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comp.fonts FAQ: MS-DOS Info

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Archive-name: fonts-faq/part8
Version: 2.1.5

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Subject: 3. MS-DOS Information
  The easiest way to get outline fonts under MS-DOS is with Microsoft
  Windows 3.x or OS/2 2.x.
  Microsoft Windows 3.0 with Adobe Type Manager (ATM) and OS/2 2.0
  support PostScript Type1 fonts.
  Microsoft Windows 3.1 supports TrueType fonts natively.
  Bitmap fonts are available in a variety of formats: most formats are
  designed with the printer in mind and not the display since (prior to
  graphical environments like Windows, GEM, and OS/2) the majority of
  work under MS-DOS was done with a character-based interface.
Subject: 3.1. Frequently Requested MS-DOS fonts
  Many fonts are available at various archives.  The biggest font archive
  for MS-DOS format fonts is  Note: you can use any
  Mac format Type1 font on your PC by converting it to PC format with the
  free/shareware as described below.
  The following fonts are in Type 1 format for MS-DOS. Some are also
  available in TrueType format.
     * Hebrew
       ShalomScript, ShalomOldStyle, ShalomStick
     * Japanese
     * Star Trek
       Crillee, TNG monitors
     * IBM OEM Line Drawing Characters
       Try Adobe PrestigeElite or Adobe LetterGothic. They have all the
       characters you want, but the `line draw' characters are unencoded
       -- you will need tools to reencode the outline font itself and
       make a new PFM metric files.
       Or try IBMExtended from Impramatur Systems in Cambridge, Mass.  It
       already is encoded using IBM OEM encoding (some DOS code page).
       The IBM version of Courier distributed freely under the X11
       Consortium also contains the appropriate characters.  Again, the
       font will have to be reencoded for Windows.  Appropriate AFM files
       for this font can be obtained from:
       Lee Cambell suggests the following alternative:
       Line Drawing characters are also available on ftp sites as
       gc0651.exe which is a self-expanding archive. It is on cica (and
       mirrors thereof). From the text file that comes with it, it looked
       like it was distributed by Microsoft.  I printed some text in the
       normal A-z range and it looked identical to the truetype Courier
       font distributed with Windows. Perhaps it is an upgrade to that
       font. I didn't try the linedraw glyphs, so I can't say how they
Subject: 3.2. MS-DOS Font Installation
  If you have any information that you feel belongs in this section, it
  would be greatly appreciated.
     * Windows
          * Pat Farrell contributes the following description of font
            installation       under Windows.
            Installing Fonts into Windows:
            This only covers Windows 3.1 with ATM. Font is a four-letter
            word in Windows versions prior to 3.1 due to the distinctions
            between screen fonts and printer fonts. The upgrade price of
            Windows 3.1 is justified by the integration of TrueType into
            the package and the inclusion of useful fonts for all
            Commercial fonts usually have installation instructions with
            their manuals. The approach may differ from the method used
            for PD and shareware fonts.
            To install PD and shareware fonts in Windows 3.1:
              1. Copy the fonts onto a suitable scratch area (i.e. a
                 floppy, or any       temporary area of your hard disk.
              2. Execute "Control Panel" by double-clicking on the icon
                 in the       Windows Program Manager's "main" group.
              3. Double-click on the Fonts icon.
              4. Double-click on the "Add" button.
              5. Select the scratch directory holding the new fonts.
              6. A list of the fonts will be displayed. You can manually
                 select the       fonts you like, or you can use the
                 "Select All" button.
              7. Make sure the "Copy Fonts to Windows Directory"
                 check-box is       checked. This will copy the fonts
                 from the scratch area to your       Windows directory.
              8. Click on the "Ok" button.
          * Special notes for Windows applications:
            Word for Windows (W4W) stores font/printer information in its
            own initialization files. After you add new fonts, you have
            to tell W4W that the printer can use the new fonts. Do this
            by selecting "Printer Setup" from the W4W main "File" menu
            item, click on the "Setup" button, and then click on two "Ok"
            buttons to back out of the setup mode.
