If you’ve ever been tasked with any responsibility involving fonts, you might be all too aware of the pains fonts can bring. Unless the person before you documented what font they used and what size, you can spend a lot of time trying to match fonts or settling for “close enough.”
If you’re updating a Flash menu or just trying to add another line to a flier, or even if you’ve seen a poster somewhere and wondered what font they used WhatTheFont could be very useful to you. It can tell you the possible names of fonts that are in use for an image.
Whether you have to take a screenshot, scan it, or use your camera, any image in GIF, JPEG, TIFF, or BMP format will work.
All you have to do is upload an image or paste in the URL to the image and one step later, you’ll get the site’s best guess at the font name. I took a screenshot from a website (first I zoomed in to increase the size of the text) and then created a gif file to upload to their server. Your image should be focused on the words and have less than 100 characters.
The site will parse the image you uploaded and try to figure out the font on a letter by letter basis. In order to do this, it needs you to tell it which character is which. The means of doing this is really simple. It will show you a segment of the picture with a particular letter in black and the rest all faded out. In the text box next to each image of a letter, you type what letter it is. You’ll need to do this for each character it parses.
If a character has a separate spot like the dot of an ‘i’ or a colon like in my example, it will parse each separate instance as an individual character. To correct this, just drag one of the images onto the other, the site will then merge the two. After that, just type in the character in the text box. After all characters are filled in just hit the ‘Search’ button at the bottom.
The results. That’s all there is to it. The site will give you it’s best guess as to the font name.
(The first guess, Trebuchet MS, was correct.)
If you disagree with the results and know it is a different font than the one they guessed, you can go through the process again. In order to get better results, try to use a better, clearer image of the font.
Check out WhatTheFont for all your font identifying needs.
Bonus, they have a new look for their website coming out. The interface is quite improved and really helps explain the service better. Check the new look out.
Double bonus, if your interest is piqued in fonts check out the documentary on the titular Helvetica.