Unix Font rendering

Unix Font Rendering FAQ

(c) 2002 David Turner

Table Of Contents

  • what is a font ?

    what is a bitmap font ?

    what is a “char cell” font ?

    what is a scalable font ?

    what is font hinting ?

    what is TrueType hinting ?

    what is Postscript hinting ?

    what is Auto-hinting ?

    what font formats are supported by X11 ?

    how does X11 render text ?

    does X11 support anti-aliased text ?

    how does anti-aliased text work then ?

    why do my fonts look crap ?

    why some anti-aliased TrueType fonts do not look good ?


Basic Font Rendering FAQs

X11 Font Rendering FAQs


This FAQ covers many common questions regarding the rendering of text on a typical Unix desktop (i.e. Linux, BSD and legacy systems like Solaris, etc…). Note that it doesn’t deal with various other topics likefont installationprinting and international text layout. These may be the subject of other documents in the near future, but don’t hold your breath 🙂

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