GNU Emacs Manual. Node: Font X

PREVDisplay X UPCommand Arguments NEXTColors X

A.7: Font Specification Options

By default, Emacs displays text in the font named `9x15', which makes each character nine pixels wide and fifteen pixels high. You can specify a different font on your command line through the option `-fn name'.

`-fn name'

Use font name as the default font.


`--font' is an alias for `-fn'.

Under X, each font has a long name which consists of eleven words or numbers, separated by dashes. Some fonts also have shorter nicknames---`9x15' is such a nickname. You can use either kind of name. You can use wildcard patterns for the font name; then Emacs lets X choose one of the fonts that match the pattern. Here is an example, which happens to specify the font whose nickname is `6x13':

emacs -fn "-misc-fixed-medium-r-semicondensed--13-*-*-*-c-60-iso8859-1" &

You can also specify the font in your `.Xdefaults' file:

emacs.font: -misc-fixed-medium-r-semicondensed--13-*-*-*-c-60-iso8859-1

A long font name has the following form:


This is the name of the font family---for example, `courier'.

weight This is normally `bold', `medium' or `light'. Other words may appear here in some font names.
slant This is `r' (roman), `i' (italic), `o' (oblique), `ri' (reverse italic), or `ot' (other).
widthtype This is normally `condensed', `extended', `semicondensed' or `normal'. Other words may appear here in some font names.
style This is an optional additional style name. Usually it is empty---most long font names have two hyphens in a row at this point.
pixels This is the font height, in pixels.
height This is the font height on the screen, measured in tenths of a printer's point---approximately 1/720 of an inch. In other words, it is the point size of the font, times ten. For a given vertical resolution, height and pixels are proportional; therefore, it is common to specify just one of them and use `*' for the other.
horiz This is the horizontal resolution, in pixels per inch, of the screen for which the font is intended.
vert This is the vertical resolution, in dots per inch, of the screen for which the font is intended. Normally the resolution of the fonts on your system is the right value for your screen; therefore, you normally specify `*' for this and horiz.
spacing This is `m' (monospace), `p' (proportional) or `c' (character cell). Emacs can use `m' and `c' fonts.
width This is the average character width, in pixels, multiplied by ten.
charset This is the character set that the font depicts. Normally you should use `iso8859-1'.

Use only fixed-width fonts---that is, fonts in which all characters have the same width; Emacs cannot yet handle display properly for variable-width fonts. Any font with `m' or `c' in the spacing field of the long name is a fixed-width font. Here's how to use the xlsfonts program to list all the fixed-width fonts available on your system:

xlsfonts -fn '*x*' | egrep "^[0-9]+x[0-9]+"
xlsfonts -fn '*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-m*'
xlsfonts -fn '*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-c*'

To see what a particular font looks like, use the xfd command. For example:

xfd -fn 6x13

displays the entire font `6x13'.

While running Emacs, you can set the font of the current frame (see Frame Parameters) or for a specific kind of text (see Faces).

PREVDisplay X UPCommand Arguments NEXTColors X