(New in v1.16.18) This class represents a font as defined in MuPDF (fz_font_s structure). It is required for the new class TextWriter and the new Page.write_text(). Currently, it has no connection to how fonts are used in methods Page.insert_text() or Page.insert_textbox(), respectively.

A Font object also contains useful general information, like the font bbox, the number of defined glyphs, glyph names or the bbox of a single glyph.

Method / Attribute Short Description
glyph_advance() Width of a character
glyph_bbox() Glyph rectangle
glyph_name_to_unicode() Get unicode from glyph name
has_glyph() Return glyph id of unicode
text_length() Compute string length
char_lengths() Tuple of char widths of a string
unicode_to_glyph_name() Get glyph name of a unicode
valid_codepoints() Array of supported unicodes
ascender Font ascender
descender Font descender
bbox Font rectangle
buffer Copy of the font’s binary image
flags Collection of font properties
glyph_count Number of supported glyphs
name Name of font
is_writable Font usable with TextWriter

Class API

class Font
__init__(self, fontname=None, fontfile=None,
fontbuffer=None, script=0, language=None, ordering=-1, is_bold=0,
is_italic=0, is_serif=0)

Font constructor. The large number of parameters are used to locate font, which most closely resembles the requirements. Not all parameters are ever required – see the below pseudo code explaining the logic how the parameters are evaluated.

  • fontname (str) –

    one of the PDF Base 14 Fonts or CJK fontnames. Also possible are a select few other names like (watch the correct spelling): “Arial”, “Times”, “Times Roman”.

    (Changed in v1.17.5)

    If you have installed pymupdf-fonts, there are also new “reserved” fontnames available, which are listed in fitz_fonts and in the table further down.

  • fontfile (str) – the filename of a fontfile somewhere on your system [1].
  • fontbuffer (bytes,bytearray,io.BytesIO) – a fontfile loaded in memory [1].
  • script (in) – the number of a UCDN script. Currently supported in PyMuPDF are numbers 24, and 32 through 35.
  • language (str) – one of the values “zh-Hant” (traditional Chinese), “zh-Hans” (simplified Chinese), “ja” (Japanese) and “ko” (Korean). Otherwise, all ISO 639 codes from the subsets 1, 2, 3 and 5 are also possible, but are currently documentary only.
  • ordering (int) – an alternative selector for one of the CJK fonts.
  • is_bold (bool) – look for a bold font.
  • is_italic (bool) – look for an italic font.
  • is_serif (bool) – look for a serifed font.

a MuPDF font if successful. This is the overall sequence of checks to determine an appropriate font:

Argument Action
fontfile? Create font from file, exception if failure.
fontbuffer? Create font from buffer, exception if failure.
ordering>=0 Create universal font, always succeeds.
fontname? Create a Base-14 font, universal font, or font provided by pymupdf-fonts. See table below.


With the usual reserved names “helv”, “tiro”, etc., you will create fonts with the expected names “Helvetica”, “Times-Roman” and so on. However, and in contrast to Page.insert_font() and friends,

  • a font file will always be embedded in your PDF,
  • Greek and Cyrillic characters are supported without needing the encoding parameter.

Using ordering >= 0, or fontnames “cjk”, “china-t”, “china-s”, “japan” or “korea” will always create the same “universal” font “Droid Sans Fallback Regular”. This font supports all Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Latin characters, including Greek and Cyrillic. This is a sans-serif font.

Actually, you would rarely ever need another sans-serif font than “Droid Sans Fallback Regular”. Except that this font file is relatively large and adds about 1.65 MB (compressed) to your PDF file size. If you do not need CJK support, stick with specifying “helv”, “tiro” etc., and you will get away with about 35 KB compressed.

If you know you have a mixture of CJK and Latin text, consider just using Font("cjk") because this supports everything and also significantly (by a factor of up to three) speeds up execution: MuPDF will always find any character in this single font and never needs to check fallbacks.

But if you do use some other font, you will still automatically be able to also write CJK characters: MuPDF detects this situation and silently falls back to the universal font (which will then of course also be embedded in your PDF).

