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       fontforge - create and modify PostScript, TrueType and SVG fonts


       fontforge  [-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
       extensions appearing in parentheses):

       Glyph Bitmap Distribution (.bdf)

       Macintosh resource fonts (.dfont, .bin, .hqx)

       OpenType (.otf)

       fontforge spline font database (.sfd)

       POSTSCRIPT, which includes:

              ASCII format (.pfa)

              Binary format (.pfb)

              CID-keyed fonts,  Adobe  convention  used  primarily  for  Asian
              characters (.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.


       -c string
              Must  be  the  first  argument.  Executes  "string"  as a set of
              scripting commands.  Any additional arguments will be passed  to
              the script.

       -cmap maptype
              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)
                     colormap.  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
                     are using.

                     Create a new colormap  and  fill  it  with  the  required

       -depth pixeld
              Attempt  to  employ  a  visual  that matches the specified pixel
              depth, pixeld.

       -display str
              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.

       -keyboard ktype
              Alter the displayed menus to employ modifier keys appropriate to
              the  specified  keyboard  type,  where  ktype assumes one of the
              following 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 -last fontforge 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
              international  encoding  standard  for  western  Europe, and the
              standard for most X fonts).

              Suppress display of the splash screen.

       -recover mode
              Control the crash recovery mechanism (helpful if crash  recovery
              causes  problems),  where  mode  takes  on  one of three allowed

              auto   perform  automatic  recovery  (default)  if  the  program
                     crashed before saving changes.

              clean  Delete recovery information.

              none   Suppress crash recovery.

       -script file
              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
              command 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  executable,  and  if  its  first  line  contains  the string
              "fontforge", then the argument  -script  may  be  omitted.  This
              means that fontforge can be used as an interpreter.

       -sync  Make  X  synchronous.  Used primarily for debugging, this option
              slows X down.

       -usage Display the usage description.

       -vc vclass
              Attempt  to  use  a  visual  that  matches  the  class,  vclass,
              specified  as  either  the  name of a visual class or an integer
              enumerating 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

              Specifies  the  location  of  the  autotrace  program   (usually
              FontForge 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



       The HTML version of the fontforge manual, available online at:


       fontforge used to be called pfaedit.


       Copyright  (C) 2000-2007 by George Williams (  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 (, 23 October 2002.


       Undoubtedly many, but unknown and ever changing.  See

     for a current list.

                                 2 March 2004