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text bounding box size

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg64305] text bounding box size
  • From: Fred Soo <fsoo at>
  • Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 02:13:46 -0500 (EST)
  • Organization: University of Washington
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


I know this has been asked before, but I haven't seen any response.  Has 
anyone found an easy way to get the bounding box size (height, width) of 
a Text expression for a given DisplayFunction?  Or for that matter, the 
size of any Graphics object being displayed?

I've tried a few things, but this is way too difficult, and there aren't 
even any kludgy workarounds.

For instance, to get text height, I tried to pull the FontSize->x out of 
any Text expression.  This is ok, but of course, doesn't work if no 
FontSize is specified.

As for reading the default TextStyle, there doesn't seem to be a way 
unless you use $TextStyle.  In addition, if you use Show[expr, 
DefaultFont:>x] to change all of the fonts in a graphic, it doesn't 
appear to modify $TextStyle or pass DefaultFont->x, so there is no way 
to tell what font x is.

Text width is kind of hopeless, as there doesn't seem (unless somebody 
knows, please let me know) a way of getting a font metric.

I've looked at the PostScript output from DisplayString, and can find 
some bits and pieces which make some sense, but not being a PostScript 
expert, this would take a lot of time to figure out.

Any suggestions?



Department of Physiology and Biophysics
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98199
(206) 616-2510

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