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MF(1)			    General Commands Manual			 MF(1)

NAME
       mf, inimf, mf-nowin - Metafont, a language for font and logo design

SYNOPSIS
       mf [options] [commands]

DESCRIPTION
       Metafont	 reads	the  program  in  the specified	files and outputs font
       rasters (in gf format) and font metrics (in tfm format).	 The  Metafont
       language	is described in	The Metafontbook.

       Like  TeX,  Metafont  is	normally used with a large body	of precompiled
       macros, and font	generation in particular requires the support of  sev-
       eral  macro  files.  This version of Metafont looks at its command line
       to see what name	it was called under.  Both inimf and  virmf  are  sym-
       links to	the mf executable.  When called	as inimf (or when the -ini op-
       tion is given) it can be	used to	precompile macros into a  .base	 file.
       When called as virmf it will use	the plain base.	 When called under any
       other name, Metafont will use that name as the name of the base to use.
       For  example, when called as mf the mf base is used, which is identical
       to the plain base.  Other bases than plain are rarely used.

       The commands given on the command line  to  the	Metafont  program  are
       passed  to it as	the first input	line.  (But it is often	easier to type
       extended	arguments as the first input line, since UNIX shells  tend  to
       gobble up or misinterpret Metafont's favorite symbols, like semicolons,
       unless you quote	them.)	As described in	The Metafontbook,  that	 first
       line should begin with a	filename, a \controlsequence, or a _basename.

       The normal usage	is to say

	      mf  '\mode=<printengine>;	[mag=magstep(n);]' input  font

       to  start  processing  font.mf.	 The single quotes are the best	way of
       keeping the Unix	shell from misinterpreting the semicolons and from re-
       moving  the  \  character,  which  is needed here to keep Metafont from
       thinking	that you want to produce a font	called mode.  (Or you can just
       say  mf	and  give  the	other stuff on the next	line, without quotes.)
       Other control sequences,	such as	batchmode (for silent  operation)  can
       also  appear.   The  name  font will be the ``jobname'',	and is used in
       forming output file names.  If Metafont doesn't get a file name in  the
       first  line,  the jobname is mfput.  The	default	extension, .mf,	can be
       overridden by specifying	an extension explicitly.

       A log of	error messages goes into the  file  jobname.log.   The	output
       files are jobname.tfm and jobname._number_gf, where <number> depends on
       the resolution and magnification	of the font.  The mode in this example
       is  shown  generically  as <printengine>, a symbolic term for which the
       name of an actual device	or, most commonly, the name localfont (see be-
       low) must be substituted.  If the mode is not specified or is not valid
       for your	site, Metafont will default to proof mode which	produces large
       character images	for use	in font	design and refinement.	Proof mode can
       be recognized by	the suffix .2602gf after  the  jobname.	  Examples  of
       proof  mode  output can be found	in Computer Modern Typefaces (Volume E
       of Computers and	Typesetting).  The system of magsteps is identical  to
       the  system  used  by TeX, with values generally	in the range 0.5, 1.0,
       2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0.  A listing of gf numbers	for  118-dpi,  240-dpi
       and 300-dpi fonts is shown below.

	   MAGSTEP	  118 dpi   240	dpi   300 dpi
       mag=magstep(0)	  118	    240	      300

       mag=magstep(0.5)	  129	    263	      329
       mag=magstep(1)	  142	    288	      360
       mag=magstep(2)	  170	    346	      432
       mag=magstep(3)	  204	    415	      518
       mag=magstep(4)	  245	    498	      622
       mag=magstep(5)	  294	    597	      746

       Magnification  can  also	 be specified not as a magstep but as an arbi-
       trary value, such as 1.315, to create special character sizes.

       Before font production can begin, it is necessary to set	up the	appro-
       priate  base  files.  The minimum set of	components for font production
       for a given print-engine	is the	plain.mf  macro	 file  and  the	 local
       mode_def	file.  The macros in plain.mf can be studied in	an appendix to
       the Metafontbook; they were developed by	Donald E. Knuth, and this file
       should  never  be  altered except when it is officially upgraded.  Each
       mode_def	specification helps adapt fonts	to a particular	 print-engine.
       There  is  a regular discussion of mode_defs in TUGboat,	the journal of
       the TeX Users Group.  The local ones in use on this computer should  be
       in modes.mf.

