MapServer Studio allows you to choose from thousands of different fonts to use in your maps.

To use a font first set the FONTSET in your Mapfile. A FONTSET is a text file that contains a font name and its associated TrueType file. TrueType fonts can be rendered at any size without losing quality.

MapServer Studio currently supports two FONTSET values: google and microsoft. These values can be added to a Mapfile to allow fonts from either of these collections to be used:

    NAME "MyFontsMap"
    FONTSET "google"

Selecting a Font#

Once a FONTSET has been selected any of the fonts in the collection can be used when rendering a map. Fonts are typically used in a LABEL object.

  COLOR  150 150 150
  FONT "arial"
  TYPE truetype
  SIZE 12


Aliases are not case-sensitive so “Arial”, “arial”, and “ARIAL” can all be used. MapServer Studio also allows for aliases with spaces or hyphens e.g. “Times New Roman Italic” or “Times-New-Roman-Italic” are equivalent.

Below is an example of a label using the Monsieur La Doulaise font from the Google fontset. You can play with the online example here.

    NAME "Caribbean"
    FONTSET "google"
        FONT "Monsieur La Doulaise" # can also use "Monsieur-La-Doulaise"
        SIZE 28
        BUFFER 5
Screenshot showing a map using the Monsieur La Doulaise font

With a change of font and just a couple of changes to the labels and the map colour you can create a very different looking map. You can play with the online example here.

    NAME "Scifi"
    FONTSET "google"
        FONT "Bruno Ace" # can also use "Bruno-Ace"
        SIZE 14
        COLOR 255 255 255
        BUFFER 5
Screenshot showing a map using the Bruno Ace font

Using Fontsets Locally#

If you have created a Mapfile using MapServer Studio, and want to host the Mapfile elsewhere you will need to obtain copies of the TTF files used in your map and then create a fontset file containing any of the fonts used in your map. For example create a fonts.txt with the following entries:

Bruno-Ace                                          BrunoAce-Regular.ttf
Monsieur-La-Doulaise                               MonsieurLaDoulaise-Regular.ttf

You will then need to reference this file in your Mapfile:

FONTSET "../path/fonts.txt"

Aliases cannot contain spaces (see this issue), so a workaround is to replace these with hyphens. The paths to the TTF files are relative to the fonts.txt file.

Google Fonts#

Google Fonts is a collection of open-source fonts that can be used by anyone for free. From the FAQ:

all Google Fonts are open source and are without cost…you can use them commercially, and even include them within a product that is sold commercially.

There are over 3,350 fonts in the collection. To find a font browse or search the fonts at Then simply use the name of the font as the FONT value in your Mapfile. There are

Microsoft Fonts#

This fontset contains fonts from Microsoft True Type Core Fonts for the Web. These can be installed on a Linux machine using the following command:

apt install ttf-mscorefonts-installer

The End User License Agreement does not restrict using the fonts when generating a map.

Below is the full list of available fonts in this fontset:

Andale-Mono                                        andalemo.ttf
Andale-Mono-Regular                                andalemo.ttf
Arial                                              Arial.ttf
Arial-Black                                        Arial_Black.ttf
Arial-Black-Regular                                Arial_Black.ttf
Arial-Bold                                         Arial_Bold.ttf
Arial-Bold-Italic                                  arialbi.ttf
Arial-Italic                                       ariali.ttf
Arial-Regular                                      Arial.ttf
Comic-Sans-MS                                      Comic_Sans_MS.ttf
Comic-Sans-MS-Bold                                 Comic_Sans_MS_Bold.ttf
Comic-Sans-MS-Regular                              Comic_Sans_MS.ttf
Courier-New                                        cour.ttf
Courier-New-Bold                                   Courier_New_Bold.ttf
Courier-New-Bold-Italic                            Courier_New_Bold_Italic.ttf
Courier-New-Italic                                 couri.ttf
Courier-New-Regular                                cour.ttf
Georgia                                            Georgia.ttf
Georgia-Bold                                       georgiab.ttf
Georgia-Bold-Italic                                georgiaz.ttf
Georgia-Italic                                     georgiai.ttf
Georgia-Regular                                    Georgia.ttf
Impact                                             Impact.ttf
Impact-Regular                                     Impact.ttf
Times-New-Roman                                    times.ttf
Times-New-Roman-Bold                               Times_New_Roman_Bold.ttf
Times-New-Roman-Bold-Italic                        timesbi.ttf
Times-New-Roman-Italic                             timesi.ttf
Times-New-Roman-Regular                            times.ttf
Trebuchet-MS                                       Trebuchet_MS.ttf
Trebuchet-MS-Bold                                  Trebuchet_MS_Bold.ttf
Trebuchet-MS-Bold-Italic                           trebucbi.ttf
Trebuchet-MS-Italic                                Trebuchet_MS_Italic.ttf
Trebuchet-MS-Regular                               Trebuchet_MS.ttf
Verdana                                            Verdana.ttf
Verdana-Bold                                       verdanab.ttf
Verdana-Bold-Italic                                Verdana_Bold_Italic.ttf
Verdana-Italic                                     verdanai.ttf
Verdana-Regular                                    Verdana.ttf
Webdings                                           Webdings.ttf
Webdings-Regular                                   Webdings.ttf