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[How to] Install custom font on your rooted Droid

Discussion in 'Android Themes' started by ei8htohms, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. ei8htohms
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    ei8htohms New Member

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    Standard disclaimer: Hack your phone at your own risk, always.

    Now that we have su on the Droid, the first thing I wanted to do was change the font. The standard font is fine (exceptional really in the grand scheme of things), but I spent an inordinate amount of time creating a custom font based on the original Android logo that I used forever on my G1 and I wanted to put it on my Droid, so...

    1. Your phone must be rooted.
    2. You have to have ADB functioning OR a recovery image with Nandroid back-up/restore from the recovery menu (SirPsychoS 0.11.0 and above I believe).
    You can change the default font in Android by replacing it with any compatible TrueType font (.ttf). Just find the font you like and rename it to DroidSans.ttf AND DroidSans-Bold.ttf and then put them into /system/fonts in place of the default files located there. There are a ton of Android compatible fonts located in this thread on xda:

    G1 FONTS! Post them here!!!!

    If you want the font to display bold characters properly, you really need to find a font that also has a bold version and replace the normal and bold DroidSans files accordingly, but if you just make two copies of a single .ttf file and rename them DroidSans.ttf and DroidSans-Bold.ttf it will still work fine, just without some of the bold formatting.

    So after you selected the font you want, renamed it to DroidSans.ttf and DroidSans-Bold.ttf, create a folder on your SD card called "new_font" (or whatever) and paste both files there. Then create another folder called "orig_font" (or whatever) so you can have some place to put the original .ttf files so you can restore them later. You can just rename them in /system/fonts to DroidSans.bak or similar if you choose, I prefer to store them on the SD card.

    From an ADB shell (Warning: Do not copy and paste these lines of code, the "[or whatever]" comments are meant to be indicate that my folder names (orig_font and new_font) can be replaced by the folder names of your choice.):
    Code:
    su
    mount -o remount /dev/block/mtdblock4 /system
    mount -o remount /dev/block/mmcblk0 /sdcard
    cat /system/fonts/DroidSans.ttf > /sdcard/orig_font[or whatever]/DroidSans.ttf
    cat /system/fonts/DroidSans-Bold.ttf > /sdcard/orig_font[or whatever]/DroidSans-Bold.ttf
    cat /sdcard/new_font[or whatever]/DroidSans.ttf > /system/fonts/DroidSans.ttf
    cat /sdcard/new_font[or whatever]/DroidSans-Bold.ttf > /system/fonts/DroidSans-Bold.ttf
    mount -o ro,remount /dev/block/mtdblock4 /system
    sync
    reboot
    From Terminal:
    Code:
    su
    mount -o remount /dev/block/mtdblock4 /system
    cat /system/fonts/DroidSans.ttf > /sdcard/orig_font [or whatever]/DroidSans.ttf
    cat /system/fonts/DroidSans-Bold.ttf > /sdcard/orig_font [or whatever]/DroidSans-Bold.ttf
    cat /sdcard/new_font [or whatever]/DroidSans.ttf > /system/fonts/DroidSans.ttf
    cat /sdcard/new_font [or whatever]/DroidSans-Bold.ttf > /system/fonts/DroidSans-Bold.ttf
    mount -o ro,remount /dev/block/mtdblock4 /system
    sync
    reboot
    
    Only change the font AFTER creating a Nandroid back-up, especially if you doing so from Terminal. You will absolutely have to restore the back-up or adb in to restore the original font if you accidentally delete it or replace it with something incompatible.


    ***********************************​


    The DroidLogo font is scaled pretty well for the Android OS and displays nicely on both the G1 and the Droid (at least) and has a proper normal and bold version, so will properly display bold text on the phone. Most folks will probably find it not completely utilitarian (not quite as easy to read), but I'm completely used to it and don't feel like I'm looking at Android without it at this point. :)

    Feel free to use it on your phone if you'd like and any devs that want to use it in an application or website can feel free as well, just give me a credit of some sort please.

    Here's what the DroidLogo font looks like:

    [​IMG]


    Enjoy!
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011
  2. Manigma77
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    Manigma77 New Member

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    This is a Great and Informative thread, Now that I have the new font, what i'd really like to know is how to change the color of the font in the taskbar.

