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 FIGLET(6)                         v2.2.5                          FIGLET(6)
                                 31 May 2012

      FIGlet - display large characters made up of ordinary screen

      figlet [ -cklnoprstvxDELNRSWX ] [ -d fontdirectory ]
           [ -f fontfile ] [ -m layoutmode ]
           [ -w outputwidth ] [ -C controlfile ]
           [ -I infocode ] [ message ]

      FIGlet prints its input using large characters (called
      ``FIGcharacters'')made up of ordinary screen characters (called
      ``sub-characters'').  FIGlet output is generally reminiscent of the
      sort of ``signatures'' many people like to put at the end of e-mail
      and UseNet messages.  It is also reminiscent of the output of some
      banner programs, although it is oriented normally, not sideways.

      FIGlet can print in a variety of fonts, both left-to-right and right-
      to-left, with adjacent FIGcharacters kerned and ``smushed'' together
      in various ways.  FIGlet fonts are stored in separate files, which can
      be identified by the suffix ``.flf''.  In systems with UTF-8 support
      FIGlet may also support TOIlet ``.tlf'' fonts.  Most FIGlet font files
      will be stored in FIGlet's default font directory.

      FIGlet can also use ``control files'', which tell it to map certain
      input characters to certain other characters, similar to the Unix tr
      command.  Control files can be identified by the suffix ``.flc''.
      Most FIGlet control files will be stored in FIGlet's default font

      You can store FIGlet fonts and control files in compressed form.  See

      Just start up FIGlet (type ``figlet'') and then type whatever you
      want.  Alternatively, pipe a file or the output of another command
      through FIGlet, or put input on the command line after the options.
      See EXAMPLES for other things to do.

      FIGlet reads command line options from left to right, and only the
      last option that affects a parameter has any effect.  Almost every
      option has an inverse, so that, for example, if FIGlet is customized
      with a shell alias, all the options are usually still available.

      Commonly-used options are -f, -c, -k, -t, -p and -v.

                                    - 1 -      Formatted:  February 21, 2024

 FIGLET(6)                         v2.2.5                          FIGLET(6)
                                 31 May 2012

      -f fontfile
           Select the font.  The .flf suffix may be left off of fontfile, in
           which case FIGlet automatically appends it.  FIGlet looks for the
           file first in the default font directory and then in the current
           directory, or, if fontfile was given as a full pathname, in the
           given directory.  If the -f option is not specified, FIGlet uses
           the font that was specified when it was compiled.  To find out
           which font this is, use the -I3 option.

      -d fontdirectory
           Change the default font directory.  FIGlet looks for fonts first
           in the default directory and then in the current directory.  If
           the -d option is not specified, FIGlet uses the directory that
           was specified when it was compiled.  To find out which directory
           this is, use the -I2 option.

      -x   These options handle the justification of FIGlet output.  -c
           centers the output horizontally.  -l makes the output flush-left.
           -r makes it flush-right.  -x (default) sets the justification
           according to whether left-to-right or right-to-left text is
           selected.  Left-to-right text will be flush-left, while right-
           to-left text will be flush-right.  (Left-to-right versus right-
           to-left text is controlled by -L, -R and -X.)

      -w outputwidth
           These options control the outputwidth, or the screen width FIGlet
           assumes when formatting its output.  FIGlet uses the outputwidth
           to determine when to break lines and how to center the output.
           Normally, FIGlet assumes 80 columns so that people with wide
           terminals won't annoy the people they e-mail FIGlet output to.
           -t sets the outputwidth to the terminal width.  If the terminal
           width cannot be determined, the previous outputwidth is retained.
           -w sets the outputwidth to the given integer.  An outputwidth of
           1 is a special value that tells FIGlet to print each non-space
           FIGcharacter, in its entirety, on a separate line, no matter how
           wide it is.

      -n   These options control how FIGlet handles newlines.  -p puts
           FIGlet into ``paragraph mode'', which eliminates some unnecessary
           line breaks when piping a multi-line file through FIGlet.  In
           paragraph mode, FIGlet treats line breaks within a paragraph as
           if they were merely blanks between words.  (Specifically, -p

                                    - 2 -      Formatted:  February 21, 2024

 FIGLET(6)                         v2.2.5                          FIGLET(6)
                                 31 May 2012

           causes FIGlet to convert any newline which is not preceded by a
           newline and not followed by a space character into a blank.) -n
           (default) puts FIGlet back to normal, in which every newline
           FIGlet reads causes it to produce a line break.

      -E   -D switches to the German (ISO 646-DE) character set.  Turns `[',
           `\' and `]' into umlauted A, O and U, respectively.  `{', `|' and
           `}' turn into the respective lower case versions of these.  `~'
           turns into s-z.  -E turns off -D processing.  These options are
           deprecated, which means they probably will not appear in the next
           version of FIGlet.

