bit mapped fonts for lcd displays free sample

Thousands of designers (famous or not) use the image font detection system to find a font or similar free fonts from an image. Although we have the largest database of fonts, the search for a font from an image gets mixed results like the image above.

bit mapped fonts for lcd displays free sample

The Dot Factory is a small open source tool (MIT licensed) intended to generate the required C language information to store many fonts and images, as efficiently as possible, on a microcontroller. These fonts are then uploaded via the LCD driver (see the Drivers and Modules page for a few) to the actual dot matrix LCD. It is written in C# for Visual Studio 2008 and has been tested on Windows XP, 2003, Vista, 7 and Linux via Mono.

Working with dot matrix LCDs with microcontrollers, while not difficult, is tedious. The actual LCD controller allows us to upload simple visual data (dot on or dot off) into the LCD’s dot matrix, but not much else. It is up to our software to decide what to upload when we want to draw lines, circles and more importantly – text.

While there are software graphic libraries that allow us to generate a character “on the fly” using vector graphics (the character is described as a series of drawing commands that allow scaling and decoration) – these are much too complex and large to integrate in a microcontroller environment. Consequently, we must store the exact appearance of a character as a series of 1s and 0s, equivalent to a “dot on” “dot off” on the LCD, and upload this as a bitmap when we want to display text. While it is possible to generate this manually, it is desired to have a tool to do our grunt work by converting windows fonts (given a size and decoration) into a series of bitmaps.

TDF is comprised of two panes – the input pane on the left (what you want to generate) and the output pane on the right (the generated output, in C code). The input pane can accept either a font of your choice (for writing text to the LCD) or an image. When generating a font, you have the option of either generating all the available letters (by selecting “All” in the Insert Text box and clicking the plus button) or by typing in which letters, numbers or symbols you are actually using in your application (for example: 0123abcd). If you are writing a simple application that has only a few sentences, you can type them wholly in this box without fear of duplicating letters – TDF takes care of that by discarding any duplicates. This way only the letters you use will take up space.

Once you have completed setting up what it is you’d like to generate (be it an image or font), select the output method in the output pane. If you are using the LCD drivers on this website, you want it to generate an MSb first output, otherwise images will come out wrong. If you have a compiler that supports the “0b” binary specifier, you can select “binary” rather than “hex”. This will allow you to visually see the pixels you will set and allow for manual touch up by the user without having to calculate hex and experimentation. Click generate and your C code will be outputted to the text box below. Copy paste this into your application (it is recommended to put this in a separate module, not your LCD driver module, for organizational reasons).

Note that 5×7 and 5×8 fonts cannot be generated using this tool. While some TTF fonts can render characters this small they are usually distorted to the point of uselessness. You can download a ready made five by seven font here. I ripped this font from text file a while ago, so apologies to the uncredited author.

The character bitmap array: This holds the actual characters as a bitmap (only the characters selected in the input pane). Each byte represents a single vertical page sent to the LCD. All vertical padding is removed from the characters

The character descriptor array: Allows O(1) mapping between a character’s ASCII value and required meta information about the character – namely its width in bits and its offset into the character bitmap array. When the LCD driver needs to find where character X is located in the bitmap array, it will jump to index [X - font.startCharacter] in the descriptor array. The startCharacter is the first character (that is, the character with the lowest ASCII value) used for this font. By defining a startCharacter we can reduce the number of elements in the descriptor array.

The font information: This element is essentially the font descriptor for this font. It holds information regarding this font like the name of the character bitmap and descriptor arrays, the font start character and how many pixels wide a space character is for this font. The LCD driver will replace the space character with empty pixels (this saves both processing time, space in the character bitmap array and space in the character descriptor array – since the space is the first ASCII character and is commonly used).

The generated structures are generated with documentation, but you may want to see a sample bitmapDb header file for detailed info on the character descriptor array and font information structures. For image generation, only the image’s bitmap array and size descriptors are generated. Note that the height value is pixels (bits) and width values are in pages.

