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archive:art:figlet.man

FIGLET(6) FIGLET(6)

NAME

     figlet  -  print  in  large characters made up of ordinary
     screen characters

SYNOPSIS

     figlet [ -clnptvDEF ] [ -m smushmode ] [ -w outputwidth ]
    [ -d fontdirectory ] [ -f fontfile ]

DESCRIPTION

     figlet prints its input using large characters made up  of
     ordinary  screen  characters.   figlet output is generally
     reminiscent of the sort of ``signatures'' many people like
     to  put	at  the end of e-mail and UseNet messages, and is
     oriented normally, not sideways as  in  many  banner  pro-
     grams.
     figlet  can  print  in  a  variety of fonts, with adjacent
     characters ``smushed'' together in various  ways.   figlet
     fonts  are  stored in separate files, which can be identi-
     fied by the suffix  ``.flf''.   figlet  Most  figlet  font
     files will be stored in figlet's default font directory.

USAGE

     Just start up figlet (type ``figlet'') and then type what-
     ever you want.  Alternatively, pipe a file or  the  output
     of another command through figlet.  See EXAMPLES for other
     things to do.

OPTIONS

     figlet reads command line options from left to right,  and
     only  the  last	option	that  affects a parameter has any
     effect.	Every option (except -v and -F) has  an  inverse,
     so  that,  for  example, if figlet is customized with a C-
     shell alias, all the options are still available.
  1. c
  2. l -c centers the output horizontally. -l puts it

back to left-justified (default).

  1. d fontdirectory

Change the default font directory. figlet looks

      for fonts first in the default directory	and  then
      in  the current directory.  If the -d option is not
      specified, figlet uses the directory that was spec-
      ified  when  it  was  compiled.	To find out which
      directory this is, use the -F option.
  1. f fontfile

Select the font. The .flf suffix may be left off

      of  fontfile,  in  which	case figlet automatically
      appends it.  figlet looks for the file first in the

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FIGLET(6) FIGLET(6)

      default  font  directory	and  then  in the current
      directory, or, if fontfile  was  given  as  a  full
      pathname, in the given directory.
  1. w outputwidth

Sets the outputwidth to the given integer. figlet

      uses the outputwidth to  determine  when	to  break
      lines  and  how  to  center  the output.	Normally,
      figlet assumes 80 columns so that people with  wide
      terminals won't annoy the people they e-mail figlet
      output to.  -w and -t override each other.
  1. m smushmode

Specifies how figlet should ``smush consecutive characters together. This option is rarely needed, as a figlet font file specifies the best smushmode to use with the font. smushmode can be one of: -2 Get mode from font file (default). Every figlet font file specifies the best smushmode to use with the font. This will be one of the following smushmodes (-1 through 63). -1 No smushing. Characters are simply concatenated together. In any non-negative smushmode figlet pushes adjacent font characters together until their non-blank portions touch. At that point, it may or may not push the two font characters 1 screen character closer, depending on the smushmode. Pushing font characters one step closer requires ``smush- ing two non-blank screen characters into a

	     single  screen character.	figlet has 6 ways
	     of doing this, represented by 1, 2, 4, 8, 16
	     and 32.  The various non-negative smushmodes
	     (0-63) are obtained by adding up the numbers
	     corresponding to the sort of smushing figlet
	     should do.
      1 Smush equal characters.
	     Two screen characters  are  smushed  into	a
	     single  character if they are the same.  The
	     resulting character is the same as  both  of
	     the original characters.  This mode does not
	     smush the character known	as  a  hardblank,
	     which is a character that prints as a blank,
	     but is not smushed (except in mode 32).  See
	     FONT  FILE  FORMAT  for  more information on
	     hardblanks.

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FIGLET(6) FIGLET(6)

      2 Smush underscores.
	     An underscore  will  be  smushed  into  (and
	     replaced by) any of ``|/\[]{}()<>''.
      4 Hierarchy smushing.
	     Smushes  certain characters together accord-
	     ing to a  hierarchy  containing  6  classes:
	     ``|'',   ``/\'',	``[]'',  ``{}'',  ``()'',
	     ``<>''.   A  member  of  any  class  can  be
	     smushed into and replaced by a member of any
	     later class.
      8 Opposite pair smushing, type I.
	     Smushes opposing brackets	(``[]''),  braces
	     (``{}'')  and parentheses (``()'') together,
	     replacing them with a vertical bar (`|').
      16 Opposite pair smushing, type II.
	     Smushes opposing slashes (``/\'') and  less-
	     than/greater-than (``<>'') together, replac-
	     ing them with an upper-case `X'.
      32 Hardblank smushing.
	     Smushes two hardblanks  together,	replacing
	     them with a single hardblank.  See FONT FILE
	     FORMAT for more information on hardblanks.
  1. p
  2. n -p puts figlet into paragraph mode, which elimi-

