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Pango is a library for layout and rendering of text, with an emphasis
on internationalization. Pango can be used anywhere that text layout
is needed; however, most of the work on Pango so far has been done using 
the GTK+ widget toolkit as a test platform. Pango forms the core of text
and font handling for GTK+-2.x.

Pango is designed to be modular; the core Pango layout can be used
with different font backends. There are two basic backends, with
multiple options for rendering with each.

 - Client side fonts using the FreeType and fontconfig libraries.
   Rendering can be with with Cairo or Xft libraries, or directly
   to an in-memory buffer with no additional libraries.

 - Native fonts on Microsoft Windows. (Optionally using Uniscribe
   for complex-text handling). Rendering can be done via Cairo 
   or directly using the native Win32 API.

The integration of Pango with Cairo (
provides a complete solution with high quality text handling 
and graphics rendering.

Dynamically loaded modules then handle text layout for particular
combinations of script and font backend.

As well as the low level layout rendering routines, Pango includes
PangoLayout, a high level driver for laying out entire blocks of text,
and routines to assist in editing internationalized text.

For more information about Pango, see:


Pango depends on version 2.10 or newer of the GLib library; more 
information about GLib can be found at

When using client side fonts, the fontconfig library
( to look up fonts. At least version 2.0.9
of the FreeType font handling library ( is
also required.

Cairo support depends on the Cairo library (

The supported font backend for X in Pango-1.8 is the Xft backend
which uses version 2 of the Xft library to manage client
side fonts. Version 2 of Xft is available from 
You'll need the libXft package, and possibly the libXrender and 
renderext packages as well. You'll also need fontconfig (see below.)

Note that an earlier version of Xft is shipped with version
of XFree86 up to 4.2. This version does not work with Pango-1.8;
Pango-1.8 requires version 2 of Xft, which is present in XFree86-4.3
and newer and in X11R6.7 and X11R6.8.

After installing fontconfig, it may be necessary to edit
the fonts.conf file, found at $(sysconfdir)/fonts/fonts.conf
(usually /etc/fonts/fonts.conf) to point at the fonts
on your system.

Installation of Pango on Win32 is possible, but is not documented
here. See


 - By default, Pango tries to build itself so that no explicit
   dependency on Xft or FreeType will be introduced in apps that
   link to Pango. This is to avoid compatibility problems with
   changes in the Xft or FreeType API's or ABI's. Specifying 
   --enable-explicit-deps or --enable-static when configuring Pango 
   will defeat this and should be avoided if possible.


Most of the code of Pango is licensed under the terms of the 
GNU Lesser Public License (LGPL) - see the file COPYING for details.

The OpenType code in pango/opentype is derived from the FreeType 
project ( and is dual-licensed under the 
GNU Public License and the FreeType license. See see
pango/opentype/FT-license.txt for full details of the FreeType 

Note that binary distributions of Pango must include a disclaimer 
that the software is based in part of the work of the FreeType Team, 
in the distribution documentation; for instance, by including this 
README file.

Owen Taylor
17 June 2005
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