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Old 06-24-2005, 10:00 PM   #1
jjswick
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Registered: Jun 2005
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Huge font problem


My first Linux install is Redhat 9 on a Gateway 5300 laptop (256 mb RAM, 1.0 Gig Pentium III CPU). * I've been using it happily for about a year, but there is one major annoyance. In certain applications, something is haywire and the fonts are humungous (as in, maybe one word or just a couple characters take up the whole screen). This has caused me the following heartburn:

(1) I'm stuck using the ancient Mozilla 1.2, which comes with RH9. I'd very much prefer 1.7, but when I installed it, certain web pages and emails (not all) end up with the huge font problem. Not too big of a deal, since Firefox seems okay.
(2) A worse problem... I can't get OpenOffice working. The version that comes with RH9 doesn't work at all (which I believe was a known issue), so I figured no problem, I'll just install the latest version. Well, the install program brings up dialog boxes on the screen and I get those with the massive font, causing the window to be way larger than my screen and there's no scrollbar, so I basically have to kill the install at that point.

Any ideas? I apologize, but I really don't know what other information would be helpful, so maybe that would be a good first step. I have run up2date, and updated everything (except Mozilla -- using up2date would only take me to 1.4, which I don't care about).

It's possible the Arial font has something to do with it... it seems to show up on web pages which have the huge font problem, although I'm not positive that's always the case. The default web page for Mozilla on RH9 (file:///usr/share/doc/HTML/index.html) has the problem on Mozilla 1.7 (and Konqueror as well, so I don't think we're looking at a Mozilla issue).

Thanks!
J. J.

* - To answer the obvious question, I'm using an old distro like RedHat 9 because I'm pretty happy with it over all. I used RH9 quite successfully on a Dell machine at work. I've got it mostly set up how I want on this Gateway laptop, so I don't foresee wiping it out for a new distro. I've got two other desktops I'll probably try Fedora or Mandriva on soon. I really would like to get OpenOffice working, though.
 
Old 06-25-2005, 11:10 PM   #2
Harlin
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Quote:
* - To answer the obvious question, I'm using an old distro like RedHat 9 because I'm pretty happy with it
Doesn't sound like you're too happy with it. Regardless of your disclaimer, you need an upgrade
 
Old 06-26-2005, 02:54 PM   #3
jjswick
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Quote:
Originally posted by Harlin
Doesn't sound like you're too happy with it. Regardless of your disclaimer, you need an upgrade
There is truth to what you say. Let me say, though, that my unhappiness springs from the fact that RH9 worked great for me as my desktop at my job but has been a bit more frustrating for me at home (laptop).

I've got a desktop system on the way I will probably try Mandriva and/or Fedora on. I desparately don't want to undo my RH9 laptop because I've got some real projects going with it right now, requiring the laptop's mobility. I've seen the latest versions of Mozilla and OpenOffice work just fine on RedHat 9.... so I know it can be done! :-)

Yes, I'm stubborn -- maybe I'll upgrade soon, but I wanted to see if there was anything obvious I could try. I've searched high and low and I'm beginning to think I'm the only person who's ever had this problem.
 
Old 07-05-2005, 08:24 AM   #4
motub
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Re: Huge font problem

Quote:
Originally posted by jjswick
(1) I'm stuck using the ancient Mozilla 1.2, which comes with RH9. I'd very much prefer 1.7, but when I installed it, certain web pages and emails (not all) end up with the huge font problem. Not too big of a deal, since Firefox seems okay.
This sounds like a font configuration problem with regards to certain encodings. Now, honestly, if you want to stick with Mozilla, you really need to upgrade, but the long and the short of it is that people from other countries than yours usually send mail or code their web page in the encoding of their country, rather than some "general" encoding such as UTF-8. For example, U.S. English is ISO-8859-1, but it doesn't have any special French characters, such as accented letters, or German characters like the umlaut, so Western Europeans use ISO-8859-15, which contains these characters. Cyrillic and Asian languages, which use an entirely different 'alphabet', have their own encodings as well.

The thing is, current versions of Mozilla and Firefox allow you to set the font display for individual encodings (older versions of Mozilla may well have allowed this also)--and the default may well be considered "huge"-- 16, which can appears pretty big when using ttf fonts, depending on your dpi settings (the same size font appears bigger at 75 dpi than at 96 dpi. Or vice versa. But anyway, the dpi setting does affect the situation as well).

So what I would suggest is that when you run into a mail or a page that has the huge fonts, go to View=>Character encoding and see what encoding the mail or page is in. You'll likely find that all the pages with such a problem have the same encoding, or fall within one or two specific encodings.

Then go to the configuration dialog, and select the Font configuration section (I use Firefox, so I don't remember the directions for Mozilla 1.2; Firefox and Moz 1.7 would be similar to each other, but both have many more features that 1.2 did not yet implement), and use the drop down menu at the top (Fonts for: Western/Unicode/Central European/etc) to select the encoding you're having trouble with, and change the font display settings for that encoding. You'd also want to check the "Always use my fonts" button to make sure that your settings are always used rather than whatever freaky settings the mail sender or web page coder may have set (you wouldn't believe how many people use some gigantic 22-point font when coding their page, as if everybody runs at 1600x1200 or something).

Quote:
Originally posted by jjswick
(2) A worse problem... I can't get OpenOffice working. The version that comes with RH9 doesn't work at all (which I believe was a known issue), so I figured no problem, I'll just install the latest version. Well, the install program brings up dialog boxes on the screen and I get those with the massive font, causing the window to be way larger than my screen and there's no scrollbar, so I basically have to kill the install at that point.
Now, this sounds like a general-- GTK-- font configuration error, or of course a conflict between OO.o and GTK as installed by RH9 (after all, that's pretty old as well; what is that, GNOME 2.4 or something?)

First of all, can you not resize the installer window, or move it so that it is visible? If you have at least one corner shown (any corner), and you move your mouse to that corner, do you not get the resize arrows, or do they not work to resize the window? Does dragging the installer window taskbar with the left mouse button held not allow you to reposition the window so that you can use it?

The second point would be, what are your font settings in GNOME? I find it very weird that your normal desktop would be normally sized (font-wise), but then for some reason the OO.o installer doesn't use these settings at all-- so maybe there's something wrong with the settings themselves. Or do you flatly not have the needed fonts installed, so the font normally used by the dialog is being replaced by some random font that is not getting properly sized when called by the dialog? I would suggest installing at least the Microsoft Core fonts from RH (I'm pretty sure they're available; it's been a while since I used RH 9), as well as some other general native fonts (Bitstream Vera, for example), and setting GNOME to use one of those instead of the default (ugly old Sans).

I would also think that you're using the XFree86 font server, which might also need some configuration, but it's been so long since I used that, I have no recollection of how to determine or fix problems with it. But you might try the Font De-Uglification How-To for more leads as to what might be tripping you up in that department.

Hope this helps.
 
  


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