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This is a perl extension for rxvt-unicode that allows changing the font size on the fly with keyboard shortcuts. It has the following features:

  • Supports both xft and X11 fonts; X11 fonts work in both full form and as aliases.
  • Supports all four font settings: font, boldFont, italicFont and boldItalicFont and changes them in accordance with the base font (the first one from font).
  • Can apply the font change globally for the whole server, so that new terminals will inherit the same size, and even save it to ~/.Xresources to be able to survive a reboot.
  • Should work even with complicated font setups like the example in the urxvt man-page.


Put the font-size script into $HOME/.urxvt/ext/ and add it to the list of enabled perl-extensions in ~/.Xresources:

URxvt.perl-ext-common: ...,font-size

Note: if your urxvt version is older than 9.14 you will have to add the path to the script to the URxvt.perl-lib resource.

Add some keybindings:

URxvt.keysym.C-Up:     perl:font-size:increase
URxvt.keysym.C-Down:   perl:font-size:decrease
URxvt.keysym.C-S-Up:   perl:font-size:incglobal
URxvt.keysym.C-S-Down: perl:font-size:decglobal

The following functions are supported:

  • increase/decrease: increase or decrease the font size of the current terminal.
  • incglobal/decglobal: same as above and also adjust the X server values so all newly started terminals will use the same fontsize.
  • incsave/decsave: same as incglobal/decglobal and also modify the ~/.Xresources file so the changed font sizes will persist over a restart of the X server or a reboot.
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