Version 0.1.2 (29may11): Fixed width/height being swapped. Added support for configuring image descriptor format (bits/bytes). Thanks geo for the heads up and suggestion

Version 0.1.1 (25may11): Added support for multiple descriptor arrays with a double lookup. Before this version TheDotFactory could generate Unicode characters but the lookup tables were usually too huge to be of any use. Using this feature, a double lookup is employed, allowing for fast lookups for characters residing at disparate ranges. See the video for an explanation (will be posted in the next few days). In addition to this, added support for specifying character ranges instead of inputing the actual characters. For example, <<100-120>> will generate characters for ASCII characters 100 to 120. Thanks a bunch to Archis Bhave for inputs and testing. Source is now distributed via github.

Version 0.1.0 (15dec10): Added support to format the generated variable names (thanks SpiralBrain), added end character indication to font information (thanks Nick Jensen), added the ability to save to clipboard from File menu and added the ability to save the source/header to file via file menu (don’t remember who, but someone wondered why this wasn’t in. I personally think all fonts should be in a single module and so I opted for copy/paste, but to each his own)

Version 0.0.7 (28may10): Added ability to select whether character descriptor array is to be created and which character will be used to visualize the font (thanks Christian Treczoks), syntax coloring automatically disabled when generating large amounts of text (will be fixed properly next version), properly handled bitmaps with no black pixels in them (displays error instead of a crash), some minor cosmetics

Version 0.0.6 (03mar10): Bug fix for image generation (tried to save a temporary file for debugging in a custom directory) – thanks to Nir Shemeshfor pointhing this out!

Version 0.0.5 (23dec09): Added support for rotation (90 degree increments), space character generation, width (bit/byte) selection of character width and font height, optional generation of character height/width and font height, structures are now generated with documention, input text and font is persisted throughout invokations of the application, persistent preset management – add, edit, delete output configuration presets

To run this executable, you must have the .NET framework installed. The stable binary has been in the wild for a month at least with no major bugs reported. Non stable binary contains new features and bug fixes (see revision history).

bit mapped fonts for lcd displays free sample

GLCD Font Creator is the ultimate solution to create personalized fonts, symbols and icons for Graphic LCD (GLCD). It lets you create fonts for Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD) and Graphic LCD. It provides a very nice and intuitive user interface. GLCD Font Creator lets you create fonts and symbols from scratch, or by importing existing fonts on your system. It lets you modify and adjust them for your needs, apply effects to them, and finally export them as source code for use in your favorite language compiler.

LCD Assistant is a free tool for converting monochromatic bitmaps to data arrays for easy use with programs for embedded systems with microcontrollers and graphics monochromatic LCD displays like a T6963C, KS0108, SED1335 etc. Program create files for use with any C compiler : for AVR, ARM, PIC, 8051 and ohter microcontrollers. You can use directly with Arduino, mbed and any other design environment based on C compiler. If you use graphic LCDs and you want to display pictures, this program is for You! You can draw image in you best graphic editor and save it in *.bmp file.

To convert image from bitmap file (or other standard graphics file format) to data array select from File menu command ‘Load image’. Next, select byte orientation (for example : vertical for KS0108, SED1520, SPLC0501C etc; horizontal for : T6963C, SED1335 etc). If in data array must be image size (width and height) select ‘Include size’ checkbox and specify endianness of size (for example: Little endian for AVR; Big endian for ST7). Size are placed in two 16-bit variables at the begin of data array. Next, specify pixels/byte parameter. If display can support miscellaneous font size (displays with T6963C controller) image can be converted to array of bytes with specified amount of pixels in each byte. At last select from “File” menu command “Save output”. Data array will be saved in specified file. Next, just include this file into project and use array name as parameter for function that displays bitmap on LCD. If you have trouble with use generating file, or program will generate wrong files please let me know.

bit mapped fonts for lcd displays free sample

Currently I am working on the deluxe version of the data logger. This version has a LCD screen and capacitive buttons to control the software. The Adafruit library for the display is quite large and almost uses the whole RAM, because it is a pixel oriented library. My own implementation is a text only library using 8×8 pixel characters. This simplify everything and reduces the RAM costs.