          * Note concerning Windows 3.1 upgrade:
            There are two upgrade packages available from Microsoft for
            Win3.1.  There is the standard version which contains
            TrueType support, and about six font families (Times New
            Roman, Arial, Courier, Symbols, Wingdings, etc.). It costs
            something like $50 (US). The second version contains a number
            of TrueType fonts that includes equivalents for the 35
            standard Postscript fonts. This adds an additional $50, which
            is a pretty good value.  However, if you plan on buying
            Microsoft's PowerPoint, it includes the same additional
            fonts/typefaces. So you can save money by not buying the
            fonts twice.
          * More about Windows
               * [Q:] Why are don't the TrueType fonts that come with
                 Microsoft products    (Word-for-Windows, PowerPoint,
                 Windows 3.1 TrueType Font Pack, etc.)    display and
                 print properly on my system?
               * [A:] The font matching algorithm in Win3.1 is fairly
                 simplistic.  If you    install lots of TrueType fonts,
                 the algorithm can get confused. In    this case, "lots"
                 is more than 50 or so.
          * According to Luann Vodder who supports Microsoft Word on
            "There is a procedure which Windows must go through when an
            application requests a font.  Each font contains a list of
            attributes such as Family, FaceName, Height, Width,
            Orientation, Weight, Pitch, etc.  When an application
            requests a font, it fills out a logical font for Windows
            containing the necessary attributes, then starts going
            through a font mapping algorithm to determine which of the
            installed fonts most closely matches the requested (logical)
            font.  Penalties are applied against fonts whose attributes
            do not match the logical font, until the fonts with the
            fewest penalties are determined.  If there is a "tie",
            Windows may need to rely on the order of the fonts in the
            WIN.INI file to determine the "winner".
            If the fonts you want are in your WIN.INI file, and show up in
            Windows' Control Panel, then try moving them higher in your
            WIN.INI file with a file edittor such as SYSEDIT."
          * Kesh Govinder suggested the following warning:
            CAUTION: While many Windows 3.1 users would like to have many
            TrueType fonts at their disposal (and they are many available
            in the PD) a word of caution.  A large number (>50) TT fonts
            will slow down your windows startup time.  This occurs as
            every installed font is listed in the win.ini file, and
            Windows has to go through the entire file before starting up.
            While this may not affect most users, it will especially
            affect users of CorelDraw!, so be warned.
     * Other Programs
       It is an unfortunate fact that almost all MS-DOS programs do things
       differently.  Your best bet is to read the manual that comes with
       the program you want to use.
Subject: 3.3. What exactly are the encodings of the DOS code pages?
  DOS uses `code pages' for `IBM OEM' encoding of fonts.  There are six
  code pages supplied with DOS 5.0:
         437 (English)
         850 (Multilingual - Latin I)
         852 (Slavic - Latin II)
         860 (Portugal)
         863 (Canadian French)
         865 (Nordic)
  (The character code range 0 - 127 is the same in all code pages).
  The problem is that MS idea of how to define what a code page is, is to
  show a low resolution print out of the glyphs!   Which is fine for the
  letters of the alphabet, numerals and the obvious punctuation marks,
  but worthless for accents (is it `cedilla' or `ogonek'? is it `caron'
  or `breve'?) and many other characters.  For example, 249 is a small
  dot, while 250 is a slightly larger dot.  Is one of these supposed to
  be `bullet' (which already occurs at 7)?  Or is one of them maybe
  supposed to be `middot' or `dotcentered'?  Is 228 supposed to be
  `Sigma' or `summation'. Is 225 supposed to be `beta' or `germandbls'?
  Etc etc
  And what is the character that looks like `Pt' in code position 158?
  Anyway, surely there is a table somewhere that defines precisely what
  these encodings are supposed to be.  That is, a table that gives for
  each code number the name and/or a description of the character.
Subject: 3.4. MS-DOS Font Utilities
     * PS2PK
       PS2PK allows you to convert PostScript Type1 fonts into bitmap
       fonts.  The bitmap files produced are in TeX PK format.
     * PKtoSFP
       PKtoSFP allows you to convert TeX PK fonts into HP LaserJet
     * PFBDir/PFBInfo
       PFBDir and PFBInfo format and display the "headers" in a binary
       Type1 font.
