🔤 Convert OTF and TTF to EOT font files

With a basic command, we can transform OTF and TTF font files to EOT font files for when you still need to support older IE browsers such as IE8.

Support for older Internet Explorer browsers?

At the time of writing, I had to offer support to older IE browsers like IE8 and IE9. And while browsers have made huge strides in terms of font support, older IE versions are still lacking behind. Modern browsers support filetypes like .ttf, .woff and .woff2 but older Internet Explorer versions rely on .eot files. With the rising popularity of the other filteypes, it wasn't even considered to provide .eot files to me. But with the help of eot-utils, I was able to quickly transform the .ttf files to .eot files.

Using one of the eot-utils tools: mkeot

The eot-utils package is a collection of two small utils provided by the W3 to help you with older browser support: mkeot and eotinfo. We're only interested in the mkeot command.

To install the eot-utils, following the instructions on their website. Or if you're on a Mac, brew has them also available and so they are quickly installed by running the command:

brew install eot-utils

The command to transform all my font files

After opening my terminal and navigating to the folder containing all my font files, I simply had to run:

find *.ttf -exec sh -c 'mkeot {} > $(basename {} .ttf).eot' \;

What the command does is make a list of all files that end on .ttf and executing the same command on each one of them: provide the file as an input to mkeot and save the output in {basename}.eot. A font file like foo.ttf would thus be transformed to foo.eot while not adapting the original file.

The font types of the future

If you want to support as many browsers as possible, it sounds like you're kind of obligated to support .eot, .ttf and .woff. By combining these 3 font types. you're able to support most browsers, whether they're the desktop or mobile version. From those font types, .woff is the most recent one. It's supported by almost all browsers such as IE9 as you can see on caniuse.com. .woff2 is its successor which provides better compression and is W3C Recommendation since March 2018. If you're not sure which file type you should choose, your best bet is .woff2 especially if you don't need to support very old browsers. Most people will even recommend only going with .woff2 support or if really necessary to go with .woff support. Font file types like .eot are only relevant for IE8 and since Microsoft has dropped support for IE8 since 2016, you can motivate using the newer font file types.