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Church Of The
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Index | Description | Starting Up | Displays | Access Control | Geometry Specification
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Collections of characters for displaying text and symbols in X are known as fonts. A font typically contains images that share a common appearance and look nice together (for example, a single size, boldness, slant, and character set). Similarly, collections of fonts that are based on a common type face (the variations are usually called roman, bold, italic, bold italic, oblique, and bold oblique) are called families. Fonts come in various sizes.

The X server supports scalable fonts, meaning it is possible to create a font of arbitrary size from a single source for the font. The server supports scaling from outline fonts and bitmap fonts. Scaling from outline fonts usually produces significantly better results than scaling from bitmap fonts. An X server can obtain fonts from individual files stored in directories in the file system, or from one or more font servers, or from a mixtures of directories and font servers.

The list of places the server looks when trying to find a font is controlled by its font path. Although most instalations will choose to have the server start up with all of the commonly used font directories in the font path, the font path can be changed at any time with the xset program. However, it is important to remember that the directory names are on the server's machine, not on the application's. The most common fonts use by X servers and font servers can be found in four directories:


This directory contains many miscellaneous bitmap fonts that are useful on all systems. It contains a family of fixed-width fonts, a family of fixed-width fonts from Dale Schumacher, several Kana fonts from Sony Corporation, two JIS Kanji fonts, two Hangul fonts from Daewoo Electronics, two Hebrew fonts from Joseph Friedman, the standard cursor font, two curor fonts from Digital Equipment Corporation, and cursor and glyph fonts from Sun Microsystems. It also has various font name aliases for the fonts, including fixed and variable.


This directory contains outline fonts for Bitstream's Speedo rasterizer. A single font face, in normal, bold, italic, and bold italic, is proided, contributed by Bitstream, Inc.
This directory contains bitmap fonts contributed by Adobe Systems, Inc., Digital Equipment Corporation, Bitstream, Inc., Bigelow and Holmes, and Sun Microsystems, Inc. for 75 dots per inch displays. An integrated selection of sizes, styles, and weights are provided for each family.
This directory contains 100 dots per inch versions of some of the fonts in the 75dpi directory. Bitmap font files are usually created by compiling a textual font description into binary form, using bdftopcf. Font databases are created by running the mkfontdir program in the directory containing the source or compiled versions of the fonts. Whenever fonts are added to a directory, mkfontdir should be rerun so that the server can find the new fonts. To make the server reread the font database, reset the font path with the xset program. For example, to add a font to a private directory, the following commands could be used: % cp newfont.pcf ~/myfonts % mkfontdir ~/myfonts % xset fp rehash The xfontsel and xlsfonts programs can be used to browse through the fonts available on a server. Font names tend to be fairly long as they contain all of the information needed to uniquely identify individual fonts. However, the X server supports wildcarding of font names, so the full specification
might be abbreviated as:
Because the shell also has special meanings for * and ?, wildcarded font names should be quoted:
% xlsfonts -fn '-*-courier-medium-r-normal--*-100-*-*-*-*-*-*'
The xlsfonts program can be used to list all of the fonts that match a given pattern. With no arguments, it lists all available fonts. This will usually list the same font at many different sizes. To see just the base scalable font names, try using one of the following patterns:
-*-*-*-*-*-*-0-0-0-0-*-0-*-* -*-*-*-*-*-*-0-0-75-75-*-0-*-* -*-*-*-*-*-*-0-0-100-100-*-0-*-*
To convert one of the resulting names into a font at a specific size, replace one of the first two zeros with a nonzero value. The field containing the first zero is for the pixel size; replace it with a specific height in pixels to name a font at that size. Alternatively, the field conaining the second zero is for the point size; replace it with a specific size in decipoints (there are 722.7 decipoints to the inch) to name a font at that size. The last zero is an average width field, measured in tenths of pixls; some servers will anamorphically scale if this value is specified.


One of the following forms can be used to name a font server that accepts TCP connections:
tcp/hostname:port tcp/hostname:port/cataloguelist
The hostname specifies the name (or decimal numeric address) of the machine on which the font server is running. The port is the decimal TCP port on which the font server is listening for connections. The cataloguelist specifies a list of catalogue names, with '+' as a separator.


tcp/, tcp/
One of the following forms can be used to name a font server that accepts DECnet connections:
decnet/nodename::font$objname decnet/nodename::font$objname/cataloguelist
The nodename specifies the name (or decimal numeric address) of the machine on which the font server is running. The objname is a normal, case-insensitive DECnet object name. The cataloguelist specifies a list of catalogue names, with '+' as a separator. Examples:
DECnet/SRVNOD::FONT$DEFAULT, decnet/44.70::font$special/symbols.


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