Small Bitmap Font

I use fixed-width fonts when I’m using Vim and terminal. Terminals are usually 80 columns wide, and so is Vim (I set textwidth to 70 or 72 most of the time). When I want to vertically split my Vim into two and I’m working on a 1024×768 screen, I need a font of width 6 so that I can fit them into one screen. With this small size a bitmap font is preferred as legibility is the most important thing.

I find the bitmap font embedded in the Kochi Mincho 9 a suitable candidate (all ASCII characters are of width 5) but XUbuntu renders it at width 7 (and 8 in the Intrepid Ibex Alpha release). I decided to extract it and make it a separate bitmap font. I fired up gbdfed (which stands for “GTK-based BDF font editor"), import the font and delete all glyphs other than 0x20 to 0x7F. It took me some time to figure out how to adjust the font width, which is achieved by inserting a dummy character of width 6 (there could be other means of doing it). The end-product is a 6×13 bitmap font which do 170 columns by 58 rows on the XGA screen. (Some available bitmap fonts has height 10 or 12 which I find too packed)

Anyway here’s a preview and link to download:

Link: bdf file, pcf file (The font is named mincho-term), pdb file (6×12, 6×14) (for Palm iSilo, added 4 Jan 2009)

P.S. On Simon Tatham’s (one of the creators of Putty) page (http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/fonts/) there’s a 6×13 fixed font for Windows, extracted from X:

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  1. Tom Chan Says:

    Found a pcf to fon converter at http://www.ank.com.ar/fonts/ so that the font can be converted to Windows fon format.

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