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Re: Font problems w SuSE 7.3

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  • Subject: [mg32067] Re: [mg32031] Font problems w SuSE 7.3
  • From: "P.J. Hinton" <paulh at>
  • Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2001 03:57:49 -0500 (EST)
  • Organization: "Wolfram Research, Inc."
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

On Wed, 19 Dec 2001, Hans Ekkehard Plesser wrote:

> When loading more complex worksheets, Mathematica also complains about
> many other non-existing encodings.  The error occurs independent of
> whether I use the xfs font server or not.  Removing the Type1 fonts
> from the font path does not help either.  I have run mkfontdir with
> the -e option to create encodings.dir files both on client and server,
> to no avail.
> When I created a symbolic link i mathematica/SystemFiles/CharacterEncodings/
>      big5.eten-0.m -> CP950.m
> the error message about the missing big5.eten-0 encoding dissapeared,
> but the characters were still missing on the screen (no wonder, the
> link was essentially randomly chosen).
> Does anyone have an idea what is going on?

Error messages declaring an inability to locate a character encoding file
often stem from the presence of fonts with exotic character encoding and
registry values in their X logical font description structures.

Mathematica ships a collection of files that map character codes to
internal (usually Unicode) values.  They may be found in
SystemFiles/CharacterEncodings in the Mathematica layout.

Linux distributions are now shipping a larger array of fonts to support a
wide range of locales.  Oftentimes, the user needs only a small subset of
all these fonts, yet an ambitious user may choose to install all possible

There are three situations where users run into a such an error message.

1) There is a font available to the X server that has an exotic character
encoding for which there is no corresponding file in the Mathematica
installation.  Check for possible culprits by examining the output of the
X Window shell tool xlsfonts.  If these fonts are not necessary for the
successful use of your system (e.g., you never view documents in Urdu, but
these fonts are availalbe), then remove them.  If you do need them, you
can contact Wolfram Research Technical Support for assistance in creating
a custom encoding file.  If the font's encoding is synonymous with one of
the encodings that is already supported, just create a symbolic link from
the missing encoding to the existing encoding.  Do _not_ link to a random
encoding file.

2) Your X server has newer Unicode fonts on its font path, and you are
observing error messages about not being able to locate an encoding for
ISO10646-1.  This remains an open issue that is being investigated.
Please contact Wolfram Research Technical Support for further assistance.

3) The X server has supplied bogus encoding and registry information to
the front end, and as a result, the front end searches for non-existant
encodings (e.g. iso8859-iso8859 instead of iso8859-1).  Contact Wolfram
Research Technical Support for more assistance with this problem.

Information on contact Technical Support may be found here:

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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