Subject: 3.5. Converting fonts under MS-DOS
Subject: 3.5.1. Converting Mac Type 1 fonts to MS-DOS format
  Converting Macintosh Type1 fonts into PC Type1 fonts can be done using
  purely free/shareware tools.  I've outlined the procedure below.  Make
  sure you read the "readme" files that accompany many fonts.  Some font
  authors specifically deny permission to do cross-platform conversions.
  The tools you need
  XBIN in /pub/msdos/mac on     (or other
  UNSIT in /pub/msdos/mac on
       unsiti.exe in /pub/onset/util on
       Peter Gentry indicates that this program can extract SIT
       archives that use the newer compression techniques that     unsit
       doesn't recognize.
  UNCPT in /pub/pc/win3/util on
  REFONT from
  BMAP2AFM from
  XBIN converts Mac "BinHex"ed files back into binary format.  BinHex is
  the Mac equivalent of UUencoding, it translates files into ascii
  characters so that mailers can send them around without difficulty.  It
  also aids in cross platform copying too, I'm sure.  BinHexed files
  generally have filenames of the form "xxx.yyy.HQX".
  UNSIT explodes "Stuffit" archives.  Stuffit archives generally have
  filenames of the form "xxx.SIT".  UNSIT will ask if you want to
  seperate resource and data forks.  Yes, you do.  There has been some
  confusion about whether or not you want headers.  I'm inclined to
  conclude that it can be made to work either way.  Personally, I say no.
  UNCPT explodes "Compactor" archives.  The ext-pc implementation is
  called "extract" and does not require windows (even thought it's in the
  windows section on cica).  Compactor archives generally have filenames
  of the form "xxx.CPT".
  REFONT converts Mac type1 fonts into PC type1 fonts.  It also converts
  Mac TrueType fonts to PC TrueType format.  And vice-versa.
  BMAP2AFM constructs AFM files from the metric information contained in
  Mac screen fonts (.bmap files).  The screen font files do not have any
  standard name (although they frequently have the extension .bmap).  The
  screen fonts have file type "FFIL" which, in combination with some
  common sense, is usually sufficient to identify them.
  I've listed the tools that I've used and the sites that are reasonable
  for me to retrieve them from.  It's probably a good idea to check with
  archie for closer sites if you're not in North America.  These tools
  run under MS-DOS.  XBIN and UNSIT can also be run under Unix.
  How to do it?
  Collect the Mac fonts from the archive or BBS of your choice.  Most of
  these files will be in BinHexed format.  As a running example, I'm
  going to use the imaginary font "Plugh.cpt.hqx".  When I download this
  font to my PC, I would use the name "PLUGH.CPX".  The actual name you
  use is immaterial.
  Run XBIN on PLUGH.CPX.  This will produce PLUGH.DAT, PLUGH.INF, and
  PLUGH.RSR.  The data fork of the Mac file (the .DAT file) is the only
  one of interest to us, you can delete the others.
  If the original file had been "Plugh.sit.hqx", we would be using the
  UNSIT program.  Since I chose a .cpt file for this example, I'm going
  to run UNCPT.
  Run UNCPT on PLUGH.DAT.  You want to extract the AFM file (if present),
  the documentation or readme file (if present), and the Type1 outline
  file.  The AFM and README files will be in the data fork of the archive
  file.  The Type1 outline will be in the resource fork.  The AFM and
  README files have Mac "TEXT" type.  The Type1 outline file has "LWFN"
  type.  I'm not trying to describe this part in a step-by-step fashion.
  Use the docs for UNCPT and UNSIT as a guide.  If you got this far you
  probably won't have much difficulty.  If you do, drop me a line and
  I'll try to help.
  If the font does not contain an AFM file, extract the screen font.
  Screen fonts frequently have the extension .bmap and are "FFIL" type
  files.  Use Bmap2AFM to construct an AFM from the screen font.  If the
  archive _does_ contain an AFM file, it's safe to bet that the author's
  AFM will be better than the one created by Bmap2AFM.
  Finally, run REFONT on the Type1 outline that you extracted above.  The
  result should be an appropriate PC type1 outline.  REFONT will create a
  PFM file for you from the AFM file, if you desire.
  Remember to register your shareware...
