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Fwd: Would it be reasonable to list the fonts that are available by defa

From: T. Kurt Bond
Subject: Fwd: Would it be reasonable to list the fonts that are available by default in groff?
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2021 00:13:59 -0400

Drats, I forgot to hit reply all, and my reply didn't get sent to the groff
mailing list.  Sigh.  Here you go.

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: T. Kurt Bond <>
Date: Sat, Jul 17, 2021 at 12:08 AM
Subject: Re: Would it be reasonable to list the fonts that are available by
default in groff?
To: Douglas McIlroy <>

Ah, yes.  Currently is not part of groff.  We've had some
discussion on the list recently and in the past about integrating it into
the groff distribution, and in response to recent discussion there is a new
bug, #60930 <>, requesting
integrating it, including documentation, etc.

In the meantime, if you want to install fonts in OpenType or TrueType
formats for use with devps and devpdf, greatly simplifies
the process.

The script was written by Peter Schaffter, the author of
the mom macros <> for groff, and is
distributed on mom's download page
<> and can be
downloaded directly <>.  It
has a -H option that prints the documentation for it.

Fontforg <>e is a free and open source font editor.
It can run scripts to manipulate fonts and convert between font formats.
(I only use fontforge to install fonts with, so I use a
version that is command line only, but the normal build has a GUI for
interactively building fonts.)  The script uses it to
convert OpenType and TrueType fonts to PostScript Type42 (.t42) and Type1 (
.pfa), from which a groff font is generated by the groff utility afmtodit.
Then the necessary files are moved to site-font/devps and registered in its
download file for use by grops.  Optionally the same can be done for
site-font/devpdf for the use of gropdf.  Then the fonts are available for
use by groff -Tps and groff -Tpdf.

So, suppose you wanted to use Cormorant Garamond
<>, a free font.  You
could download the Regular, Italic, Bold, and Bold Italic variants of the
font, since groff tends to expect there to be R, I, B, and BI variants of
the fonts it uses, though that is not mandatory.  This would give you the
files CormorantGaramond-Regular.ttf, CormorantGaramond-Italic.ttf,
CormorantGaramond-Bold.ttf, and CormorantGaramond-BoldItalic.ttf.   You
would then use to convert them and install the resulting
files into proper places under groff's site-font directory.

So, for instance, you'd cd to the directory that holds the .ttf files you
downloaded.  Then, to install the Regular variant of Cormorant Garamond
you'd run the command

$(IFDIR)/ -n -P "$DEST" -d -F CormorantGaramond -f +R

where IFDIR is the directory where is located and DEST is
the directory that contains groff's site-font directory (not the actual
site-font directory itself).  The -n option means don't try to copy the
TrueType file to where the system font files are located.  The -P option
takes as its argument the directory that contains the groff's site-font
directory.  Usually this is some place like /usr/share/groff or
/usr/local/share/groff, but not all distributions create the site-font
directory.  (If it doesn't exist, or you don't have write access to it I
think you can use the environment variable GROFF_FONT_PATH to tell groff
where to find it, but I've never used that and don't know the specifics.  I
often build groff from git and install it someplace my normal user has
write access to, so I haven't had to worry about it.)  The -d option says
to make the font available to gropdf.  The -F option takes an argument that
specifies the font family name to use.  This is the name that you would use
with the .fam request  or the -f option to groff to let it know you want to
use this font family.  The -f option takes an argument that specifies the
font style to use, +R, +I, +B, or +BI.  (The -f option can instead take a
name, but I don't use that form and can't explain the distinctions.)  The
style (R, I, B, or BI) is appended to the font family name specified with
-F to produce the name of the groff font, and consequently the name of the
groff font file that is written to the devps and devpdf directories.  So,
in this example, the name of the groff font and the groff font file would
be CormorantGaramondR.  The last argument to the script is the name of the
Truetype or OpenType file you are converting.

To complete the example, here are the commands to install the Italic, Bold,
and Bold Italic variants of Cormorant Garamond:

$(IFDIR)/ -n -P "$DEST" -d -F CormorantGaramond -f +I
$(IFDIR)/ -n -P "$DEST" -d -F CormorantGaramond -f +B
$(IFDIR)/ -n -P "$DEST" -d -F CormorantGaramond -f +BI

As I said in an earlier email to the list, I tend to put all four commands
into a script so I can run them again if something goes wrong or when I
need to install them on a new machine or in a new installation of groff.
In the case of Cormorant Garamond I named the file

On Fri, Jul 16, 2021 at 10:32 PM Douglas McIlroy <> wrote:

> >> I'm generally an intrepid groff user, but not when it comes to font
> >> installation. Anything that demystifies the process will win my
> applause.
> > Despite the vagaries of directory locations, once you understand what
> > wants and fontforge is installed is
> > relatively easy to use.
> I am still not enlightened. As far as I know, neither nor
> fontforge are present, documented, or referenced in the groff distribution.
> Doug

T. Kurt Bond,,

T. Kurt Bond,,

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