      -C controlfile
      -N   These options deal with FIGlet controlfiles.  A controlfile is a
           file containing a list of commands that FIGlet executes each time
           it reads a character.  These commands can map certain input
           characters to other characters, similar to the Unix tr command or
           the FIGlet -D option.  FIGlet maintains a list of controlfiles,
           which is empty when FIGlet starts up.  -C adds the given
           controlfile to the list.  -N clears the controlfile list,
           cancelling the effect of any previous -C.  FIGlet executes the
           commands in all controlfiles in the list.  See the file
           figfont.txt, provided with FIGlet, for details on how to write a


      -o   These options control how FIGlet spaces the FIGcharacters that it
           outputs.  -s (default) and -S cause ``smushing''.  The
           FIGcharacters are displayed as close together as possible, and
           overlapping sub-characters are removed.  Exactly which sub-
           characters count as ``overlapping'' depends on the font's
           layoutmode, which is defined by the font's author.  -k causes
           ``kerning''.  As many blanks as possible are removed between
           FIGcharacters, so that they touch, but the FIGcharacters are not
           smushed.  -W makes FIGlet display all FIGcharacters at their full
           width, which may be fixed or variable, depending on the font.

           The difference between -s and -S is that -s will not smush a font
           whose author specified kerning or full width as the default
           layoutmode, whereas -S will attempt to do so.

           If there is no information in the font about how to smush, or if
           the -o option is specified, then the FIGcharacters are

                                    - 3 -      Formatted:  February 21, 2024

 FIGLET(6)                         v2.2.5                          FIGLET(6)
                                 31 May 2012

           ``overlapped''.  This means that after kerning, the first
           subcharacter of each FIGcharacter is removed.  (This is not done
           if a FIGcharacter contains only one subcharacter.)

      -m layoutmode
           Specifies an explicit layoutmode between 1 and 63.  Smushmodes
           are explained in figfont.txt, which also provides complete
           information on the format of a FIGlet font.  For the sake of
           backward compatibility with versions of FIGlet before 2.2, -m0 is
           equivalent to -k, -m-1 is equivalent to -W, and -m-2 is
           equivalent to -s.  The -m switch is normally used only by font
           designers testing the various layoutmodes with a new font.

      -I infocode
           These options print various information about FIGlet, then exit.
           If several of these options are given on the command line, only
           the last is executed, and only after all other command-line
           options have been dealt with.

           -v prints version and copyright information, as well as a
           ``Usage: ...'' line.  -I prints the information corresponding to
           the given infocode in a consistent, reliable (i.e., guaranteed to
           be the same in future releases) format.  -I is primarily intended
           to be used by programs that use FIGlet.  infocode can be any of
           the following.

           -1 Normal operation (default).
                This infocode indicates that FIGlet should operate normally,
                not giving any informational printout, printing its input in
                the selected font.

           0 Version and copyright.
                This is identical to -v.

           1 Version (integer).
                This will print the version of your copy of FIGlet as a
                decimal integer.  The main version number is multiplied by
                10000, the sub-version number is multiplied by 100, and the
                sub-sub-version number is multiplied by 1.  These are added
                together, and the result is printed out.  For example,
                FIGlet 2.2 will print ``20200'' , version 2.2.1 will print
                ``20201''.  Similarly, version 3.7.2 would print ``30702''.
                These numbers are guaranteed to be ascending, with later
                versions having higher numbers.  Note that the first major
                release of FIGlet, version 2.0, did not have the -I option.

           2 Default font directory.
                This will print the default font directory.  It is affected

                                    - 4 -      Formatted:  February 21, 2024

 FIGLET(6)                         v2.2.5                          FIGLET(6)
                                 31 May 2012

                by the -d option.

           3 Font.
                This will print the name of the font FIGlet would use.  It
                is affected by the -f option.  This is not a filename; the
                ``.flf'' suffix is not printed.

           4 Output width.
                This will print the value FIGlet would use for outputwidth,
                the number of columns wide FIGlet assumes the screen is.  It
                is affected by the -w and -t options.

           5 Supported font formats.
                This will list font formats supported by FIGlet . Possible
                formats are ``flf2'' for FIGfont Version 2 .flf files and
                ``tlf2'' for TOIlet .tlf files.

           If infocode is any other positive value, FIGlet will simply exit
           without printing anything.

      -X   These options control whether FIGlet prints left-to-right or
           right-to-left.  -L selects left-to-right printing.  -R selects
           right-to-left printing.  -X (default) makes FIGlet use whichever
           is specified in the font file.

           Once the options are read, if there are any remaining words on
           the command line, they are used instead of standard input as the
           source of text.  This feature allows shell scripts to generate
           large letters without having to dummy up standard input files.