  Other comments
  vkautto@snakemail.hut.FI makes the following observations:
     * UNCPT is easier to use than UNSIT
     * UNCPT has to be run twice. I usually do it like this
       extract *.cpt -f
       extract *.cpt -f -r
     * When using "unsit30" you probably want the outline file with the
          MacHeader and the others without it. I think that REFONT
       requires it       but I am not sure.
     * REFONT works usually ok. You want a PFA (ASCII) file which is
       directly usable on NeXT (you may need to convert carriage-returns
       to       newlines but I am not sure if it is necessary).
       The biggest problem is with the .afm files that are completely
       missing       or generated by the tools that don't do their job
     * BMAP2AFM requires some extra files (ie. other than bmap2afm.exe) to
            work properly.
Subject: 3.5.2. Converting PC Type 1 and TrueType fonts to Mac format
  Refont (version 1.4) can convert (in both directions) between PC and Mac
  formats of Type1 and TrueType fonts.  Note: it _cannot_ convert
  _between_ formats, only architectures.  The procedure described above
  outlines how to convert a Mac archive into PC format so that you can
  get at the data.  Presumably, the process can be reversed so that you
  can get at the data on the Mac side as well.  Unfortunately, I don't
  have a Mac so I can't describe the process in detail.
  Font Manipulation Package
  The Y\&Y Font Manipulation package can convert PFA/B files into Mac
  format and AFM files into Mac screen fonts.
Subject: 3.5.3. Converting PC Type 1 fonts into TeX PK bitmap fonts
  The release of PS2PK by Piet Tutelaers is a godsend to those of us
  without PostScript printers.  PS2PK converts PC/Unix format Type 1 fonts
  into TeX PK files.  Used in conjunction with the AFM2TFM utility for
  creating TeX metric files, this allows almost anyone to use Type 1
  PostScript fonts.  PS2PK is distributed under the GNU License and has
  been made to run under MS-DOS with DJGPP's free GNU C compiler.  The PC
  version requires a 386 or more powerful processor.  Check with Archie
  for a source near you.
  Note: if TeX PK files are not directly usable for you, there seems to
  be a fair possibility that LaserJet softfonts would be useful.  If so,
  check below for instructions on converting TeX PK files to LaserJet
Subject: 3.5.4. Converting TeX PK bitmaps into HP LaserJet softfonts (and vice-versa)
  There is some possibility that someone will yell 'conflict of interest'
  here, but I don't think so.  I wrote the following utilities:
  PKtoSFP: convert TeX PK files to LaserJet (bitmapped) softfonts
  SFPtoPK: convert LaserJet (bitmapped) softfonts to TeX PK files
  But they are completely free, so I don't gain anything by "advertising"
  them here.  These are MS-DOS platform solutions only.  If you know of
  other solutions, I would be happy to list them.
  This is Info file, produced by Makeinfo-1.55 from the
  input file FAQ.texinfo.
Subject: 3.5.5. TrueType to HP LaserJet bitmap softfonts (HACK!)
  If you have the tools, the following suggestion does work, but it isn't
  easy and it hasn't been automated.  To be honest, I haven't really
  tested it.
  If you are using Windows 3.1, get a LaserJet printer driver (you don't
  need the printer, just the driver).  Using the LaserJet driver, direct
  output to a file and print a simple file containing all the letters you
  want in the softfont in the font that you are converting.  When the
  print job has completed, the output file will contain, among other
  things, a LaserJet softfont of the TrueType font you selected.  If you
  know the LaserJet format, you can grab it out of there.
  I didn't say it was easy ;-)
  This method will not work with ATM [ed: as of 7/92] because ATM does
  not construct a softfont; it downloads the whole page as graphics.
  Here is an overview of the LaserJet bitmap softfont format.  It should
  help you get started.  If you have any questions, ask norm.  If anyone
  wants to write better instructions... ;-)
  Many details are omitted from this description.  They are thoroughly
  discussed in the HP Technical Reference for each model of laser printer.
  I recommend purchasing the Tech Ref.  If you have additional questions
  and do not plan to purchase the Tech Ref (or do not wish to wait for its
  arrival), you can ask norm.
  An HP LaserJet softfont can occur almost anywhere in the output stream
  destined for the printer.  In particular, it does _not_ have to be
  wholly contiguous within the output file.  In fact, fonts can be
  "intermixed" at will.  The following "pieces" make up a font:
  A begin font descriptor command (followed by the descriptor) and a
  series of begin character descriptor commands (followed by their
  associated data).  When a new character descriptor is encountered, it
  is added to the current font (which may change between descriptors).
