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       mftrace - convert METAFONT format fonts into Type1 outline fonts


       mftrace [options] fontname


       mftrace  is  a  program  that  can convert a METAFONT font into a Type1
       font.  It is simply called with the name of the font (without  a  ‘.mf’
       suffix)  and  produces  a Type1 font file called either fontname.pfa or
       fontname.pfb depending on the command line options.  With the  help  of
       fontforge(1) it can produce other font formats too.

       For  tracing the bitmap, mftrace either uses potrace(1) or autotrace(1)
       (the former preferred) if available; this can be  overridden  with  the
       --autotrace and --potrace command line options.


       This  program  follows  the  usual  GNU  command line syntax, with long
       options starting with two dashes (‘-’).

       -k, --keep
              Keep all output in directory ‘mftrace.dir’.

              The magnification to use for the PFA file.  The default is 1000.
              The larger the magnification, the more precise the PFA file will
              be.  However, if the magnification is  too  large  METAFONT  can
              crash with overflow errors.

              Sadly, many MF fonts contain resolution checks

                     if dots_per_inch * design_size > 1500:

              This  check is susceptible to overflow errors.  Such code should
              be reported as a bug, and changed to

                     if dots_per_inch > (1500 / design_size):

              Specify which formats to generate  (default  is  pfa).   Choices
              are:  ‘afm’,  ‘pfa’,  ‘pfb’,  ‘ttf’, ‘svg’.  Note that fontforge
              (formerly called pfaedit) must  be  installed  to  generate  any
              format  except  ‘pfa’  or  ‘pfb’.  For generating ‘afm’ you need
              either fontforge or ghostscript.

              This passes the created Type1 font to fontforge (formerly called
              pfaedit) to simplify and autohint it.

              Use  generic font file FILE instead of running Metafont.  (GF is
              the default output format of Metafont.)

       -I DIR, --include=DIR
              Add DIR to the current path for searching files.

              Process only these glyphs.  LIST is a comma  separated  list  of
              decimal numbers or ranges, for example ‘1-10,50,55,90-100’.

              Use   FILE   for   the   TFM  file.   (The  default  is  to  use

       -e ENC, --encoding=ENC
              Use encoding file ENC.   Encoding  files  used  by  mftrace  are
              basically  in  the  GhostScript/dvips  format, but you may use a
              special .notavail glyph name in order to  tell  mftrace  not  to
              process  a  specific  glyph.   If  this option is not specified,
              mftrace tries to determine the encoding file automatically, from
              the  encoding  specified  in  the  TFM  file,  the default being

              Try to continue if external programs called by mftrace fail.  If
              METAFONT  crashes with overflow errors, but nevertheless outputs
              a GF file, try to process its output  as  is  (useful  for  some
              buggy  fonts, see above).  If potrace or autotrace fail to trace
              a specific character, first try it with a less  smoothed  curve,
              and  if  that  fails,  skip  the character.  By default, mftrace
              leaves a file ‘trace-bug-font-char.pbm’ and  stops  the  process
              with a request to file a bugreport.

              Try to use MikTeX’s version of kpsewhich.

              Use  potrace for tracing bitmaps.  The default is to use potrace
              if it is found, otherwise to use autotrace.

              Use autotrace for tracing bitmaps.

              Don’t read the AFM file to find font information.

              Do not round coordinates of control  points  to  integer  values
              (use with --grid).  Disabled by default.

              Set  reciprocal  grid  size  in  em  units  multiplied  by ratio
              magnification/1000.        For        example,        ‘--grid 10
              --magnification 1000’  rounds  coordinates  of control points to
              1/10th of the em unit.  Useful simultaneously with the --noround
              option.   Default GRID value is 1, i.e., round to integer.  This
              option is only used with potrace.

              Set the font info SYMBOL  to  the  given  VALUE.   For  example,
              -DFamilyName=Foo  sets  the  font  family  name to Foo.  mftrace
              tries to fill in sensible default  values  for  the  ‘FontName’,
              ‘FamilyName’, ‘FullName’ and ‘Weight’ fields.

       -V, --verbose
              Be verbose.

       -h, --help
              Show summary of options.

       -v, --version
              Show version of program.

       -w, --warranty
              Show warranty and copyright.


       You  may  redistribute  copies  of  mftrace  under the terms of the GNU
       General Public License  <>.   There
       is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.
       This  manual  page  is  copyright © 2005,2006,2007 Julian Gilbey and is
       distributed under the GNU General Public License too.


       mf(1), autotrace(1), potrace(1), fontforge(1).


       mftrace was  written  by  Han-Wen  Nienhuys  <>.   This
       manual  page  was  originally written by Julian Gilbey <>
       and has been revised by Werner Lemberg <>.

                               January 23, 2007