nates some spurious line breaks when piping a

      multi-line file through figlet.  In paragraph mode,
      figlet  treats line breaks within a paragraph as if
      they were merely blanks between  words.	(Specifi-
      cally,  -p  causes  figlet  to  convert any newline
      which is not preceded by a newline and not followed
      by a space character into a blank.)  -n puts figlet
      back to normal (default), in  which  every  newline
      figlet reads causes it to produce a line break.
  1. t Sets the outputwidth to the terminal width. If the

terminal width is not known, the previous out-

      putwidth	is retained.  figlet uses the outputwidth
      to determine when to break lines and how to  center
      the output.  Normally, figlet assumes 80 columns so
      that people with wide  terminals	won't  annoy  the
      people  they  e-mail  figlet  output to.	-w and -t
      override each other.
  1. v Prints out the version and copyright information,

then exits.

  1. D
  2. E -D switches to the German (Deutsch) character set.

Turns `[', `\' and `]' into umlauted A, O and U,

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FIGLET(6) FIGLET(6)

      respectively.   `{',  `|'  and  `}'  turn  into the
      respective lower case versions of these.	`~' turns
      into  s-z.   -E switches back to English (default).
      No other character sets are currently supported.
  1. F Displays the name of the default font and the

default font directory, along with the names of the

      figlet fonts in the default directory, then  exits.
      (This will reflect any change of the default direc-
      tory with the -d option, as long	as  -d	is  given
      before the -F).

EXAMPLES

     To use figlet with its default settings, simply type
      example% figlet
     and then type whatever you like.
     Use the -c option if you would prefer centered output:
      example% figlet -c
     To change the font, use the -f option, for example,
      example% figlet -f script
     To see what fonts are available in the default font direc-
     tory, use -F:
      example% figlet -F
     We have found the most common usage of figlet to be making
     up  large  text to be placed in e-mail messages.  For this
     reason, figlet defaults to 80 column output.  If  you  are
     using  a  wider terminal, and would like figlet to use the
     full width of your terminal, use the -t option:
      example% figlet -t
     If figlet gets its input from a file, it is often  a  good
     idea to use -p:
      example% figlet -p < myfile
     Of course, most of the above can be combined:
      example% figlet -ptf shadow < anotherfile

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FIGLET(6) FIGLET(6)

      example% figlet -cf slant
 Other Things to Try
     On many systems nice effects can be obtained from the lean
     font by piping it through tr.  Some you might want to  try
     are the following:
      example% figlet -f lean | tr ' _/' ' ()'
      example% figlet -f lean | tr ' _/' './\\'
      example% figlet -f lean | tr ' _/' ' //'
      example% figlet -f lean | tr ' _/' '/  '
     Similar things can be done with the block font.

FONT FILE FORMAT

     If  you	would like to design a figlet font, it is usually
     best to begin with an already-existing font.   Except  for
     the  first  line  of  a font file, most of the file format
     should be obvious.  If you design a font,  please  let  us
     know about it!  (See AUTHORS for e-mail addresses.)
     A figlet font filename must have the suffix ``.flf''.
     A  figlet font file begins with a header.  The header con-
     sists of one line giving information about the font,  fol-
     lowed by zero or more comment lines, which figlet ignores.
     Following the header is the font data.
 The Header
     The first line of a figlet font file is of  the	following
     form:
      flf2ahardblank height up_ht maxlen smushmode cmt_count
     for example:
      flf2a$ 6 5 20 15 1
     The  first  five  characters  of  a  font  file	should be
     ``flf2a''.  ``flf2'' is the magic number  of  a	figlet	2
     font file.  The next character (`a') is currently ignored.
     It may  mean  something	in  future  versions  of  figlet.
     If/when	it  does,  you	can be sure your fonts will still
     work if this character is `a'.
     Immediately following this is the  hardblank  (character).
     Note  that  there  are no blanks between ``flf2a'' and the
     hardblank.  figlet can smush together consecutive  charac-
     ters  in  various  ways.   Normally,  any character can be
     smushed into a blank.  A hardblank prints as a blank,  but

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FIGLET(6) FIGLET(6)

