PLOTFONT(1) GNU Plotting Utilities PLOTFONT(1)
plotfont - produce character maps of fonts supported by the plotting utilities
plotfont [ options ] fonts
plotfont produces a character map for any font that is supported by the plotting utilities, which include graph(1), plot(1), pic2plot(1),
tek2plot(1), and the GNU libplot 2-D graphics export library (see plot(3)). Which fonts are supported depends on the output format, which
is specified by the -T option. A listing of the fonts available in any specified output format may be obtained with the --help-fonts
option (see below).
The character map, or maps, will be written to standard output in the specified format. For example, the Times-Roman font is available
when producing Postscript output. The command plotfont -T ps Times-Roman > charmap.ps will yield a character map of the Times-Roman font,
in a Postscript format that can be viewed or edited with the idraw(1) drawing editor. The Times-Roman font is also available when produc-
ing Fig output, which can be viewed or edited with the xfig(1) drawing editor. The command plotfont -T fig Times-Roman > charmap.fig will
yield the same character map, but in Fig format rather than in Postscript format.
As another example, the Univers font is available when producing PCL 5 output. The command plotfont -T pcl Univers > charmap.pcl will pro-
duce a character map of the Univers font, in PCL 5 format.
When producing output for the X Window System, i.e., for a popped-up window, any scalable X Window System font that has an XLFD (i.e., X
Logical Font Description) name is supported. For example, the command plotfont -T X utopia-medium-r-normal will pop up a window, and draw
a character map of the Utopia-Regular font. "utopia-medium-r-normal" is a truncated version of the Utopia-Regular font's XLFD name. The
Utopia-Regular font is available on most X Window System displays.
Select type as the output format. It may be "X", "png", "pnm", "gif", "svg", "ai", "ps", "cgm", "fig", "pcl", "hpgl", "regis",
"tek", or "meta" (the default). These refer respectively to the X Window System, PNG (Portable Network Graphics) format, portable
anymap format (PBM/PGM/PPM), a pseudo-GIF format that does not use LZW encoding, the new XML-based Scalable Vector Graphics format,
the format used by Adobe Illustrator, Postscript or Encapsulated Postscript (EPS) that can be edited with idraw(1), CGM format (by
default, confirming to the WebCGM profile), the format used by the xfig(1) drawing editor, the Hewlett-Packard PCL 5 printer lan-
guage, the Hewlett-Packard Graphics Language, ReGIS graphics format (which can be displayed by the dxterm(1) terminal emulator or by
a VT330 or VT340 terminal), Tektronix format (which can be displayed by the xterm(1) terminal emulator), and device-independent GNU
metafile format itself. Unless type is "X", an output file is produced and written to standard output.
Files in PNG, PNM, pseudo-GIF, AI, or Fig format contain only a single page of graphics. So if the -T png option, the -T pnm
option, the -T gif option, the -T ai option, or the -T fig option is used, the output file will contain a character map for only the
A listing of the fonts available in any specified output format may be obtained with the --help-fonts option (see below). If a
requested font is unavailable, a default font will be substituted. The default font is "Helvetica" for "X", "svg", "ai", "ps",
"cgm", and "fig", "Univers" for "pcl", and "HersheySerif" for "png", "pnm", "gif", "hpgl", "regis", "tek", and "meta".
Generate a character map for the lower half of each specified font. This is the default.
Generate a character map for the upper half of each specified font.
Number the characters in octal rather than in decimal (the default).
Number the characters in hexadecimal rather than in decimal (the default).
--box Surround each character with a box, showing its extent to left and right. The default is not to do this.
Generate a character map for row row of a Japanese font arranged according to JIS [Japanese Industrial Standard] X0208. The only
such font currently available is the HersheyEUC [Extended Unix Code] font. If used, this option overrides the -1 and -2 options.
The valid rows are 1...94. In the JIS X0208 standard, Roman characters are located in row 3, and Japanese syllabic characters
(Hiragana and Katakana) are located in rows 4 and 5. Greek and Cyrillic characters are located in rows 6 and 7. Japanese ideo-
graphic characters (Kanji) are located in rows 16...84.
Set the color used for the background to be name. This is relevant only to plotfont -T X, plotfont -T png, plotfont -T pnm, plot-
font -T gif, plotfont -T svg, plotfont -T cgm, and plotfont -T regis. An unrecognized name sets the color to the default, which is
"white". The environment variable BG_COLOR can equally well be used to specify the background color.
If the -T png or -T gif option is used, a transparent PNG file or a transparent pseudo-GIF, respectively, may be produced by setting
the TRANSPARENT_COLOR environment variable to the name of the background color. If the -T svg or -T cgm option is used, an output
file without a background may be produced by setting the background color to "none".
Set the size of the graphics display in which the character map(s) will be drawn, in terms of pixels, to be bitmap_size. The
default is "570x570". This is relevant only to plotfont -T X, plotfont -T png, plotfont -T pnm, and plotfont -T gif, all of which
produce bitmaps. If you choose a rectangular (non-square) window size, the fonts in the character map(s) will be scaled anisotropi-
cally, i.e., by different factors in the horizontal and vertical directions. For plotfont -T X, this requires an X11R6 display.
