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AG. X Options and Resources


You can customize some X-related aspects of Emacs behavior using X resources, as is usual for programs that use X. On MS-Windows, you can customize some of the same aspects using the system registry. @xref{MS-Windows Registry}. X resources are the only way to customize tooltip windows and LessTif menus, since the libraries that implement them don't provide for customization through Emacs. This appendix describes the X resources that Emacs recognizes and how to use them.

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AG.1 X Resources


Programs running under the X Window System organize their user options under a hierarchy of classes and resources. You can specify default values for these options in your X resources file, usually named `~/.Xdefaults' or `~/.Xresources'. If changes in `~/.Xdefaults' do not take effect, it is because your X server stores its own list of resources; to update them, use the shell command xrdb---for instance, `xrdb ~/.Xdefaults'.

Each line in the file specifies a value for one option or for a collection of related options, for one program or for several programs (optionally even for all programs).

MS-Windows systems don't support `~/.Xdefaults' files, but Emacs compiled for Windows looks for X resources in the Windows Registry, under the key `HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\GNU\Emacs' and then under the key `HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\GNU\Emacs'. The menu and scrollbars are native widgets on MS-Windows, so they are only customizable via the system-wide settings in the Display Control Panel.

Programs define named resources with particular meanings. They also define how to group resources into named classes. For instance, in Emacs, the `internalBorder' resource controls the width of the internal border, and the `borderWidth' resource controls the width of the external border. Both of these resources are part of the `BorderWidth' class. Case distinctions are significant in these names.

In `~/.Xdefaults', you can specify a value for a single resource on one line, like this:

emacs.borderWidth: 2

Or you can use a class name to specify the same value for all resources in that class. Here's an example:

emacs.BorderWidth: 2

If you specify a value for a class, it becomes the default for all resources in that class. You can specify values for individual resources as well; these override the class value, for those particular resources. Thus, this example specifies 2 as the default width for all borders, but overrides this value with 4 for the external border:

emacs.BorderWidth: 2
emacs.borderWidth: 4

The order in which the lines appear in the file does not matter. Also, command-line options always override the X resources file.

The string `emacs' in the examples above is also a resource name. It actually represents the name of the executable file that you invoke to run Emacs. If Emacs is installed under a different name, it looks for resources under that name instead of `emacs'.

`-name name'
Use name as the resource name (and the title) for the initial Emacs frame. This option does not affect subsequent frames, but Lisp programs can specify frame names when they create frames.

If you don't specify this option, the default is to use the Emacs executable's name as the resource name.

`-xrm resource-values'
Specify X resource values for this Emacs job (see below).

For consistency, `-name' also specifies the name to use for other resource values that do not belong to any particular frame.

The resources that name Emacs invocations also belong to a class; its name is `Emacs'. If you write `Emacs' instead of `emacs', the resource applies to all frames in all Emacs jobs, regardless of frame titles and regardless of the name of the executable file. Here is an example:

Emacs.BorderWidth: 2
Emacs.borderWidth: 4

You can specify a string of additional resource values for Emacs to use with the command line option `-xrm resources'. The text resources should have the same format that you would use inside a file of X resources. To include multiple resource specifications in resources, put a newline between them, just as you would in a file. You can also use `#include "filename"' to include a file full of resource specifications. Resource values specified with `-xrm' take precedence over all other resource specifications.

One way to experiment with the effect of different resource settings is to use the editres program. Select `Get Tree' from the `Commands' menu, then click on an Emacs frame. This will display a tree showing the structure of X toolkit widgets used in an Emacs frame. Select one of them, such as `menubar', then select `Show Resource Box' from the `Commands' menu. This displays a list of all the meaningful X resources and allows you to edit them. Changes take effect immediately if you click on the `Apply' button. (See the editres man page for more details.)

