I have been softy on windows as a font tool to make a bitmap font, it's essentially a modified version of profont I keep using, mostly because the original version is not perfect to me.

I also made a proportional narrower version of profont, which I find extremely readable.

I want to do the same for my Mac and I also want it to work on any *nix, so I'm opting for a way to make it work for *nix first.

I can't understand why fontforge only allows you to make vectorized fonts, I want to make it pixel by pixel...

3 Answers 3


You can use gbdfed bitmap font editor to create or modify bitmap fonts for Un*x environments.

If your font is a .pcf, you can use pcf2bdf to convert it to a .bdf before hacking on it. There are packages in the Arch AUR and Debian repos for this.

Use bdftopcf to create your final font package and move it to an Xorg font directory, rebuild the font cache and you are done.


FontForge only lets you define fonts using vectors, but it allows you to export bitmap fonts. Consider it your chance to make the ideal font for both situations.

  • vectorized font are gonna take me ages, so that's a no-no.
    – jokoon
    Aug 14, 2011 at 16:47
  • The logic in first sentence is unclear, please correct it. (Probably just a missing "not", but I'm not feeling lucky today... :D) May 19, 2012 at 18:48
  • @Alois: It is accurate. You must "draw" characters using vector shapes. May 19, 2012 at 20:37

Try using fontopia. It is a bitmap font editor for GNU/Linux. It works with PSF, CP, Raw, and PCF fonts. There are many options for editing glyphs, importing and exporting unicode tables, and much more.

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