Hershey Vector Font

Based on the hershey character set

Based on text originally compiled by Paul Bourke, October 1997

It is sometimes necessary to have a simple set of characters made up of vectors, the Hershey set of vectors is one of the standard descriptions in the public domain. They were originally created by Dr. A. V. Hershey while working at the U. S. National Bureau of Standards.

The font set consists of around 2000 characters, there are a number of font styles and sizes as well as many special symbols.

This document describes a subset of the Hershey fonts called the "Simplex" characters. These characters are shown below, the C data structure for the vertices/vectors is given at the end of this document.

The Full Set

The full Hershey set is supplied here for Roman characters and here for Japanese

The structure is bascially as follows: each character consists of a number 1->4000 (not all used) in column 0:4, the number of vertices in columns 5:7, the left hand position in column 8, the right hand position in column 9, and finally the vertices in single character pairs. All coordinates are given relative to the ascii value of 'R'. If the coordinate value is " R" that indicates a pen up operation.

As an example consider the 8th symbol

It has 9 coordinate pairs (this includes the left and right position).
The left position is 'M' - 'R' = -5
The right position is 'W' - 'R' = 5
The first coordinate is "OM" = (-3,-5)
The second coordinate is "OV" = (-3,4)
Raise the pen " R"
Move to "UM" = (3,-5)
Draw to "UV" = (3,4)
Raise the pen " R"
Move to "OQ" = (-3,-1)
Draw to "UQ" = (3,-1)
Drawing this out on a piece of paper will reveal it represents an 'H'.

The entire occidental (Hershey_occ.txt) set is illustrated below

Files which map Hershey character numbers to ascii codes for various font/styles are given below, each file contains a number or range which maps ascii codes 32 upwards.

Gothic English Triplex
Gothic German Triplex
Gothic Italian Triplex
Greek Complex
Greek Complex Small
Greek Plain
Greek Simplex
Cyrillic complex
Italic Complex
Italic Complex Small
Italic Triplex
Script Complex
Script Simplex
Roman Complex
Roman Complex Small
Roman Duplex
Roman Plain
Roman Simplex
Roman Triplex


Japanese (oriental) character set

The Japanese characters as part of the Hershey set are illustarted below