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Re: set-default-font

From: David Masterson
Subject: Re: set-default-font
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2020 21:47:54 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.3 (gnu/linux)

Eli Zaretskii <> writes:

>> From: David Masterson <> Cc:
>> Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2020 18:59:35 -0700
>> set-default-font is the only command in the standard "Options" menu
>> for Emacs and, therefore, the one most likely to be used.  It seems,
>> though, that set-default-font has different forms depending on how
>> Emacs is compiled.  I suspect (but would like to know more) that it
>> has one form if compiled with the X libraries and another without X.
>> The form with X (for me) put an X box for "Font Menu" with only 3
>> options (Misc, Courier, and Fontset) which I can't figure how to use.
>> The form without X seemed to put up a dialog box that allowed you to
>> pick fonts while seeing examples of the font which was much easier.
>> I'm not a fonts person, so it's difficult for me to figure out the
>> best way of compiling Gnu Emacs 26.3 to make the most of fonts.
>> Any help?
> I don't think I understand what exactly are you asking.  You started
> by describing the menu for selecting the default font, but ended by
> asking a much more general question regarding building Emacs.  I don't
> see the connection, because the default build of Emacs on any platform
> always makes the most use of the available fonts on that platform.
> I also don't understand what does "without X" mean in this context.
> And finally, your description of what menu-set-font (the menu item in
> "Options" -> "Set default font") does is AFAIK inaccurate: the "easy"
> font selection dialog should pop when the x-select-font function is
> available, whereas your description seems to indicate to the contrary.
> So I'm confused by the question and the details you described.

I think I understand your confusion -- forgive me for being imprecise as
I don't understand fonts within Emacs very well.

First, I had been using a prebuilt Emacs v26.3 on Debian
(Chromebook). I'm not sure how that version was built, but
set-default-font did popup an easy font selection that (to me) made
sense.  I could scroll through (lots of) available with an example of
what the font would look like before I chose the font.

Second, I had a problem with the prebuilt and thought I'd try building
Emacs myself.  After getting the needed libraries built, it built and
works fine.  The main difference is that set-default-font seems to have
completely changed to a popup for "Font Menu" with 3 items (Misc,
Courier, and Fontset).  I don't believe have courier fonts loaded, so
I'm not sure why thats there.  All 3 items have submenus with no
examples of the fonts.  I think this is a Lucid style popup.  This is my
configuration for Emacs (no options given to the configure script):

Configured for 'x86_64-pc-linux-gnu'.

  Where should the build process find the source code?    ../emacs-26.3
  What compiler should emacs be built with?               gcc -g3 -O2
  Should Emacs use the GNU version of malloc?             no (only before 
  Should Emacs use a relocating allocator for buffers?    no
  Should Emacs use mmap(2) for buffer allocation?         no
  What window system should Emacs use?                    x11
  What toolkit should Emacs use?                          LUCID
  Where do we find X Windows header files?                Standard dirs
  Where do we find X Windows libraries?                   Standard dirs
  Does Emacs use -lXaw3d?                                 yes
  Does Emacs use -lXpm?                                   yes
  Does Emacs use -ljpeg?                                  yes
  Does Emacs use -ltiff?                                  yes
  Does Emacs use a gif library?                           yes -lgif
  Does Emacs use a png library?                           yes -lpng16
  Does Emacs use -lrsvg-2?                                no
  Does Emacs use cairo?                                   no
  Does Emacs use -llcms2?                                 no
  Does Emacs use imagemagick (version 6)?                 no
  Does Emacs support sound?                               yes
  Does Emacs use -lgpm?                                   yes
  Does Emacs use -ldbus?                                  yes
  Does Emacs use -lgconf?                                 no
  Does Emacs use GSettings?                               yes
  Does Emacs use a file notification library?             yes -lglibc (inotify)
  Does Emacs use access control lists?                    no
  Does Emacs use -lselinux?                               yes
  Does Emacs use -lgnutls?                                yes
  Does Emacs use -lxml2?                                  yes
  Does Emacs use -lfreetype?                              yes
  Does Emacs use -lm17n-flt?                              no
  Does Emacs use -lotf?                                   no
  Does Emacs use -lxft?                                   yes
  Does Emacs use -lsystemd?                               yes
  Does Emacs directly use zlib?                           yes
  Does Emacs have dynamic modules support?                no
  Does Emacs use toolkit scroll bars?                     yes
  Does Emacs support Xwidgets (requires gtk3)?            no
  Does Emacs have threading support in lisp?              yes

Question is -- what happened to the "easy" font menu?
David Masterson

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