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xfd - display all the characters in an X font
xfd [-options ...] -fn fontname
xfd [-options ...] -fa fontname
The xfd utility creates a window containing the name of the font being
displayed, a row of command buttons, several lines of text for display-
ing character metrics, and a grid containing one glyph per cell. The
characters are shown in increasing order from left to right, top to
bottom. The first character displayed at the top left will be charac-
ter number 0 unless the -start option has been supplied in which case
the character with the number given in the -start option will be used.
The characters are displayed in a grid of boxes, each large enough to
hold any single character in the font. Each character glyph is drawn
using the PolyText16 request (used by the Xlib routine XDrawString16)
or the XftDrawString32 routine, depending on whether the -fn or -fa
option was given. If the -box option is given, a rectangle will be
drawn around each character, showing where an ImageText16 request (used
by the Xlib routine XDrawImageString16) would cause background color to
The origin of each glyph is normally set so that the character is drawn
in the upper left hand corner of the grid cell. However, if a glyph
has a negative left bearing or an unusually large ascent, descent, or
right bearing (as is the case with cursor font), some character may not
appear in their own grid cells. The -center option may be used to
force all glyphs to be centered in their respective cells.
All the characters in the font may not fit in the window at once. To
see the next page of glyphs, press the Next button at the top of the
window. To see the previous page, press Prev. To exit xfd, press
Individual character metrics (index, width, bearings, ascent and
descent) can be displayed at the top of the window by clicking on the
The font name displayed at the top of the window is the full name of
the font, as determined by the server. See xlsfonts and fc-list for
ways to generate lists of fonts, as well as more detailed summaries of
their metrics and properties.
xfd accepts all of the standard toolkit command line options along with
the additional options listed below:
This option specifies the core X server side font to be dis-
played. This can also be set with the FontGrid font resource.
A font must be specified.
This option specifies a Xft font to be displayed. This can also
be set with the FontGrid face resource. A font pattern must be
-box This option indicates that a box should be displayed outlining
the area that would be filled with background color by an
ImageText request. This can also be set with the FontGrid box-
Chars resource. The default is False.
-center This option indicates that each glyph should be centered in its
grid. This can also be set with the FontGrid centerChars
resource. The default is False.
This option specifies the glyph index of the upper left hand
corner of the grid. This is used to view characters at arbi-
trary locations in the font. This can also be set with the
FontGrid startChar resource. The default is 0.
This option specifies the color to be used if ImageText boxes
are drawn. This can also be set with the FontGrid boxColor
This option specifies the number of rows in the grid. This can
also be set with the FontGrid cellRows resource.
This option specifies the number of columns in the grid. This
can also be set with the FontGrid cellColumns resource.
In order to specify resources, it is useful to know the widgets which
compose xfd. In the notation below, indentation indicates hierarchical
structure. The widget class name is given first, followed by the wid-
get instance name. The application class name is Xfd.
The FontGrid widget is an application-specific widget, and a subclass
of the Simple widget in the Athena widget set. The effects and
instance names of this widget's resources are given in the OPTIONS sec-
tion. Capitalize the first letter of the resource instance name to get
the corresponding class name.
APPLICATION SPECIFIC RESOURCES
The instance names of the application specific resources are given
below. Capitalize the first letter of the resource instance name to
get the corresponding class name. These resources are unlikely to be
interesting unless you are localizing xfd for a different language.
Specifies a printf-style format string used to display informa-
tion about the selected character. The default is "character
0x%02x%02x (%u,%u) (%#o,%#o)". The arguments that will come
after the format string are char.byte1, char.byte2, char.byte1,
char.byte2, char.byte1, char.byte2. char.byte1 is byte 1 of
the selected character. char.byte2 is byte 2 of the selected
Specifies a printf-style format string used to display charac-
ter metrics. The default is "width %d; left %d, right %d;
ascent %d, descent %d (font %d, %d)". The arguments that will
come after the format string are the character metrics width,
lbearing, rbearing, character ascent, character descent, font
ascent, and font descent.
Specifies a printf-style format string used to display the
range of characters currently being displayed. The default is
"range: 0x%02x%02x (%u,%u) thru 0x%02x%02x (%u,%u)". The argu-
ments that will come after the format string are the following
fields from the XFontStruct that is returned from opening the
font: min_byte1, min_char_or_byte2, min_byte1,
min_char_or_byte2, max_byte1, max_char_or_byte2, max_byte1,
Specifies a printf-style format string used to display informa-
tion about the character at the upper left corner of the font
grid. The default is "upper left: 0x%04x (%d,%d)". The argu-
ments that will come after the format string are the new char-
acter, the high byte of the new character, and the low byte of
the new character.
Specifies a printf-style format string to display when the
selected character does not exist. The default is "no such
character 0x%02x%02x (%u,%u) (%#o,%#o)". The arguments that
will come after the format string are the same as for the
X(7), xlsfonts(1), xrdb(1), xfontsel(1), fc-list(1), fonts.conf(5), X
Logical Font Description Conventions
The program should skip over pages full of non-existent characters.
Jim Fulton, MIT X Consortium; previous program of the same name by Mark
Lillibridge, MIT Project Athena.
X Version 11 XFD(1)