Difference between revisions of "Font-FAQ"
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This is the place where the work on the Font-FAQ for
This is the place where the work on the Font-FAQfor 2.x (*nix) will happen. Eventually it will replace the [http://www.openoffice.org/FAQs/fontguide.html Font Trouble Shooting Guide] prepared for OOo 1.x.
If you have other suggestions, feel free to use the discussion-page.
If you have other suggestions, feel free to use the discussion-page.
= Adding Fonts =
= Adding Fonts =
Revision as of 03:09, 3 April 2007
Feel free to fill out missing items, suggest new ones or correct mistakes and fix typos! If you have other suggestions, feel free to use the discussion-page.
- 1 Adding Fonts
- 2 Font Fallback
- 2.1 What is this Font Fallback in OpenOffice.org 2
- 2.2 How does Font Fallback work
- 2.3 Where is the VCL.xcu in OpenOffice.org 2
- 2.4 How does the VCL.xcu work
- 2.5 How can I configure OpenOffice.org 2 to perform a specific font substitution
- 2.6 My document using a popular Windows font looks different than on Windows
- 2.7 My document using TNR looks awful
- 2.8 How can I find out what font OpenOffice.org 2 really uses
- 3 Glyph Fallback
- 4 Freetype
- 5 AntiAliasing
- 5.1 What is AntiAliasing
- 5.2 Is AntiAliasing supported in OpenOffice.org 2
- 5.3 What are the minimum system requirements to make AntiAliasing work
- 5.4 Where can I configure AntiAliasing in OpenOffice.org 2
- 5.5 What are embedded bitmaps in fonts
- 5.6 How can I tweak OpenOffice.org 2 to ignore embedded bitmaps
- 6 Fontconfig
- 6.1 What is Fontconfig
- 6.2 Is Fontconfig supported in OpenOffice.org 2
- 6.3 What are the limitations in OpenOffice.org 2's Fontconfig support
- 6.4 What font is OpenOffice.org 2 using for the user interface
- 6.5 How can I change OpenOffice.org 2's user interface font
- 6.6 If I don't use Gnome 2.6, how can change the user interface font though
- 6.7 What is font aliasing
- 6.8 A few number of my fonts isn't antialiased, why
- 6.9 Which fonts on my desktop are provided by Fontconfig
- 7 Misc
- 7.1 Where are all the fonts installed on my system
- 7.2 How do I find out what fonts are installed on my system
- 7.3 What is a scalable font
- 7.4 What is a bitmap font
- 7.5 What is a proportional font
- 7.6 What is a fixed-width font
- 7.7 What are these long font names
- 7.8 Scrolling the font combo-box freezes OpenOffice.org 2
- 7.9 What can I do if scrolling the font combo-box crashes OpenOffice.org 2
How do I add fonts to OpenOffice.org 2 exclusively
There are two choices: Either for all users of OOo or only for one single user. If you intend to add the fonts...
- for all users of OOo (but only within OOo, put the fonts into the directory
- only for one single user of OOo, put the fonts into the directory
Instead of moving around the fonts manually, you can as well use the Printer Administration tool "spadmin" to install the fonts. If you cannot find a "OpenOffice.org Printer Administration" launcher in your desktop's menu, you can lauch it manually by executing
How do I add fonts to one user's desktop exclusively
When using fontconfig (which is the case for virtually every modern/current distribution out there), it is sufficient to place the fonts in the directory
If it doesn't exist already, create it. After adding or removing fonts, you should regererate the font-cache of that directory by running
How do I add fonts system wide
To make the fonts available system-wide, you have to add the fonts to a directory that is included in the global configuration file(s). Usually, you can find that file (fonts.conf) here:
As stated in the file itself, you should not modify that file. Instead, modify the file local.conf instead (create it in the same directory if it doesn't exist already). But have a look at the default one for the syntax, etc. If you don't want to add your font to one of the already listed directories, then just create the directory and add that one to
Let's say you decided to copy your fonts to the directory "/usr/local/share/myfonts", then you would add
As when adding the fonts for a single user only, you should create the font-cache to speed up font-lookup. Keeping with the example, you would run
and you're done.
Where can I find fonts for OpenOffice.org 2
You can install a bunch of fonts using the wizard "File|Wizards → Install Fonts from the Web". This includes the "Core Fonts" from Microsoft (can be obtained from http://corefonts.sourceforge.net/) and many others.
If you're looking for fonts that cover a special language, I'm sure you'll find these links useful:
SIL has a couple of high-quality fonts as well, some of them are worth mentioning individually:
- Gentium http://scripts.sil.org/gentium/
- Charis SIL http://scripts.sil.org/CharisSILFont or Doulos SIL http://scripts.sil.org/DoulosSILfont
- Galatia SIL http://scripts.sil.org/SILgrkuni
- Ezra SIL http://scripts.sil.org/EzraSIL_Home
What is this Font Fallback in OpenOffice.org 2
Font-Fallback kicks in whenever a font is requested that is not installed on the system. (Not installed means: not available to OOo).
