Font Specification

This chapter describes what you need to know in order to select display fonts for the various client applications. After acquainting you with some of the basic characteristics of a font, this chapter describes the rather complex font naming conventions and how to simplify font specification. This chapter also describes how to use the xlsfonts, xfd, and xfontsel clients to list, display, and select available screen fonts.

In This Chapter:

Font Naming Conventions

Font Families

Stroke Weight and Slant

Font Sizes

Other Information in the Font Name

Font Name Wildcarding

The Font Search Path


Font Specification

Many clients allow you to specify the font used to display text in the window, in menus and labels, or in any other text fields. For example, you can choose the font used for the text in mwm menus or in xterm windows.

Unfortunately, for the most part, there are no simple “font menus” like there are on systems such as the Macintosh.* Instead, X has a fairly complex font naming system (which, like most things about X, is designed for maximum flexibility rather than for simplicity or ease of use). Of course, there will no doubt soon be many applications, such as word processors and publishing packages, that provide a simple interface for selecting fonts. However, for the clients in the X distribution, you are generally limited to selecting fonts via command line options or resource specifications.

This wouldn't be so bad if a typical font name weren't mind-bending ...

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