tfmtodit - Man Page

adapt TeX Font Metrics files for use with groff and grodvi


tfmtodit[-s] [-g gf-file] [-k skew-char] tfm-file map-file font-description


tfmtodit creates a font description file for use with groff(1)'s dvi output device. tfm-file is the name of the TeX font metric file for the font. map-file assigns groff ordinary or special character identifiers to glyph indices in the font; it should consist of a sequence of lines of the form

i c1 ... cn

where i is a position of the glyph in the font in decimal, and c1 through cn are glyph identifiers in the form used by groff font descriptions. If a glyph has no groff names but exists in tfm-file, it is put in the groff font description file as an unnamed glyph. Output is written in groff_font(5) format to font-description, a file named for the intended groff font name.

If the font is “special”, meaning that groff should search it whenever a glyph is not found in the current font, use the -s option and name font-description in the fonts directive in the output device's DESC file.

To do a good job of math typesetting, groff requires font metric information not present in tfm-file. This is because TeX has separate math italic fonts, whereas groff uses normal italic fonts for math. The additional information required by groff is given by the two arguments to the math_fit macro in the Metafont programs for the Computer Modern fonts. In a text font (a font for which math_fit is false), Metafont normally ignores these two arguments. Metafont can be made to put this information into the GF (“generic font”) files it produces by loading the following definition after cmbase when creating cm.base.

def ignore_math_fit(expr left_adjustment,right_adjustment) =
    special "adjustment";
    numspecial left_adjustment*16/designsize;
    numspecial right_adjustment*16/designsize;

For the EC font family, load the following definition after exbase; consider patching locally.

def ignore_math_fit(expr left_adjustment,right_adjustment) =
    ori_special "adjustment";
    ori_numspecial left_adjustment*16/designsize;
    ori_numspecial right_adjustment*16/designsize;

The only difference from the previous example is the “ori_” prefix to “special” and “numspecial”. The GF file created using this modified cm.base or should be specified with the -g option, which should not be given for a font for which math_fit is true.


displays a usage message, while -v and --version show version information; all exit afterward.
-g gf-file

Use the gf-file produced by Metafont containing “special” and “numspecial” commands to obtain additional font metric information.

-k skew-char

The skew character of this font is at position skew-char. skew-char should be an integer; it may be given in decimal, with a leading 0 in octal, or with a leading 0x in hexadecimal. Any kerns whose second component is skew-char are ignored.


Add the special directive to the font description file.



describes the dvi output device.


describes the font known as F on device dvi.


map glyph indices in TeX fonts to groff ordinary and special character identifiers. is used for TREC, TIEC, TBEC, TBIEC, HREC, HIEC, HBEC, HBIEC, CWEC, and CWIEC; for SA; for SB; for TRTC, TITC, TBTC, TBITC, HRTC, HITC, HBTC, HBITC, CWTC, and CWITC; for TB, HR, HI, HB, and HBI; for EX; for TI and TBI; for CWI; for MI; for TR; for S; for SC; and for CW.

See also

groff(1), grodvi(1), groff_font(5)

Referenced By

grodvi(1), groff(1).

24 January 2024 groff 1.23.0