F 54 20 45 45 4D
XP
4,142
Country
United States
I for the life of me couldn't get "FontTool.py -font *.bcfnt" on its own to work for me.
I did eventually get it to work by using "python FontTool.py -font <File Name>.bcfnt".
Not entirely sure why it was finicky for me, but hopefully that helps someone else.

Edit: Just finished some fonts. Great tutorial!
 
Last edited by 8BitWonder,

TheMachinumps

Normal being
Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
305
Trophies
0
Website
mach.bot.nu
XP
456
Country
Portugal
I'm just going to share this...
Put the bcfnt files inside the fonts folder and open convert fonts.bat.
It should convert every single bcfnt to cia. The cia files are saved to the out folder.
It has everything, so you don't need to download any extra executables.
Hope it makes it simpler (not that it was hard to begin with)
 

Attachments

  • Convert Fonts.zip
    718.3 KB · Views: 492
D

Deleted User

Guest
I'm just going to share this...
Put the bcfnt files inside the fonts folder and open convert fonts.bat.
It should convert every single bcfnt to cia. The cia files are saved to the out folder.
It has everything, so you don't need to download any extra executables.
Hope it makes it simpler (not that it was hard to begin with)
Wow, thanks, I'll give it a shot, and I'mma add to my main post.
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
    Psionic Roshambo @ Psionic Roshambo: Lol Veho