After load­ing DeLi Linux I was a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed with the way things looked. Fonts were WAY too small. So I started pok­ing around to find a way to rec­tify the sit­u­a­tion. I saw this nifty lit­tle app in the IceWM Start menu called Font Selec­tor (xfontsel). Unfor­tu­nately, the pro­gram is cursed with a name that makes you think it does more than it actu­ally can. The Font Selec­tor sim­ply pre­views fonts based on a series of prop­er­ties you select. Ini­tially, it didn’t seem to be all that use­ful, until I fig­ured out how that font selec­tion syn­tax was used.

The default GUI fonts are a com­bi­na­tion of Hel­vetica and Courier. The default GUI fonts can be over­rid­den, not sur­pris­ingly, by the cur­rently selected theme. Those font set­tings can then be over­rid­den by a prefoverride file. NOTE: If you are not using DeLi Linux, your par­tic­u­lar instal­la­tion of IceWM may dif­fer, and as a result, file loca­tions may differ.

cp /usr/share/icewm/preferences ~/.icewm/prefoverride

FYI the ~/.icewm folder con­tains user-specific set­tings for IceWM.

Open the file using one of the installed edi­tors (vi, X File Write, Beaver Text Edi­tor, or XElvis). Delete every­thing before line 753.

Let’s work through an exam­ple. On line 106 (pre­vi­ously line 858), you will find a set­ting for Title­Font­Name. See any­thing famil­iar with the value? It’s the same kind of string value used in the Font Selector.

Start Font Selec­tor and set the fndry to “adobe”, fmly to “hel­vetica”, wght to “medium”, slant to “r”, and ptSz to “120”. If you hap­pen to be using a theme that uses the default fonts then the font will match the font in the win­dow title.

Let’s say you’d rather have a serif font instead of a sans serif font. Let’s also say that you’d rather make the font larger. So change fmly to “new cen­tury school­book” and ptSz to “140”. Does it look good?

Now that you’re happy with the font, let’s apply it to the GUI. Switch back to the text edi­tor and change line 106 from:

# TitleFontName="-adobe-helvetica-medium-r-*-*-*-120-*-*-*-*-*-*-*"


TitleFontName="-adobe-new century schoolbook-medium-r-*-*-*-140-*-*-*-*-*-*-*"

Notice that the line is no longer com­mented out. Save the file.

To see the change, go to the Start menu and select Logout…–>Restart IceWM. You’ll have to click the arrow next to Logout in order to see the sub­menu. If all goes well, you’ll see the win­dow title font change after IceWM reloads.

If you look through the rest of the file you’ll find many set­tings that you can over­ride. Repeat the above steps to adjust any GUI font you don’t like. It’s fairly obvi­ous which set­ting you will need to change by read­ing the setting’s name. To make things eas­ier you can apply the same change by glob­ally find­ing and replac­ing text. Just remem­ber to uncom­ment any changed set­tings before restart­ing IceWM.

Comments are closed.