Any font that cannot be scaled in this way will be replaced by a default scalable font, such as the vector font "HersheySerif".
The environment variable BITMAPSIZE can equally well be used to specify the window size. For backward compatibility, the X resource
Xplot.geometry may be used instead.
If option is yes, replace each color in the output by an appropriate shade of gray. This is seldom useful, except when using plot-
font -T pcl to prepare output for a PCL 5 device. (Many monochrome PCL 5 devices, such as monochrome LaserJets, do a poor job of
emulating color on their own.) You may equally well request color emulation by setting the environment variable EMULATE_COLOR to
Set the font used for the numbering of the characters in the character map(s) to be name, rather than the default.
Set the size of size of the page on which the character map(s) will be positioned. This is relevant only to plotfont -T svg, plot-
font -T ai, plotfont -T ps, plotfont -T cgm, plotfont -T fig, plotfont -T pcl, and plotfont -T hpgl. The default is "letter", which
means an 8.5 inch by 11 inch page. Any ISO page size in the range "a0"..."a4" or ANSI page size in the range "a"..."e" may be spec-
ified ("letter" is an alias for "a" and "tabloid" is an alias for "b"). "legal" and "ledger" are recognized page sizes also. The
environment variable PAGESIZE can equally well be used to specify the page size.
The graphics display in which each character map is drawn will be a square region that would occupy nearly the full width of the
specified page. An alternative size for the graphics display can be specified. For example, the page size could be specified as
"letter,xsize=4in,ysize=6in", or "a4,xsize=5.0cm,ysize=100mm". For all of the above except plotfont -T hpgl, the graphics display
will, by default, be centered on the page. For all of the above except plotfont -T svg and plotfont -T cgm, the graphics display
may be repositioned manually, by specifying the location of its lower left corner, relative to the lower left corner of the page.
For example, the page size could be specified as "letter,xorigin=2in,yorigin=3in", or "a4,xorigin=0.5cm,yorigin=0.5cm". It is also
possible to specify an offset vector. For example, the page size could be specified as "letter,xoffset=1in", or "letter,xoff-
set=1in,yoffset=1.2in", or "a4,yoffset=-1cm". In SVG format and WebCGM format it is possible to specify the size of the graphics
display, but not its position.
Rotate the graphics display by angle degrees. Recognized values are "0", "90", "180", and "270". "no" and "yes" are equivalent to
"0" and "90", respectively. The environment variable ROTATION can also be used to specify a rotation angle.
Set the pen color to be name. An unrecognized name sets the pen color to the default, which is "black".
Options for Metafile Output
The following option is relevant only if the -T option is omitted or if -T meta is used. In this case the output of plotfont will be in
GNU graphics metafile format. It may be translated to other formats by invoking plot(1).
Output the portable (human-readable) version of GNU metafile format, rather than the binary version (the default). The format of
the binary version is machine-dependent.
--help Print a list of command-line options, and exit.
Print a table of available fonts, and exit. The table will depend on which output format is specified with the -T option. plotfont
-T X, plotfont -T svg, plotfont -T ai, plotfont -T ps, plotfont -T cgm, and plotfont -T fig each support the 35 standard Postscript
fonts. plotfont -T svg, plotfont -T pcl, and plotfont -T hpgl support the 45 standard PCL 5 fonts, and the latter two support a
number of Hewlett-Packard vector fonts. All seven support a set of 22 Hershey vector fonts, as do plotfont -T png, plotfont -T pnm,
plotfont -T gif, plotfont -T regis, and plotfont -T tek. plotfont without a -T option in principle supports any of these fonts,
since its output must be translated to other formats by invoking plot(1).
Like --help-fonts, but lists the fonts in a single column to facilitate piping to other programs. If no output format is specified
with the -T option, the full set of supported fonts is listed.
Print the version number of plotfont and the plotting utilities package, and exit.
The environment variables BITMAPSIZE, PAGESIZE, BG_COLOR, EMULATE_COLOR, and ROTATION serve as backups for the options --bitmap-size,
--page-size, --bg-color, --emulate-color, and --rotation, respectively. The remaining environment variables are specific to individual
plotfont -T X, which pops up a window on an X Window System display for each character map, checks the DISPLAY environment variable. Its
value determines the display that will be used.
plotfont -T png and plotfont -T gif, which produce output in PNG format and pseudo-GIF format respectively, are affected by the INTERLACE
environment variable. If its value is "yes", the output will be interlaced. Also, if the TRANSPARENT_COLOR environment variable is set to
the name of a color, that color will be treated as transparent in the output.
plotfont -T pnm, which produces output in portable anymap (PBM/PGM/PPM) format, is affected by the PNM_PORTABLE environment variable. If
its value is "yes", the output will be in a human-readable format rather than binary (the default).
plotfont -T cgm, which produces output in CGM (Computer Graphics Metafile) format, is affected by the CGM_MAX_VERSION and CGM_ENCODING
environment variables. By default, it produces a binary-encoded version of CGM version 3 format. For backward compatibility, the version
number may be reduced by setting CGM_MAX_VERSION to "2" or "1". Irrespective of version, the output CGM file will use the human-readable
clear text encoding if CGM_ENCODING is set to "clear_text". However, only binary-encoded CGM files conform to the WebCGM profile.