To convert the bitmap font into bytes, I wrote a small application for OS X (minimum version 10.10). It accepts a PNG image with the characters in it and converts it into bytes with the correct bits set.

First you select the mode on the left side of the application window. In this example the mode is set to “8×8 Fixed Top-Down”. Select the output format in the bottom left corner of the window.

Here an example 8×8 pixel font file for the converter. The font converter ignores any transparent and light values. So you can use them on a second layer as a grid for the font.

You can use this font template for Adobe Photoshop if you plan to deign a own font. The template uses a grid on one layer, so you can draw the font information on the second layer.

The software is written in Swift 2 and is using many of the new features of this language. The code is extensible and you can easily add own converter and output formats. If you created useful additions, please let me know.

bit mapped fonts for lcd displays free sample

Hey, great instructable. When I first saw the 2x16 display had 8 programmable characters, I was hoping large fonts or some graphics would be possible, but given the few characters, and only two lines to work with, I just assumed a big font would be impossible.

But wow, you did an amazing job making it look nice with minimal characters. Kudos. It was inspiring for me to contribute back some improvements. Very creative an minimalistic use of the corners and edge pieces.

While your letters looked great, in all honesty, your novice (but working!) C code truly made my eyeballs bleed. (Not a snob; I used to do mainframe C compliler language compliance testing, and have worked on Unix utilities for years; so I"m a bit fussy about my C. Code efficiency and compactness is key with me, and are right at home in the Arduino world :) Rather than complain, I"ll contribute :)

- I added Space, period to get character additions rolling. But I got bored, and did a first crack at all the missing characters 0x20-0x5F (mostly punctuation). (A crazy Friday night here, I tell ya, a bit bleary-eyed near the end.) Some of the chars are pretty rough, it"d be great if Michael and/or others could improve upon them.

I"m going to post it to a blog or instructable (with references back here), but wouldn"t mind feedback here (specificially from Michael on the glyphs) before finalizing it.

The C should be pretty straight forward; I use a few slightly advanced C pointer constructs, like "const char *(*p)[2]" (a variable v, which is a pointer, to an array of two pointers to const chars [an array of two string pointers]. There"s an art to understanding and creating C pointers like that; think reading from the inside outworks, working from right to left. Hard to explain, but good to understand to be able to do things efficiently.

(If you are tight for space, you could null out {"", ""} the definintions for characters that you aren"t using in your app. Even better, moving those arrays to PROGMEM (putting them in FLASH instead of prescious RAM) would save a lot, too. Unfortunately all the type-casting required to make PROGMEM arrays obfuscates the code too much. I erred on the side of readability.)

bit mapped fonts for lcd displays free sample

I am using a 3.5: TFT LCD display with an Arduino Uno and the library from the manufacturer, the KeDei TFT library. The library came with a bitmap font table that is huge for the small amount of memory of an Arduino Uno so I"ve been looking for alternatives.

What I am running into is that there doesn"t seem to be a standard representation and some of the bitmap font tables I"ve found work fine and others display as strange doodles and marks or they display upside down or they display with letters flipped. After writing a simple application to display some of the characters, I finally realized that different bitmaps use different character orientations.

What are the rules or standards or expected representations for the bit data for bitmap fonts? Why do there seem to be several different text character orientations used with bitmap fonts?

Are these due to different target devices such as a Windows display driver or a Linux display driver versus a bare metal Arduino TFT LCD display driver?

What is the criteria used to determine a particular bitmap font representation as a series of unsigned char values? Are different types of raster devices such as a TFT LCD display and its controller have a different sequence of bits when drawing on the display surface by setting pixel colors?

Is there some method other than the approach I"m using to determine what transformation is needed? I currently plug the bitmap font table into a test program and print out a set of characters to see how it looks and then fine tune the transformation by testing with the Arduino and the TFT LCD screen.

I"m not fully conversant with the standard descriptions of bitmap fonts however I think of this as being an 8x16 bitmap font in which each character is 8 pixels wide and 16 pixels in height or an 8x16 bitmap font.