(New in v1.17.5) Optionally, some new “reserved” fontname codes become available if you install pymupdf-fonts, pip install pymupdf-fonts. “Fira Mono” is a mono-spaced sans font set and FiraGO is another non-serifed “universal” font set which supports all Latin (including Cyrillic and Greek) plus Thai, Arabian, Hewbrew and Devanagari – but none of the CJK languages. The size of a FiraGO font is only a quarter of the “Droid Sans Fallback” size (compressed 400 KB vs. 1.65 MB) – and it provides the weights bold, italic, bold-italic – which the universal font doesn’t.

“Space Mono” is another nice and small mono-spaced font from Google Fonts, which supports Latin Extended characters and comes with all 4 important weights.

The following table maps a fontname code to the corresponding font. For the current content of the package please see its documentation:

Code Fontname New in Comment
figo FiraGO Regular v1.0.0 narrower than Helvetica
figbo FiraGO Bold v1.0.0  
figit FiraGO Italic v1.0.0  
figbi FiraGO Bold Italic v1.0.0  
fimo Fira Mono Regular v1.0.0  
fimbo Fira Mono Bold v1.0.0  
spacemo Space Mono Regular v1.0.1  
spacembo Space Mono Bold v1.0.1  
spacemit Space Mono Italic v1.0.1  
spacembi Space Mono Bold-Italic v1.0.1  
math Noto Sans Math Regular v1.0.2 math symbols
music Noto Music Regular v1.0.2 musical symbols
symbol1 Noto Sans Symbols Regular v1.0.2 replacement for “symb”
symbol2 Noto Sans Symbols2 Regular v1.0.2 extended symbol set
notos Noto Sans Regular v1.0.3 alternative to Helvetica
notosit Noto Sans Italic v1.0.3  
notosbo Noto Sans Bold v1.0.3  
notosbi Noto Sans BoldItalic v1.0.3  
has_glyph(chr, language=None, script=0, fallback=False)

Check whether the unicode chr exists in the font or (option) some fallback font. May be used to check whether any “TOFU” symbols will appear on output.

  • chr (int) – the unicode of the character (i.e. ord()).
  • language (str) – the language – currently unused.
  • script (int) – the UCDN script number.
  • fallback (bool) – (new in v1.17.5) perform an extended search in fallback fonts or restrict to current font (default).

(changed in 1.17.7) the glyph number. Zero indicates no glyph found.


(New in v1.17.5)

Return an array of unicodes supported by this font.

Returns:an array.array [2] of length at most Font.glyph_count. I.e. chr() of every item in this array has a glyph in the font without using fallbacks. This is an example display of the supported glyphs:
>>> import fitz
>>> font = fitz.Font("math")
>>> vuc = font.valid_codepoints()
>>> for i in vuc:
      print("%04X %s (%s)" % (i, chr(i), font.unicode_to_glyph_name(i)))
000D   (CR)
0020   (space)
0021 ! (exclam)
0022 " (quotedbl)
0023 # (numbersign)
0024 $ (dollar)
0025 % (percent)
00AC ¬ (logicalnot)
00B1 ± (plusminus)
21D0 ⇐ (arrowdblleft)
21D1 ⇑ (arrowdblup)
21D2 ⇒ (arrowdblright)
21D3 ⇓ (arrowdbldown)
21D4 ⇔ (arrowdblboth)
221E ∞ (infinity)


This method only returns meaningful data for fonts having a CMAP (character map, charmap, the /ToUnicode PDF key). Otherwise, this array will have length 1 and contain zero only.

glyph_advance(chr, language=None, script=0, wmode=0)

Calculate the “width” of the character’s glyph (visual representation).

  • chr (int) – the unicode number of the character. Use ord(), not the character itself. Again, this should normally work even if a character is not supported by that font, because fallback fonts will be checked where necessary.
  • wmode (int) – write mode, 0 = horizontal, 1 = vertical.

The other parameters are not in use currently.

Returns:a float representing the glyph’s width relative to fontsize 1.

Return the unicode value for a given glyph name. Use it in conjunction with chr() if you want to output e.g. a certain symbol.

Parameters:name (str) – The name of the glyph.
Returns:The unicode integer, or 65533 = 0xFFFD if the name is unknown. Examples: font.glyph_name_to_unicode("Sigma") = 931, font.glyph_name_to_unicode("sigma") = 963. Refer to the Adobe Glyph List publication for a list of glyph names and their unicode numbers. Example:
>>> font = fitz.Font("helv")
>>> font.has_glyph(font.glyph_name_to_unicode("infinity"))
glyph_bbox(chr, language=None, script=0)

The glyph rectangle relative to fontsize 1.