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AG.2 Table of X Resources for Emacs


This table lists the resource names that designate options for Emacs, not counting those for the appearance of the menu bar, each with the class that it belongs to:

background (class Background)
Background color name.

bitmapIcon (class BitmapIcon)
Use a bitmap icon (a picture of a gnu) if `on', let the window manager choose an icon if `off'.

borderColor (class BorderColor)
Color name for the external border.

borderWidth (class BorderWidth)
Width in pixels of the external border.

cursorColor (class Foreground)
Color name for text cursor (point).

font (class Font)
Font name for text (or fontset name, see 節 R.10 フォントセット).

foreground (class Foreground)
Color name for text.

geometry (class Geometry)
Window size and position. Be careful not to specify this resource as `emacs*geometry', because that may affect individual menus as well as the Emacs frame itself.

If this resource specifies a position, that position applies only to the initial Emacs frame (or, in the case of a resource for a specific frame name, only that frame). However, the size, if specified here, applies to all frames.

fullscreen (class Fullscreen)
The desired fullscreen size. The value can be one of fullboth, fullwidth or fullheight, which correspond to the command-line options `-fs', `-fw', and `-fh' (see 節 AF.9 ウィンドウジオメトリオプション).

Note that this applies to all frames created, not just the initial one.

iconName (class Title)
Name to display in the icon.

internalBorder (class BorderWidth)
Width in pixels of the internal border.

lineSpacing (class LineSpacing)
Additional space (leading) between lines, in pixels.

menuBar (class MenuBar)
Give frames menu bars if `on'; don't have menu bars if `off'. See 節 AG.4 LucidメニューのXリソース, and AG.5 LessTif Menu X Resources, for how to control the appearance of the menu bar if you have one.

minibuffer (class Minibuffer)
If `none', don't make a minibuffer in this frame. It will use a separate minibuffer frame instead.

paneFont (class Font)
Font name for menu pane titles, in non-toolkit versions of Emacs.

pointerColor (class Foreground)
Color of the mouse cursor.

privateColormap (class PrivateColormap)
If `on', use a private color map, in the case where the "default visual" of class PseudoColor and Emacs is using it.

reverseVideo (class ReverseVideo)
Switch foreground and background default colors if `on', use colors as specified if `off'.

screenGamma (class ScreenGamma)
Gamma correction for colors, equivalent to the frame parameter screen-gamma.

selectionFont (class SelectionFont)
Font name for pop-up menu items, in non-toolkit versions of Emacs. (For toolkit versions, see AG.4 LucidメニューのXリソース, also see AG.5 LessTif Menu X Resources.)

selectionTimeout (class SelectionTimeout)
Number of milliseconds to wait for a selection reply. If the selection owner doesn't reply in this time, we give up. A value of 0 means wait as long as necessary.

synchronous (class Synchronous)
Run Emacs in synchronous mode if `on'. Synchronous mode is useful for debugging X problems.

title (class Title)
Name to display in the title bar of the initial Emacs frame.

toolBar (class ToolBar)
Number of lines to reserve for the tool bar. A zero value suppresses the tool bar. If the value is non-zero and auto-resize-tool-bars is non-nil, the tool bar's size will be changed automatically so that all tool bar items are visible.

useXIM (class UseXIM)
Turn off use of X input methods (XIM) if `false' or `off'. This is only relevant if your Emacs is actually built with XIM support. It is potentially useful to turn off XIM for efficiency, especially slow X client/server links.

verticalScrollBars (class ScrollBars)
Give frames scroll bars if `on'; don't have scroll bars if `off'.

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AG.3 X Resources for Faces


You can also use resources to customize the appearance of particular faces (see 節 Q.13 複数タイプフェイスの利用):

Font for face face.
Foreground color for face face.
Background color for face face.
Underline flag for face face. Use `on' or `true' for yes.
Font family for face face.
Relative proportional width of the font to use for face face. It should be one of ultra-condensed, extra-condensed, condensed, semi-condensed, normal, semi-expanded, expanded, extra-expanded, or ultra-expanded.
Height of the font to use for face face: either an integer specifying the height in units of 1/10pt, or a floating point number that specifies a scale factor to scale the underlying face's default font, or a function to be called with the default height which will return a new height.
A weight to use for the face face. It must be one of ultra-bold, extra-bold, bold, semi-bold, normal, semi-light, light, extra-light, ultra-light.
The slant to use for the font of face face. It must be one of italic, oblique, normal, reverse-italic, or reverse-oblique.
Whether the face face should be drawn with a line striking through the characters.
Whether the characters in the face face should be overlined.
Whether to draw a box around the characters in face face.
Whether to display the characters in face face in inverse video.
The name of a pixmap data file to use for the stipple pattern, or false to not use stipple for the face face.
The background pixmap for the face face. Should be a name of a pixmap file or false.
Whether to draw the characters in the face face as bold.
Whether to draw the characters in the face face as italic.