       The e response to Metafont's error-recovery mode	invokes	the system de-
       fault editor at the erroneous line of the source	file.  There is	an en-
       vironment  variable,  MFEDIT,  that  overrides  the default editor.  It
       should contain a	string with "%s" indicating where  the	filename  goes
       and  "%d"  indicating  where the	decimal	linenumber (if any) goes.  For
       example,	an MFEDIT string for the vi editor can be  set	with  the  csh
       command
	      setenv MFEDIT "vi	+%d %s"

       A  convenient file in the library is null.mf, containing	nothing.  When
       mf can't	find the file it thinks	you want to input, it keeps asking you
       for  another  file  name; responding `null' gets	you out	of the loop if
       you don't want to input anything.

ONLINE GRAPHICS	OUTPUT
       Metafont	can use	most modern displays, so you can see its output	 with-
       out  printing.	Chapter	 23 of The Metafontbook	describes what you can
       do.  This implementation	of Metafont uses environment variables to  de-
       termine	which  display	device	you want to use.  First	it looks for a
       variable	MFTERM,	and then for TERM.  If it can't	find either,  you  get
       no  online output.  Otherwise, the value	of the variable	determines the
       device to use: hp2627, sun (for old  SunView),  tek,  uniterm  (for  an
       Atari  ST  Tek  4014 emulator), xterm (for either X10 or	X11).  Some of
       these devices may not be	supported in  all  Metafont  executables;  the
       choice is made at compilation time.

       On  some	systems, there are two Metafont	binaries, mf and mf-nowin.  On
       those systems the mf binary supports graphics, while the	 mf-nowin  bi-
       nary  does  not.	  The  mf-nowin	binary is used by scripts like mktexpk
       where graphics support is a nuisance rather than	something helpful.

OPTIONS
       This version of Metafont	understands the	 following  command  line  op-
       tions.

       -base base
	      Use base as the name of the base to be used, instead of the name
	      by which Metafont	was called or a	%_ line.

       -cnf-line string
	      Parse string as a	texmf.cnf configuration	line.  See the	Kpath-
	      sea manual.

       -file-line-error
	      Print  error messages in the form	file:line:error	which is simi-
	      lar to the way many compilers format them.

       -no-file-line-error
	      Disable printing error messages in the file:line:error style.

       -file-line-error-style
	      This is the old name of the -file-line-error option.

       -halt-on-error
	      Exit with	an error code when an error is encountered during pro-
	      cessing.

       -help  Print help message and exit.

       -ini   Be inimf,	for dumping bases; this	is implicitly true if the pro-
	      gram is called as	inimf.

       -interaction mode
	      Sets the interaction mode.  The mode can be  one	of  batchmode,
	      nonstopmode,  scrollmode,	 and  errorstopmode.   The  meaning of
	      these modes is the same as that of the corresponding commands.

       -jobname	name
	      Use name for the job name, instead of deriving it	from the  name
	      of the input file.

       -kpathsea-debug bitmask
	      Sets  path  searching  debugging flags according to the bitmask.
	      See the Kpathsea manual for details.

       -maketex	fmt
	      Enable mktexfmt, where fmt must be mf.

       -no-maketex fmt
	      Disable mktexfmt,	where fmt must be mf.

       -output-directory directory
	      Write output files in directory instead of  the  current	direc-
	      tory.   Look  up	input  files in	directory first, the along the
	      normal search path.

       -parse-first-line
	      If the first line	of the main input file begins with %_ parse it
	      to look for a dump name or a -translate-file option.

       -no-parse-first-line
	      Disable parsing of the first line	of the main input file.

       -progname name
	      Pretend  to  be program name.  This affects both the format used
	      and the search paths.