    Thanx for posting this
  3. ei8htohms
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    ei8htohms New Member

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    I think you'd have to do that by making changes in framework-res.apk, but I don't have the foggiest idea about how to go about that. Ask around though, some folks have changed it already (you'll notice from my screenshot I'm using the one with the black bar and translucent window shade).
  4. mazz0310
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    mazz0310 New Member

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    Awesome, I may just have to try this.
  5. Manigma77
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    Manigma77 New Member

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    I didn't like the bold font, it was too hard to read, so I installed the regular font in both places. (of course i renamed the regular font to bold and put in a seperate folder first)

    Now, i think it looks awesome
  6. mazz0310
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    mazz0310 New Member

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    Mind posting a screenshot?
  7. kevdog
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    kevdog New Member

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    I tend to agree with not preferring the bold Droid font. The regular font does take some getting used to. Here is a screen cap with the normal font acting as both the normal and bold variants:
  8. Breezer23
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    Breezer23 New Member

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    Will any of the fonts from 1001 Fonts .com work or are there specific guidelines for acceptible fonts?
  9. ei8htohms
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    ei8htohms New Member

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    most truetype fonts will work, at least marginally

    There are size and scaling issues with some fonts, but I don't know anyway to know ahead of time if they'll work on the phone. Just try them out and see. Load my font first (since we know it works) and remove them so you're sure you understand the process (WITH ADB), then try some others.

    Check out the G1 fonts thread on xda too. There are tons of fonts attached and / or linked from that thread.
  10. Manigma77
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    Manigma77 New Member

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    Screenshot of regular fonts
  11. bots
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    bots New Member

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    I'm pretty sure this requires editing the framework/layout/status_bar.xml file. I'll look into it.
  12. Sidewind
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    Sidewind New Member

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    Is Iit possible to install these from the sdcard and if so can someone post how..Thx in advance
  13. mrZoSo
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    mrZoSo New Member

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    This is great stuff! Thanks for the info ei8htohms!
    Kind of reminds me of the days changing the fonts on the Razr's.

    One thing that was kind of odd that happened.
    When I did the line mount -o ro,remount /dev/mtdblock4 /system
    the phone restarted on it's own, I didn't even get a chance to type sync, reboot.

    I'm using Better Terminal Emulator Pro, don't know if this makes any difference or not.
    But everything turned out fine and the new fonts are in.
  14. ei8htohms
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    ei8htohms New Member

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    that is weird and I don't understand

    That is strange. It could be related to Better Terminal; I had some weird stuff happen with the terminal in SUFBS but Jack Palevich's simple terminal seems to work well with Droid. Then again, I could've been one of those unrelated random Droid reboots... :) Glad it worked!

    I don't understand the question. The instructions detail putting the font files on your sd card and then installing them from there. Could you clarify what you mean?
  15. Sidewind
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    Sidewind New Member

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    well i dont know how to use adb and it says its required..ive just been using a terminal emulator for all the things done
  16. ei8htohms
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    ei8htohms New Member

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    ADB is your only safety net at the moment

    Gotcha.

    This can absolutely be done in the terminal, but if something goes wrong (you delete the primary font and your phone magically reboots for instance) you will be effectively bricked without ADB. If the base font (DroidSans) is found to be incompatible or missing altogether then the phone won't even boot, so without a recovery image with a terminal option, you won't even be able to turn on the phone, see?

    For this reason, I'm not about to encourage someone who doesn't know how to use ADB to try this mod just yet. As soon as a recovery image with terminal, Nandroid or some other recovery options is available I'll update the original post with other instructions.
  17. Sidewind
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    Sidewind New Member

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    Well I have the recovery img that was posted the one where you can use any update file on it so would i still be introuble if i tried it without ADB. BTW im gonna use the font you posted it like it
  18. ei8htohms
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    ei8htohms New Member

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    If you're talking about SirPsychoS' recovery image, even the latest one (0.10.0 as of 12-14-09 at 7:30 pm EST) doesn't have a console (the recovery version of a terminal), so yes, you would still be in trouble. I haven't seen any update.zip files floating around that change or restore fonts (yet), so you still wouldn't be able to restore your base font without ADB.
  19. rietherll
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    rietherll New Member

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    Which one of the font packages did u install????
  20. JhankG
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    JhankG New Member

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    Is there a thread that gives a step by step on how to get the transparent pull down for notifications and a black notification bar? That really looks nice.
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