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AG.4 LucidメニューのXリソース


Lucidメニューウィジェットを含めたXツールキットを使う Emacsがインストールされている場合には、 メニューバーは別のウィジェットであり独自のリソースを持ちます。 リソース名には (Emacsの起動名かすべてのEmacsの起動を意味する`Emacs'に続けて) `pane.menubar'が含まれます。 これらはつぎのように指定します。

Emacs.pane.menubar.resource:  value

たとえば、メニューバーの項目に`8x16'フォントを指定するには、 つぎのように書きます。

Emacs.pane.menubar.font:  8x16

メニューバーを使わないツールキットのポップアップメニューの項目の リソースには、同様に、`menu*'があります。 たとえば、ポップアップメニューに`8x16'のフォントを指定するには、 つぎのように書きます。

Emacs.menu*.font:      8x16

対話ボックスのフォントを指定するには、 `menu'のかわりに`dialog'を使ってつぎのように書きます。

Emacs.dialog*.font:    8x16

経験によれば、`pane.menubar'や`menu*'のまえに `shell.'を付ける必要があるシステムもあります。 他のシステムでは`shell.'を付加してはいけません。


項目間の横方向のピクセル単位の間隔。 デフォルトは3。
項目間の縦方向のピクセル単位の間隔。 デフォルトは1。
(サブメニューを表す)矢印と それに関連したテキストとの横方向のピクセル単位の間隔。 デフォルトは10。

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AG.5 LessTif Menu X Resources


If the Emacs installed at your site was built to use the X toolkit with the LessTif or Motif widgets, then the menu bar, the dialog boxes, the pop-up menus, and the file-selection box are separate widgets and have their own resources.

The resource names for the menu bar contain `pane.menubar' (following, as always, the name of the Emacs invocation, or `Emacs', which stands for all Emacs invocations). Specify them like this:

Emacs.pane.menubar.subwidget.resource:  value

Each individual string in the menu bar is a subwidget; the subwidget's name is the same as the menu item string. For example, the word `File' in the menu bar is part of a subwidget named `emacs.pane.menubar.File'. Most likely, you want to specify the same resources for the whole menu bar. To do this, use `*' instead of a specific subwidget name. For example, to specify the font `8x16' for the menu-bar items, write this:

Emacs.pane.menubar.*.fontList:  8x16

This also specifies the resource value for submenus.

Each item in a submenu in the menu bar also has its own name for X resources; for example, the `File' submenu has an item named `Save (current buffer)'. A resource specification for a submenu item looks like this:

Emacs.pane.menubar.popup_*.menu.item.resource: value

For example, here's how to specify the font for the `Save (current buffer)' item:

Emacs.pane.menubar.popup_*.File.Save (current buffer).fontList: 8x16

For an item in a second-level submenu, such as `Complete Word' under `Spell Checking' under `Tools', the resource fits this template:

Emacs.pane.menubar.popup_*.popup_*.menu.resource: value

For example,

Emacs.pane.menubar.popup_*.popup_*.Spell Checking.Complete Word: value

(This should be one long line.)

It's impossible to specify a resource for all the menu-bar items without also specifying it for the submenus as well. So if you want the submenu items to look different from the menu bar itself, you must ask for that in two steps. First, specify the resource for all of them; then, override the value for submenus alone. Here is an example:

Emacs.pane.menubar.*.fontList:  8x16
Emacs.pane.menubar.popup_*.fontList: 8x16

For LessTif pop-up menus, use `menu*' instead of `pane.menubar'. For example, to specify the font `8x16' for the pop-up menu items, write this:

Emacs.menu*.fontList:  8x16

For LessTif dialog boxes, use `dialog' instead of `menu':

Emacs.dialog*.fontList: 8x16
Emacs.dialog*.foreground: hotpink

To specify resources for the LessTif file-selection box, use `fsb*', like this:

Emacs.fsb*.fontList: 8x16

Here is a list of the specific resources for LessTif menu bars and pop-up menus:

The color to show in an armed button.
The font to use.
Amount of space to leave around the item, within the border.
The width of the border around the menu item, on all sides.
The width of the border shadow.
The color for the border shadow, on the bottom and the right.
The color for the border shadow, on the top and the left.

