Tom's X11 Fonts

The following fonts are available for free, to use as you please. The minimal license is included in the header of each font.

Most of the fonts were created or improved with my Tcl/Tk program, bdfedit. Even though all of the fonts below are fixed width fonts, the program will also create proportional fonts.

If you've never installed an X11 font, please read the installation instructions.


This is named atari small because it was designed for a terminal emulator I wrote for my Atari 800. It only had a 320 pixel wide display, but I wanted an 80 column terminal, hence we have a 4x8 font. This is somewhat cleaned up from the original version. It has only a 1 pixel descent to maximize pixels available to the main body of each character.



Designed for an angular, medieval, vampire sort of look. It grew out of the font (also developed by me, but not an X11 font) used for my animated name on my Fun and Games page. This font is 9x14 with a spacious 4 pixel descent.

Updated, August 2007 - complete set of characters


An electronic, yet friendly font. I like this one quite a bit. 8x12 with a 2 pixel descent.


Radon Wide

The same font as above, with an extra pixel of width to make the spacing even more friendly. 9x12.



This was inspired by Scott Adams' Adventures (the Atari version and others used a really hideous cursive font). The attachments are ok, but not great. 9x15, with a 4 pixel descent. I used to say here, that I thought it would be neat to do this proportionally, which would help the attachments, and also to use the 8-bit characters for high attachments, and the 7-bit set for low attachments. That font is not this font; that font is the font after this font.


Smart Cursive

I wrote a long time ago, the part above, about how it would be neat to do better attachments. Well, this is it! It's proportional, not fixed. The "normal" set of letters has leadins that attach all the way at the bottom (instead of the compromise of the previous font). There's an alternate set of lower-case letters with high lead-in attachments, with ascii values 96 above the normal lower-case letters (where you would normally find the meta-shifted characters). There's another alternate set of lower-case letters with no lead-in attachments, in the ascii + 128 positions (where the lower-case meta characters would normally be).

This is still not perfect, but a nice improvement. Of course, you need to write some special program to properly connect the letters. Something like this perl example:

sub make_cursive_ppm {
  for ($i=length($input)-1; $i>0; --$i) {
    if (substr($input,$i-1,2) =~ /[bovw][a-z]/) {
      substr($input,$i,1) = sprintf("%c",ord(substr($input,$i,1))+96);
    } elsif (substr($input,$i-1,2) =~ /[^A-Za-z][a-z]/) {
      substr($input,$i,1) = sprintf("%c",ord(substr($input,$i,1))+128);
  if (substr($input,0,1) =~ /[a-z]/) {
    substr($input,0,1) = sprintf("%c",ord(substr($input,0,1))+128);
  system("pbmtext -font cursive-smart-9x15.bdf $input > $outfile");
The following sample shows some of the different versions of the letters. In particluar, each word in the second line starts with a letter that is shown in that word in all three forms; e.g. "avalanche" has the letter "a" shown with three different lead-ins:



This won't win any awards for readability, but it certainly is stylish. 9x13 with 3 pixel descent.



I've always liked this style of characters. It was tough cramming it into a font, even at 12x18, and I'm still not satisfied. It has a 4 pixel descent. This is more of a banner font.



The bold form of the above font; same dimensions.


Big Nethack Font

In addition, I have a font for use with nethack, described on another web page.
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