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MF(1)									 MF(1)

       mf,  mf-nowin,  inimf,  virmf  - Metafont, a language for font and logo

       mf [options] [commands]

       Metafont reads the program in the  specified  files  and	 outputs  font
       rasters	(in gf format) and font metrics (in tfm format).  The Metafont
       language is described in The Metafontbook.

       Like TeX, Metafont is normally used with a large	 body  of  precompiled
       macros,	and font generation in particular requires the support of sev‐
       eral macro files.  This version of Metafont looks at its	 command  line
       to  see	what  name it was called under.	 Both inimf and virmf are sym‐
       links to the mf executable.  When called as inimf  (or  when  the  -ini
       option is given) it can be used to precompile macros into a .base file.
       When called as virmf it will use the plain base.	 When called under any
       other name, Metafont will use that name as the name of the base to use.
       For example, when called as mf the mf base is used, which is  identical
       to the plain base.  Other bases than plain are rarely used.

       The  commands  given  on	 the  command line to the Metafont program are
       passed to it as the first input line.  (But it is often easier to  type
       extended	 arguments  as the first input line, since UNIX shells tend to
       gobble up or misinterpret Metafont's favorite symbols, like semicolons,
       unless  you  quote them.)  As described in The Metafontbook, that first
       line should begin with a filename, a \controlsequence, or a &basename.

       The normal usage is to say

	      mf  '\mode=<printengine>; [mag=magstep(n);]' input  font

       to start processing  The single quotes are  the	 best  way  of
       keeping	the  Unix  shell  from misinterpreting the semicolons and from
       removing the \ character, which is needed here to  keep	Metafont  from
       thinking that you want to produce a font called mode.  (Or you can just
       say mf and give the other stuff on  the	next  line,  without  quotes.)
       Other  control  sequences, such as batchmode (for silent operation) can
       also appear.  The name font will be the ``jobname'',  and  is  used  in
       forming	output file names.  If Metafont doesn't get a file name in the
       first line, the jobname is mfput.  The default extension, .mf,  can  be
       overridden by specifying an extension explicitly.

       A  log  of  error  messages goes into the file jobname.log.  The output
       files are jobname.tfm and jobname.<number>gf, where <number> depends on
       the resolution and magnification of the font.  The mode in this example
       is shown generically as <printengine>, a symbolic term  for  which  the
       name  of	 an  actual  device or, most commonly, the name localfont (see
       below) must be substituted. If the mode is  not	specified  or  is  not
       valid for your site, Metafont will default to proof mode which produces
       large character images for use in font design  and  refinement.	 Proof
       mode  can be recognized by the suffix .2602gf after the jobname.	 Exam‐
       ples of proof mode output can be found  in  Computer  Modern  Typefaces
       (Volume	E  of  Computers  and Typesetting).  The system of magsteps is
       identical to the system used by TeX, with values generally in the range
       0.5,  1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0.  A listing of gf numbers for 118-dpi,
       240-dpi and 300-dpi fonts is shown below.

	   MAGSTEP	  118 dpi   240 dpi   300 dpi

       mag=magstep(0)	  118	    240	      300
       mag=magstep(0.5)	  129	    263	      329
       mag=magstep(1)	  142	    288	      360
       mag=magstep(2)	  170	    346	      432
       mag=magstep(3)	  204	    415	      518
       mag=magstep(4)	  245	    498	      622
       mag=magstep(5)	  294	    597	      746

       Magnification can also be specified not as a magstep but	 as  an	 arbi‐
       trary value, such as 1.315, to create special character sizes.

       Before  font production can begin, it is necessary to set up the appro‐
       priate base files.  The minimum set of components for  font  production
       for  a  given  print-engine  is	the macro file and the local
       mode_def file.  The macros in can be studied in an appendix to
       the Metafontbook; they were developed by Donald E. Knuth, and this file
       should never be altered except when it is  officially  upgraded.	  Each
       mode_def	 specification helps adapt fonts to a particular print-engine.
       There is a regular discussion of mode_defs in TUGboat, the  journal  of
       the  TeX Users Group.  The local ones in use on this computer should be

       The e response to Metafont's error-recovery  mode  invokes  the	system
       default	editor	at the erroneous line of the source file.  There is an
       environment variable, MFEDIT, that overrides the	 default  editor.   It
       should  contain	a  string with "%s" indicating where the filename goes
       and "%d" indicating where the decimal linenumber (if  any)  goes.   For
       example,	 an  MFEDIT  string  for the vi editor can be set with the csh
	      setenv MFEDIT "vi +%d %s"

       A convenient file in the library is, containing nothing.	  When
       mf can't find the file it thinks you want to input, it keeps asking you
       for another file name; responding `null' gets you out of	 the  loop  if
       you don't want to input anything.

       Metafont	 can use most modern displays, so you can see its output with‐
       out printing.  Chapter 23 of The Metafontbook describes	what  you  can
       do.   This  implementation  of  Metafont	 uses environment variables to
       determine which display device you want to use.	First it looks	for  a
       variable	 MFTERM,  and then for TERM.  If it can't find either, you get
       no online output.  Otherwise, the value of the variable determines  the
       device  to  use:	 hp2627,  sun  (for old SunView), tek, uniterm (for an
       Atari ST Tek 4014 emulator), xterm (for either X10 or  X11).   Some  of
       these  devices  may  not	 be supported in all Metafont executables; the
       choice is made at compilation time.