OOo then tries to use a different font from the ones that OOo knows about that matches the requested one as close as possible.
How does Font Fallback work
For font-fallback to produce satisfying results, OOo somehow has to know about similarities of fonts. OOo must know that it can for example substitue Arial by Helvetica, but not with Comic Sans. This task is not as easy as it sounds, since there are very many fonts out there and OOo cannot know about all of them.
OOo uses several ways to find a suitable replacement:
- font alias information provided by the system (e.g. from a fonts.dir file)
- hard-coded list of fallback-fonts, from VCL.xcu (tried first)
- alternative font name spellings
- font-attributes (e.g. does it have CJK-characters, is it a Symbol-font) or style (serif/non-serif, proportional/non-proportional)
if all that fails as well:
- use a default font
Where is the VCL.xcu in OpenOffice.org 2
You'll find the VCL.xcu in
(where "/opt/openoffice.org2.0/" is the default prefix of your installation)
How does the VCL.xcu work
The VCL.xcu includes both the default font-lists as well as the substitiution lists for fallback. The replacement-lists are in <node oor:name="FontSubstitutions">
Let's look at an example:
[..lots of lines...] <node oor:name="FontSubstitutions"> [...lots of lines...] <node oor:name="thorndale" oor:op="replace"> <prop oor:name="SubstFonts"> <value>timesnewroman;times;timesroman;newyork;timmons;serif;lucidaserif;lucidabright;roman;nimbusromanno9;nimbusromanno9l;bookman;itcbookman;garamond;garamondmt;palatino</value> </prop> <prop oor:name="SubstFontsMS"> <value>Times New Roman</value> </prop> <prop oor:name="SubstFontsPS"> <value>Times</value> </prop> <prop oor:name="SubstFontsHTML"> <value>serif</value> </prop> <prop oor:name="FontWeight"> <value>Normal</value> </prop> <prop oor:name="FontWidth"> <value>Normal</value> </prop> <prop oor:name="FontType"> <value>Default,Standard,Normal,Serif</value> </prop> </node> [..lots of lines...]
The first think you notice is that the fontnames listed in that section are all normalized, that means only lowercase letters with all numbers, spaces and other characters removed.
Second thing you notice is that there is not only one item with a list of replacement fonts, but also some other properties like SubstFontsMS, SubstFontsPS, SubstFontsHTML,...
So what does all these mean?
<node oor:name="thorndale" oor:op="replace">
starts a new section, a new set of replacements for the font "Thorndale" the property
describes the list of fonts that could be used instead of Thorndale, when Thorndale is not installed. In the example, this would include "Times New Roman", "Times", "Times Roman",... and finally "Palatino"
This list works the other way as well, so when you request e.g. Palatino but don't have that one installed, Thorndale is a possible replacement.
The other properties are optional and describe the font in more detail or for special circumstances. If you export the document to a Microsoft Office Format, the font given in
(in this case "Times New Roman") would be specified as alternative in the document, if you print to a postscript printer, the font would be replaced by "Times" (most likely built-into the printer), when you export to HTML, it would be specified as a "serif" font, etc.
How can I configure OpenOffice.org 2 to perform a specific font substitution
If you're not happy with the replacement that OOo does, you can override the replacement and define a new one of your choice by using
Tools|Options → OpenOffice.org → Fonts
check "[x] Apply Replacement Table" and type in the name of the font you want to replace, and select a font that should be the replacement from the list.
check [x] always if you want the font to be replaced, even when it is installed check [x] screen if you want the font to be replaced on screen only
My document using a popular Windows font looks different than on Windows
Many systems have fonts that claim to look like Windows fonts (e.g. Arial, Times New Roman or Courier New ) but actually don't. It helps considerably to download and install the real fonts from Corefonts.
My document using TNR looks awful
How can I find out what font OpenOffice.org 2 really uses
Some documents contain text that is not supported by the font specified for this text. This happens often when e.g. symbols or extended latin characters are involved. In order to display something reasonable the characters missing in the specified font are substituted by glyphs from other fonts.
My extended latin characters look different than the rest of my text
This happens when the font selected for text containing these extended latin characters doesn't support them. Guessing how these unsupported characters would have looked if the font's designer had added them is almost impossible. It is about as difficult as guessing how van Gogh would have painted an image of the Chinese wall.
I see "square boxes" instead of regular characters
The text contains characters that are not supported by the selected font. OOo also didn't find a suitable alternative font for these characters.
