Linux Magazine: Administering Fonts

“One of the most obvious and painful imperfections of Linux systems is the X Window System’s cumbersome font-handling facilities. The chief reason that fonts cause so much difficulty — or at least inconvenience — is that there is no unified font manager in this environment. Instead, most applications have their own unique font-handling methods and each one must be configured individually.”

“This month, I’ll describe how X handles fonts and how to add Adobe Type 1 fonts to your system. Next month, I’ll explain how to install TrueType fonts and how office applications handle fonts. What’s the difference between Type 1 and TrueType fonts? Read on.”

“There are two formats for font files: bitmap and outline. Bitmap fonts store the information about the characters in a font as bitmap images, while outline fonts define the characters in a font as a series of lines and curves, comprising in this way mathematical representations of the component characters. … To further complicate matters, there are two competing formats for outline fonts: Adobe Type 1 and TrueType. … All of these different types of fonts are generally present on Linux systems.”

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