viewfax(1)                      Local commands                      viewfax(1)


       viewfax - display fax files in an X11 window


       viewfax   [-fnluirvW24]   [-hheight]   [-wwidth]  [-zzoom]  [-ddisplay]
       [-gwxh+x+y] [-bbell] [-mmemory] filename...


       viewfax displays one or more fax files in an  X11  window.   The  input
       files may be either raw, single-page faxes received by a fax modem with
       a program such as mgetty(1), or  tiff  files  such  as  those  used  by
       hylafax.   The  first  (or  only) page of "PC-Research"-style (DigiFAX)
       files produced by the ghostscript dfaxhigh or dfaxlow drivers can  also
       be displayed.

       Input  files  using  any  common  fax encoding such as group 3 (1 and 2
       dimensional) and group 4 can be displayed.

       The fax images are rendered at full resolution  and  then  successively
       scaled down by a linear factor of 2 prior to display, until they fit on
       the screen.  The display can be controlled  interactively  using  mouse
       and  keyboard  commands.   The left mouse button expands the image by a
       factor of two and the right button reduces it by the same  factor.   If
       the  image  is  bigger than the available window size, the middle mouse
       button can be used to reposition it within the window.  Hold  down  the
       middle button while dragging the image to its new position.

       If  the  mouse  has  a scroll-wheel it can be used to move an oversized
       image vertically.  With the shift  key  depressed,  the  wheel  scrolls
       through  the  pages.  The shift sense is inverted if viewfax is started
       with -W on the command-line.

       Further interaction is controlled by single-key commands:

       h or Help
              displays a page of help information.  Type ’q’ to return to  the
              original document.

       p or Prior or PgUP or - or BackSpace
              displays the previous page from the command-line list.

       n or Next or PgDn or + or space
              displays the next page from the command-line list.

       Shift HOME
              displays the first page from the command-line list.

       Shift END
              displays the last page from the command-line list.

       z      zoom in (same as right mouse button).

       Shift Z
              zoom out (same as left mouse button).

       u      turns  the  image  upside  down,  which is useful if the fax was
              originally fed the wrong way into the machine.

       Shift U
              turns this and all following pages upside down.

       l      turns the image through 90 degrees, to view landscape text.

       Shift L
              turns this and all following pages sideways.

       m      produce a left/right mirror image of the page.

       Shift M
              mirror this and all following pages.

       cursor arrows
              reposition the displayed image if it exceeds the window size.

       HOME   repositions so that the top left corner is visible.

       END    makes the bottom right corner visible.

       Print  if the environment variable VIEWFAX_PRINT is defined,  the  cur-
              rent page is printed.  All pages are printed with Shift Print.

       e      if the environment variable VIEWFAX_EDIT is defined, the current
              page is passed to the editor.  All input  files  can  be  edited
              with Shift e.

       q      terminates the program.

       Shift Q
              terminates  the  program with non-zero exit status.  Can be used
              to abort a shell script, e.g. when the  user  is  previewing  an
              outbound fax and decides not to send it.


       viewfax is designed to "do the right thing" when given just a filename.
       Special cases can be handled with the following  options.   (Note  that
       tiff-files contain a header which overrides the -f, -n, -h, -w, -l, -m,
       and -u flags.)

       -f     indicates  that  raw  input  files  are  fine  resolution   (7.7
              lines/mm) faxes.  This is the default unless the filename begins
              with "fn".  Tiff and "PC-Research"  (DigiFAX)  files  are  self-

       -n     indicates  that  raw  input  files  are  normal resolution (3.85
              lines/mm) faxes.  Each fax line is duplicated in  the  displayed
              image  to  give  approximately  equal  vertical  and  horizontal

              specifies the number of fax lines.  If this option  is  missing,
              viewfax counts the number of lines in the input file.

              specifies  the  number of pixels in each scan-line.  The default
              value is 1728.

       -l     display in landscape mode.

       -u     turn the image upside down.

       -i     invert pixels (black/white).

       -b     preferred warning style: ’a’ for audible  bell  (console  beep),
              ’v’  for  visible bell (flash the window), ’n’ for neither.  ’v’
              is the default.

