This Java program formats freeway signs for you,
based on town names, route numbers, and so on that
you can choose.
At right is a small sample of what it can do.
SignMaker is free for non-commercial use only; that is, personal web pages
and your own enjoyment. Commercial use means any web page or product that
is sold or ad-supported.
To use SignMaker online (no download required), go to
The rest of this page shows you how to download the class files and .GIF
images to run SignMaker on your home system.
You will then be able to use SignMaker without an Internet connection
or even a browser.
SignMaker will certainly start up faster and possibly run faster.
SignMaker requires a Java Runtime (v 1.0.2 or later) on your system.
The "Runtime" is just a program that can run Java programs for you outside of
Follow these steps to install SignMaker on your system.
- See if there is a Java runtime on your system. If so, you can skip
having to download it in step 3. A browser plug-in
doesn't count: the Java program must run on its own. Places to look:
- Mac: File Find for "java"
- Unix: /usr/local/bin/java, /usr/local/jdk/bin/java, or ask your sysadmin
- windows NT: c:\winnt\system32\java.exe
- If you found what looks like a java runtime, try it out: type
java -help. You should get a usage statement starting with
something like: Usage: java [-options] class. For Mac users,
try the About box to confirm the version: it should be 1.0.2 or higher.
- If you didn't find one, you need to download one, or find one
on CD. Places to look are below, but try Google for the latest.
Follow the directions included with the CD or download to install Java.
- Create a directory where you'd like the Java class files and GIFs to live.
- Download and unpack the SignMaker bundle
(sm230.zip, an 83K package).
To unpack, use Stuffit (Mac), Winzip (Windows), or gunzip and
You should now have about 17 class files and 12 GIFs.
You'll want to be in the directory where you unpacked the SignMaker files.
- Mac: start Java and open SignMaker.class.
- Unix: type java SignMaker.
- Windows: Open a Command Prompt and type java SignMaker.
If you get a NoClassDefFound error, your runtime probably doesn't automatically
search the current directory. If that happens, add a classpath argument:
java -cp . SignMaker.
Click the close box on the green window or press Alt-F4.
If you run into problems...
Although the downloadable SignMaker is easier to use, getting it set up
requires some familiarity with your system. I will not be able to provide
personalized tech support on installing Java (or taking screen shots, or
other FAQ/found in the manual questions).
If Java runs perfectly with other applications but not SignMaker, please
let me know.
Thanks! - Kurumi