Parameters:chr (int) – ord() of the character.
Returns:a Rect.

Show the name of the character’s glyph.

Parameters:ch (int) – the unicode number of the character. Use ord(), not the character itself.
Returns:a string representing the glyph’s name. E.g. font.glyph_name(ord("#")) = "numbersign". For an invalid code “.notfound” is returned.


(Changed in v1.18.0) This method and Font.glyph_name_to_unicode() no longer depend on a font and instead retrieve information from the Adobe Glyph List. Also available as fitz.unicode_to_glyph_name() and resp. fitz.glyph_name_to_unicode().

text_length(text, fontsize=11)

Calculate the length in points of a unicode string.


There is a functional overlap with get_text_length() for Base-14 fonts only.

  • text (str) – a text string, UTF-8 encoded.
  • fontsize (float) – the fontsize.
Return type:



the length of the string in points when stored in the PDF. If a character is not contained in the font, it will automatically be looked up in a fallback font.


This method was originally implemented in Python, based on calling Font.glyph_advance(). For performance reasons, it has been rewritten in C for v1.18.14. To compute the width of a single character, you can now use either of the following without performance penalty:

  1. font.glyph_advance(ord("Ä")) * fontsize
  2. font.text_length("Ä", fontsize=fontsize)

For multi-character strings, the method offers a huge performance advantage compared to the previous implementation: instead of about 0.5 microseconds for each character, only 12.5 nanoseconds are required for the second and subsequent ones.

char_lengths(text, fontsize=11)

New in v1.18.14

Sequence of character lengths in points of a unicode string.

  • text (str) – a text string, UTF-8 encoded.
  • fontsize (float) – the fontsize.
Return type:



the lengths in points of the characters of a string when stored in the PDF. It works like Font.text_length() broken down to single characters. This is a high speed method, used e.g. in TextWriter.fill_textbox(). The following is true (allowing rounding errors): font.text_length(text) == sum(font.char_lengths(text)).

>>> font = fitz.Font("helv")
>>> text = "PyMuPDF"
>>> font.text_length(text)
>>> fitz.get_text_length(text, fontname="helv")
>>> sum(font.char_lengths(text))
>>> pprint(font.char_lengths(text))
(7.336999952793121,  # P
5.5,                 # y
9.163000047206879,   # M
6.115999937057495,   # u
7.336999952793121,   # P
7.942000031471252,   # D
6.721000015735626)   # F


(New in v1.17.6)

Copy of the binary font file content.

Return type:bytes

A dictionary with various font properties, each represented as bools. Example for Helvetica:

>>> pprint(font.flags)
{'bold': 0,
'fake-bold': 0,
'fake-italic': 0,
'invalid-bbox': 0,
'italic': 0,
'mono': 0,
'opentype': 0,
'serif': 1,
'stretch': 0,
'substitute': 0}
Return type:dict
Return type:str

Name of the font. May be “” or “(null)”.


The font bbox. This is the maximum of its glyph bboxes.

Return type:Rect
Return type:int

The number of glyphs defined in the font.


(New in v1.18.0)

The ascender value of the font, see here for details. Please note that there is a difference to the strict definition: our value includes everything above the baseline – not just the height difference between upper case “A” and and lower case “a”.

Return type:float

(New in v1.18.0)

The descender value of the font, see here for details. This value always is negative and is the portion that some glyphs descend below the base line, for example “g” or “y”. As a consequence, the value ascender - descender is the total height, that every glyph of the font fits into. This is true at least for most fonts – as always, there are exceptions, especially for calligraphic fonts, etc.

Return type:float

(New in v1.18.0)

Indicates whether this font can be used with TextWriter.

Return type:bool


[1](1, 2) MuPDF does not support all fontfiles with this feature and will raise exceptions like “mupdf: FT_New_Memory_Face((null)): unknown file format”, if it encounters issues. The TextWriter methods check Font.is_writable.
[2]The built-in module array has been chosen for its speed and its compact representation of values.