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AG.6 GTK resources


If the Emacs installed at your site was built to use the GTK widget set, then the menu bar, scroll bar and the dialogs can be customized with the standard GTK `~/.gtkrc-2.0' file or with the Emacs specific `~/.emacs.d/gtkrc' file; note that these files are only for customizing specific GTK widget features. To customize Emacs font, background, faces etc., use the normal X resources, see AG.1 X Resources.

Some GTK themes override these mechanisms, which means that using these mechanisms will not work to customize them. We recommend that you use `~/.emacs.d/gtkrc' for customizations, since `~/.gtkrc-2.0' seems to be ignored when running GConf with GNOME.

In these files you first defines a style and then how to apply that style to widgets (see 節 AG.6.1 GTK widget names). Here is an example of how to change the font for Emacs menus:

# This is a comment.
style "menufont"
  font_name = "helvetica bold 14"  # This is a Pango font name

widget "*emacs-menuitem*" style "menufont"

Here is a more elaborate example, showing how to change the parts of the scroll bar:

style "scroll"
  fg[NORMAL] = "red"     # The arrow color.
  bg[NORMAL] = "yellow"  # The thumb and background around the arrow.
  bg[ACTIVE] = "blue"    # The trough color.
  bg[PRELIGHT] = "white" # The thumb color when the mouse is over it.

widget "*verticalScrollBar*" style "scroll"

There are some things you can set without using any style or widget name, which affect GTK as a whole. Most of these are poorly documented, but can be found in the `Properties' section of the documentation page for GtkSetting, in the GTK document references below.

One property of interest is gtk-font-name which sets the default font for GTK; you must use Pango font names (see 節 AG.6.3 GTK styles). A `~/.gtkrc-2.0' file that just sets a default font looks like this:

gtk-font-name = "courier 12"

If GTK at your site is installed under prefix, the resource file syntax is fully described in the GTK API document `prefix/share/gtk-doc/html/gtk/gtk-resource-files.html'. prefix is usually `/usr' or `/usr/local'. You can find the same document online at http://developer.gnome.org/doc/API/2.0/gtk/gtk-Resource-Files.html.

AG.6.1 GTK widget names    How widgets in GTK are named in general.
AG.6.2 GTK names in Emacs    GTK widget names in Emacs.
AG.6.3 GTK styles    What can be customized in a GTK widget.

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AG.6.1 GTK widget names


Widgets are specified by widget class or by widget name. The widget class is the type of the widget, for example GtkMenuBar. The widget name is the name given to a specific widget within a program. A widget always have a class but it is not mandatory to give a name to a widget. Absolute names are sequences of widget names or widget classes, corresponding to hierarchies of widgets embedded within other widgets. For example, if a GtkWindow contains a GtkVBox which in turn contains a GtkMenuBar, the absolute class name is GtkWindow.GtkVBox.GtkMenuBar.

If the widgets are named "top", "box" and "menubar", the absolute widget name is top.box.menubar,

When assigning a style to a widget, you can use the absolute class name or the absolute widget name. There are two commands: widget_class will assign a style to widgets, matching only against the absolute class name. The command widget will match the absolute widget name, but if there is no name for a widget in the hierarchy, the class is matched. These commands require the absolute name and the style name to be within double quotes. These commands are written at the top level in a `~/.gtkrc-2.0' file, like this:

style "menufont"
  font_name = "helvetica bold 14"

widget "top.box.menubar" style "menufont"
widget_class "GtkWindow.GtkVBox.GtkMenuBar" style "menufont"

Matching of absolute names is done with shell "glob" syntax, that is `*' matches zero or more characters and `?' matches one character. So the following would assign base_style to all widgets:

widget "*" style "base_style"

