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vfontas(1)			    hxtools			    vfontas(1)

Name
       vfontas -- a bitmap font	file transformation utility

Syntax
       vfontas commands...

   Commands
       -blankfnt

       -canvas xsize ysize

       -clearmap

       -crop xpos ypos width height

       -fliph

       -flipv

       -invert

       -lge

       -lgeu

       -lgeuf

       -loadbdf	ff.bdf

       -loadclt	directory/

       -loadfnt	mu.fnt

       -loadhex	unicode.hex

       -loadmap	cp437AB.uni

       -loadpsf	ter-v32b.psfu

       -move shiftx shifty

       -savebdf	out.bdf

       -saveclt	outdir/

       -savefnt	x.fnt

       -saven1 new.sfd

       -saven2 new.sfd

       -savepbm	outdir/

       -savepsf	new.psfu

       -savesfd	new.sfd

       -setbold

       -setname	name

       -setprop	key value

       -upscale	xscale yscale

       -xcpi ega437.cpi	outdir/

       -xlat xoffset yoffset

Description
       vfontas	(originally  "VGA  font	file assembler") can read/write	bitmap
       fonts from/to a number of formats and transform the glyphs  in  various
       ways. vfontas is	able to	generate a vector format.

       vfontas	does  not  have	a direct integration of	or with	FontForge, but
       thanks to the BDF read/write support on both sides,  fonts  in  formats
       like  FNT  and  PSF can be made available to FontForge by vfontas, and,
       conversely, fonts in formats like FON and TTF can be made available  to
       vfontas by FF.

       With its	own CLT	format,	vfontas	makes glyphs in	a textgraphical	format
       to facilitate editing with plain-text screen editors such as vi,	 nano,
       etc.

Aspect ratio
       CRT  screens of the time	commonly had an	aspect ratio of	4:3, and what-
       ever resolution was shown would be squeezed  into  that	frame,	poten-
       tially  making  the  pixels non-square. This means that bitmap fonts of
       the time	will need a corrective factor for modern display  hardware  to
       be reproduced faithfully. This correction can happen either during con-
       version (vfontas	has no support for this	at present), or	at the time of
       rendering.  The	font can either	be stretched in	the vertical direction
       or compressed in	the horizontal by using	the reciprocal.

       +---------+-----------+------------+--------------+
       |Text res | Char	size | Resolution | VStretch	 |
       +---------+-----------+------------+--------------+
       |80x25	 | 9x14	     | 720x350	  | 54/35 = 1.54 |
       +---------+-----------+------------+--------------+
       |40x25	 | 8x8	     | 320x200	  | 6/5	= 1.2	 |
       +---------+-----------+------------+--------------+
       |80x25	 | 8x8	     | 640x200	  | 12/5 = 2.4	 |
       +---------+-----------+------------+--------------+
       |80x25	 | 8x14	     | 640x350	  | 48/35 = 1.37 |
       +---------+-----------+------------+--------------+
       |80x43	 | 8x8	     | 640x350	  | 48/35 = 1.37 |
       +---------+-----------+------------+--------------+
       |80x25	 | 9x16	     | 720x400	  | 27/20 = 1.35 |
       +---------+-----------+------------+--------------+
       |80x30	 | 8x16	     | 640x480	  | 1.0		 |
       +---------+-----------+------------+--------------+
       |80x50	 | 9x8	     | 720x400	  | 27/20 = 1.35 |
       +---------+-----------+------------+--------------+
       |	 |	     | x*y	  | x*y/3*4	 |
       +---------+-----------+------------+--------------+
Commands
   blankfnt
       Initializes the memory buffer with 256 empty 8x16 glyphs.  The  primary
       purpose	for  this  is  with saveclt to get blank glyph files for hand-
       editing.	For a differently-sized	canvas,	combine	with -crop or -canvas.

   canvas
       Enlarges	the glyph box to the specified size. (It never shrinks it.)

   clearmap
       Discards	the in-memory glyph index <-> Unicode mapping table.

   crop
       Removes an outer	area from the glyph images, shrinking the image	in the
       process.

   fliph, flipv
       Mirrors/flips glyphs.

   lge
       Applies	a  "Line  Graphics Enable" transformation on glyphs. It	copies
       the pixels in the second	rightmost column to the	rightmost column,  and
       does  this  for glyph indices 0xC0 to 0xDF. In other words, the useful-
       ness of the -lge	command	is more	or less	limited	 to  DOS  fonts	 which
       have graphic characters in exactly those	indices.

   lgeu
       Applies LGE on the graphic glyphs that are in cp437 and other DOS code-
       pages. It does this for unicode codepoints rather than  glyph  indices.
       This is suitable	for all	kinds of font formats, but do make sure	a Uni-
       code table is present. (BDF and PSF come	with a table, .fnt  does  not,
       so use -loadmap before -lgeu).

