TIP 564: Specify ttk font sizes in points on X11

Bounty program for improvements to Tcl and certain Tcl packages.
Author:         Francois Vogel <[email protected]>
State:          Final
Type:           Project
Vote:           Done
Created:        9-Feb-2020
Keywords:       Tk Ttk x11 font size
Tcl-Version:    8.7
Tcl-Branch:     bug-dccd82bdc7


This TIP proposes to change the font sizes defined for ttk widgets on X11 from absolute sizes to sizes in points.


Currently, the fonts defined for Ttk on X11 in library/ttk/fonts.tcl are specified as absolute numbers of pixels:

	set F(size) -12
	set F(ttsize) -10
	set F(capsize) -14
	set F(fixedsize) -12

This is historically justified in the header of the same file as follows:

#	Font size specified in pixels on X11, not points.
#	This is Theoretically Wrong, but in practice works better; using
#	points leads to huge inconsistencies across different servers.

Today these absolute font sizes seem to create more problems than they fix anything. Several Linux distributions (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora at least) are already patching Tk by changing these font sizes for sizes in points. See example for Debian.

A ticket has been opened for Tk exactly on this topic in order to request that Tk applies this change directly in its source code.

This is the purpose of the present proposal.


Apply patch b441746a60. This is a change for X11 only.

On Windows and macOS Ttk font sizes are already set in points in library/ttk/fonts.tcl so there is nothing to change.


See the bug-dccd82bdc7 branch, aka tip-564.

This branch targets 8.7.


This document has been placed in the public domain.