Font utilities

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5.1 File format abbreviations

For the sake of brevity, we do not spell out every abbreviation (typically of file format names) in the manual every time we use it. This section collects and defines all the common abbreviations we use.

The `Bezier property list' format output by BZRto and read by BPLtoBZR. This is a transliteration of the binary BZR format into human-readable (and -editable) text. See section 12.1 BPL files.

The `Bezier' outline format output by Limn and read by BZRto. We invented this format ourselves. See section 11.6 BZR files.

The `cookie-cutter character' (er, `composite character construction') files read by BZRto to add pre-accented and other such characters to a font. See section 11.4 CCC files.

The `character metric information' files read by Charspace to add side bearings to a font. See section 9.2 CMI files.

The `generic font' bitmap format output by Metafont (and by most of these programs). See the sources for Metafont or one of the other TeX font utility programs (GFtoPK, etc.) for the definition.

The `device independent' format output by TeX, GFtoDVI, etc. Many "DVI driver" programs have been written to translate DVI format to something that can actually be printed or previewed. See sources for TeX or DVItype for the definition.

The `Encapsulated PostScript' format output by many programs, including Imageto (see section 6.1.1 Viewing an image) and Fontconvert (see section 8.1.1 Fontconvert output options). An EPS file differs from a plain PostScript file in that it contains information about the PostScript image it produces: its bounding box, for example. (This information is contained in comments, since PostScript has no good way to express such information directly.)

The `image font information' files read by Imageto when making a font from an image. See section 6.2 IFI files.

The `Ghostscript font' format output by BZRto and the `bdftops' program in the Ghostscript distribution. This is nothing more than the Adobe Type 1 font format, unencrypted. The Adobe Type 1 format is defined in a book published by Adobe. (Many PostScript interpreters cannot read unencrypted Type 1 fonts, despite the fact that the definition says encryption is not required. Ghostscript can read both encrypted and unencrypted Type 1 fonts.)

The `image' format used by some GEM (a window system sometimes used under DOS) programs; specifically, by the program which drives our scanner.

The `Meta-Font' programming language for designing typefaces invented by Donald Knuth. His Metafontbook is the only manual written to date (that we know of).

The `portable bitmap' format used by the PBMplus programs, Ghostscript, Imageto, etc. It was invented by Jef Poskanzer (we believe), the author of PBMplus.

The `printer font ASCII' format in which Type 1 PostScript fonts are sometimes distributed. This format uses the ASCII hexadecimal characters `0' to `9' and `a' to `f' (and/or `A' to `F') to represent an eexec-encrypted Type 1 font.

The `printer font binary' format in which Type 1 PostScript fonts are sometimes distributed. This format is most commonly used on DOS systems. (Personally, we find the existence of this format truly despicable, as one of the major advantages of PostScript is its being defined entirely in terms of plain text files (in Level 1 PostScript, anyway). Having an unportable binary font format completely defeats this.)

The `packed font' bitmap format output by GFtoPK. PK format has (for all practical purposes) the same information as GF format, and does a better job of packing: typically a font in PK format will be one-half to two-thirds of the size of the same font in GF format. It was invented by Tom Rokicki as part of the TeX project. See the GFtoPK source for the definition.

The `property list' format output by TFtoPL. This is a transliteration of the binary TFM format into human-readable (and -editable) text. Some of these programs output a PL file and call PLtoTF to make a TFM from it. (For technical reasons it is easier to do this than to output a TFM file directly.) See the PLtoTF source for the details.

The `TeX font metric' format output by Metafont, PLtoTF, and other programs, and read by TeX. TFM files include only character dimension information (widths, heights, depths, and italic corrections), kerns, ligatures, and font parameters; in particular, there is no information about the character shapes. See the TeX or Metafont source for the definition.

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