PHPKonf: Istanbul PHP Conference 2017


(PHP 4, PHP 5, PHP 7)

imageloadfontLoad a new font


int imageloadfont ( string $file )

imageloadfont() loads a user-defined bitmap and returns its identifier.



The font file format is currently binary and architecture dependent. This means you should generate the font files on the same type of CPU as the machine you are running PHP on.

Font file format
byte position C data type description
byte 0-3 int number of characters in the font
byte 4-7 int value of first character in the font (often 32 for space)
byte 8-11 int pixel width of each character
byte 12-15 int pixel height of each character
byte 16- char array with character data, one byte per pixel in each character, for a total of (nchars*width*height) bytes.

Return Values

The font identifier which is always bigger than 5 to avoid conflicts with built-in fonts or FALSE on errors.


Example #1 imageloadfont() usage example

// Create a new image instance
$im imagecreatetruecolor(5020);
$black imagecolorallocate($im000);
$white imagecolorallocate($im255255255);

// Make the background white

// Load the gd font and write 'Hello'
$font imageloadfont('./04b.gdf');

// Output to browser
header('Content-type: image/png');


See Also

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User Contributed Notes 6 notes

siker at norwinter dot com
11 years ago
Working under the assumption that the only 'architecture dependant' part of the font files is endianness, I wrote a quick and dirty Python script to convert between the two. It has only been tested on a single font on a single machine so don't bet your life on it working. All it does is swap the byte order of the first four ints.

#!/usr/bin/env python

f = open("myfont.gdf", "rb");
d = open("myconvertedfont.gdf", "wb");

for i in xrange(4):
        b = [ for j in xrange(4)];


I successfully used this script to convert anonymous.gdf, from one of the font links below, into something useable on Mac OS X.
alex at bestgames dot ro
11 years ago
Confirmation code generation for preventing automated registrations on a website.

Function arguments are:
$code - the code that you shall random generate
$location - relative location of the image that shall be generated
$fonts_dir - relative location for the GDF fonts directory

This function will create an image with the code given by you and will save it in the directory specified with the name formed by MD5 hash of the code.

You may insert as many font types in the fonts directory as you wish, with random names.

function generate_image($code, $location, $fonts_dir)
$image  = imagecreate(150, 60);          
imagecolorallocate($image, rand(0, 100), rand(100, 150), rand(150, 250));
$fonts = scandir($fonts_dir);
$max = count($fonts) - 2;
$width = 10;
     for (
$i = 0; $i <= strlen($code); $i++)
$textcolor = imagecolorallocate($image, 255, 255, 255);
$rand = rand(2, $max);
$font = imageloadfont($fonts_dir."/".$fonts[$rand]);
$fh = imagefontheight($font);
$fw = imagefontwidth($font);

imagechar($image, $font, $width, rand(10, 50 - $fh), $code[$i], $textcolor);    
$width = $width + $fw;
imagejpeg($image, $location."/".md5($code).".jpg", 100);

puremango dot co dot uk at gmail dot com
11 years ago
I've written an online tool in PHP that allows you to create GD fonts from PNG images.

much usefulness for custom font creation, I feel.

see the tool@
(source available online)
angryziber at mail dot com
16 years ago
You all should look at the GD image library site for information on extra fonts, it can be found at
matthew at exanimo dot com
11 years ago
Remember - GD fonts aren't antialiased.  If you're planning on using a pre-existing (TrueType) font, you may want to consider using imagettftext() instead of phillip's function.
widget at oneblacksheep dot com
12 years ago
After noting the gd fonts page from dryes58 above was down I contacted the him and have put the pages up at hows about that then =)
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