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13. X Font Tools

X supports fonts in a number of forms, including its own "bitmap" format, "Speedo," Adobe's "Type 1," Apple's "True Type."

13.1. XRender / Xft

The new XRender extension introduces a new digital image rendering model for use with X. It is particularly used to render geometric figures as well as text.

The desired functionality that it most pointedly supports is that of antialiased fonts.

Xft is a library to access XRender to provide a useful common "registry" of font information for use by applications. A classic problem on X is that applications that try to do WYSIWYG wind up needing some extended information about fonts such as font metrics (e.g. - size and positioning information for each glyph), and wind up with a multiplicity of varying "databases."

Applications will not magically attain the "new, anti-aliased powers" of XRender; they either need to request its use directly, requiring modifying each application, or indirectly, via toolkit libraries that support XRender and Xft.

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