The scalable font backends (Type 1, Speedo, TrueType) can now
automatically re-encode fonts to the encoding specified in the XLFD in
fonts.dir'. For example, a `
fonts.dir' file can now
contain entries for the Type 1 Courier font such as
which will lead to the font being recoded to ISO 8859-1 and ISO 8859-2 respectively.
Three of the scalable backends (Type 1, Speedo, and the `freetype' TrueType backend) use a common `fontenc' layer for font re-encoding. This allows those backends to share their encoding data, and allows simple configuration of new locales independently of font type.
Please note: the X-TrueType (X-TT) backend does not use the `fontenc' layer, but instead uses its own method for font reencoding. Readers only interested in X-TT may want to skip to Using Symbol Fonts, as the intervening information does not apply to X-TT. X-TT itself is described in more detail in X-TrueType.
In the `fontenc' layer, an encoding is defined by a name (such as
iso8859-1'), eventually a number of aliases (alternate names),
and an ordered collection of mappings. A mapping defines the way the
encoding can be mapped into one of the ``target'' encodings known to
the `fontenc' layer; currently, those consist of Unicode, Adobe glyph
names, and arbitrary TrueType `cmap's.
A number of encodings are hardwired into `fontenc', and are therefore always available; the hardcoded encodings cannot easily be redefined. These include:
iso8859-1': ISO Latin-1 (Western Europe);
iso8859-2': ISO Latin-2 (Eastern Europe);
iso8859-3': ISO Latin-3 (Southern Europe);
iso8859-4': ISO Latin-4 (Northern Europe);
iso8859-5': ISO Cyrillic;
iso8859-6': ISO Arabic;
iso8859-7': ISO Greek;
iso8859-8': ISO Hebrew;
iso8859-9': ISO Latin-5 (Turkish);
iso8859-10': ISO Latin-6 (Nordic);
iso8859-15': ISO Latin-9, or Latin-0 (Revised Western-European);
koi8-r': KOI8 Russian;
koi8-u': KOI8 Ukrainian (see RFC 2319);
koi8-ru': KOI8 Russian/Ukrainian
koi8-uni': KOI8 ``Unified'' (Russian, Ukrainian, and Byelorussian);
koi8-e': KOI8 `European', ISO-IR-111, or ECMA-Cyrillic;
microsoft-symbol' and `
apple-roman': these are only likely to be useful with TrueType symbol fonts.
New encodings can be added by defining encoding files. When a
font encoding is requested that the `fontenc' layer doesn't know
about, the backend checks the directory in which the font file resides
(not the directory with `
fonts.dir'!) for a file named
encodings.dir'. If found, this file is scanned for the unknown
encoding, and the requested encoding definition file is read in. The
mkfontdir(1) utility, when invoked with the `
-e' option followed
by the name of a directory containing encoding files, can be used to
automatically build `
encodings.dir' files. See the
manpage for more details.
A number of predefined encoding files have been included with the distribution. Information on writing new encoding files can be found in Format of encodings directory files and Format of encodings files.
The Type 1 backend first searches for a mapping with a target of PostScript. If one is found, it is used. If none is found, the backend searches for a mapping with target Unicode, which is then composed with a built-in table mapping codes to glyph names. Note that this table only covers part of the Unicode code points that have been assigned names by Adobe.
If neither a PostScript or Unicode mapping is found, the backend defaults to ISO 8859-1.
Specifying an encoding value of `
the encoding mechanism. This is useful with symbol and wrongly
encoded fonts (see below).
The Type 1 backend currently limits all encodings to 8-bit codes.
The Speedo backend searches for a mapping with a target of Unicode, and uses it if found. If none is found, the backend defaults to ISO 8859-1.
The Speedo backend limits all encodings to 8-bit codes.
The TrueType backend scans the mappings in order. Mappings with a target of PostScript are ignored; mappings with a TrueType or Unicode target are checked against all the cmaps in the file. The first applicable mapping is used.
Authors of encoding files to be used with the TrueType backend should ensure that mappings are mentioned in decreasing order of preference.
In order to use a font in an encoding that the font backend does
not know about, you need to have a `
encodings.dir' file in the
same directory as the font file used. `
encodings.dir' has the
same format as `
fonts.dir'. Its first line specifies the number
of encodings, while every successive line has two columns, the name of
the encoding, and the name of the encoding file; this can be relative
to the current directory, or absolute. Every encoding name should
agree with the encoding name defined in the encoding file. For
Note that the name of an encoding must be specified in the encoding
file's STARTENCODING or ALIAS line. It is not enough to create an
If your platform supports it (it probably does), encoding files may be compressed or gzipped.
encoding.dir' files are best maintained by the
utility. Please see the
mkfontdir(1) manpage for more
The encoding files are ``free form,'' i.e. any string of
whitespace is equivalent to a single space. Keywords are parsed in a
non-case-sensitive manner, meaning that `
SiZE' all parse as the same keyword; on the other hand, case is
significant in glyph names.