  In the discussion that follows, the following notational conventions
  are followed:
  Key elements are surrounded by quotation marks.  The quotation marks
  are not part of the element.  Spaces within the element are for clarity
  only, they are not part of the element.  All characters (except ESC and
  #, described below, are literal and must be entered in the precise case
  ESC means the escape character, ASCII character number 27 decimal.
  # means any decimal number.  The meaning of the number is described in
  the commentary for that element.
     * What is a font descriptor?
       A font descriptor begins with a font descriptor command and is
       followed immediately by the data for the descriptor.  Font
       descriptors define data global to the font.  In general, more
       recent printers are less strict about these parameters than older
     * What is the font descriptor command?
       "ESC ) s # W"
       In this command, # is the number of bytes in the descriptor.  The
       first element of the descriptor indicates how many of these bytes
       should be interpreted as the font descriptor (the remaining bytes
       are commentary only-to the printer, at least).  This area is
       frequently used for copyright information, for example, although
       some systems insert kerning data into this area.
     * What is the font descriptor data?
       The data is:
            UI  Font descriptor size
            UB  Descriptor format
            UB  Font type
            UI  Reserved (should be 0)
            UI  Baseline distance
            UI  Cell width
            UI  Cell height
            UB  Orientation
             B  Spacing
            UI  Symbol set
            UI  Pitch
            UI  Height
            UI  xHeight
            SB  Width Type
            UB  Style
            SB  Stroke Weight
            UB  Typeface LSB
            UB  Typeface MSB
            UB  Serif Style
            SB  Underline distance
            UB  Underline height
            UI  Text Height
            UI  Text Width
            UB  Pitch Extended
            UB  Height Extended
            UI  Cap Height
            UI  Reserved (0)
            UI  Reserved (0)
            A16 Font name
            ??  Copyright, or any other information
       UI = unsigned integer, SI = signed integer, UB = unsigned byte, SB
       = signed byte, B = boolean, and A16 =sixteen bytes of ASCII.
       After the font name, ?? bytes of extra data may be inserted.  These
       bytes pad the descriptor out to the length specified in the begin
       font descriptor command.
       Note: integers are always in big-endian order (MSB first).
     * What is a character descriptor?
       A character descriptor describes the character specific info and
       the layout of the bitmap.  Newer printers can accept compressed
       character bitmaps.
     * What is a character descriptor command?
       "ESC * c # E"
       The # is the length of the descriptor, in bytes.
     * What is the character descriptor data?
            UB  Format
             B  Continuation
            UB  Descriptor size
            UB  Class
            UB  Orientation
            SI  Left offset
            SI  Top offset
            UI  Character width
            UI  Character height
            SI  Delta X
            ??  Character (bitmap) data.
       Although older printers cannot accept characters that include
       continuations, newer printers can.  If the "continuation" field is
       1, the character bitmap data begins immediately after that byte and
       the remaining fields _are not_ present.
     * Ok, now I understand the data, what do I look for in the output
      ESC * c # D
            defines the font number (remember the number).
      ESC ) s # W
            defines the font descriptor (as described above).
      ESC * c # E
            specifies the character code (the #, in this case).
                 The next character descriptor maps to this position in
                         the font.  Characters do not have to appear in
            any                particular order.
      ESC ( s # W
            defines the character descriptor (as described above).
       Remember, these can occur in any order.  Experimentation with the
       particular driver you are using may help you restrict the number of
       different cases that you have to be prepared for.
  Please report your experiences using this method to norm (both to
  satisfy his own curiosity and to help improve the FAQ).
Subject: 3.6. MS-DOS Screen Fonts (EGA/VGA text-mode fonts)
  Editors note: the following description was mercilessly stolen from
          comp.archives on 02SEP92.  It was originally Yossi Gil's
  FNTCOL14.ZIP contains more than 200 text mode fonts for EGA/VGA
  displays.  It includes fonts in different sizes for Hebrew, Greek,
  Cyrillic, math symbols and various type styles including smallcaps and
  It is available at

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