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Old 10-03-2005, 07:35 AM   #1
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Fonts different after Linux upgrade


this is really puzzling me and i am at my wits end, i hope some of the experts here can help. I have posted to OpenOffice and Debian mailing lists without any really helpful feedback...

Problem is an office i am technically supporting, running linux on Workstations and servers (this setup is rare enough...). I initially set them up one and a half year ago, back then used woody for the server and sarge (being "testing" back then) for the workstations. Things ran fine, but the kernel and software versions got somewhat outdated lately (very old openoffice, KDE, no USB support and so on). I picked one workstation and did an apt-get upgrade there (later even distribution-upgrade). After some fiddling around, i had new versions but the whole package that debian delivered (testing) was highly unstable and since this is a productive deployment we considered it unusable. The problems were too many to list, including programs like evolution reproducably dieing, kernel panics and so on. One particular problem was that in the new openoffice version, the font that this office had picked for their correspondence (Nimbus sans L) looked quite different; sort of condensed/compressed. Their carefully designed layouts were totally broken when used on this particular workstation. But as i said, the number of problems was so big that i decided to start freshly. By that time, i had a look into Ubuntu and got the impression that it is a carefully set up package of stable software and i still think so. So i put hoary on that machine. Happy with almost everything now, but - the old font problem is still there! OK and this is what i found out so far:
- font looks one way in the "old" versions, KDE 3.1 OpenOffice 1.1.1, and different in the new hoary versions with 1.1.3 and 3.4 ( i dont want to call it right and wrong, its just different)
- when going into the "new" font management application in kde 3.4, the font looks the "old" way
- when running Abi Word on the new system, fonts look "new"
- when running Kwrite they look even differnt (argh!)
- when running the "new" Gnome and OpenOffice write, the fonts look "new" way.
- i have compared the fonts.conf and local.conf in /etc/fonts they look the same. I have also checked the font paths in xorg and XFree86.conf (sorry if i get the names wrong i am on windows machine right now) in the respective /etc/X11 directories (old installation ran on XF86config-4 basis new one runs the new or what the name is)
- i even copied what i think the binary font files are in /share/fonts

If it helps i can provide screenshots but i really hope someone has an idea what this is. To clarify, my target is to figure out what causes the different display of the Nimbus sans L font in the new setup, and how to fix it so the font looks and prints exactly the same as it does with the "old" setup.

Please help urgently. Thanks!

Last edited by MarvinD; 10-03-2005 at 07:42 AM.
Old 10-04-2005, 01:04 AM   #2
Registered: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 124

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I'm not sure if I had the exact same problem, but my menu fonts were all messed when I installed the oo2 beta on my new machine. I believe I fixed it by installing a bunch of freetype font packages...although I really have no idea why it was reverting to a fugly font, and I can't quite remember if that is what fixed it...sorry
Old 10-10-2005, 05:15 PM   #3
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Registered: Oct 2005
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I was able to solve it - or at least find a workaround for this problem. It turned out that both AbiWord and OpenOffice use the nimbus Sans L condensed font file (i found this by creating a doc, entering one line in Nimbus sans L, and doing lsof on the process - it held the wrong .afw file). I removed the condensed file and linked it to the regular one and voilá. I would still like to knwo what causes this since the font selection list clearly does NOT show "condensed" though.


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