FIGLET(6)                                                              FIGLET(6)

       FIGlet - display large characters made up of ordinary screen characters

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

       FIGlet  prints  its  input  using  large  characters (called ``FIGcharac‐
       ters'')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 ori‐
       ented 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 var‐
       ious ways.  FIGlet fonts are stored in separate files, which can be iden‐
       tified  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 con‐
       trol files will be stored in FIGlet's default font directory.

       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.

       -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 cen‐
              ters the output horizontally.  -l makes the output flush-left.  -r
              makes it flush-right.  -x (default) sets the justification accord‐
              ing 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  ter‐
              minals  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 FIGchar‐
              acter, in its entirety, on a separate line, no matter how wide  it

       -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 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  char‐
              acters  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 con‐
              trolfiles in the list.  See the file  figfont.txt,  provided  with
              FIGlet, for details on how to write a controlfile.

       -o     These  options control how FIGlet spaces the FIGcharacters that it
              outputs.  -s (default) and -S cause ``smushing''.  The  FIGcharac‐
              ters  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 vari‐
              able, 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 lay‐
              outmode, 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 ``over‐
              lapped''.  This means that after kerning, the  first  subcharacter
              of  each FIGcharacter is removed.  (This is not done if a FIGchar‐
              acter 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 compati‐
              bility  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 var‐
              ious 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 fol‐

              -1 Normal operation (default).
                     This infocode indicates that  FIGlet  should  operate  nor‐
                     mally,  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
                     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:

              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 option:

              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 -p:

              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.

       You  can compress the fonts and controlfiles using the zip archiving pro‐
       gram.  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 pro‐
       vided 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 charac‐
       ters, 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 charac‐
       ter sets.

       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  signa‐

       The font banner looks like the output of the banner program; it is a cap‐
       itals and small capitals font that doesn't support the ISO Latin-1 exten‐
       sions  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) FIGcharac‐
       ters; 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  Cyril‐
       lic, compatible with the moscow font (not supplied).

       The  fonts mnemonic and safemnem support the mnemonic character set docu‐
       mented 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  con‐
       trolfile 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  mes‐
       sages 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.

       This last message is printed when the -t option is given, but the operat‐
       ing system in use does not include the system call FIGlet uses to  deter‐
       mine 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 pro‐
       duce 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 ver‐
       sion 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  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 conversa‐
       tion  about  the  mysteries of life, invitations to join some 473 mailing
       lists and a free toaster.  (Well, ok, maybe not the free toaster.)

       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 documen‐
       tation and set up the new FIGlet website at  (and
       the corresponding

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

v2.2.5                             31 May 2012                         FIGLET(6)