With the size of this table and the small amount of memory on the Arduino Uno, I started hunting for other bitmap fonts that would be legible while also taking up less memory. See reducing memory required for KeDei TFT library used with 3.5" TFT display with Arduino

What I hoped to find was something around a 6x6 bitmap font so that the definition of the bitmap font table would change from const unsigned char font_table_16_col[96][16] = { to const unsigned char font_table_16_col[96][6] = { which would free up a significant amount of memory. And experiments with cutting the table down by removing lower case letters showed that helped as well.

Finding alternative bitmap fonts has been more difficult than I thought, envisioning someone with the motherlode of bitmap fonts in a GitHub repository somewhere, easily found with a search or two.

What I have run into is that while I have found several different examples of bitmap fonts not all seem to be compatible with my specific 3.5" TFT LCD display.

For instance here are representations of four different bitmap fonts showing the bits of the bitmaps for two characters, the exclamation point (!) and the double quote ("). The 5x8 seems to be rotated to the clockwise by 90 degrees. The 8x8 and the 16x8 seem to be oriented correctly and the 13x8 seems to be upside down.

The bitmap font representations in the image above, showing the differences in text character orientation, were generated by a simple Windows GUI and displayed with a dash (-) representing a bit value of zero and an asterisk (*) representing a bit value of 1. This is the output of a Microsoft Windows GUI application whose WM_PAINT message handler which draws the displayed image is as follows:

I have modified the code that displays text using the bitmap fonts so that for a particular bit map the character drawing logic will perform several different kinds of translations between the bitmap font representation as a series of hexadecimal digits and how the series of digits are used to determine which pixels to turn on and which to turn off.

The code for drawing a single line of a character is as follows. The outline of this function is to provide to the LCD controller a rectangle specifying the region of the display to be modified followed by a series of two 8 bit writes to set the two byte RGB565 color value of each of the pixels in the region.

static bool TFTLCD::draw_glyph(unsigned short x0, unsigned short y0, TftColor fg_color, TftColor bg_color, unsigned char bitMap, unsigned char bmWidth, unsigned char flags)

and the source code that uses the above function for drawing a complete characters is as follows. This code uses the drawGlyph() function to draw a series of slices of the text character from top to bottom. When a bitmap transformation is done depends on the bitmap representation.

TFTLCD::draw_glyph(Font::now_x, Font::now_y, Font::font_color, Font::txt_backcolor, Font::font_table.table[char_i_x + char_m], Font::font_table.nCols, glyphFlags);

TFTLCD::draw_glyph(Font::now_x, Font::now_y, Font::font_color, Font::txt_backcolor, Font::font_table.table[char_i_x + char_m], Font::font_table.nCols, glyphFlags);

TFTLCD::draw_glyph(Font::now_x, Font::now_y, Font::font_color, Font::txt_backcolor, Font::font_table.table[char_i_x + char_m], Font::font_table.nCols, glyphFlags);

TFTLCD::draw_glyph(Font::now_x, Font::now_y, Font::font_color, Font::txt_backcolor, Font::font_table.table[char_i_x + char_m], Font::font_table.nCols, glyphFlags);

TFTLCD::draw_glyph(Font::now_x, Font::now_y, Font::font_color, Font::txt_backcolor, Font::font_table.table[char_i_x + char_m], Font::font_table.nCols, glyphFlags);

TFTLCD::draw_glyph(Font::now_x, Font::now_y, Font::font_color, Font::txt_backcolor, Font::font_table.table[char_i_x + char_m], Font::font_table.nCols, glyphFlags);

There are a number of font specifications including rasterized bitmap type fonts. These specifications do not necessarily describe the glyph bitmaps used in application such as the KeDei TFT library but rather provide a device independent description of a bitmap font format.

Oracle in Solarix X Window System Developer"s Guide, Chapter 4 Font Support at has a table listing several different bitmap font formats and has this to say:

bit mapped fonts for lcd displays free sample

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bit mapped fonts for lcd displays free sample

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bit mapped fonts for lcd displays free sample

I am looking for a font to use on a small (75x55mm) LCD display. The display supports 5 bit grey scale, so anti-aliasing is possible. Unfortunately it is only about 80ppi and standard anti-aliasing like below doesn"t look very good:

I am using Paint.NET, perhaps another app would give me greater control over the anti-aliasing. There are some limitations to the font rendering I can do because it is an embedded system, so for example no per-character kerning or on-the-fly rendering/anti-aliasing.

