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AIX Version 4.3 AIXwindows Programming Guide

Appendix B. Font Utility

The font utility, fontutil, is a tool used for creating and revising font images. Read the following to learn more about the fontutil utility:

Font Utility Introduction

The fontutil utility is a font editor that runs under the AIXwindows environment and allows you to create custom fonts. The font utility uses windows and is menu-driven.

The utility uses a library of fonts that can be selected and modified. This allows you to start editing a character that looks similar to what you want, rather than using the slower method of drawing a character.

The utility provides two ways to edit fonts: raster editing and vector editing. In raster editing, a display image is composed of an array of pixels arranged in rows and columns. In vector editing, display images are generated from coordinate data.

Raster editing uses a lattice-like grid. Each grid unit contains a pixel. A pixel is a picture element, or dot, on the screen. Together these pixels form a character. By turning these pixels on and off and setting the pixels to different sizes, you can create a new character or slightly alter an existing character. The raster editor is called by the fontutil utility to edit font files with the following file name extensions: .snf or .bdf (that is, files set to SNF_FORMAT or BDF_FORMAT).

Vector editing uses a coordinate grid. You can set points in this grid, and connect the points to form lines. To create a curve in a character, you connect a series of short, straight lines. Together, all these lines form a character. The vector editor is called by the fontutil utility to edit font files with the following file name extensions: .sym or .xgsl (that is, files set to graPHIGS_FORMAT or XGSL_FORMAT).

Raster editing is faster but is somewhat limited in what it can do. Scaling and other geometric transformations cannot be easily performed in raster editing.

Vector editing is more flexible and allows for more font customization; however, vector editing requires significant knowledge of XGSL and graPHIGS API fonts. For more information on fonts, see Understanding graPHIGS API Fonts and Understanding Images in graPHIGS API in the publication entitled The graPHIGS Programming Interface: Understanding Concepts. For more information on XGSL, see Package XGSL in the publication entitled AIX Ada/6000 Support Package Reference.

Note: The font packages are not included with the operating system and must be ordered separately.

The main purpose of the fontutil utility is to provide users with the flexibility to do the following:

This flexibility allows both advanced and beginning users to edit and create fonts. The advanced user can convert simpler raster font files to a vector format, thus providing the capability for significant customization, while a beginning user can convert the most complex vector font to a raster format, which then can be edited quickly and easily.

Note: Raster to vector conversion should only be performed by those users who have significant experience with creating and editing vector font files.

For complete instructions on getting started with the fontutil program, see "How to Use the Font Utility".

Font Utility Limitations

Be sure to consider the following limitations when you use the fontutil program:

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