Tgif (program)

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Tgif Screenshot.png
Screenshot of Tgif 2.4.5 on Ubuntu 12.04
Original author(s) William Chia-Wei Cheng
Stable release
4.2.5 / June 28, 2011; 5 years ago (2011-06-28)[1]
Written in C
Operating system Linux, RISC OS, FreeBSD, NetBSD, Debian, SunOS
Available in 2 languages
Type Graphics software
License QPL

Tgif (pronounced t-g-i-f) is an Xlib based interactive 2-D drawing tool under X11 for Unix, available on Linux and most Unix and Unix-like platforms. It was developed since 1990 and is free software released under the QPL license.


Because Tgif was developed long before a standard way for drawing programs to work, one might find it unfamiliar to use in a number of ways:

  • Although it might mention point sizes, it uses a unit that is 1/128 of an inch for point sizes. There is an option to display font sizes in points, the sizes are still subject to rounding to the nearest 1/128".
  • Unlike modern drawing programs, Tgif uses spline curves instead of Bézier curves.
  • Colour is not selected from a colour wheel or through controls that allows one to adjust colour values; instead, there is a named list with a short list of colours. To use a colour that is not in the list, one needs to add the colour to the list. This list gets saved with the drawing.
  • Fonts that can be used are listed in a configuration file. To use fonts that are not on the list, one has to change the configuration file.
  • Only fonts in the ISO 8859-1 encoding, “square” CJK fonts, and symbol or dingbat fonts can be used.
  • Rescaling can lead to ugly artifacts, which is probably due to the use of integer coordinates and roundoff errors.
  • In addition, because Tgif uses Xlib, which predated modern Unicode support, Tgif does not support Unicode in any form.

The Tgif file format[edit]

Tgif saves its drawings in a Prolog-based[2] plain text file format. Partly because it is based on Prolog,[citation needed] there is little support from other programs for reading the Tgif file format.

Fonts are represented as PostScript font names. Originally, it was possible to print Tgif drawings in batch mode without using a X display; however, this changed somewhere in the 4.1 versions. Currently, printing drawings requires running Tgif on an X display unless the drawing only uses Times Roman, Helvetica, Courier, and Symbol fonts.


  1. ^ "Sourceforge". Retrieved 19 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Tgif FAQ - Tgif File Format,

External links[edit]