           An empty argument, obtained by two sequential quotes, results in
           a line break.

      To use FIGlet with its default settings, simply type

           example% figlet

      and then type whatever you like.

      To change the font, use the -f option, for example,

           example% figlet -f script

      Use the -c option if you would prefer centered output:

                                    - 5 -      Formatted:  February 21, 2024

 FIGLET(6)                         v2.2.5                          FIGLET(6)
                                 31 May 2012

           example% figlet -c

      We have found that the most common use of FIGlet is making up large
      text to be placed in e-mail messages.  For this reason, FIGlet
      defaults to 80 column output.  If you are using a wider terminal, and
      would like FIGlet to use the full width of your terminal, use the -t

           example% figlet -t

      If you don't want FIGlet to smush FIGcharacters into each other, use
      the -k option:

           example% figlet -k

      If figlet gets its input from a file, it is often a good idea to use

           example% figlet -p < myfile

      Of course, the above can be combined:

           example% figlet -ptk -f shadow < anotherfile
           example% figlet -cf slant

      Finally, if you want to have FIGlet take the input from the command
      line instead of a file:

           example% figlet Hello world

    Other Things to Try
      On many systems nice effects can be obtained from the lean font by
      piping it through tr.  Some you might want to try are the following:

           example% figlet -f lean | tr ' _/' ' ()'
           example% figlet -f lean | tr ' _/' './\\'
           example% figlet -f lean | tr ' _/' ' //'
           example% figlet -f lean | tr ' _/' '/  '

      Similar things can be done with the block font and many of the other
      FIGlet fonts.

                                    - 6 -      Formatted:  February 21, 2024

 FIGLET(6)                         v2.2.5                          FIGLET(6)
                                 31 May 2012

      You can compress the fonts and controlfiles using the zip archiving
      program.  Place only one font or controlfile in each archive, and
      rename the archive file (which will have a name ending in .zip) back
      to .flf or .flc as the case may be.  If you don't rename the file
      appropriately, FIGlet won't be able to find it.

      FIGlet does not care what the filename within the .zip archive is, and
      will process only the first file.

      The .zip format was chosen because tools to create and manipulate it
      are widely available for free on many platforms.

      Here are a few notes about some of the fonts provided with FIGlet.
      You can get many other font from the Web site   This location should also contain the latest
      version of FIGlet and other related utilities.

      The font standard is the basic FIGlet font, used when no other font is
      specified.  (This default can be changed when FIGlet is compiled on
      your system.) The controlfiles 8859-2, 8859-3, 8859-4, and 8859-9 are
      provided for interpreting those character sets, also known as ISO
      Latin-2 through Latin-5 respectively.  The character set 8859-1 (ISO
      Latin-1) is FIGlet's default and requires no special controlfile.

      Closely related are the fonts slant, shadow, small, smslant (both
      small and slanted), smshadow, (both small and shadowed), and big.
      These fonts support only Latin-1, except that big supports Greek
      FIGcharacters as well; the controlfiles frango (for Greek text written
      in Latin characters, so-called ``frangovlakhika''), and 8859-7 (for
      mixed Latin/Greek text) are provided.

      The ivrit font is a right-to-left font including both Latin and Hebrew
      FIGcharacters; the Latin characters are those of the standard font.
      The available controlfiles are ilhebrew, which maps the letters you
      get by typing on a U.S. keyboard as if it were a Hebrew keyboard;
      ushebrew, which makes a reasonable mapping from Latin letters to
      Hebrew ones; and 8859-8, which supports mixed Latin/Hebrew text.
      Warning: FIGlet doesn't support bidirectional text, so everything will
      come out right-to-left, even Latin letters.

      The fonts terminal, digital, and bubble output the input character
      with some decoration around it (or no decoration, in the case of
      terminal).  The characters coded 128 to 159, which have varying
      interpretations, are output as-is.  You can use the appropriate
      controlfiles to process Latin-2, Latin-3, or Latin-4 (but not Latin-5)
      text, provided your output device has screen or printer fonts that are
      appropriate for these character sets.

                                    - 7 -      Formatted:  February 21, 2024

 FIGLET(6)                         v2.2.5                          FIGLET(6)
                                 31 May 2012

      Two script fonts are available: script, which is larger than standard,
      and smscript, which is smaller.

      The font lean is made up solely of `/' and `_' sub-characters; block
      is a straight (non-leaning) version of it.