plotfont -T pcl, which produces PCL 5 output for Hewlett-Packard printers and plotters, is affected by the environment variable
PCL_ASSIGN_COLORS. It should be set to "yes" when producing PCL 5 output for a color printer or other color device. This will ensure
accurate color reproduction by giving the output device complete freedom in assigning colors, internally, to its "logical pens". If it is
"no" then the device will use a fixed set of colored pens, and will emulate other colors by shading. The default is "no" because mono-
chrome PCL 5 devices, which are much more common than colored ones, must use shading to emulate color.
plotfont -T hpgl, which produces Hewlett-Packard Graphics Language output, is affected by several environment variables. The most impor-
tant is HPGL_VERSION, which may be set to "1", "1.5", or "2" (the default). "1" means that the output should be generic HP-GL, "1.5" means
that the output should be suitable for the HP7550A graphics plotter and the HP758x, HP7595A and HP7596A drafting plotters (HP-GL with some
HP-GL/2 extensions), and "2" means that the output should be modern HP-GL/2. If the version is "1" or "1.5" then the only available fonts
will be vector fonts, and all lines will be drawn with a default width. Additionally, if the version is "1" then the filling of arbitrary
curves with solid color will not be supported (circles and rectangles aligned with the coordinate axes may be filled, though).
The position of the plotfont -T hpgl graphics display on the page can be rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise by setting the HPGL_ROTATE
environment variable to "yes". This is not the same as the rotation obtained with the --rotation option, since it both rotates the graph-
ics display and repositions its lower left corner toward another corner of the page. Besides "no" and "yes", recognized values for
HPGL_ROTATE are "0", "90", "180", and "270". "no" and "yes" are equivalent to "0" and "90", respectively. "180" and "270" are supported
only if HPGL_VERSION is "2" (the default).
By default, plotfont -T hpgl will draw with a fixed set of pens. Which pens are present may be specified by setting the HPGL_PENS environ-
ment variable. If HPGL_VERSION is "1", the default value of HPGL_PENS is "1=black"; if HPGL_VERSION is "1.5" or "2", the default value of
HPGL_PENS is "1=black:2=red:3=green:4=yellow:5=blue:6=magenta:7=cyan". The format should be self-explanatory. By setting HPGL_PENS you
may specify a color for any pen in the range #1...#31. All color names recognized by the X Window System may be used. Pen #1 must always
be present, though it need not be black. Any other pen in the range #1...#31 may be omitted.
If HPGL_VERSION is "2" then plotfont -T hpgl will also be affected by the environment variable HPGL_ASSIGN_COLORS. If its value is "yes",
then plotfont -T hpgl will not be restricted to the palette specified in HPGL_PENS: it will assign colors to "logical pens" in the range
#1...#31, as needed. The default value is "no" because other than color LaserJet printers and DesignJet plotters, not many HP-GL/2 devices
allow the assignment of colors to logical pens.
Opaque filling and the drawing of visible white lines are supported only if HPGL_VERSION is "2" and the environment variable
HPGL_OPAQUE_MODE is "yes" (the default). If its value is "no" then white lines (if any), which are normally drawn with pen #0, will not be
drawn. This feature is to accommodate older HP-GL/2 devices. HP-GL/2 pen plotters, for example, do not support opacity or the use of pen
#0 to draw visible white lines. Some older HP-GL/2 devices may, in fact, malfunction if asked to draw opaque objects.
plotfont -T tek, which produces output for a Tektronix terminal or emulator, checks the TERM environment variable. If the value of TERM is
a string beginning with "xterm", "nxterm", or "kterm", it is taken as a sign that plotfont is running in an X Window System VT100 terminal
emulator: a copy of xterm(1), nxterm(1), or kterm(1). Before drawing graphics, plotfont -T tek will emit an escape sequence that causes
the terminal emulator's auxiliary Tektronix window, which is normally hidden, to pop up. After the graphics are drawn, an escape sequence
that returns control to the original VT100 window will be emitted. The Tektronix window will remain on the screen.
If the value of TERM is a string beginning with "kermit", "ansi.sys", or "nansi.sys", it is taken as a sign that plotfont is running in the
VT100 terminal emulator provided by the MS-DOS version of kermit(1). Before drawing graphics, plotfont -T tek will emit an escape sequence
that switches the terminal emulator to Tektronix mode. Also, some of the Tektronix control codes emitted by plotfont -T tek will be ker-
mit-specific. There will be a limited amount of color support, which is not normally the case (the 16 `ansi.sys' colors will be sup-
ported). After drawing graphics, plotfont -T tek will emit an escape sequence that returns the emulator to VT100 mode. The key sequence
`ALT minus' can be employed manually within kermit to switch between the two modes.
graph(1), pic2plot(1), tek2plot(1), plot(1), plot(3), and "The GNU Plotting Utilities Manual".
plotfont was written by Robert S. Maier (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Email bug reports to email@example.com.
Jun 2000 PLOTFONT(1)