Re: font substitution

From: Andrew Dunbar (
Date: Thu Jul 04 2002 - 00:47:08 EDT

  • Next message: Mark Gilbert: "Re: font substitution"

     --- Mark Gilbert <> wrote: >
    On Wed, 2002-07-03 at 22:34, Andrew Dunbar wrote:
    > > No no. You should definitely only do a visual
    > > substitution. I should be able to create a
    > document
    > > with Arial fonts for Windows users even when I'm
    > on
    > > a machine that doesn't have them.
    > > I especially should be able to edit such a doc
    > created
    > > on a Windows machine, and save my changes without
    > > having changed the font in the document.
    > That's silly. If we did it this way I could never
    > change the fonts used
    > without opening up the file in some text editor and
    > changing the fonts
    > manually.

    Our font-substitution would allow you to make this
    change as does MS Word. It should not be the default.
    My philosophy is that all changes should be explicit.

    > Now we could prompt on save regarding font
    > substitution, that's an
    > option. GIMP is always good about telling you
    > "visible layers will be
    > merged, export?" We could just "This document is
    > being viewed with
    > fonts other than the ones it was last saved with
    > because those fonts
    > aren't available. Would you like to save the new
    > font to keep the
    > current appearance of the document or preserve the
    > font settings to be
    > used again when those fonts are available? [Save
    > new fonts] [Preserve
    > old fonts]"

    Imagine your boss uses MS Word and your're using
    AbiWord. He creates documents using all manner of
    fonts that he has and you don't (maybe they're
    You edit this document on AbiWord, AbiWord goes ahead
    and changes them all to the few fonts on your machine,
    possibly none of which he has on his machine.
    Next time he opens his document that you've edited he
    sees that all his lovely fonts have been permanently
    substituted to just a couple of plainer fonts!

    MS Word cannot know how to map back the fonts that got
    mapped out by AbiWord. This would be a bad thing.
    Fonts should be document-centric, not machine-centric.

    > Anyway, I liked the pure simplicity of my original
    > idea and what Joaquin
    > suggested in response. In any case, it is no worse
    > than what word does
    > BY DEFAULT. Then in prefs we could have "< > Custom

    This doesn't seem to be what Word does. It does soft/
    visual substitution which needs to be specifically
    overridden by the user if he wishes to do hard

    > font
    > substitutions". And if the custom arent selected,
    > we can always do
    > things like Arial<->Helvetica. There are only so
    > many 'constantly
    > interchangable' fonts. Or we could try to be smart
    > like some other apps
    > (which oft fsck things up this way) and have abi
    > think to herself 'font
    > courier doesn't exist, but font courier does.
    > That's a whole word
    > match, good enuf'. Of course if your font is called
    > 'the antithesis of
    > times new roman' well, you get the point.

    That's exactly why we shouldn't modify the document!
    The worst case is it doesn't look perfect on the
    machines with the fewer fonts - it will still look
    perfect on the machine with the more fonts when that
    machine gets it back.

    If the original uses both Helvetica and Arial and
    AbiWord changes all the Arial to Helvetica, we've just
    erased the work put in by whoever chose to use both
    fonts in the first place. I fail to see how this can
    be a good idea in a shared document environment.

    > Andrew, I am shocked and alarmed at the heuristic
    > force with which you
    > made your two responses (=

    And I'm shocked by yours (: Maybe you didn't
    understand what I was saying.


    > Groovin'
    > -MG
    > --
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