Numbers can be written in decimal, as in `
256', in hexadecimal,
as in `
0x100', or in octal, as in `
Comments are introduced by a hash sign `
#'. A `
appear at any point in a line, and all characters following the
#' are ignored, up to the end of the line.
The encoding file starts with the definition of the name of the encoding, and eventually its alternate names (aliases):
The names of the encoding should be suitable for use in an XLFD font name, and therefore contain exactly one dash `
The encoding file may then optionally declare the size of the encoding. For a linear encoding (such as Mule Arabic, or ISO 8859-1), the SIZE line specifies the maximum code plus one:
For a matrix encoding, it should specify two numbers. The first is the number of the last row plus one, the other, the highest column number plus one. For example, in the case of `
jisx0208.1990-0' (JIS X 0208(1990), double-byte encoding, high bit clear), it should be
Codes outside the region defined by the size line are supposed to be undefined. Encodings default to linear encoding with a size of 256 (0x100). This means that you must declare the size of all 16 bit encodings.
SIZE 0x75 0x80
What follows is one or more mapping sections. A mapping section
starts with a `
STARTMAPPING' line stating the target of the mapping.
The target may be one of:
STARTMAPPING cmap 3 1
As an abbreviation, it is possible to map a contiguous range of codes in a single line. A line consisting of three integers
is an abbreviation for the range of lines
start end target
For example, the line
is an abbreviation for
0x2121 0x215F 0x8140
Codes not listed are assumed to map through the identity (i.e. to the same numerical value). In order to override this default mapping, you may specify a range of codes to be undefined by using an `
or, for a single code
UNDEFINE 0x00 0x2A
This works because later values override earlier one.
PostScript mappings are different. Every line in a PostScript mapping maps a code to a glyph name
and codes not explicitly listed are undefined.
A mapping section ends with an
After all the mappings have been defined, the file ends with an
Lines of the form
UNASSIGNED 0x00 0x1F
are ignored by the server, but may be used by supporting utilities.
In order to make future extensions to the format possible, lines starting with an unknown keyword are ignored, as are mapping sections with an unknown target.
Type 1 symbol fonts should be installed using the
In an ideal world, all TrueType symbol fonts would be installed using
one of the `
microsoft-symbol' and `
apple-roman' encodings. A
number of symbol fonts, however, are not marked as such; such fonts
should be installed using `
microsoft-cp1252', or, for older
In order to guarantee consistent results (especially between
Type 1 and TrueType versions of the same font), it is possible to
define a special encoding for a given font. This has already been done
for the `
ZapfDingbats' font; see the file
A number of text fonts are incorrectly encoded. Incorrect encoding is sometimes done by design, in order to make a font for an exotic script appear like an ordinary Western text font. It is often due to the font designer's laziness or incompetence; in particular, most people seem to find it easier to invent idiosyncratic glyph names rather than follow the Adobe glyph list.
There are two ways of dealing with such fonts: using them with the encoding they were designed for, and creating an ad hoc encoding file.
Of course, most of the time the proper fix would be to hit the font designer very hard on the head with the PLRM (preferably the first edition, as it was published in hardcover).
In the case of Type 1 fonts, the font designer can specify a
default encoding; this encoding is requested by using the
adobe-fontspecific' encoding in the XLFD name. Sometimes, the
font designer omitted to specify a reasonable default encoding; in
this case, you should experiment with `
microsoft-symbol' doesn't make sense
for Type 1 fonts).
TrueType fonts do not have a default encoding, and use of the
Microsoft Symbol encoding yields strange results with text fonts on
some (non-X11) platforms. However, most TrueType fonts are designed
with either Microsoft or Apple platforms in mind, so one of
apple-roman' should yield reasonable results.
It is always possible to define an encoding file to put the glyphs
in a font in any desired order. Again, see the
encodingsadobe-dingbats.enc/' file to see how this is done.
By following the directions above, you will find yourself with a
number of fonts with unusual names -- specifying encodings such as
microsoft-win3.1' etc. In order
to use these fonts with standard applications, it may be useful to
remap them to their proper names.
This is done by writing a `
fonts.alias' file. The format of this file
is similar to the format of the `
fonts.dir' file, except that it maps
XLFD names to XLFD names. A `
fonts.alias' file might look as follows:
(both XLFD names on a single line). The syntax of the `
fonts.alias' file is described in the mkfontdir(1) manual page.