       On some systems, there are two Metafont binaries, mf and mf-nowin.   On
       those  systems  the  mf	binary	supports  graphics, while the mf-nowin
       binary does not.	 The mf-nowin binary is used by scripts	 like  mktexpk
       where graphics support is a nuisance rather than something helpful.

       This  version  of  Metafont  understands	 the  following	 command  line

       -base base
	      Use base as the name of the base to be used, instead of the name
	      by which Metafont was called or a %& line.

	      Print  error messages in the form file:line:error which is simi‐
	      lar to the way many compilers format them.

	      Disable printing error messages in the file:line:error style.

	      This is the old name of the -file-line-error option.

	      Exit with an error code when an error is encountered during pro‐

       -help  Print help message and exit.

       -ini   Be inimf, for dumping bases; this is implicitly true if the pro‐
	      gram is called as inimf.

       -interaction mode
	      Sets the interaction mode.  The mode can be  one	of  batchmode,
	      nonstopmode,  scrollmode,	 and  errorstopmode.   The  meaning of
	      these modes is the same as that of the corresponding commands.

       -jobname name
	      Use name for the job name, instead of deriving it from the  name
	      of the input file.

       -kpathsea-debug bitmask
	      Sets  path  searching  debugging flags according to the bitmask.
	      See the Kpathsea manual for details.

       -maketex fmt
	      Enable mktexfmt, where fmt must be mf.

       -no-maketex fmt
	      Disable mktexfmt, where fmt must be mf.

       -output-directory directory
	      Write output files in directory instead of  the  current	direc‐
	      tory.   Look  up	input  files in directory first, the along the
	      normal search path.

	      If the first line of the main input file begins with %& parse it
	      to look for a dump name or a -translate-file option.

	      Disable parsing of the first line of the main input file.

       -progname name
	      Pretend  to  be program name.  This affects both the format used
	      and the search paths.

	      Enable the filename recorder.  This leaves a trace of the	 files
	      opened for input and output in a file with extension .fls.

       -translate-file tcxname
	      Use the tcxname translation table.

	      Print version information and exit.

       See  the	 Kpathsearch  library documentation (the `Path specifications'
       node) for the details of how the environment  variables	are  use  when
       searching.   The	 kpsewhich  utility can be used to query the values of
       the variables.

       If the environment variable TEXMFOUTPUT is set,	Metafont  attempts  to
       put its output files in it, if they cannot be put in the current direc‐
       tory.  Again, see tex(1).

	      Search path for input and openin files.

       MFEDIT Command template for switching to editor.

       MFTERM Determines the online graphics display. If MFTERM	 is  not  set,
	      and  DISPLAY  is set, the Metafont window support for X is used.
	      (DISPLAY must be set to  a  valid	 X  server  specification,  as
	      usual.)	If  neither MFTERM nor DISPLAY is set, TERM is used to
	      guess the window support to use.

       A number of utility programs are available.  The following is a partial
       list  of	 available  utilities  and  their purpose.  Consult your local
       Metafont guru for details.

       gftopk	Takes a gf file and produces a more  tightly  packed  pk  font

       gftodvi	Produces proof sheets for fonts.

       gftype	Displays the contents of a gf file in mnemonics and/or images.

       pktype	Mnemonically displays the contents of a pk file.

       mft	Formats a source file as shown in Computer Modern Typefaces.

	      Encoded text of Metafont's messages.

       *.base Predigested Metafont base files.

	      The standard base.

	      The file of mode_defs for your site's various printers

       This  manual page is not meant to be exhaustive.	 The complete documen‐
       tation for this version of Metafont can be found	 in  the  info	manual
       Web2C: A TeX implementation.

       On  January  4,	1986  the ``final'' bug in Metafont was discovered and
       removed. If an error still lurks in the code, Donald E. Knuth  promises
       to  pay a finder's fee which doubles every year to the first person who
       finds it.  Happy hunting.

       Donald E. Knuth, The Metafontbook (Volume C of Computers	 and  Typeset‐
       ting), Addison-Wesley, 1986, ISBN 0-201-13445-4.
       Donald E. Knuth, Metafont: The Program (Volume D of Computers and Type‐
       setting), Addison-Wesley, 1986, ISBN 0-201-13438-1.
       Donald E. Knuth, Computer Modern Typefaces (Volume E of	Computers  and
       Typesetting), Addison-Wesley, 1986, ISBN 0-201-13446-2.
       TUGboat (the journal of the TeX Users Group).

       Warning:	 ``Type design can be hazardous to your other interests.  Once
       you get hooked, you will develop intense	 feelings  about  letterforms;
       the  medium  will  intrude on the messages that you read.  And you will
       perpetually be thinking of improvements	to  the	 fonts	that  you  see
       everywhere, especially those of your own design.''

       gftopk(1), gftodvi(1), gftype(1), mft(1), pltotf(1), tftopl(1).

       Metafont	 was designed by Donald E. Knuth, who implemented it using his
       Web system for Pascal programs.	It was originally ported  to  Unix  by
       Paul  Richards at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  This
       page was mostly written by Pierre MacKay.

Web2C 2012			 1 March 2011				 MF(1)

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