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6. Odds and Ends

6.1. Notes

  • Unfortunately there is no unified font handling system for Linux. You will have to configure each individual program so you can use TrueType, Type 1 or fonts that pique your fancy. And each program may well have its own way of doing this so you will have to RTFM. Desktop Environments like GNOME and KDE may provide much of this functionality however for apps that are under their control.

  • Most GUI apps should be able to use TrueType, and Type 1 fonts too. Wordperfect for Linux, however, cannot use TrueType. (See the links section below for more on Wordperfect.) Text editors, terminal programs and the like need fixed width fonts, and do not play well with TrueType or other scalable fonts.

  • Though not discussed here, Type 1 fonts provide many of the same benefits as TrueType and are historically better supported in the Unix world. You likely have many of these installed already. Unfortunately however, Type 1 are not a web standard like TrueType. But they are suitable for many other purposes. They are where it's at for printing. See ghostscript for more on this.

  • While it is possible to specify a default point size for the xfs font server, very few applications will actually use this value.

  • Abiword comes with a suite of fonts, called 'Abisuite'. Apparently, some of these fonts have the same names as some of the well known MS TrueType fonts: Arial, etc. And apparently, these are of much less quality. And because of the way X searches for fonts, it may find these first and use these, even if the 'real' ones are installed and may be the preferred choice. The solution is to uninstall 'Abisuite'.

  • The new Xft rendering extensions of XFree86 4.x will mostly supplant similar features as provided by xfs, and older XFree86 extensions. For instance, font aliasing should be done in XftConfig if the new extensions are being used. This would only be true where the application is built against a toolkit (like QT or GTK) that supports the new extensions. This is still not universally supported. In fact, only KDE is wide spread support.

6.2. Links