textfmt - Man Page

convert text to POSTSCRIPT™ for facsimile transmission


/usr/sbin/textfmt [ -O config ] [ options ] [ files... ]


textfmt takes ASCII text and generates formatted POSTSCRIPT™ suitable for facsimile transmission. It is usually invoked as a filter program by the sendfax(1) program. Input files may be specified on the command line. If none are given, then textfmt will read from standard input.

By default, textfmt will generate an output document that is formatted with a single vertical column of text, set in a 10 point fixed width font, and with a simple page header that consists of the file name, last modification date, and the page number. Pages are generated according to the default page dimensions (see pagesizes(5F)). When multi-column output is requested, text is set by default with a 7 point fixed width font.


Many of the options to textfmt have been chosen for compatibility with the Adobe Systems' enscript program; other options are for features that are not provided by enscript.


Set text in one column.


Set text two columns.


Suppress page headers.


Clip long text lines instead of wrapping them at word boundaries near page margins.


Do not use ISO 8859-1 encoding in the generated POSTSCRIPT.

-f font

Set text using the POSTSCRIPT font named font.

-F fontdir(s)

Path(s) to afm font files.


Use a gaudy-style page header.

-m cols

Set text in cols columns.


Set the page margins; the default margins are: left and right .25 inch, top .85 inch, bottom .5 inch.


Draw an outline around each column of text; the specified number  defines the width of the line that is drawn.

-O config

Treat config as a configuration parameter specification that is interpreted after reading the configuration file. For example, “-O Host:fax.example.com” would set the Host configuration parameter to “fax.example.com”, overriding any setting in the configuration file.

-p pts

Set text using fonts with pts point size (integer only).


Set pages rotated by 90 degrees (in “Landscape mode”).


Set pages unrotated (in “Portrait mode”).

-s size

Set the output size according to the named page size. Images are normally created with a system-default page size (usually letter-size pages, 8.5" by 11", for sites in North America). Alternate page sizes are specified symbolically using either the name or abbreviation of an entry in the pagesizes(5F) database; e.g. a3 (ISO A3), a4 (ISO A4), a5 (ISO A5), a6 (ISO A6), b4 (ISO B4), na-let (North American Letter), us-leg (American Legal), us-led (American Ledger), us-exe (American Executive), jp-let (Japanese Letter), and jp-leg (Japanese Legal). Comparisons are case-insensitive and any match of a substring of the full page-size name is sufficient; e.g. “legal” would match “American Legal”.


Reverse collate pages; that is the last page will appear first in the resultant POSTSCRIPT, then the next-to-last page, etc.

-V spacing

Set the line height; the default height is 1.2 x point size.

Configuration Parameters

textfmt reads configuration information from the files /etc/hylafax/hyla.conf, and ~/.hylarc; in that order. Configuration files follow the conventions described in hylafax-client(1). The following configuration parameters are recognized:

Columnsinteger1number of columns in formatted output
GaudyHeadersbooleanNoenable/disable guady page headers
FontMap       string  see below location of ghostscript Fontmap file
FontPath      string  see below directory for font metric files
ISO8859	boolean	Yes	use ISO 8859-1 character encoding
LineWrap	boolean	Yes	wrap/truncate text lines
Orientation	string	portrait	orientation of text on page
OutlineMargin	inches	0	width of outline line
PageCollation	string	forward	collate pages in forward or reverse direction
PageHeaders	boolean	Yes	enable/disable page headers
PageHeight	float	-	output page height
PageMargins	string	see below	margins for formatted page
PageSize	string	default	output page size from database
PageWidth	float	-	output page width
TabStop	integer	8	inter-stop setting in characters
TextFont	string	Courier	name of font for setting text
TextLineHeight	inches	-	text formatting line height control
TextPointSize	inches	see below	size to use in setting text
UTF8	boolean	No	input is encoded with UTF-8

The configuration parameters are explained below. Most parameters correspond to a command line option. Parameter values identified above as inches are converted according to the following conventions (where “#.##” is a decimal number):

#.##bpbig point (1in = 72bp)
#.##cccicero (1cc = 12dd)
#.##dddidot point (1157dd = 1238pt)
#.##mmmillimeter (10mm = 1cm)
#.##pcpica (1pc = 12pt)
#.##ptpoint (72.27pt = 1in)
#.##spscaled point (65536sp = 1pt)

Unit names can be upper or lower case but no white space is permitted between the number and the unit. Values specified with no unit are interpreted as big points.


The number of columns to set text in. (Equivalent to the -m option.)


The directory or directories where the ghostscript Fontmap file(s) are located; multiple paths are separated by a colon (":"). The Fontmap table allows the translation of the descriptive name of the font (as used by the TextFont parameter) to the ghostscript font filenames. Setting the value to "" (zero length string) disables this translation and provides functionality with RIPs other than ghostscript.


The path where Adobe Font Metric (AFM) files are located; by default /usr/share/ghostscript/Resource/Init:/usr/share/ghostscript/lib:/usr/share/ghostscript/Resource/Font:/usr/share/ghostscript/fonts:/usr/share/fonts/urw-base35:/usr/share/fonts/google-droid-sans-fonts. (Equivalent to the -F option.)


Control whether or not to use a gaudy-style page header. (Equivalent to the -G option.)


Control the use of ISO 8859-1 encoding in the generated POSTSCRIPT (Equivalent to the -D option.)


Control whether long text lines are wrapped or truncated at word boundaries near the right hand margin. (Equivalent to the -c option.)


Control whether pages are oriented horizontally (“landscape”) or vertically (“portrait”). (Equivalent to the -r and -R options.)


Control whether columns of text have a line drawn around them and the width of the line. Setting this parameter to 0 disables outlines. (Equivalent to the -o option.)


Control whether the output file has pages collated in the same order as the input file (“forward”) or in reverse order (``reverse). (Equivalent to the -U option.)


Control whether page headers are generated. (Equivalent to the -B option.)


Set the output page height in inches (in inches).


Set the output page dimensions. Dimensions are specified as string of the form: “l=#,r=#,t=#,b=#” where l indicates the left margin, r indicates the right margin, t indicates the top margin, b indicates the bottom margin, and numbers are interpreted as inches. (Equivalent to the -M option.)


Set the output page dimensions by name. (Equivalent to the -s option.)


Set the output page width in inches (in inches).


Set the tab stop distance; in characters.


Set the descriptive name of font to use for setting text. (Equivalent to the -f option.)


Set the vertical text line height and spacing. (Equivalent to the -V option.)


Set the point size to use in setting text. (Equivalent to the -p option.)


Interpret the input according to Unicode (UTF-8).


If textfmt is unable to locate font metric information for a font, then it will use a fixed-width metric that is 60% of the text point size; this metric will almost certainly result in incorrectly formatted POSTSCRIPT.

textfmt is distantly related to the lptops program written by Don Beebe.


/etc/hylafax/hyla.confsystem-wide configuration file
~/.hylarcper-user configuration file
/etc/hylafax/pagesizespage size database
/usr/share/ghostscript/Resource/Init:/usr/share/ghostscript/lib:/usr/share/ghostscript/Resource/Font:/usr/share/ghostscript/fonts:/usr/share/fonts/urw-base35:/usr/share/fonts/google-droid-sans-fonts   font metric files

See Also

hylafax-client(1), sendfax(1), pagesizes(5F)

Referenced By

faxmail(1), hylafax.8c(8), pagesizes.5f(5), sendfax(1).

May 17, 1996