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Old 10-20-2013, 12:00 AM   #1
Registered: Sep 2012
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Using "bitmap" to create echoable characters

I know this is an old application but seems like it will fit my needs for the present (in lieu of psf, xbm, and xpm).
I have read the man page and stuff off of the web but there are still some procedures that are not clear to me:
Once a set of bitmap characters is created:
o How do/can I add more to that set?
o How do I remove a character from a set of characters?
o Can a character be defined as say 8wide and 16high and still fit within the lines I create with it without overprinting characters above or be overprinted by characters on the line above?
o Are the number of pixels in width & height just a reflection of the density or do they actually determine the physical height and width of the echoed character?
o Am I correct in thinking that a set of bitmapped characters MUST BE all the same height and width?
o What is the default character height?
o How does one pick and choose amongst the characters in the set for the one to be printed/echoed?
o How is "bmtoa" employed in the last question? i.e. do I select the character, submit it to bmtoa and then echo it?
o Can I put different properly selected/processed bitmapped characters in consecutive positions of a string and echo that string instead of positioning individual characters one at a time via echo?
o Once a character is selected/processed can I "tput" that character or character string?
Sorry to ask so many questions but have not been able to resolve them via web queries.

Last edited by waddles; 10-20-2013 at 12:03 AM.
Old 10-20-2013, 05:30 AM   #2
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With respect, you are barking up the wrong tree. Those utilities do not do what you think they do.

'bmtoa' does not create a font character. It takes an image file in a long-dead format and exports what is, in effect, an ascii art rendition of it, with '-' for 0 and '#' for 1. It has a very similar function to bmptoppm, but much, much more primitive. atobm does the inverse.

These mid-1980s tools do absolutely nothing that can't be done easier and better with Gimp (or MS Paint). They were obsolete as soon as xpm was devised in 1989.

'bitmap' and 'bmtoa' and 'atobm' are described fully in the O'Reilly X Window System bookshelf, Volume Three, "X Window System User's Guide", in the chapter entitled "Graphics Utilities" (which is either Chapter 6 or Chapter 7 or Chapter 8, depending on the edition). I have a copy here which I have consulted just now for the first time in ten or fifteen years. There are electronic copies out there, if you look, that O'Reilly presumably don't care about, since this stuff has been dead for so long. Note that some later editions don't cover bitmap/bmtoa/atobm, because they were obsolete and irrelevant; one such edition is on O'Reilly's FTP site, so don't bother with that one. There's another copy on
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