The kinds of font files read by mkfontdir depend on configuration parameters, but typically include PCF (suffix ".pcf"), SNF (suffix ".snf") and BDF (suffix ".bdf"). If a font exists in multiple formats, mkfontdir will first choose PCF, then SNF and finally BDF.
The first line of fonts.dir gives the number of fonts in the file. The remaining lines list the fonts themselves, one per line, in two fields. First is the name of the font file, followed by a space and the name of the font.
If neither the alias nor the value specifies the size fields of the font name, this is a scalable alias. A font name of any size that matches this alias will be mapped to the same size of the font that the alias resolves to.
When a font alias is used, the name it references is searched for in the normal manner, looking through each font directory in turn. This means that the aliases need not mention fonts in the same directory as the alias file.
To embed white space in either name, simply enclose it in double-quote marks; to embed double-quote marks (or any other character), precede them with back-slash:
"magic-alias with spaces" "\"font name\" with quotes" regular-alias fixed
If the string "FILE_NAMES_ALIASES" stands alone on a line, each file-name in the directory (stripped of its suffix) will be used as an alias for that font.
The "encodings.dir" file has the same format as "fonts.dir". It maps encoding names (strings of the form CHARSET_REGISTRY-CHARSET_ENCODING ) to encoding file names.
|-e||Specify a directory containing encoding files. The -e option may be specified multiple times, and all the specified directories will be read. The order of the entries is significant, as encodings found in earlier directories override those in later ones; encoding files in the same directory are discriminated by preferring compressed versions.|
|-n||do not scan for fonts, do not write font directory files. This option is useful when generating encoding directories only.|
|-p||Specify a prefix that is prepended to the encoding file path names when they are written to the "encodings.dir" file. The prefix is prepended as-is. If a / is required between the prefix and the path names, it must be supplied explicitly as part of the prefix.|
|-r||Keep non-absolute encoding directories in their relative form when writing the "encodings.dir" file. The default is to convert relative encoding directories to absolute directories by prepending the current directory. The positioning of this options is significant, as this option only applies to subsequent -e options.|
|Ignore fonts files of type suffix.|
|fonts.dir||List of fonts in the directory and the files they are stored in. Created by mkfontdir. Read by the X server and font server each time the font path is set (see xset(1)).|
|fonts.scale||List of scalable fonts in the directory. Contents are copied to fonts.dir by mkfontdir.|
|fonts.alias||List of font name aliases. Read by the X server and font server each time the font path is set (see xset(1)).|
|encodings.dir||List of known encodings and the files they are stored in. Created by mkfontdir. Read by the X server and font server each time a font with an unknown charset is opened.|