   lgeuf
       Applies	LGE  on	all glyphs from	U+2500 thru U+25FF (Unicode "box draw-
       ing" and	"box elements" classes), with special handling for the	shades
       at  U+2591 thru U+2593. This is provided	as an alternative to the "true
       DOS look" that lge/lgeu would make.

   loadbdf
       Reads a BDF (Adobe Glyph	Bitmap Distribution Format) font file.

   loadclt
       Reads a directory full of CLT files containing glyphs. CLT is  a	 text-
       graphical  format to facilitate visual editing with a text console edi-
       tor.

   loadfnt
       Reads  a	 headerless  bitmap  font  file,   as	typically   used   for
       CGA/EGA/VGA/MDA	hardware, from the specified file into memory. 8x8x256
       (width/height/glyphs), 8x12x256,	8x14x256, 8x16x256  and	 8x16x512  are
       supported.

   loadfnth
       Reads  a	 headerless bitmap font	file, using the	specified height N and
       width 8.	 The number of characters is then autoderived from  the	 file-
       size.

   loadhex
       Reads a Unifont .hex encoded file.

   loadmap
       Reads  a	 glyphindex <->	Unicode	codepoint mapping table	from the given
       file   into   memory.   The    format	follows	   the	  maps	  from
       /usr/share/kbd/unimaps,	that is, "0x00 U+0000" at its simplest.	Multi-
       ple U+ codepoints can be	specified in a line.  -loadmap does not	 clear
       the  mapping  table,  which makes it possible to	cumulate mappings from
       multiple	files.

   loadpsf
       Reads a PC Screen Font PSF 2 version 0. If the psf file	comes  with  a
       mapping	table,	the  current in-memory table will be discarded and re-
       placed with the one from	the PSF.

   move
       Shift all glyphs	by the given x/y offsets within	their  existing	 glyph
       box (possibly truncating	them).

   savebdf
       Saves  the  font	to a Glyph Bitmap Distribution Format file (BDF). This
       type  of	 file  can  be	processed  further  by	other  tools  such  as
       bdftopcf(1)  or	fontforge(1)  to, for example, turn them into Portable
       Compiled	Format (PCF) or	TrueType/OpenType (TTF/OTF)  files.  (See  the
       "Examples" section.)

   saveclt
       Saves  the  current in-memory glyphs as multiple	CLT files to the given
       directory. CLT is a textgraphical format	to facilitate  visual  editing
       with a text console editor.

   savefnt
       Saves the current in-memory glyphs to the given file, using the header-
       less format.

   savemap
       Saves the current in-memory Unicode mapping table to the	given file.

   saven1
       N1 was an experiment to try and model the "diagonalization  idea"  (cf.
       -saven2)	 by  analyzing the original glyph bitmap. Its defining charac-
       teristic	is a lookaround	window	of  3x3	 pixels,  whose	 contents  are
       mapped to a set of triangles. N1	has some drawbacks over	the newer N2:

       o   N1 adds diagonals on	single-pixel protrusions (e.g. the left	end of
	   the horizontal bar in an 'f'	in certain fonts). This	is  definitely
	   not fixable with a 3x3 window and would require using 5x5.

       o   N1 adds triangles between pixels that do not	necessarily belong to-
	   gether, such	as in spirals like U+0040  or  jampacked  glyphs  like
	   U+20A7.  N2 operates	on edges and knows their direction, and	avoids
	   making connections to "pixel	islands" at certain angles.

   saven2
       Similar to -savesfd, this produces an SFD file, but uses	 an  alternate
       vectorizer  (aptly  named  "N2"), which smoothens the jagged edges of a
       bitmap font.

       The N2 vectorizer is able to recognize the "stair"  pattern  of	pixels
       and  transform these sections to	45-degree angles. This diagonalization
       was originally employed by Arto HatanpAxAx (possibly in a long  session
       of  manual work)	for the	"Nouveau IBM" and "Nouveau IBM Stretch"	vector
       font versions of	the IBM	VGA 9x16 ROM font.

       The defining characteristic of N2 is that it analyzes glyph edges (sim-
       ilar to those produced by -savesfd) using a lookaround window of	7 edge
       segments, which is used to work on areas	 of  effectively  5x5  pixels.
       When  a 90/270 corner is	found, it will be transformed by adding	diago-
       nal edges.

