Fonts from the SVG-Font format

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LTS Haskell 9.10:
Stackage Nightly 2017-10-23:
Latest on Hackage:
BSD3 licensed by Tillmann Vogt
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Native font support for the Diagrams library. The SVG-Font format is easy to parse and was therefore chosen for a font library completely written in Haskell.

You can convert your own font to SVG with or use the included LinLibertine, Bitstream.


Complete implementation of the features that fontforge produces (but not the complete SVG format):

  • Kerning (e.g. the two characters in "VA" have a shorter distance than in "VV")
  • Unicode
  • Ligatures
  • Text boxes with syntax highlighting

XML speed issues can be solved by trimming the svg file to only those characters that are used (or maybe binary xml one day)

Version 1.0 of this library supports texturing which would only make sense in a Diagrams Backend that does rasterization in Haskell.


{-# LANGUAGE NoMonomorphismRestriction #-}

import Diagrams.Prelude
import Diagrams.Backend.Cairo.CmdLine
import Graphics.SVGFonts

main = defaultMain ( (text' "Hello World") <> (rect 8 1) # alignBL )

text'  t = stroke (textSVG t 1) # fc purple # fillRule EvenOdd
text'' t = stroke (textSVG_ (TextOpts lin INSIDE_H KERN True 1 1) t)
             # fc purple # fillRule EvenOdd

-- using a local font
text''' t = do
    font <- loadFont "path/to/font.xml"
    return $ stroke (textSVG' (TextOpts font INSIDE_H KERN False 1 1) t)


Convert your favourite font (i.e. .ttf) into a .svg file with fontforge (the menu item under "Save All"). If a font converted on your own doesn't work, try the repair options, and if this still doesn't work edit the file by hand or tell me. Remember that a lot of fonts are not allowed to be distributed freely.

Changes (25 September 2017)

  • Fix link on Hackage page (21 August 2017)

  • Bug fix: don't print blank line to stdout when there are no errors. (#23) Thanks to Tim Docker for the fix. (27 October 2016)

  • Allow diagrams-core-1.4
  • Allow diagrams-lib-1.4

1.6 (8 August 2016)

  • Performance improvement: port ReadPath to use attoparsec
  • New loadFont' function, to read font data from an XmlSource
  • Export Kern(..) from Graphics.SVGFonts.ReadFont
  • New Serialize instances for FontData and Kern (6 June 2016)

  • allow base-4.9
  • allow data-default-class-0.1
  • test with GHC 8.0.1 (19 April 2015)

  • Split functionality out of ReadFont, into Fonts (built-in fonts) and Text (rendering text to Diagrams).
  • textSVG' and textSVG_ now have the text as a separate argument, distinct from TextOptions.
  • ReadFont does not use unsafePerformIO any more. unsafePerformIO is now only used to load built-in fonts. (2 June 2014)

  • Allow diagrams-lib-1.2. (25 November 2013)

  • Bump diagrams-lib upper bound to < 1.1.

1.4 (10 September 2013)

  • FontData can now be written back to SVG using makeSvgFont inside of the WriteFont module. It is possible to only write back a specfic set of glyphs.
  • The SVG font-face element is now completely supported. This means all possible attributes are read and written back to it. Correct defaults are also set on non optional attributes. Some optional attributes are still required though, due to their use in font rendering.
  • The ReadPath module does not use unsafePerformIO anymore. ReadFont is now the only module with unsafe calls.
  • Minor bug fixes: - stemh and stemv are now optional attributes. (14 August 2013)

  • remove old comment causing Haddock build to fail (12 August 2013)

  • fix repo location in .cabal file

1.3: 9 August 2013

  • A bunch of bug fixes, cleanup, and reorganization: - Proper data type for Kern and FontData instead of mega-tuples. - Fixed several error on font-face attributes. - Fixed wrong attribute names. - Switched to data-default-class instead of data-default.
  • Require diagrams-lib-0.7.
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