     cannot  be smushed into any character except a blank, and,
     if smushmode 32 is enabled, another hardblank.  (For exam-
     ple,  the  `r'  in script.flf contains a hardblank, `$' in
     that font.  To see why this is necessary, create a copy of
     script.flf  with  this  hardblank replaced by a blank.  In
     this new font, the ``tr'' combination looks awful.)
     By convention, the hardblank is a `$', but it can  be  any
     character  besides  blank,  newline and null.  If you want
     the entire printing ASCII set available to use,	make  the
     hardblank a <delete> character.
     Then  comes  the  height (integer).  This is the number of
     screen lines high that each character in the font is.
     up_ht (integer) is the number of lines from  the  baseline
     of  a  character  to the top of the character, i.e., it is
     the height of a character, ignoring any descenders.   This
     number is currently ignored by figlet, but future versions
     may use it.
     maxlen (integer) is the maximum length of a  line  in  the
     font  file  (excluding  the  first  line  and the comments
     lines, which can be as long as you want).  You are free to
     make  this  a  little (or alot) too large as a safety mea-
     sure.  As an added safety measure,  figlet  adds  a  fudge
     factor to maxlen.
     smushmode (integer) determines how much figlet smushes the
     font.  Possible smushmodes are -1 through 63.   Typically,
     you'll  want to use -1 (no smushing), 0 (push font charac-
     ters together until they touch) or 15 (smush various pairs
     of  characters  together  into single characters).  To try
     out different smushmodes with your font, use the  -m  com-
     mand-line  option.  See OPTIONS for a more detailed expla-
     nation of these smushmodes.  (Note that a smushmode of  -2
     can be given on the command line, but not in a font file.)
     Between the first line and the actual  characters  of  the
     font  are the comment lines.  Cmt_count specifies how many
     lines there are.  These lines are optional, may be as long
     as you want, and are ignored by figlet.
     Thus,  a  complete figlet font file header will look some-
     thing like the following:
      flf2a$ 6 5 20 15 1
      Example by Glenn Chappell 7/93
 The Font Data
     The font data begins on the next line after  the  comments
     and continues to the end of the file.  The characters from
     ` ' to `~' are given in standard ASCII order, followed  by

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FIGLET(6) FIGLET(6)

     the  extra German characters: umlauted `A', `O', `U', `a',
     `o' and `u' and s-z.  Each character  uses  height  lines,
     where height was given on the first line of the font file.
     The characters in the  file  are  given	exactly  as  they
     should be printed out, with two exceptions: (1) hardblanks
     should be the hardblank character, not a  blank,  and  (2)
     every line has an endmark character.
     In  most  figlet  fonts, the endmark is either `@' or '#'.
     figlet eliminates the  last  block  of  consecutive  equal
     characters  from  each  line (other than the header lines)
     when the file is read in.  By convention, the last line of
     a  font	character has 2 endmarks, while all the rest have
     one.  This makes it easy to see where characters begin and
     end.  No line should have more than 2 endmarks.
     It  is  very  important that every character in a font has
     the same height, and, once the endmarks are removed,  that
     all  the  lines	constituting a single font character have
     the same length.  Be careful also that  no  lines  in  the
     font  file have trailing blanks, as figlet will take these
     to be the endmarks.
     If you don't want to define all the characters,	make  the
     undefined characters empty, i.e., each line of the charac-
     ter should consist only of an endmark.
     The blank character should usually  be  made  entirely  of
     hardblanks.  (Some slanted fonts are an exception.)
     Again, if you design a font, please let us know!

FILES

     file.flf 	   figlet font file

DIAGNOSTICS

     figlet's  diagnostics are intended to be self-explanatory.
     Possible messages are
      Usage: ...
      Out of memory
      Unable to open font file
      Not a Figlet 2 font file
      Unable to open directory
      "-t" is disabled, since ioctl is not fully implemented.
     This last message is printed when the -t option is  given,
     but  the operating system in use does not include the sys-
     tem call figlet uses to determine the terminal width.

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FIGLET(6) FIGLET(6)

ORIGIN

     ``figlet'' stands for ``Frank, Ian and Glenn's  LETters''.
     Inspired by Frank's
     Most  of  the  figlet fonts were inspired by signatures on
     various UseNet articles.  Since typically hundreds of peo-
     ple  use the same style of letters in their signatures, it
     was not deemed necessary to give credit to  any	one  font
     designer.

BUGS

     Very  little  error checking is done on font files.  While
     figlet tries to be forgiving of errors, and should  (hope-
     fully) never actually crash, using an improperly-formatted
     font file with figlet will produce unpredictable output.
     figlet does not handle formatting  characters  in  a  very
     intelligent way.  A tab character is converted to a blank,
     and vertical-tab, form-feed and carriage-return	are  each
     converted to a newline.	On many systems, tabs can be han-
     dled better by piping files through expand  before  piping
     through figlet.
     figlet  output  is quite ugly if it is displayed in a pro-
     portionally-spaced  font.   I  suppose  this  is   to   be
     expected.

AUTHORS

     Glenn  Chappell	<ggc@uiuc.edu> did most of the work.  You
     can e-mail him but he is not an e-mail  fanatic...  people
     who  email  Glenn  will	probably  get answers, but if you
     email his best friend:
     Ian Chai <spectre@uiuc.edu> (or figlet@uiuc.edu),  who  is
     an  e-mail  fanatic, you'll get answers, endless conversa-
     tion about the mysteries of life, invitations to join some
     473  mailing  lists  and a free toaster.  (Well, ok, maybe
     not the free toaster.)
     Frank inspired this whole project with his .sig, but don't
     email him... he's decidedly an un-email-fanatic.

v2.0 9 August 1993 8

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