Given the absolute class name GtkWindow.GtkVBox.GtkMenuBar and the corresponding absolute widget name top.box.menubar, the following all assign my_style to the menu bar:

widget_class "GtkWindow.GtkVBox.GtkMenuBar" style "my_style"
widget_class "GtkWindow.*.GtkMenuBar" style "my_style"
widget_class "*GtkMenuBar" style "my_style"
widget "top.box.menubar" style "my_style"
widget "*box*menubar" style "my_style"
widget "*menubar" style "my_style"
widget "*menu*" style "my_style"

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AG.6.2 GTK names in Emacs


In Emacs the top level widget for a frame is a GtkWindow that contains a GtkVBox. The GtkVBox contains the GtkMenuBar and a GtkFixed widget. The vertical scroll bars, GtkVScrollbar, are contained in the GtkFixed widget. The text you write in Emacs is drawn in the GtkFixed widget.

Dialogs in Emacs are GtkDialog widgets. The file dialog is a GtkFileSelection widget.

To set a style for the menu bar using the absolute class name, use:

widget_class "GtkWindow.GtkVBox.GtkMenuBar" style "my_style"

For the scroll bar, the absolute class name is:

     style "my_style"

The names for the emacs widgets, and their classes, are:

emacs-filedialog GtkFileSelection
emacs-dialog GtkDialog
Emacs GtkWindow
pane GtkVHbox
emacs GtkFixed
verticalScrollBar GtkVScrollbar
emacs-toolbar GtkToolbar
menubar GtkMenuBar
emacs-menuitem anything in menus

Thus, for Emacs you can write the two examples above as:

widget "Emacs.pane.menubar" style "my_style"
widget "Emacs.pane.emacs.verticalScrollBar" style "my_style"

GTK absolute names are quite strange when it comes to menus and dialogs. The names do not start with `Emacs', as they are free-standing windows and not contained (in the GTK sense) by the Emacs GtkWindow. To customize the dialogs and menus, use wildcards like this:

widget "*emacs-dialog*" style "my_dialog_style"
widget "*emacs-filedialog* style "my_file_style"
widget "*emacs-menuitem* style "my_menu_style"

An alternative is to put customization into `~/.emacs.d/gtkrc'. This file is only read by Emacs, so anything in `~/.emacs.d/gtkrc' affects Emacs but leaves other applications unaffected. For example, the drop down menu in the file dialog can not be customized by any absolute widget name, only by an absolute class name. This is so because the widgets in the drop down menu does not have names and the menu is not contained in the Emacs GtkWindow. To have all menus in Emacs look the same, use this in `~/.emacs.d/gtkrc':

widget_class "*Menu*" style "my_menu_style"

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AG.6.3 GTK styles


In a GTK style you specify the appearance widgets shall have. You can specify foreground and background color, background pixmap and font. The edit widget (where you edit the text) in Emacs is a GTK widget, but trying to specify a style for the edit widget will have no effect. This is so that Emacs compiled for GTK is compatible with Emacs compiled for other X toolkits. The settings for foreground, background and font for the edit widget is taken from the X resources; see 節 AG.1 X Resources. Here is an example of two style declarations, "default" and "ruler":


pixmap_path "/usr/share/pixmaps:/usr/include/X11/pixmaps"

style "default"
  font_name = "helvetica 12"

  bg[NORMAL] = { 0.83, 0.80, 0.73 }
  bg[SELECTED] = { 0.0, 0.55, 0.55 }
  bg[INSENSITIVE] = { 0.77, 0.77, 0.66 }
  bg[ACTIVE] = { 0.0, 0.55, 0.55 }
  bg[PRELIGHT] = { 0.0, 0.55, 0.55 }

  fg[NORMAL] = "black"
  fg[SELECTED] = { 0.9, 0.9, 0.9 }
  fg[ACTIVE] = "black"
  fg[PRELIGHT] = { 0.9, 0.9, 0.9 }

  base[INSENSITIVE] = "#777766"
  text[INSENSITIVE] = { 0.60, 0.65, 0.57 }

  bg_pixmap[NORMAL] = "background.xpm"
  bg_pixmap[INSENSITIVE] = "background.xpm"
  bg_pixmap[ACTIVE] = "background.xpm"
  bg_pixmap[PRELIGHT] = ""


style "ruler" = "default"
  font_name = "helvetica 8"

The style "ruler" inherits from "default". This way you can build on existing styles. The syntax for fonts and colors is described below.

