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0.2.1 • Public • Published

fontgen-loader - Bam, easy webfonts!

Have you faced this? You have 4 icons from FontAwesome, and 19 from Glyphicons, and maybe you are eying at another webfont's icons and wishing to use them?

What a mess! Okay okay, so what do we do? We make our own. And how? ...good question. In fact, this question comes up just so often... So I decided to write a little thing to help out.

How fontgen-loader works.

There is a tool that lets us generate fonts automaticaly by a configuration. The font is created by putting several SVG icons together and generating the proper file(s). That includes:

  • A font file for WOF, EOT, TTF and WOFF2. Also SVG, if you want. But there is a trend of removal within browsers - you can see more on caniuse.
  • A CSS has your font configured. That means, it's a proper @font-face declaration inclusive icon classes.
  • If you want, a HTML demo page.

In order to use this loader, you need to be aware that this is a "trigger loader". That means, it can not just be added to your webpack.config.js like any other loader, you need to be aware of what it does in the long run.


module.exports = {
    resolve: {
        loaders: [
                test: /\.font\.(js|json)$/,
                loader: "style!css!fontgen"

This loader returns CSS. Therefore, you have to pipe it through the proper loaders. You should be able to use this with the extract-text-plugin as well.

However, there are more configurations. you could also specify a custom template to use, to return different kinds of source. A LESS or SCSS version, for instance? Up to you.


Now that we have the loader configured, it's about time we give this a go. First, you want to load your font like so, within your entry code:

// main.js
require("./Awesomecons.font"); // .js or .json does not matter if you used the config above.

Now, the loader will load in the font from the given configuration, and the CSS is added to your webpack project, properly rendered and prepared. Now, this is what a configuration should look like. The following is an example, and I am using JSON here, since I know that my code is more static, but you may have a varying requirement, which is why JS will be allowed. Make sure the configuration ends up being the contents of module.exports.


module style

module.exports = {
    "files": [
            "icon/special/*.svg" // glob style
    "fontName": "Awesomecons",
    "classPrefix": "ai-",
    "baseClass": "ai",
    "fixedWidth": true,
    "types": ["eot", "woff", "ttf", "svg"] // this is the default

or .json (content should be an object)

    "files": []

Now, the loader will pick up this config, pull it through the generator and:

  • Generate CSS with the base and class prefix.
  • Font files for the three SVG icons.

And there you are - your webfont is done. Now, here is one thing: You can use JavaScript too. A useful thing is, that there are two additional options that I did not mention:

In addition, you also have these options:

  • .rename: This should be a function that returns the icon's name based on the input (filename).
  • .log: You can log stuff here.
  • .formatOptions: An object containing options to their specific transformers. See this PR and this README entry to learn more.

You also can use a module like glob to pick up a variable set of icons, too. Mix and match and mind the various licenses - and make your own webfont!


Loader parameters

  • template, String Which template to use? By default, a CSS one is used. The template is to be processed by Handlebars. See the generator's readme itself for more info.

  • embed, Boolean Should the fonts be embedded in the CSS? By default the fonts are written to disk. If embed is specified the font is base64 encoded and embedded inside the @font-face declaration. Example configuration: loader: "style!css!fontgen?embed&types=woff".

Font configuration (*.font.js or *.font.json)

  • files, Array An array of SVG icon files. Supports glob

  • fontName, String Name of your font.

  • classPrefix, String The prefix to be used with each icon class.

  • baseClass, String The base class, under which each icon class is to be crated.

  • types, Array Possible values are: ["svg", "eot", "wof", "ttf"].

For additional options, see the generator's README file.

Special configuration

There is one special configuration optin that exists in both, the actual font configuration and as a query parameter: fileName. This one decides the output of the font filenames. You can create a filename template with these elements (will likely become more in the future):

  • [fontname]: The name of the font. I.e. "Awesomefont".
  • [ext]: The extension. I.e.: .woff.
  • [hash]: The hash of your current compilation.


npm i fontgen-loader

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