       -recorder
	      Enable the filename recorder.  This leaves a trace of the	 files
	      opened for input and output in a file with extension .fls.

       -translate-file tcxname
	      Use the tcxname translation table.

       -version
	      Print version information	and exit.

ENVIRONMENT
       See  the	 Kpathsearch  library documentation (the `Path specifications'
       node) for the details of	how the	environment  variables	are  use  when
       searching.   The	 kpsewhich  utility can	be used	to query the values of
       the variables.

       If the environment variable TEXMFOUTPUT is set,	Metafont  attempts  to
       put its output files in it, if they cannot be put in the	current	direc-
       tory.  Again, see tex(1).

       MFINPUTS
	      Search path for input files.

       MFEDIT Command template for switching to	editor.

       MFTERM Determines the online graphics display.  If MFTERM is  not  set,
	      and  DISPLAY  is set, the	Metafont window	support	for X is used.
	      (DISPLAY must be set to  a  valid	 X  server  specification,  as
	      usual.)	If  neither MFTERM nor DISPLAY is set, TERM is used to
	      guess the	window support to use.

FONT UTILITIES
       A number	of utility programs are	available.  The	following is a partial
       list  of	 available  utilities  and  their purpose.  Consult your local
       Metafont	guru for details.

       gftopk	Takes a	gf file	and produces a more  tightly  packed  pk  font
		file.

       gftodvi	Produces proof sheets for fonts.

       gftype	Displays the contents of a gf file in mnemonics	and/or images.

       pktype	Mnemonically displays the contents of a	pk file.

       mft	Formats	a source file as shown in Computer Modern Typefaces.

FILES
       mf.pool
	      Encoded text of Metafont's messages.

       *.base Predigested Metafont base	files.

       $TEXMFMAIN/metafont/base/plain.mf
	      The standard base.

       $TEXMFMAIN/metafont/misc/modes.mf
	      The file of mode_defs for	your site's various printers

NOTES
       This  manual page is not	meant to be exhaustive.	 The complete documen-
       tation for this version of Metafont can be found	 in  the  info	manual
       Web2C: A	TeX implementation.

BUGS
       On January 4, 1986 the ``final''	bug in Metafont	was discovered and re-
       moved.  If an error still lurks in the code, Donald E.  Knuth  promises
       to  pay a finder's fee which doubles every year to the first person who
       finds it.  Happy	hunting.

SUGGESTED READING
       Donald E. Knuth,	The Metafontbook (Volume C of Computers	 and  Typeset-
       ting), Addison-Wesley, 1986, ISBN 0-201-13445-4.
       Donald E. Knuth,	Metafont: The Program (Volume D	of Computers and Type-
       setting), Addison-Wesley, 1986, ISBN 0-201-13438-1.
       Donald E. Knuth,	Computer Modern	Typefaces (Volume E of	Computers  and
       Typesetting), Addison-Wesley, 1986, ISBN	0-201-13446-2.
       TUGboat (the journal of the TeX Users Group).

COMMENTS
       Warning:	 ``Type	design can be hazardous	to your	other interests.  Once
       you get hooked, you will	develop	intense	 feelings  about  letterforms;
       the  medium  will  intrude on the messages that you read.  And you will
       perpetually be thinking of improvements to the fonts that you  see  ev-
       erywhere, especially those of your own design.''

SEE ALSO
       gftopk(1),   gftodvi(1),	  gftype(1),   mft(1),	 mpost(1),  pltotf(1),
       tftopl(1).

AUTHORS
       Metafont	was designed by	Donald E. Knuth, who implemented it using  his
       Web  system  for	 Pascal	programs.  It was originally ported to Unix by
       Paul Richards at	the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.	  This
       page was	mostly written by Pierre MacKay.

Web2C 2021			 6 August 2019				 MF(1)

NAME | SYNOPSIS | DESCRIPTION | ONLINE GRAPHICS OUTPUT | OPTIONS | ENVIRONMENT | FONT UTILITIES | FILES | NOTES | BUGS | SUGGESTED READING | COMMENTS | SEE ALSO | AUTHORS

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