Brother laser printer and GNU FreeFont
If you own some Brother PostScript laser printer or the PostScript laser printer made by HP, Epson, etc. I ask you to test it with GNU FreeFont using your Linux distribution and to report the results here. I donít need the hundreds of the tests. Itís enough to perform it on one Brother PostScript laser printer other than mine and on one PostScript laser printer made by someone else. Before youíll start the tests inspect the present thread because maybe someone else tested the same or the similar printer with that font earlier so it isnít necessary to repeat the same test once again.
Below is the complete description of the problem that I encountered together with the recipe that allows you to reproduce the test that I made. In short: my Brother PostScript laser printer prints some characters with diacritics from GNU FreeFont in a wrong way. Iíd like to know whether that problem is restricted to my printer only, to the different PostScript laser printers made by Brother, or to all PostScript laser printers.
I own Brother HL-5340D laser printer. Itís very nice device but unfortunately it causes the problems with GNU FreeFont concerning some characters with diacritics. These problems appear in Linux only Ė in Windows that printer works with these fonts well.
The non-PostScript and non-laser printers such as Canon PIXMA iP3600 work well with that font so donít test your printer with GNU FreeFont unless you own some PostScript laser printer. Donít test your printer in Windows as well because the problem is restricted to Linux.
I tested Brother HL-5340D laser printer with all Linux drivers from:
Ė LPR driver
Ė cupswrapper driver
Ė ppd file
The mentioned problems appear with all drivers.
It doesnít matter what program I use to print the file. The problems appear with OpenOffice.org, LibreOffice, Firefox, Opera, etc.
The following picture of the printout illustrates that problems:
As you can see the diaeresis accents over ń ň Ō ÷ ‹ š Ž Ô Ų Ł in FreeSerif and FreeSans are lowered and moved to the left or only moved to the left in some cases. Also the grave and the acute accents over ņ » Ŕ ť ŗ Ť ý and Ń ć ń ů ś ź in FreeMono are moved one character to the left in some cases.
That problem isnít restricted to the mentioned characters used in Polish, German, and French languages. I printed the bigger sets of the characters and observed the similar problems in the case of the other characters as well.
The above printout was made with an unofficial GNU FreeFont version 20121211. The last official version 20120503 gives in the case of the FreeMono font slightly worse results. I tested also the newest GNU FreeFont got from SVN and converted with FontForge. It behaves exactly the same as the unofficial GNU FreeFont version 20121211 Ė at least in the case of the mentioned characters.
To reproduce the test you need some PostScript laser printer, GNU FreeFont, and the file including the characters sets.
Hereís ODT file for OpenOffice.org, LibreOffice, etc.:
Hereís HTML file for Firefox, Opera, etc.:
(Use the one which is more comfortable for you.)
The interesting thing is that when I export ODT file from OpenOffice.org or LibreOffice to PDF file my printer prints that file well.
Hereís PDF file for Adobe Reader etc.:
(Use it only if the printout from ODT or HTML files was invalid.)
The official freefont-ttf-20120503.zip version of GNU FreeFont is here:
The unofficial freefont-ttf-20121211.zip version of GNU FreeFont is here:
(To download the file click File | Download.)
If youíre really brave Linux user and youíd like to try the current GNU FreeFont version use the following command to download the sources:
1. What printer you used.
2. What GNU FreeFont version you tried.
3. How looks the printout (everything is good or some characters are invalid).
Use for the tests the ODT or the HTML file. The PDF file gives the valid printouts even with my printer.
I reported these problems to Savannah two years ago. Last year I updated my bug report adding some new information. Unfortunately the Savannah guy thinks their font is great and the problem is with my printerís firmware or driver. He asked me to perform dozens of the tests before he admitted that maybe thereís some problem with their font.
I even invented the semi-automatic method to repair most of the mentioned characters using FontForge. Unfortunately my semi-automatic method is too automatic and as a result it improves some glyphs but spoils at the same time the other ones. I could repair invalid glyphs in my version of that font manually but Iím not font developer and I donít see the purpose to made my own fork of that font.
The only method to get the right printouts using my Brother HL-5340D laser printer and GNU FreeFont is to export the file to PDF format and to print it with Adobe Reader.
3) I sent you a couple jpg's of the scans of my tests. They both looked just fine. I did both the ODT and the HTML test.
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