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Re: Which fonts do I need to make Linux Stop Chirping?

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  • Subject: [mg37012] Re: [mg36993] Which fonts do I need to make Linux Stop Chirping?
  • From: "P.J. Hinton" <paulh at>
  • Date: Sun, 6 Oct 2002 05:33:02 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: "Wolfram Research, Inc."
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

On Fri, 4 Oct 2002, Steven wrote:

> I came across this, and thought I would share.  This may be OBE if the font 
> selection is better in 4.2.  I'll that installed by this time tomorrow...I 
> hope.
> I started reading through this list, and had visions of recursively 
> downloading the entire internet looking for the font's I really need.  
> Anybody know what fonts I should have installed on my SuSE box to satisfy 
> Mathematica's default expectations?

The contents of the page at this URL are interesting, but probably not 
relevant for your purposes.

The only fonts which are absolutely needed by the front end are the fonts
that supply the special glyphs for mathematical notation, grouping
characters, Greek letters, etc.  These fonts were developed by Wolfram 
Research and are installed as part of the Mathematica installation.  

There are two generations of these fonts.  The first generation was
introduced in Mathematica 3.0 in the fall of 1996 and were used through
the release of Mathematica 4.1.  There were five families known as Math1 - 
Math5.  Each familiy had four variants: a proportionaly-spaced medium 
face, a monospaced medium, a proportional bold, and a monospaced bold.  
The second generation is used by Mathematica 4.2.  There are seven 
families named Mathematica1 - Mathematica7.

Aside from the math fonts, the front end should be able to function
properly provided that you have a font that supports the encoding for your
chosen locale.  The style sheets bundled with the front end use only
Times, Helvetica, and Courier.  Should these fonts not be available on
your system, the front end has some substitution rules.  

For example, the Windows front end knows to use the fonts Times New Roman,
Arial, and Courier New.  The X Window System ships with bitmap versions of
Times, Helvetica, and Courier as well as an outline of Courier.  If one of
these fonts must be drawn at a size for which there are no bitmaps, 
outline fonts provided with Mathematica are used.  Helvetica is aliased to 
Swiss721, and Times is aliased to Utopia through a fonts.alias file in the 
Mathematica fonts directory.

Under MacOS and Windows, you should be albe to use whatever fonts are
available on your system.  Under X, things are a little more complicated.  
The front end can display whatever fonts are made available to your X
server, but it can generate PostScript only for those fonts where an Adobe
Font Metric (AFM) file is available.  If you wish to display or print the
PostScript, you must also make the Type 1 font file available to the
rendering device.

Note also that the X front end has an adjustable setting for the amount of 
memory to reserve for storing font data.  If your system has a large 
number of fonts, you may need to increase this setting per this FAQ page:

P.J. Hinton
User Interface Programmer                         paulh at
Wolfram Research, Inc.
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone.

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