FIGlet – generate text banners in different typefaces

FIGlet is an open source program for making large letters out of ordinary screen characters. FIGlet stands for ‘Frank, Ian and Glenn’s LETters’.

FIGlet can create characters in many different styles and can kern and “smush” these characters together in various ways. FIGlet output is generally reminiscent of the sort of “signatures” many people like to put at the end of e-mail and UseNet messages.

In systems with UTF-8 support, FIGlet may also support TOIlet ‘.tlf’ fonts.

There are currently over 400 fonts available for download.

Features include:

  • Print in a variety of fonts, both left-to-right and right-to-left.
  • Good range of formatting options:
    • Centre the output horizontally.
    • Flush-left its output.
    • Flush-right its output.
    • Set the justification
  • Kerning text – printing each letter of the message individually, instead of merged into the adjacent letters.
  • Smush modes control how Figlet “smushes” together the big letters for output rendering characters as close together as possible, and removing overlapping sub-characters.
  • Use control files, which tell it to map certain input characters to certain other characters, similar to the Unix tr command. Control files can support the format of Unicode Consortium mapping tables (two columns of numbers representing input character and output character, no ranges, # comments).
  • Store FIGlet fonts and control files in compressed form using the zip utility.
  • Many layout modes are available.
  • Set the output width if the default 80 columns is unsuitable.
  • Integrated support for non-ASCII character sets.
  • Supports single-byte (default), double-byte, HZ, Shift-JIS, and Unicode UTF-8 encodings of the input.
  • Supports Sam Hocevar’s TOIlet TLF fonts containing UTF-8 encoded Unicode characters.

There’s a GitHub repository of Figlet to the Go programming language.

Support: FAQ, GitHub
Developer: Glenn Chappell, Ian Chai, and later contributors
License: New BSD License


FIGlet is written in C. Learn C with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

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