I was hoping to find an anti-aliased bitmap font suited to industrial LCD displays. Something that is designed to look good at around 10-12 pixels high. Serif or sans-serif, either is fine. Back in the day when most operating systems used bitmap fonts there were some nice ones for the Amiga and Mac OS, but I can"t find them now.

Just to clarify, the font sample above looks bad because it doesn"t stick the pixel grid of the LCD. It is probably fine on an RGB LCD seem from a greater distance, but on industrial LCDs you can see that the vertical lines of the letters are blurred. The C looks okay, but the H, I, J, K, L, M and N all look a bit blurred.

bit mapped fonts for lcd displays free sample

An excellent new compatible library is available which can render TrueType fonts on a TFT screen (or into a sprite). This has been developed by takkaO and is available here. I have been reluctant to support yet another font format but this is an amazing library which is very easy to use. It provides access to compact font files, with fully scaleable anti-aliased glyphs. Left, middle and right justified text can also be printed to the screen. I have added TFT_eSPI specific examples to the OpenFontRender library and tested on RP2040 and ESP32 processors, however the ESP8266 does not have sufficient RAM. Here is a demo screen where a single 12kbyte font file binary was used to render fully anti-aliased glyphs of gradually increasing size on a 320x480 TFT screen:

The following is now deprecated due to the number of issues it can cause in certain circumstances. For ESP32 ONLY, the TFT configuration (user setup) can now be included inside an Arduino IDE sketch providing the instructions in the example Generic->Sketch_with_tft_setup are followed. See ReadMe tab in that sketch for the instructions. If the setup is not in the sketch then the library settings will be used. This means that "per project" configurations are possible without modifying the library setup files. Please note that ALL the other examples in the library will use the library settings unless they are adapted and the "tft_setup.h" header file included. Note: there are issues with this approach, #2007 proposes an alternative method.

Support has been added in v2.4.70 for the RP2040 with 16 bit parallel displays. This has been tested and the screen update performance is very good (4ms to clear 320 x 480 screen with HC8357C). The use of the RP2040 PIO makes it easy to change the write cycle timing for different displays. DMA with 16 bit transfers is also supported.

Support for the ESP32-S2, ESP32-S3 and ESP32-C3 has been added (DMA not supported at the moment). Tested with v2.0.3 RC1 of the ESP32 board package. Example setups:

Smooth fonts can now be rendered direct to the TFT with very little flicker for quickly changing values. This is achieved by a line-by-line and block-by-block update of the glyph area without drawing pixels twice. This is a "breaking" change for some sketches because a new true/false parameter is needed to render the background. The default is false if the parameter is missing, Examples:

Frank Boesing has created an extension library for TFT_eSPI that allows a large range of ready-built fonts to be used. Frank"s library (adapted to permit rendering in sprites as well as TFT) can be downloaded here. More than 3300 additional Fonts are available here. The TFT_eSPI_ext library contains examples that demonstrate the use of the fonts.

The RP2040 8 bit parallel interface uses the PIO. The PIO now manages the "setWindow" and "block fill" actions, releasing the processor for other tasks when areas of the screen are being filled with a colour. The PIO can optionally be used for SPI interface displays if #define RP2040_PIO_SPI is put in the setup file. Touch screens and pixel read operations are not supported when the PIO interface is used.

The use of PIO for SPI allows the RP2040 to be over-clocked (up to 250MHz works on my boards) in Earle"s board package whilst still maintaining high SPI clock rates.

DMA can now be used with the Raspberry Pi Pico (RP2040) when used with both 8 bit parallel and 16 bit colour SPI displays. See "Bouncy_Circles" sketch.

