Font Bakery Command Line Usage

Install Font Bakery as a package with the instructions in the Installation Guides, and you will have a fontbakery command in your $PATH.

This has several subcommands, described in the help function:

$ fontbakery -h
usage: fontbakery [-h] [--list-subcommands] subcommand

Run fontbakery subcommands:

Subcommands have their own help messages. These are usually 
accessible with the -h/--help flag positioned after the subcommand.
I.e.: fontbakery subcommand -h

positional arguments:
  subcommand          the subcommand to execute

optional arguments:
  -h, --help          show this help message and exit
  --list-subcommands  print the list of subcommands to stdout, separated 
                      by a space character. This is usually only used to 
                      generate the shell completion code.

fontbakery check-universal

The “universal” profile contains checks for best practices agreed upon on the type design community.

The initial set of checks was choses to be not only the full opentype profile but also those checks originally included in both adobefonts and googlefonts profiles.

The goal is to keep the vendor-specific profiles with only the minimal set of checks that are really specific, while the shared ones are placed on the universal profile.

We should always consider contributing new checks (or moving existing ones) to this universal profile, if appropriate.

fontbakery check-adobefonts / check-fontbureau / check-fontwerk / check-notofonts

Usage is analogous to the Google Fonts profile described below.

fontbakery check-googlefonts

This is the command used by foundries checking their projects for Google Fonts

It runs the checks that we use in the profiles/ Python script

To run the checks on some fonts:

$ cd ~/path/to/fontproject/
$ fontbakery check-googlefonts *.ttf

For more detailed output, run in verbose mode:

$ fontbakery check-googlefonts --verbose *.ttf

To save a json formatted report (where check results are saved to report.json) do:

$ fontbakery check-googlefonts --json report.json *.ttf

Run hand picked checks for all fonts in the google/fonts repository:

$ fontbakery check-googlefonts \
    -c \
    -c \
    -n -o "*check" -g "*check" \
  • -c selects a check by id

  • -n turns off the progress bar

  • -o "*check" change execution order to run each check for all fonts instead of all checks for each font.

  • -g "*check" creates a summary report per check

Here’s the output of fontbakery check-googlefonts -h:

$ fontbakery check-googlefonts -h
usage: fontbakery check-googlefonts [-h] [--configuration CONFIGFILE]
                                    [-c CHECKID] [-x EXCLUDE_CHECKID] [-v]
                                    [-l LOGLEVEL] [-m LOGLEVEL_MESSAGES]
                                    [--succinct] [-n] [-C] [-S] [-L]
                                    [--dark-theme] [--light-theme]
                                    [--json JSON_FILE] [--ghmarkdown MD_FILE]
                                    [--html HTML_FILE] [-g ITERATED_ARG]
                                    [-o ORDER] [-J JOBS] [-j]
                                    [fonts [fonts ...]]

Check TTF files against a profile.

positional arguments:
  fonts                 font file path(s) to check. Wildcards like *.ttf are allowed.

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --configuration CONFIGFILE
                        Read configuration file (TOML/YAML).
  -c CHECKID, --checkid CHECKID
                        Explicit check-ids (or parts of their name) to be executed. Use this option multiple times to select multiple checks.
                        Exclude check-ids (or parts of their name) from execution. Use this option multiple times to exclude multiple checks.
  -v, --verbose         Shortcut for `-l PASS`.
  -l LOGLEVEL, --loglevel LOGLEVEL
                        Report checks with a result of this status or higher.
                        One of: DEBUG, PASS, SKIP, INFO, WARN, FAIL, ERROR.
                        (default: INFO)
                        Report log messages of this status or higher.
                        Messages are all status lines within a check.
                        One of: DEBUG, PASS, SKIP, INFO, WARN, FAIL, ERROR.
                        (default: LOGLEVEL)
  --succinct            This is a slightly more compact and succint output layout.
  -n, --no-progress     In a tty as stdout, don't render the progress indicators.
  -C, --no-colors       No colors for tty output.
  -S, --show-sections   Show section summaries.
  -L, --list-checks     List the checks available in the selected profile.
  --dark-theme          Use a color theme with dark colors.
  --light-theme         Use a color theme with light colors.
  --json JSON_FILE      Write a json formatted report to JSON_FILE.
  --ghmarkdown MD_FILE  Write a GitHub-Markdown formatted report to MD_FILE.
  --html HTML_FILE      Write a HTML report to HTML_FILE.
                        Optional: collect results by ITERATED_ARG
                        In terminal output: create a summary counter for each ITERATED_ARG.
                        In json output: structure the document by ITERATED_ARG.
                        One of: font, *check
  -o ORDER, --order ORDER
                        Comma separated list of order arguments.
                        The execution order is determined by the order of the check
                        definitions and by the order of the iterable arguments.
                        A section defines its own order. `--order` can be used to
                        override the order of *all* sections.
                        Despite the ITERATED_ARGS there are two special
                        values available:
                        "*iterargs" -- all remainig ITERATED_ARGS
                        "*check"    -- order by check
                        ITERATED_ARGS: font
                        A sections default is equivalent to: "*iterargs, *check".
                        A common use case is `-o "*check"` when checking the whole
                        collection against a selection of checks picked with `--checkid`.
  -J JOBS, --jobs JOBS  Use multi-processing to run the checks. The argument is the number
                        of worker processes. A sensible number is the cpu count of your
                        system, detected: 2. As an automated shortcut see -j/--auto-jobs.
                        Use 0 to run in single-processing mode (default 0).
  -j, --auto-jobs       Use the auto detected cpu count (= 2) as number of worker processes
                        in multi-processing. This is equivalent to : `--jobs 2`

Note: on Windows, color and progress bar output is disabled because the standard Windows terminal displays the escape characters instead. Pull Requests to fix this are welcome.

If you need to generate a list of all issues in a font family collection, the FontBakery repo has a small script to do so for the Google Fonts collection. Feel free to use that snippet and adapt it to the directory structure of your collection.

For checking the GFonts collection the script is used like this:

sh snippets/ path-to-collection-directory

This will create a folder called check_results/ then run the check-googlefonts subcommand on every family, saving individual per-family reports in json format into subdirectories.

fontbakery check-fontval

This is a wrapper around the Microsoft Font Validator.

Usage is similar to the check-googlefonts command described above.

Configuration file

Some command-line parameters can be configured in a configuration file. This may be in TOML or YAML format, and the name of this file is passed in on the fontbakery command line with the --configuration parameter. (--config for short.)

Currently, the following command-line parameters can be specified in the configuration file:

  • Instead of using -c to specify checks, a list of checks can be provided using the explicit_checks key:

explicit_checks = [
  • Instead of using -x to exclude checks, a list of checks to exclude can be provided using the exclude_checks key.

  • Instead of using --order to specify the check order, a list of checks can be provided using the custom_order key.

Additionally, the configuration file can be used to replace the status of particular checks. To do this, you will need to know the message ID, which is reported with the result. For example, when the check reports that the .notdef glyph does not contain any outlines, it reports the message ID empty and a WARN status. To replace this status and have it return a FAIL instead, place this in the configuration file (if you are using YAML format):

    empty: FAIL

Individual checks and profiles may give semantics to additional configuration values; the whole configuration file is passed to checks which request access to it.

Old Command Line Tools

Since November 2017 (v0.3.3) Font Bakery is solely focused on checking fonts. Before that (up to v0.3.2) it also provided some auxiliary scripts for fixing fonts.

Those tools are now a separate project, Google Fonts Tools, maintained at and packaged at

Installing the latest version of the auxiliary scripts should be as easy as:

pip install gftools --upgrade