      The font mini is very small, and especially suitable for e-mail

      The font banner looks like the output of the banner program; it is a
      capitals and small capitals font that doesn't support the ISO Latin-1
      extensions to plain ASCII.  It does, however, support the Japanese
      katakana syllabary; the controlfile uskata maps the upper-case and
      lower-case Latin letters into the 48 basic katakana characters, and
      the controlfile jis0201 handles JIS 0201X (JIS-Roman) mixed Latin and
      katakana text.  Furthermore, the banner font also supports Cyrillic
      (Russian) FIGcharacters; the controlfile 8859-5 supports mixed Latin
      and Cyrillic text, the controlfile koi8r supports the popular KOI8-R
      mapping of mixed text, and the controlfile moscow supports a sensible
      mapping from Latin to Cyrillic, compatible with the moscow font (not

      The fonts mnemonic and safemnem support the mnemonic character set
      documented in RFC 1345.  They implement a large subset of Unicode
      (over 1800 characters) very crudely, using ASCII-based mnemonic
      sequences, and are good for getting a quick look at UTF-8 unicode
      files, using the controlfile utf8.

           If $FIGLET_FONTDIR is set, its value is used as a path to search
           for font files.

      file.flf            FIGlet font file
      file.flc            FIGlet control file

      FIGlet's diagnostics are intended to be self-explanatory.  Possible
      messages are

           Usage: ...
           Out of memory
           Unable to open font file
           Not a FIGlet 2 font file
           Unable to open control file
           Not a FIGlet 2 control file
           "-t" is disabled, since ioctl is not fully implemented.

                                    - 8 -      Formatted:  February 21, 2024

 FIGLET(6)                         v2.2.5                          FIGLET(6)
                                 31 May 2012

      This last message is printed when the -t option is given, but the
      operating system in use does not include the system call FIGlet uses
      to determine the terminal width.

      FIGlet also prints an explanatory message if the -F option is given on
      the command line.  The earlier version of FIGlet, version 2.0, listed
      the available fonts when the -F option was given.  This option has
      been removed from FIGlet 2.1.  It has been replaced by the figlist
      script, which is part of the standard FIGlet package.

      ``FIGlet'' stands for ``Frank, Ian and Glenn's LETters''.  Inspired by
      Frank's .sig, Glenn wrote (most of) it, and Ian helped.

      Most of the standard FIGlet fonts were inspired by signatures on
      various UseNet articles.  Since typically hundreds of people use the
      same style of letters in their signatures, it was often not deemed
      necessary to give credit to any one font designer.

      Very little error checking is done on font and control files.  While
      FIGlet tries to be forgiving of errors, and should (hopefully) never
      actually crash, using an improperly-formatted file with FIGlet will
      produce unpredictable output.

      FIGlet does not handle format characters in a very intelligent way.  A
      tab character is converted to a blank, and vertical-tab, form-feed and
      carriage-return are each converted to a newline.  On many systems,
      tabs can be handled better by piping files through expand before
      piping through FIGlet.

      FIGlet output is quite ugly if it is displayed in a proportionally-
      spaced font.  I suppose this is to be expected.

      Please report any errors you find in this man page or the program to

      You can get many fonts which are not in the basic FIGlet package from
      the Web site   It should also contain the
      latest version of FIGlet and other utilities related to FIGlet.

      There is a mailing list for FIGlet for general discussions about
      FIGlet and a place where you can ask questions or share ideas with
      other FIGlet users. It is also the place where we will publish news
      about new fonts, new software updates etc.

      To subscribe or unsubscribe from the FIGlet mailing list, please send
      email to or

                                    - 9 -      Formatted:  February 21, 2024

 FIGLET(6)                         v2.2.5                          FIGLET(6)
                                 31 May 2012

      or visit the following web page:

      Glenn Chappell did most of the work. You can e-mail him but he is not
      an e-mail fanatic; people who e-mail Glenn will probably get answers,
      but if you e-mail his best friend:

      Ian Chai, who is an e-mail fanatic, you'll get answers, endless
      conversation about the mysteries of life, invitations to join some 473
      mailing lists and a free toaster.  (Well, ok, maybe not the free

      Frank inspired this whole project with his .sig, but don't e-mail him;
      he's decidedly an un-e-mail-fanatic.

      Gilbert "The Mad Programmer" Healton added the -A option for version
      2.1.1.  This option specified input from the command line; it is still
      allowed, but has no effect.

      John Cowan added the -o, -s, -k, -S, and -W options, and the support
      for Unicode mapping tables, ISO 2022/HZ/Shift-JIS/UTF-8 input, and
      compressed fonts and control files.  He also revised this
      documentation, with a lot of input from Paul Burton.

      Claudio Matsuoka added the support for .tlf files for version 2.2.4
      and performs random hacks and bugfixes.

      As a fan of FIGlet, Christiaan Keet revised the official FIGlet
      documentation and set up the new FIGlet website at (and the corresponding

      figlist(6), chkfont(6), showfigfonts(6), toilet(1)

                                   - 10 -      Formatted:  February 21, 2024