xfontsel [-toolkitoption ...] [-pattern fontname] [-print] [-sample text] [-sample16 text16] [-noscaled]
The xfontsel application provides a simple way to display the fonts known to your X server, examine samples of each, and retrieve the X Logical Font Description ("XLFD") full name for a font.
If -pattern is not specified, all fonts with XLFD 14-part names will be selectable. To work with only a subset of the fonts, specify -pattern followed by a partially or fully qualified font name; e.g., ``-pattern *medium*'' will select that subset of fonts which contain the string ``medium'' somewhere in their font name. Be careful about escaping wildcard characters in your shell.
If -print is specified on the command line the selected font specifier will be written to standard output when the quit button is activated. Regardless of whether or not -print was specified, the font specifier may be made the PRIMARY (text) selection by activating the select button.
The -sample option specifies the sample text to be used to display the selected font if the font is linearly indexed, overriding the default.
The -sample16 option specifies the sample text to be used to display the selected font if the font is matrix encoded, overriding the default.
The -noscaled option disables the ability to select scaled fonts at arbitrary pixel or point sizes. This makes it clear which bitmap sizes are advertised by the server, and can avoid an accidental and sometimes prolonged wait for a font to be scaled.
Clicking any pointer button in one of the XLFD field names will pop up a menu of the currently-known possibilities for that field. If previous choices of other fields were made, only values for fonts which matched the previously selected fields will be selectable; to make other values selectable, you must deselect some other field(s) by choosing the ``*'' entry in that field. Unselectable values may be omitted from the menu entirely as a configuration option; see the ShowUnselectable resource, below. Whenever any change is made to a field value, xfontsel will assert ownership of the PRIMARY_FONT selection. Other applications (see, e.g., xterm) may then retrieve the selected font specification.
Scalable fonts come back from the server with zero for the pixel size, point size, and average width fields. Selecting a font name with a zero in these positions results in an implementation-dependent size. Any pixel or point size can be selected to scale the font to a particular size. Any average width can be selected to anamorphically scale the font (although you may find this challenging given the size of the average width menu).
Clicking the left pointer button in the select widget will cause the currently selected font name to become the PRIMARY text selection as well as the PRIMARY_FONT selection. This then allows you to paste the string into other applications. The select button remains highlighted to remind you of this fact, and de-highlights when some other application takes the PRIMARY selection away. The select widget is a toggle; pressing it when it is highlighted will cause xfontsel to release the selection ownership and de-highlight the widget. Activating the select widget twice is the only way to cause xfontsel to release the PRIMARY_FONT selection.
The application class is XFontSel. Most of the user-interface is configured in the app-defaults file; if this file is missing a warning message will be printed to standard output and the resulting window will be nearly incomprehensible.
Most of the significant parts of the widget hierarchy are documented in the app-defaults file (normally /usr/lib/X11/app-defaults/XFontSel).
Application specific resources:
Sufficiently ambiguous patterns can be misinterpreted and lead to an initial selection string which may not correspond to what the user intended and which may cause the initial sample text output to fail to match the proffered string. Selecting any new field value will correct the sample output, though possibly resulting in no matching font.
Should be able to return a FONT for the PRIMARY selection, not just a STRING.
Any change in a field value will cause xfontsel to assert ownership of the PRIMARY_FONT selection. Perhaps this should be parameterized.
When running on a slow machine, it is possible for the user to request a field menu before the font names have been completely parsed. An error message indicating a missing menu is printed to stderr but otherwise nothing bad (or good) happens.
The average-width menu is too large to be useful.
See X(1) for a full statement of rights and permissions.
Ralph R. Swick, Digital Equipment Corporation/MIT Project Athena