LCDF Type Software


t1asm Manual


assemble PostScript Type 1 font


t1asm [-a|-b] [-l length] [input [output]]


t1asm assembles Adobe Type 1 font programs into either PFA (hexadecimal) or PFB (binary) formats from a human-readable form. If the file output is not specified output goes to the standard output. If the file input is not specified input comes from the standard input. t1asm tokenizes the charstring data and performs eexec and charstring encryption as specified in the “black book,” Adobe Type 1 Font Format. The input must have a line of the form

/-|{string currentfile exch readstring pop}executeonly def

which defines the command, in this case ‘-|’, that is to start charstring data. It is an error not to define such a command. Another common name for this command is ‘RD’. After the start of the Subrs array in the input, all open braces ‘{’ not in a comment begin a charstring. Such a charstring is terminated by the next non-comment close brace ‘}’. Within such a charstring, only comments, integers, and valid charstring commands are allowed. Valid charstring command names can be found in Adobe Type 1 Font Format and other documents describing the newer Type 2 opcodes. The format within a charstring is unimportant as long as integers and commands are separated by at least a one whitespace (space, tab, newline) character. Note that within charstrings, comments are discarded because they cannot be encoded.


--pfa, -a
Output in PFA (ASCII) format.
--pfb, -b
Output in PFB (binary) format. This is the default.
--block-length=num, -l num
PFB only: Set the maximum output block length to num. The default length is as large as memory allows.
--line-length=num, -l num
PFA only: Set the maximum length of encrypted lines in the output to num. (These are the lines consisting wholly of hexadecimal digits.) The default is 64.


% t1asm Utopia-Regular.raw > Utopia-Regular.pfb
% t1asm -a Utopia-Regular.raw > Utopia-Regular.pfa


t1disasm(1), t1ascii(1), t1binary(1), t1unmac(1), t1mac(1)

Adobe Type 1 Font Format is available free from Adobe as a PDF file.

The Type 2 Charstring Format, also available from Adobe as a PDF file, describes the newer Type 2 operators, which are also used in some multiple-master Type 1 fonts like Adobe Jenson and Kepler.


Lee Hetherington (
Eddie Kohler (

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