       In comparison to	other scalers,

       o   xBRZ	erroneously round the ends of strokes  (e.g.  the  '-'	dash),
	   N1/N2 does not.

       o   While xBRZ is a bitmap-to-bitmap procedure (also limited to 6x mag-
	   nification as of writing), N1/N2 converts to	vector.

       o   Autotrace/Potrace just is not targeted for low  resolution  sources
	   (as	8x16  bitmap fonts are). Either	it will	convert	the bitmap 1:1
	   with	jagged edges, or turn it into three or so  beziers,  which  is
	   not nearly enough for '&'.

       o   N1/N2 is only specified for monochrome input.

   savepsf
       Saves  the  current  in-memory  glyphs as a PC Screen Font PSF2.0 file,
       which can then be loaded	into a Linux text console with setfont(1). The
       in-memory Unicode mapping table is added	to the PSF.

   savesfd
       Saves  the font to a Spline Font	Database file (SFD). This type of file
       can be processed	further	by fontforge(1). A fairly  trivial  vectorizer
       is  used	 that  maps  each pixels to a square and then collapses	shared
       edges between those to reduce the number	of polygons fontforge  has  to
       process.

   setbold
       For BDF/SFD output: Declare the font as being bold.

   setname
       Sets  a	name for the font, which gets emitted for BDF/SFD output. (The
       other file formats have no metadata field for a name, so	 the  filename
       is all you get.)

   setprop
       Sets a specific property	for SFD	fonts (also partly used	by BDF).

   upscale
       Performs	a linear upscale by an integral	factor for all glyphs.

   xcpi
       Extracts	a multi-font .cpi file (as was typically used on DOS) as sepa-
       rate .fnt files into the	specified directory. This operation  does  not
       touch the in-memory glyph buffers or Unicode mapping table.

   xlat
       Moves  all glyphs around	within their canvases by the specified amount.
       vfontas's coordinate system has (0,0) in	the upper  left	 corner,  with
       positive	x going	to the right, and positive y going down.

Known limits
       The Linux kernel	accepts	console	font glyphs of at most 32x32 in	size.

The Consoleet bitmap format
       The Consoleet text bitmap format	is very	similar	to PBM itself. Instead
       of "P1" as in PBM, a CLT	file begins with "PCLT"	on the first line.  In
       the  second  line,  width  and height of	the bitmap in pixels is	given.
       What follow is the bitmap data: Each "off" pixel	is represented by  the
       2-character string ".." Each "on" pixel is represented by the 2-charac-
       ter "##". Each row of pixels is terminated by a newline,	like in	PBM.

					 PCLT
					 9 7
					 ..................
					 ....##....##..##..
					 ..##..##..##..##..
					 ..##..##..####....
					 ..##..##..##..##..
					 ....##....##..##..
					 ..................

Examples
       Decompose a classic file	into editable pictograph text files (with  the
       help of a Unicode map):

	   mkdir mu; vfontas -loadfnt /usr/share/kbd/consolefonts/mu.fnt -loadmap
	   /usr/share/kbd/unimaps/cp437.uni -saveclt mu/

       To  convert a .fnt and scale it up to make it comfortably usable	with a
       FullHD resolution Linux fbconsole:

	   vfontas -loadfnt mu.fnt -loadmap cp437.uni -canvas 9	16 -lge	-upscale 2 2
	   -savepsf mu.psf

       To convert a .fnt to TrueType/OpenType/WOFF (the	Fontforge part is  un-
       fortunately manual):

	   vfontas -loadfnt mux.fnt -loadmap cp437AB.uni -canvas 9 16 -lge -savesfd
	   mux.sfd # &&	fontforge mux.sfd

       To  convert  a .fnt for use under X11 and XTerm (generates sizes	12, 24
       and 36, @96dpi):

	   for i in 1 2	3; do vfontas -loadfnt mux.fnt -loadmap	cp437AB.uni -canvas 9
	   16 -lge -upscale $i $i -setname Mux -savebdf	| bdftopcf | gzip
	   >~/.fonts/mux$i.pcf.gz; done; xterm -fa "misc Mux:size=24"

Comparison to earlier vfontas (2005-2018) invocation syntax
       `vfontas	-D out/	-xf x.fnt` has become `vfontas -loadfnt	x.fnt -saveclt
       out/`.

       `vfontas	 -D out/ -cf x.fnt` has	become `vfontas	-loadclt out/ -savefnt
       x.fnt`.

       `vfontas	-Ecf x.fnt` has	become `vfontas	-blankfnt -savefnt x.fnt`.

       `vfontas	-G <x.fnt >x.psf` has become `vfontas -loadfnt x.fnt -canvas 9
       16 -lge -savepsf2 x.psf`.

       `vfontas	 -W <x.fnt >x.psf` has become `vfontas -loadfnt	x.fnt -upscale
       2 1 -savepsf2 x.psf`.

       `vfontas	--cpi -D out/ -f  x.cpi/`  has	become	`vfontas  -xcpi	 x.cpi
       out/`.

See also
       hxtools(7)

hxtools				  2019-04-21			    vfontas(1)

Name | Syntax | Description | Aspect ratio | Commands | Known limits | The Consoleet bitmap format | Examples | Comparison to earlier vfontas (2005-2018) invocation syntax | See also

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