The library now supports the Raspberry Pi Pico with both the official Arduino board package and the one provided by Earle Philhower. The setup file "Setup60_RP2040_ILI9341.h" has been used for tests with an ILI9341 display. At the moment only SPI interface displays have been tested. SPI port 0 is the default but SPI port 1 can be specifed in the setup file if those SPI pins are used.

An Arduino IDE compatible graphics and fonts library for 32 bit processors. The library is targeted at 32 bit processors, it has been performance optimised for RP2040, STM32, ESP8266 and ESP32 types, other processors may be used but will use the slower generic Arduino interface calls. The library can be loaded using the Arduino IDE"s Library Manager. Direct Memory Access (DMA) can be used with the ESP32, RP2040 and STM32 processors with SPI interface displays to improve rendering performance. DMA with a parallel interface (8 and 16 bit parallel) is only supported with the RP2040.

For other processors only SPI interface displays are supported and the slower Arduino SPI library functions are used by the library. Higher clock speed processors such as used for the Teensy 3.x and 4.x boards will still provide a very good performance with the generic Arduino SPI functions.

"Four wire" SPI and 8 bit parallel interfaces are supported. Due to lack of GPIO pins the 8 bit parallel interface is NOT supported on the ESP8266. 8 bit parallel interface TFTs (e.g. UNO format mcufriend shields) can used with the STM32 Nucleo 64/144 range or the UNO format ESP32 (see below for ESP32).

The library supports some TFT displays designed for the Raspberry Pi (RPi) that are based on a ILI9486 or ST7796 driver chip with a 480 x 320 pixel screen. The ILI9486 RPi display must be of the Waveshare design and use a 16 bit serial interface based on the 74HC04, 74HC4040 and 2 x 74HC4094 logic chips. Note that due to design variations between these displays not all RPi displays will work with this library, so purchasing a RPi display of these types solely for use with this library is NOT recommended.

A "good" RPi display is the MHS-4.0 inch Display-B type ST7796 which provides good performance. This has a dedicated controller and can be clocked at up to 80MHz with the ESP32 (125MHz with overclocked RP2040, 55MHz with STM32 and 40MHz with ESP8266). The MHS-3.5 inch RPi ILI9486 based display is also supported, however the MHS ILI9341 based display of the same type does NOT work with this library.

Some displays permit the internal TFT screen RAM to be read, a few of the examples use this feature. The TFT_Screen_Capture example allows full screens to be captured and sent to a PC, this is handy to create program documentation.

The library supports Waveshare 2 and 3 colour ePaper displays using full frame buffers. This addition is relatively immature and thus only one example has been provided.

A Sprite is notionally an invisible graphics screen that is kept in the processors RAM. Graphics can be drawn into the Sprite just as they can be drawn directly to the screen. Once the Sprite is completed it can be plotted onto the screen in any position. If there is sufficient RAM then the Sprite can be the same size as the screen and used as a frame buffer. Sprites by default use 16 bit colours, the bit depth can be set to 8 bits (256 colours) , or 1 bit (any 2 colours) to reduce the RAM needed. On an ESP8266 the largest 16 bit colour Sprite that can be created is about 160x128 pixels, this consumes 40Kbytes of RAM. On an ESP32 the workspace RAM is more limited than the datasheet implies so a 16 bit colour Sprite is limited to about 200x200 pixels (~80Kbytes), an 8 bit sprite to 320x240 pixels (~76kbytes). A 1 bit per pixel Sprite requires only 9600 bytes for a full 320 x 240 screen buffer, this is ideal for supporting use with 2 colour bitmap fonts.

One or more sprites can be created, a sprite can be any pixel width and height, limited only by available RAM. The RAM needed for a 16 bit colour depth Sprite is (2 x width x height) bytes, for a Sprite with 8 bit colour depth the RAM needed is (width x height) bytes. Sprites can be created and deleted dynamically as needed in the sketch, this means RAM can be freed up after the Sprite has been plotted on the screen, more RAM intensive WiFi based code can then be run and normal graphics operations still work.

Drawing graphics into a sprite is very fast, for those familiar with the Adafruit "graphicstest" example, this whole test completes in 18ms in a 160x128 sprite. Examples of sprite use can be found in the "examples/Sprite" folder.