       -d or -display
              use specified X server

       -g or -geometry
              the preferred size and position  of  the  window,  specified  as
              widthxheight+x+y.   If  a  position  is  given (x and y values),
              viewfax asks the window manager to place the window there.   The
              initial  size of the window is constrained to be at most widthx-

              If the window is subsequently resized due to the user zooming in
              or out, the geometry is taken as a constraint on the screen area
              which may be used by viewfax.

              If you do not supply a geometry  value,  everything  works  fine
              with  ICCCM-compliant  window  managers like olwm, mwm, twm, and
              tvtwm.  When fully zoomed out the viewfax window will occupy the
              entire screen.

              Users of fvwm will notice that the title bar and left border are
              moved off screen when viewfax repositions the window  to  (0,0).
              A  workaround  is  to  use -geometry +5+23 when using fvwm.  The
              proper fix would be for someone to update the routine HandleCon-
              figureRequest()  in  fvwm/events.c  to correspond to the code in

       -mmemory limit
              each page is kept in memory after being  fetched  and  expanded,
              which  saves time if the user returns to it in the same session.
              To prevent viewfax from using all the available  swap  space,  a
              limit  is  placed  on  the  total  size  of cached images.  This
              defaults to 4 MBytes, enough for about 6 typical pages.  If  the
              memory  limit  is exceeded, old images are discarded and must be
              reloaded from disk if the user returns to them.   The  operation
              of  this  mechanism  is  transparent  apart  from the occasional
              delays due to reloading.  The value  specified  on  the  command
              line can be suffixed k or m for kilo- or megabytes.

       -r     the  bit  order of the bytes in the input file is reversed.  The
              fax specification deals  only  with  serial  data  transmission.
              Modem  manufacturers  have  to  decide  whether  the  first  bit
              received should be placed in the most significant or  the  least
              significant  position  in a byte.  The consensus is to pack most
              significant first, but the -r flag is available to deal with the
              opposite order.

       -v     produce some informative messages (verbose mode).

       -zzoom specifies an initial zoom factor.  A full-scale fax will usually
              not fit on the screen.  If the -z option is not specified, view-
              fax scales the image by a power of 2 such that it is fully visi-
              ble at a reduced size.  The user can then use the mouse  buttons
              (see above) to view expanded portions of the image.

       -2     Assume  that raw input files use group 3 two dimensional coding.

       -4     Assume that raw input files use group 4 coding.  The  number  of
              fax lines (-h option) is required in this case.


              Defines a command that will print one or more fax pages.

              Defines  a  command that will calls an editor on one or more fax

       These two variables are optional.  If a variable is undefined, the cor-
       responding keyboard command is ignored.  If the variable is defined, it
       should contain the name of a command or executable script that performs
       the  desired  function.   The  command  should process a single page if
       called with a -p page-number argument.  Alternatively, if can be called
       with  just  a  list  of  filenames,  meaning  that  all pages should be

       Here is an oversimplified example of a print  command.   Note  that  it
       assumes  that  the  format  is tiff and will fail when handed a raw fax

         case "$1" in
         -p) shift
             dopt=‘expr $1 - 1‘
             tiff2ps -d ${dopt} -2 -h 11.69 -w 8.27 "$1" | lp
         *)  tiff2ps -2 -h 11.69 -w 8.27 "$*" | lp


       mgetty   (   controls   data/fax/voice

       hylafax  ( is a full-function fax client/server

       g3topbm(1) and xv(1) can be used in a pipeline  to  view  faxes.   This
       will usually be slower than using viewfax, but xv has many capabilities
       for manipulating the image and saving it in other formats.

       faxview.tcl,               (
       ing/mgetty/faxview.tcl.gz)  a simple dialog for viewing FAX messages by
       Ralph Schleicher (  This is a  useful  tool  which
       provides a file menu from which incoming faxes can be selected for dis-
       play with viewfax.

       CCITT (now ITU) Recommendation T.4, Standardization of Group 3  Facsim-
       ile Apparatus for Document Transmission.

       CCITT (now ITU) Recommendation T.6, Facsimile Coding Schemes and Coding
       Control Functions for Group 4 Facsimile Apparatus.


       The user interface does not comply with any known style guide.
       The help text looks moth-eaten because it is encoded as  a  fax.   This
       avoids dealing with X11 fonts.
       The program does not refer to the X resources database.


       Frank D. Cringle (

Frank´s Hacks                  14 November 2004                     viewfax(1)

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