[Fontconfig] Transition from X Bitmapped fonts to Fontconfig

Mark Selby mselby at pandora.com
Tue Aug 20 23:57:15 UTC 2019

I have been working with a very version of  Emacs that does not have any modern fontconfig support. The fonts are all legacy bitmapped xfonts that are described using X Logical Font Description specification.

My main font has always been 7x13 aka  -Misc-Fixed-Medium-R-Normal--13-120-75-75-C-70-ISO8859-1 found in 7x13-ISO8859-1.pcf.gz

I am now needing to work with a version Emacs that supports only fonts via the fontconfig library.

On ubuntu I have removed 10-scale-bitmap-fonts.conf and 70-no-bitmaps.conf and run fc-cache -f

When I run fc-match I see that the font that I want is listed as the default fixed font as far as fontconfig is concerned.

My issue is that I cannot seem to get Emacs to use this font. I can not choose Fixed from the font menu or use the -font command line option to get a fixed font that looks anything like the old font that I am used to.

I have two questions that I am hoping to get some help on

  1.  How do I get Emacs to use this specific fixed font and not mess with it in terms of hinting or scaling.
  2.  How can I enable a small set of the bitmapped fonts and not all of them using the fontconfig XML config. Could I just enable this single bit mapped font?

All and any help is greatly appreciated

$ fc-match fixed
7x13-ISO8859-1.pcf.gz: "Fixed" "Regular"

$ fc-match fixed -v
Pattern has 33 elts (size 48)
        family: "Fixed"(s)
        style: "Regular"(w)
        slant: 0(i)(s)
        weight: 80(i)(s)
        width: 100(i)(s)
        size: 12(f)(s)
        pixelsize: 13(f)(s)
        spacing: 110(i)(w)
        foundry: "Misc"(w)
        antialias: True(w)
        hintstyle: 1(i)(w)
        hinting: True(w)
        verticallayout: False(s)
        autohint: False(s)
        globaladvance: True(s)
        file: "/usr/share/fonts/X11/misc/7x13-ISO8859-1.pcf.gz"(w)
        index: 0(i)(w)
        outline: False(w)
        scalable: False(w)
        dpi: 75(f)(s)
        scale: 1(f)(s)
        0000: ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff 7fffffff 00000000 ffffffff ffffffff ffffffff
        lang: aa|ay|bi|br|ch|da|de|en|es|eu|fj|fo|fur|fy|gd|gl|gv|ho|ia|id|ie|io|is|it|lb|mg|nb|nds|nl|nn|no|nr|oc|om|pt|rm|sma|smj|so|sq|ss|st|sv|sw|tl|ts|uz|vo|wa|xh|yap|zu|an|fil|ht|jv|kj|kwm|li|ms|ng|pap-an|pap-aw|rn|rw|sc|sg|sn|su|za(s)
        fontversion: 0(i)(s)
        fontformat: "PCF"(w)
        embeddedbitmap: True(s)
        decorative: False(s)
        lcdfilter: 1(i)(w)
        namelang: "en"(s)
        prgname: "fc-match"(s)
        postscriptname: "Fixed"(w)
        color: False(w)
        symbol: False(s)

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