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Monospace font Gtk apps only?

#1 User is offline   neddie 

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 03:27 PM

I noticed that both gedit and eclipse use a font called "Monospace" and it's able to display chinese characters very well. It's also pretty readable.
If I copy/paste chinese text from gedit or eclipse (or Firefox) into a non-Gtk app (like Kate, or OpenOffice), then I just get blank squares instead of chinese characters. I assume that the font doesn't include those characters. But when I try to choose the same font which gedit uses, it doesn't appear in the list! Whichever font I choose in OpenOffice, I just get empty squares instead of chinese.

Is this monospace font something special to gtk? Is it not possible to use it in non-gtk applications? (That would seem pretty odd to me, I thought fonts were just fonts and installed / available system-wide).
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#2 User is offline   pindakoe 

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 05:31 PM

Could it be that this font is OpenType (not Type 1 or Truetype). Opentype (OTF is usual extension) is sort of a superset of TTF and Adobe's fonts; Wikipedia has some background. Biggest advantage I found when exploring some time ago is that it by default assumes you will want glyphs (character shapes) for all Unicode whereas both TTF and Type 1 started in times when fonts had 128, 256 or a just a bit more glyphs than that. Obviously not every OTF will have all thousands and thousands of positions used, but they tend to be better than your average Truetype or Type 1 font. Application support is hit and miss affair -- OpenOffice and Abiword do not (fully) support OTF; one variety is supported, the other one is not. Fontmatrix (not in Mandriva repositories AFAIK) is a good app if you want to investigate what a font has under the hood.
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#3 User is offline   scarecrow 

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 07:47 PM

Monospace is a whole family of fonts with a common characteristic (fixed char width), and not a particular font. Perhaps the one you used is not unicode?
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#4 User is offline   neddie 

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 09:16 PM

View Postscarecrow, on May 26 2009, 08:47 PM, said:

Monospace is a whole family of fonts with a common characteristic (fixed char width), and not a particular font. Perhaps the one you used is not unicode?
I know what a fixed width font is, but the fact is that when I configure the font in gedit or eclipse, one of the font names offered (and in fact the default one) is called "Monospace", and that displays the Chinese characters in those applications. OpenOffice offers fixed width fonts (eg Liberation Mono, DejaVu Sans Mono), but there is no font offered called "Monospace". Which would make sense if this is a different type of font, as pindakoe suggests. Fact is, I've gone through all the fonts offered in the list by OpenOffice, and none of them can display the Chinese. So either it's a limitation of the fonts or a limitation of OpenOffice. I haven't tried running OpenOffice under Gnome but I guess it's the same. That's a huge benefit of gedit over Kate that it can display these things properly though!

Thanks, pindakoe, that's helpful info. I guess if the characters can be shown in Firefox, gedit, eclipse and java then I'll just stick with those apps and avoid Kate and OpenOffice.
Dell 510m, Mandriva 2009.0, KDE 3
Shuttle K48, Debian Squeeze, Gnome
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