IRAF Newsletter -- Number 14 -- April 1998

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New Fonts for Hardcopy Graphics

The graphics kernel IRAF uses for making hardcopy plots, the SGI kernel, was upgraded in V2.11 to use a better Roman font, and a new Greek font was added. The new Roman font replaces the old font as the default hence no special action is required to make use of the new font. The Greek font, however, must be explicitly selected with a font change directive either by the application or by the user.

One way to enable the new high-quality Greek font is to embed the "\fG" font selection escape sequence in text when you use the "T" keystroke to mark text in a plot, e.g., "\fGa \fRHydra" would switch the font to Greek, print a Greek alpha ("a"), print a space, restore the Roman font, and then print "Hydra" in the Roman font. The escape sequence "\fX" switches the text font to "X" (where "X" is `B' for bold, `R' for roman, `G' for Greek, and `I' for italic).

The greek font may also be used in label parameters for tasks like graph , for example

would produce an Angstrom symbol in parenthesis. The double backslash is necessary to pass the escape string through the CL. The font may also be set explicitly using the ":.txset font=greek" command, but this will affect all text on the plot. Note that the greek character won't appear on the screen unless the text quality is set to high, i.e., ":.txqual hi". With the default text quality setting, the hardware (e.g., X11) font is used and font selection is disabled.

A file containing the mappings for the greek fonts and other special characters can be found at .

Additional work is planned in the future to further enhance IRAF graphics to provide better publication quality plots from IRAF.

Mike Fitzpatrick

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Posted: 07May1998