FONTFORGE(1)FONTFORGE(1)NAMEfontforge - create and modify PostScript, TrueType and SVG fonts
SYNOPSISfontforge [-c string] [-cmap maptype] [-depth pixeld] [-display str]
[-lang=ff] [-lang=py] [-last] [-library-status] [-help] [-keyboard
ktype] [-new] [-nosplash] [-recover mode] [-script file] [-sync]
[-usage] [-vc vclass] [-version] fontfile ...
The program fontforge allows you to create and modify font files,
accepting input in the following formats (with associated file exten‐
sions appearing in parentheses):
Glyph Bitmap Distribution (.bdf)
Macintosh resource fonts (.dfont, .bin, .hqx)
fontforge spline font database (.sfd)
POSTSCRIPT, which includes:
ASCII format (.pfa)
Binary format (.pfb)
CID-keyed fonts, Adobe convention used primarily for Asian char‐
acters (.cid, .otf)
POSTSCRIPT Type 0 (.ps)
POSTSCRIPT Type 3 (.ps)
Scaleable vector graphics fonts (.svg)
TeX bitmap (.pk)
TrueType (.ttf, .ttc)
X11 bitmap (.pcf)
If the argument list contains a font file name (or several), fontforge
opens a fontview window for each font displaying the characters of the
that font. In the absence of options or arguments, the program opens a
file-picker window, allowing you to browse your disk to find a font
file, or create a new one.
This manual page is intended only as a rudimentary overview; see the
HTML Users Manual for more complete information.
Must be the first argument. Executes "string" as a set of
scripting commands. Any additional arguments will be passed to
Employ the specified method to control 8-bit colormaps, where
maptype assumes one of these three values:
Attempt to allocate colors in the current (shared) col‐
ormap. The program will likely not find everything it
copy Allocate what can be allocated, then copy the current
colormap; it can thus make use of cells other programs
Create a new colormap and fill it with the required col‐
Attempt to employ a visual that matches the specified pixel
Employ the X display specified by the string str (for example:
-help Display the usage description and start a web client displaying
the online documentation.
Alter the displayed menus to employ modifier keys appropriate to
the specified keyboard type, where ktype assumes one of the fol‐
lowing four values:
ibm IBM PC type keyboard.
mac Apple Macintosh keyboard.
sun Sun workstation keyboard.
ppc Macintosh keyboard, but on a system running SuSe linux
(the mappings differ from those used under MacOS X).
-last Opens whatever font you last edited with fontforge. If you
specify n -lastfontforge will open the last n fonts.
Interpret the script with the fontforge interpreter.
Interpret the script with the python interpreter.
Prints information about optional libraries.
-new Create a new font with the ISO 8859-1 encoding (the interna‐
tional encoding standard for western Europe, and the standard
for most X fonts).
Suppress display of the splash screen.
Control the crash recovery mechanism (helpful if crash recovery
causes problems), where mode takes on one of three allowed set‐
auto perform automatic recovery (default) if the program
crashed before saving changes.
clean Delete recovery information.
none Suppress crash recovery.
Execute the script named file. Does not open the X display.
This must be the first argument passed to fontforge. Any other
arguments are handled by the scriptfile itself. Any other com‐
mand line arguments will be passed to the script. The program
contains a command interpreter which allows access to most but
not all of its interactive features. If a scriptfile is exe‐
cutable, and if its first line contains the string "fontforge",
then the argument -script may be omitted. This means that font‐
forge can be used as an interpreter.
-sync Make X synchronous. Used primarily for debugging, this option
slows X down.
-usage Display the usage description.
Attempt to use a visual that matches the class, vclass, speci‐
fied as either the name of a visual class or an integer enumer‐
ating a visual class.
Display the current version (a six digit string containing the
date stamp of the source files).
If any of the following environment variables exist, they are used:
Specifies the name of a browser program for examining documenta‐
Specifies the location of the autotrace program (usually Font‐
Forge can figure this out without help, but not always).
MF Specifies the location of the metafont program.
Turns on verbose mode in scripting. Each statement is printed as
it is executed.
crash recovery directory
translations for the user interface
optional location for online documentation.
"encoding" files for Adobe's cid formats from http://font‐
The HTML version of the fontforge manual, available online at:
NOTEfontforge used to be called pfaedit.
Copyright (C) 2000-2007 by George Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org). Original
manual page by Tom Harvey, subsequently modified by George Williams.
Heavily rewritten and modified to use standard -man (5) macros by
R.P.C. Rodgers (email@example.com), 23 October 2002.
Undoubtedly many, but unknown and ever changing. See
http://fontforge.sourceforge.net/#known-bugs for a current list.
2 March 2004 FONTFORGE(1)