Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: xfontsel 1.0.2
Return to Main Contents
xfontsel - point and click selection of X11 font names
xfontsel [-toolkitoption ...]
The xfontsel application provides a simple way to display
the fonts known to your X server, examine samples of each, and
retrieve the X Logical Font Description ("XLFD") full name for a font.
If -pattern is not specified, all fonts with XLFD 14-part
names will be selectable. To work with only a subset of the
fonts, specify -pattern followed by a partially or fully
qualified font name; e.g., ``-pattern *medium*'' will
select that subset of fonts which contain the string ``medium''
somewhere in their font name. Be careful about escaping
wildcard characters in your shell.
If -print is specified on the command line the selected
font specifier will be written to standard output when the quit
button is activated. Regardless of whether or not -print was
specified, the font specifier may be made the PRIMARY (text)
selection by activating the select button.
The -sample option specifies the sample text to be used to
display the selected font if the font is linearly indexed,
overriding the default.
The -sample16 option specifies the sample text to be used to
display the selected font if the font is matrix encoded,
overriding the default.
The -sampleUCS option specifies the sample text encoded in the UTF-8
form to be used to display the selected font if the font has a
CHARSET_REGISTRY of ISO10646, overriding the default.
The -scaled option enables the ability to select scaled fonts
at arbitrary pixel or point sizes.
Clicking any pointer button in one of the XLFD field names will pop up
a menu of the currently-known possibilities for that field. If
previous choices of other fields were made, only values
for fonts which matched the previously selected fields will be
selectable; to make other values selectable, you must deselect
some other field(s) by choosing the ``*'' entry in that field.
Unselectable values may be omitted from the menu entirely as
a configuration option; see the ShowUnselectable resource, below.
Whenever any change is made to a field value, xfontsel will
assert ownership of the PRIMARY_FONT selection. Other applications
(see, e.g., xterm) may then retrieve the selected font specification.
Scalable fonts come back from the server with zero for the pixel size,
point size, and average width fields. Selecting a font name with a
zero in these positions results in an implementation-dependent size.
Any pixel or point size can be selected to scale the font to a particular
size. Any average width can be selected to anamorphically scale the font
(although you may find this challenging given the size of the average
Clicking the left pointer button in the select widget will
cause the currently selected font name to become the PRIMARY text
selection as well as the PRIMARY_FONT selection.
This then allows you to paste the string into other
applications. The select button remains
highlighted to remind you of this fact, and de-highlights when
some other application takes the PRIMARY selection away. The
select widget is a toggle; pressing it when it is highlighted
will cause xfontsel to release the selection ownership and
de-highlight the widget. Activating the select widget twice
is the only way to cause xfontsel to release the
The application class is XFontSel. Most of the user-interface
is configured in the app-defaults file; if this file is missing
a warning message will be printed to standard output and the
resulting window will be nearly incomprehensible.
Most of the significant parts of the widget hierarchy are documented
Application specific resources:
- cursor (class Cursor)
Specifies the cursor for the application window.
- pattern (class Pattern)
Specifies the font name pattern for selecting a subset of
available fonts. Equivalent to the -pattern option.
Most useful patterns will contain at least one field
delimiter; e.g. ``*-m-*'' for monospaced fonts.
- pixelSizeList (class PixelSizeList)
Specifies a list of pixel sizes to add to the pixel size menu,
so that scalable fonts can be selected at those pixel sizes.
The default pixelSizeList contains 7, 30, 40, 50, and 60.
- pointSizeList (class PointSizeList)
Specifies a list of point sizes (in units of tenths of points) to add to
the point size menu, so that scalable fonts can be selected at those
point sizes. The default pointSizeList contains 250, 300, 350, and 400.
- printOnQuit (class PrintOnQuit)
If True the currently selected font name is printed
to standard output when the quit button is activated.
Equivalent to the -print option.
- sampleText (class Text)
The sample 1-byte text to use for linearly indexed fonts.
Each glyph index is a single byte, with newline separating lines.
- sampleText16 (class Text16)
The sample 2-byte text to use for matrix-encoded fonts.
Each glyph index is two bytes, with a 1-byte newline separating lines.
- scaledFonts (class ScaledFonts)
If True then selection of arbitrary pixel and point sizes for
scalable fonts is enabled.
Widget specific resources:
- showUnselectable (class ShowUnselectable)
Specifies, for each field menu, whether or not to show values that
are not currently selectable, based upon previous field selections.
If shown, the unselectable values are clearly identified as such
and do not highlight when the pointer is moved down the menu.
The full name of this resource is fieldN.menu.options.showUnselectable,
where N is replaced with the field
number (starting with the left-most field numbered 0).
The default is True for all but field 11 (average width of characters
in font) and False for field 11. If you never want to see
unselectable entries, '*menu.options.showUnselectable:False' is
a reasonable thing to specify in a resource file.
Sufficiently ambiguous patterns can be misinterpreted and lead to an
initial selection string which may not correspond to what the user intended
and which may cause the initial sample text output to fail to match
the proffered string. Selecting any new field value will correct the
sample output, though possibly resulting in no matching font.
Should be able to return a FONT for the PRIMARY selection, not
just a STRING.
Any change in a field value will cause xfontsel to assert
ownership of the PRIMARY_FONT selection. Perhaps this should
When running on a slow machine, it is possible for the user to
request a field menu before the font names have been completely
parsed. An error message indicating a missing menu is printed
to stderr but otherwise nothing bad (or good) happens.
The average-width menu is too large to be useful.
Copyright 1989, 1991, X Consortium
See X(7) for a full statement of rights and permissions.
Ralph R. Swick, Digital Equipment Corporation/MIT Project Athena
Mark Leisher <firstname.lastname@example.org> added the support for the UTF-8 sample
- SEE ALSO
This document was created by
using the manual pages.