How can I find out if Glyph Fallback works in my OpenOffice.org 2
Select a Latin font e.g. Arial, then type something Chinese => the Chinese text looks readable even though Arial doesn't support any Chinese
What is freetype2
Is freetype2 supported in OpenOffice.org 2
What does freetype2 provide
Isn't Xorg rendering my fonts
What types of fonts are supported in OpenOffice.org 2
Are OTF fonts supported in OpenOffice.org 2
Not yet if they are postscript fonts (as virtually all of them are). The best you can do currently is to convert them from .otf to .ttf using something like fontforge http://fontforge.sf.net. The fontforge conversion is very good but not lossless with splines (the outlines of the font definition) being converted from cubic to quadratic splines. All the hinting, however, will be lost irrevocably. The automated hinting in fontforge for truetype .ttf files is bad and worse than not using it at all. What this means is that the converted fonts will be less legible at small sizes, but print quality will not be adversely affected except on low resolution printers. PDF and PS files generated for on screen viewing will be affected. The hinting from cubic splines is not compatible with ttf fonts so it can never be ported across to the quadratic form (which all ttf fonts must have).
If you have a small font less than 256 characters (so none of the complex Chinese, Japanese or Korean fonts) you can convert the font to a postscript type one file (.pfb) and retain the origianl hints with fontforge. This is a better choice than converting it to .ttf as the splines and hints remain unchanged (therefore the change is lossless). You cannot do this reliably with larger fonts (with more than 256 characters or glyphs). To do this, these are the steps:
If the opentype font is a cid keyed font (most new adobe fonts are), choose to flatten the cid map.
Re-encode it to ISO 8859-1.
Select all from the "edit" menu. Then in the "hints" menu select Don't Autohint.
Choose to generate a font as PS type 1 (binary).
Choose the options and make sure hints, flex hints and output afm are enabled.
Save the font and you can install it directly into the openoffice usable fonts by running the "spadmin" executable in the openoffice/program/ directory or globally by whatever other mechanism you would normally use.
Are none-Unicode fonts supported in OpenOffice.org 2
What is AntiAliasing
Is AntiAliasing supported in OpenOffice.org 2
What are the minimum system requirements to make AntiAliasing work
Where can I configure AntiAliasing in OpenOffice.org 2
What are embedded bitmaps in fonts
How can I tweak OpenOffice.org 2 to ignore embedded bitmaps
What is Fontconfig
Is Fontconfig supported in OpenOffice.org 2
What are the limitations in OpenOffice.org 2's Fontconfig support
What font is OpenOffice.org 2 using for the user interface
How can I change OpenOffice.org 2's user interface font
Go to Tools > Options then select the Fonts category. Check "Apply replacement table" and type in "Andale sans UI" in the "Font" box and select a font in the "Replace with" box. Click the check button and enable the "Always" checkbox. Click OK to finish.
The "Replace with" font you select has to support the locales selected for your system. You need to type in "Andale sans UI" because it is not selectable from the drop-down menu.
If I don't use Gnome 2.6, how can change the user interface font though
What is font aliasing
A few number of my fonts isn't antialiased, why
Which fonts on my desktop are provided by Fontconfig
Where are all the fonts installed on my system
How do I find out what fonts are installed on my system
What is a scalable font
A scalable font (also known as outline font) is a font where the individual characters are stored in vector format. The curves and lines that the glyph consists of are described relative to each other. This has the advantage that the font can be scaled to any fontsize without loss of quality.
The scaling has a minor disadvantage as well: At (very) small font-sizes or zoom-factors, the individual lines may not be drawn properly on a computer monitor because of the monitor's limited resolution. Since all is scaled down equally, thin lines can "disappear" because they will be scaled to be smaller than one pixel of your monitor. High-Quality fonts include hints for the rendering applications on what strokes/lines are important to recognize the character. The application now knows that it must display these lines and not make them disappear (by not scaling them down to a size smaller than a pixel of your monitor). This is called "hinting" (Postscript-fonts) or "instructing" (TrueType Fonts). A (rather technical) description is available at Fontforge. This is not a problem when printing, since printers usually operate at a much higher resolution than a computer monitor.
If you have the choice, you should prefer scalable fonts over bitmap fonts.
See also the article on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_font
What is a bitmap font
A bitmap font (also known as raster font) is a font where the individual characters are stored by individual pixels - a "picture" of each character is stored. This has the big disadvantage that the font only looks good at the font-sizes it was designed for.
When you choose a different fontsize, the pixmaps need to be scaled, what leads to visible artifacts (jagged lines) - just the same as when you scale your bmp or jpeg Image. This effect is compensated to a small extend by the means of anti-aliasing, but especially at bigger fontsizes the fonts will not look as good as outline (scalable) fonts.
See also the wikipedia-article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitmap_font