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Font Path

Font Path is an ordered table of font sources (the priority list). A font source is one of the following: a font directory, a reference to a remote font server, and a pseudo font directory. XServer uses Font Path on X client's requests for any font. XServer searches for the required font according to the order of font sources till the first matching occurs.

WinaXe Plus provides wide range of local X fonts (the standard font sets supplied by MIT along with X11 R6). These font sets are immediately available after installing the package. They appear in Font Path as font directories under the FONTS subdirectory in the WinaXe Plus home directory.

Also, XServer can use different locale 16-bits fonts including Chinese, Japanese, or Korean fonts, etc.

To manage Font Path, press the Font Path button in the XSettings dialog box. The Font search path dialog box appears on your display.

Note: The FONTS subdirectory shown in pictures of this chapter is not under the WinaXe Plus home directory. Users can move it to the desired location in the file system (see section Editing Font Path below) after installation of the package.

The Save button in the dialog actually writes new Font Path into the xwp.ini file located in the WinaXe Plus configuration directory. This cannot be undone if you press Cancel in the parent XSettings dialog box afterwards.

You can use the 'minus' and 'space' characters in the Font Path items. The total length of the Font Path items can be up to 2040 characters.

Font Directory

A font directory contains a number of font description files in the X11 format. Setup installs a set of font directories under the FONTS subdirectory in the WinaXe Plus home directory (by default). Any font directory must have the fonts.dir file (that contains the font description list according to font files of the directory), the fonts.ali file (with font aliases), and a set of font description files (with the .pcf or .snf file name extension).

The fonts.alias file name as well as fonts.ali can be used in the FONTS directories.

Note: XServer can only use uncompressed .pcf (X11R5 or later), .snf (X11R4), and .bdf files. Also, XServer can use these font files compressed with the 'compress' or 'gzip' utility (for X11R6.3 only).

If your remote X server supports 'compressed' fonts (X11R6 server does. X11R6.3 server supports 'gzipped' fonts too), you may compress the .pcf and .snf font files with the 'compress' or 'gzip' utility (for X11R6.3 only).

You have to convert each .bdf file to .pcf (X11R5 or later) or .snf (X11R4) with the 'bdftopcf' and 'bdftosnf' utilities.

To convert each font.bdf file in the set, run the following command line:

in X11R5, bdftopcf font.bdf > font.pcf

in X11R4, bdftosnf font.bdf > font.snf

XServer must have access at least to the fixed and cursor fonts. The \FONTS\MINIMAL and \FONTS\MISC font subdirectories contain them. So Font Path must contain these font directories at least.

If you press OK on any highlighted font directory (that has the fonts.dir file), then the selected directory path appears in the Font directory edit field. You can enter a font directory path in the Font directory edit field or use the Browse button to select it.

Font Server

You can specify that you want to use a font server running on one or more hosts. Font servers are defined in the X11 R6 release of the X Window System. Instead of forcing XServer to read all fonts from your PC, the X FontServer Protocol makes it possible to manage fonts separately from XServer, directing XServer to request fonts from a font server via the X Consortium standard network protocol. In addition, for fonts that take a long time to open, this allows XServer to continue with other clients while the font server services the font requests.

A font server specification for TCP/IP has the following format:

tcp/name: port [/catalogue+catalogue+...]

The network name or IP address for the host that the font server is running on.


The remote port that the font server is listening on. The port number value is usually of 7100 or 7500 depending on the operating system used, but check this with your system administrator.


An optional list of the font catalogue(s) you want to use. If more than one catalogue is specified, separate each name with a 'plus' sign (+).

For example, the following specifies the font server host called fsHost on port 7100:


You can include more than one font server specification into the Font Path list.

Note: You must add an entry (with the host name and IP address for the remote font server you want to use) into the hosts file used by MS Windows:

  • C:\WinNT\System32\drivers\etc\hosts for MS Windows NT4/2000/XP

  • C:\Windows\hosts for MS Windows 9x/ME.

Editing Font Path

To insert the Font directory edit field into Font Path, select a path in the Priority ordered path list box and then click the Insert before or Insert after button.

To remove a highlighted font source from Font Path, press the Delete button.

To move a highlighted font source from Font Path to the Font directory edit field, press the Cut button.

To copy a highlighted font source from Font Path to the Font directory edit field, press OK.

Also, see Appendix C Troubleshooting for examples.

Font Service

The Font Service utility allows you to view fonts accessible for X clients in the current X-session. You can use this option instead of the 'xlsfonts' and 'xfd' X clients.

When you click on the XFontset Service icon in the WinaXe Plus Programs' folder,

the Font Directories window appears:

This dialog box shows font directories existing in Font Path. How you can change Font Path, see section Editing Font Path above.

You can check how XServer resolves a particular X client's font request by typing the requested font name in the edit field and then pressing the Resolve Font Request button. The program will show you the font directory and the font file corresponding to the requested name. You can use the 'asterisk' sign (*) as the wildcard character in the edit field.

You can check data consistency of any highlighted font directory by pressing the Check button. The program will tell you about detected unresolved font aliases and unresolved references to font files in this font directory. This might be useful after you made any manual changes in the font directory.

You can get all font names existing in any font directory by highlighting it and then pressing the Show Font List button, or double-clicking on the font directory. The Entire Fonts List dialog box appears.

This dialog box shows font files and respective font names and aliases (from the fonts.dir file). For any font selected, you can view Font Info, Properties, Char Info and Image by pressing the appropriate button. To find a particular name in a long list, you can use the Browse button.

Note: You cannot view a font that is shaded by a similar font name in the font directory preceding it in Font Path. To view and use such a font, you should place its directory first in Font Path.

Understanding the Font List

You can list the fonts available on your remote system by typing the following command in an X window:

xlsfonts | more

A list appears displaying one font per line. This "font name" is typical:


The hyphen-separated fields designate the following:

  • adobe Foundry

  • courier Family

  • bold Weight

  • o Slant

  • normal Set Width

  • Additional Style

  • 10 Pixel Size

  • 100 Point Size

  • 75 Y Resolution

  • 75 X Resolution

  • m Spacing

  • 60 Average Width

  • iso8859 Character Set Registry

  • 1 Character Set Encoding

The most important properties to consider are the Family, Weight, Slant, and Point Size.

Family is the style of the letters. Some common examples are Helvetica, Courier, and Times.

Weight is the width of the line making up the letter. The options are regular and bold.

Slant is the angle of the letters. The most common are R for Roman (meaning upright), I for italic, and O for oblique (similar to italic). Whether the slant is designated as I or O depends on the family.

Point Size is the size of the letters. The number refers to decipoints. Multiply the point size to get the decipoints (10 point type is 100 decipoints).


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