If an ESP32 board has SPIRAM (i.e. PSRAM) fitted then Sprites will use the PSRAM memory and large full screen buffer Sprites can be created. Full screen Sprites take longer to render (~45ms for a 320 x 240 16 bit Sprite), so bear that in mind.

The "Animated_dial" example shows how dials can be created using a rotated Sprite for the needle. To run this example the TFT interface must support reading from the screen RAM (not all do). The dial rim and scale is a jpeg image, created using a paint program.

The XPT2046 touch screen controller is supported for SPI based displays only. The SPI bus for the touch controller is shared with the TFT and only an additional chip select line is needed. This support will eventually be deprecated when a suitable touch screen library is available.

The library supports SPI overlap on the ESP8266 so the TFT screen can share MOSI, MISO and SCLK pins with the program FLASH, this frees up GPIO pins for other uses. Only one SPI device can be connected to the FLASH pins and the chips select for the TFT must be on pin D3 (GPIO0).

The library contains proportional fonts, different sizes can be enabled/disabled at compile time to optimise the use of FLASH memory. Anti-aliased (smooth) font files in vlw format stored in SPIFFS are supported. Any 16 bit Unicode character can be included and rendered, this means many language specific characters can be rendered to the screen.

The library is based on the Adafruit GFX and Adafruit driver libraries and the aim is to retain compatibility. Significant additions have been made to the library to boost the speed for the different processors (it is typically 3 to 10 times faster) and to add new features. The new graphics functions include different size proportional fonts and formatting features. There are lots of example sketches to demonstrate the different features and included functions.

Configuration of the library font selections, pins used to interface with the TFT and other features is made by editing the User_Setup.h file in the library folder, or by selecting your own configuration in the "User_Setup_Selet,h" file. Fonts and features can easily be enabled/disabled by commenting out lines.

Anti-aliased (smooth) font files in "vlw" format are generated by the free Processing IDE using a sketch included in the library Tools folder. This sketch with the Processing IDE can be used to generate font files from your computer"s font set or any TrueType (.ttf) font, the font file can include any combination of 16 bit Unicode characters. This means Greek, Japanese and any other UCS-2 glyphs can be used. Character arrays and Strings in UTF-8 format are supported.

The .vlw files must be uploaded to the processors FLASH filing system (SPIFFS, LittleFS or SD card) for use. Alternatively the .vlw files can be converted to C arrays (see "Smooth Font -> FLASH_Array" examples) and stored directly in FLASH as part of the compile process. The array based approach is convenient, provides performance improvements and is suitable where: either use of a filing system is undesirable, or the processor type (e.g. STM32) does not support a FLASH based filing system.

It would be possible to compress the vlw font files but the rendering performance to a TFT is still good when storing the font file(s) in SPIFFS, LittleFS or FLASH arrays.

Anti-aliased fonts can also be drawn over a gradient background with a callback to fetch the background colour of each pixel. This pixel colour can be set by the gradient algorithm or by reading back the TFT screen memory (if reading the display is supported).

The common 8 bit "Mcufriend" shields are supported for the STM Nucleo 64/144 boards and ESP32 UNO style board. The STM32 "Blue/Black Pill" boards can also be used with 8 bit parallel displays.

Unfortunately the typical UNO/mcufriend TFT display board maps LCD_RD, LCD_CS and LCD_RST signals to the ESP32 analogue pins 35, 34 and 36 which are input only. To solve this I linked in the 3 spare pins IO15, IO33 and IO32 by adding wires to the bottom of the board as follows:

If the display board is fitted with a resistance based touch screen then this can be used by performing the modifications described here and the fork of the Adafruit library:

You can take this one step further and have your own setup select file and then you only need to replace the Setup.h line reference in User_Setup_Select.h to, for example:

The library was intended to support only TFT displays but using a Sprite as a 1 bit per pixel screen buffer permits support for the Waveshare 2 and 3 colour SPI ePaper displays. This addition to the library is experimental and only one example is provided. Further examples will be added.