Fonts Option

The Fonts ... option enables you to specify fonts, font styles, and font sizes for your buttons, labels, text fields and lists. You can make font selections in a dialog window and interactively apply them to see how a font or font style looks in your Ishmail application. You can change and reapply your changes as often as you like.

The custom resource file to which your changes are applied is $HOME/.ishmailrc. You can also edit this file outside of the Ishmail program. See the chapter entitled Ishmail Resources for information about editing the $HOME/.ishmailrc file.

To specify fonts for Ishmail buttons, labels, text fields and lists, click the Fonts ... option. The Edit Fonts window appears.

Figure: Edit Fonts Window

Specifying Fonts

The Edit Fonts window contains text fields in which you can specify the following:

Push-button Font
Font used for all push-button.

Label Font
Font used for labels, toggle buttons, titles, quick help, and status message text.

Regular Text Font
Font used for all text fields and text areas.

Enriched Text Font
Enriched text font used for text in MIME-encoded messages.

List Font
Font used for mail folder labels and text in lists, including Main window message list, File selection list, Alias list, Alerts list, Icons list, Displayed headers list, and so forth.

You can either type your font selection into the appropriate text field in the Edit Fonts dialog window or click the "..." button to the right of any of the Edit Fonts text fields and make your selection from Font Chooser's list of fonts, styles, and sizes.

The default font used in the Composition and Reading windows is a fixed-space font. If you choose to use a proportional-space font, such as Helvetica, for these windows you may find that the format of tabular or column-oriented data does not look acceptable. If so, switch back to a fixed font when composing or reading messages with tabular or column-oriented data.

Selecting a Font

When you click the "..." button to the right of Edit Fonts text field whose font you want to change. The Font Chooser Window dialog window appears. It contains a list of Courier, Helvetica, and other available fonts that you can use to customize your Ishmail windows.


  1. You can use the xlsfonts command in /usr/bin/X11 to see the fonts available on your system. You can change the list of fonts Ishmail uses by editing the Ishmail.fonts resource file (see Ishmail Resources). The resource name is *fontWin.fontList:

  2. On some systems, such as those from Hewlett-Packard, the default font names may not work well with non-English characters. To ensure that an acceptable font is used, specify your font names ending with: *iso8859-1

Figure: Font Chooser Window

The Font Chooser dialog window contains three columns of font information including:

Below the font columns are check boxes and radio buttons that enable you to select fixed-width fonts and proportional-width fonts, and to show font sizes either in pixels or points.

The Sample text field and Font name field enable you to type a sample of the font and to see the name font resource.

To select a font from the Font Chooser window:

  1. Click (select) an entry in each of the font columns. The corresponding font name is placed in the Font name field and a representative sample of text for the font is shown in the Sample text field.

    When you make a selection, the scope of the lists is narrowed to include only those fonts that meet the selected criteria. For example, if you click on an entry in the Size column, the lists in the Family and Style columns are reduced to only those entries available in the size you just picked. Click the selected Size entry again to deselect it and restore the Family and Style columns to their original values.

  2. Click the OK button to accept your selection, which is then placed in the Edit Fonts text field beside the "..." button you clicked to launch the Font Chooser window.

    You can select fonts for one or all four of the Edit Fonts text fields.

Applying Your Changes

Apply or cancel your changes using the row of buttons across the bottom of the window. See Applying Your Changes.

Preceding Section: Automatic Mail Filing Option
Following Section: Buttons Option
Parent Section: Main Window Options Menu
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