As this example shows, it is possible to specify several values for foreground and background depending on which state the widget has. The possible states are

This is the default state for widgets.
This is the state for a widget that is ready to do something. It is also for the trough of a scroll bar, i.e. bg[ACTIVE] = "red" sets the scroll bar trough to red. Buttons that have been pressed but not released yet ("armed") are in this state.
This is the state when widgets that can be manipulated have the mouse pointer over them. For example when the mouse is over the thumb in the scroll bar or over a menu item. When the mouse is over a button that is not pressed, the button is in this state.
This is the state when some data has been selected by the user. It can be selected text or items selected in a list. There is no place in Emacs where this setting has any effect.
This is the state for widgets that are visible, but they can not be manipulated like they normally can. For example, buttons that can't be pressed and menu items that can't be selected. Text for menu items that are not available can be set to yellow with fg[INSENSITIVE] = "yellow".

Here are the things that can go in a style declaration:

bg[state] = color
This is the background color widgets use. This background is not used for editable text, use base for that.

base[state] = color
This is the background color for editable text. In Emacs, this color is used for the background of the text fields in the file dialog.

bg_pixmap[state] = "pixmap"
You can specify a pixmap to be used instead of the background color. pixmap is a file name. GTK can use a number of file formats, including XPM, XBM, GIF, JPEG and PNG. If you want a widget to use the same pixmap as its parent, use `'. If you don't want any pixmap use `'. Using `' can be useful if your style inherits a style that does specify a pixmap.

GTK looks for the pixmap in directories specified in pixmap_path. It is not possible to refer to a file by its absolute path name. pixmap_path is a colon-separated list of directories within double quotes, specified at the top level in a `gtkrc' file (i.e. not inside a style definition; see example above):

pixmap_path "/usr/share/pixmaps:/usr/include/X11/pixmaps"

fg[state] = color
This is the foreground color widgets use. This is the color of text in menus and buttons. It is also the color for the arrows in the scroll bar. For editable text, use text.

text[state] = color
This is the color for editable text. In Emacs, this color is used for the text fields in the file dialog.

font_name = "font"
This is the font a widget shall use. font is a Pango font name, for example "Sans Italic 10", "Helvetica Bold 12", "Courier 14", "Times 18". See below for exact syntax. The names are case insensitive.

Colors are specified in three ways, a name, a hexadecimal form or an RGB triplet.

A color name is written within double quotes, for example "red".

A hexadecimal form is written within double quotes. There are four forms, #rrrrggggbbbb, #rrrgggbbb, #rrggbb, or #rgb. In each of these r, g and b are hex digits.

An RGB triplet looks like { r, g, b }, where r, g and b are either integers in the range 0-65535 or floats in the range 0.0-1.0.

Pango font names have the form "family-list style-options size". family-list is a comma separated list of font families optionally terminated by a comma. This way you can specify several families and the first one found will be used. family corresponds to the second part in an X font name, for example in


the family name is "times".

style-options is a whitespace separated list of words where each word is a style, variant, weight, or stretch. The default value for all of these is normal.

A `style' corresponds to the fourth part of an X font name. In X font names it is the character "r", "i" or "o"; in Pango font names the corresponding values are normal, italic, or oblique.

A `variant' is either normal or small-caps. Small caps is a font with the lower case characters replaced by smaller variants of the capital characters.

Weight describes the "boldness" of a font. It corresponds to the third part of an X font name. It is one of ultra-light, light, normal, bold, ultra-bold, or heavy.

Stretch gives the width of the font relative to other designs within a family. It corresponds to the fifth part of an X font name. It is one of ultra-condensed, extra-condensed, condensed, semi-condensed, normal, semi-expanded, expanded, extra-expanded, or ultra-expanded.

size is a decimal number that describes the font size in points.

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