Root Reviews: Font Changer

One of my absolute favorite features of my old Samsung Vibrant — running whatever the best TW ROM was at the time — was the ability to easily change the system font. It was available right in the Setting>Display menu, and font packs downloaded from the Market worked wonderfully. Since then, I’ve been looking for an alternative, and so far the best app I’ve found is Font Changer.

Font Changer

Font Changer for root users can only do one of two things: change your font, or change your pixel density. As there are far superior pixel density changing apps available, I’m going to skip over that for now. The function works, but it lacks simple management features like backups and fail-safes available from an app like LCD Density Changer from Beansoft (something I will cover in the very near future). For now, let’s focus on Font Changer’s ability to change font.

According to the pop-up initiated when first opening the app (also available by pressing Menu>Info):

“Fonts have not been included due to legal reasons, as most of them are copyrighted, but you can easily add them.

The fonts need to be in TrueType (.ttf) format and you (ideally) need to have two files: a regular and a bold file.

Please make sure that the fonts have a common filename with no spaces, but append ‘-Bold’ at the end of the bold file.

You should therefore end up with files like ‘Comfortaa.ttf’ and ‘Comfortaa-Bold.ttf’ …

Please put the fonts on your internal SD card in a folder named ‘.fontchanger’, so the path will be ‘/sdcard/.fontchanger/’ (note the full stop in the directory name).

After this refresh the application and the fonts should appear in the list.”

Seems pretty straight forward right? Head to a free font site like DaFont, download your font of choice, rename the regular and bold filetypes accordingly, and place them in the “.fontchanger” folder on the root of your SD.

This is where I ran into my first set of problems.

When I originally read the pop-up, I didn’t see the “.” in “folder named ‘.fontchanger’.” So for the first thirty minutes, no fonts would show up in Font Changer. Then I noticed a folder created by the app on my SD card titled “.fontchanger.” After opening file manager and moving the font files to the .fontchanger folder, everything worked great.

If you did everything right, the font name will show up on the main Font Changer screen along with a preview. Upon clicking the font name, you’ll have the option to Apply, Preview, or cancel.

If you choose Preview, a pop-up with some sample text will show how the font will look on your device.

If you choose Apply, then your device will reboot, and the font will be applied.

Here’s a sample of two different fonts running over CM7:

Menu

When you first press the Menu key in Font Changer, you are presented with several options.

Refresh: Allows you to refresh the font selection.
Density: Options to change the pixel density.
Info: Shows the original instructional pop-up.
Defaults: Changes the font back to default.
Settings: Takes you to the settings menu.
Quit: Exits the application.

Settings

The settings menu for Font Changer is pretty straight forward, broken down into five categories: General, Fonts, Style, Density changer, About.

From the General category, you can choose to refresh the font selection on startup, use quick restart when applying a new font, and remove Font Changer. The remove Font Changer option is very handy for uninstalling the app. It safely changes all fonts back to their default state and takes you to the system uninstall menu.

In the Fonts section of the setting menu, you can choose to use regular fonts in place of bold fonts if no bold file is found, and and choose to use the regular font for the clock.

The Style menu doesn’t offer much, but it allows you to customize the font preview found in the original Font Changer window.

Density changer options consist of a lone Advanced mode setting that will turn off the change limit in the density changer.

And finally the About section features a version number — 1.7.11 at the time of writing this — and links to the developers homepage, a frequently asked questions page, and an XDA support thread.

Requirements

To see if your device is compatible with Font Changer, you can view a list of devices that are known to work here. As you’ll notice, the top of the list reads:

“Devices require /system write access, also know as “S-OFF” or “NAND unlock”. Any device which has NAND unlocked, will (potentially) work.

I found this to be true as the myTouch was not listed under compatible devices, but with S-OFF and root, I was able to use the app without any problems.

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That’s all for now, should you have any questions, feel free to use the comments below. When it comes to further customizing your Android device with the help of root access, Font Changer is one app that must be whitelisted.

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