[Solved] Wrong math symbols on Windows 8

Issues with installing under all versions of MS Windows

[Solved] Wrong math symbols on Windows 8

Postby martin_g » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:18 pm

The following fault has been described on a few forums but I could not find a solution / work-around for this problem:
Under Windows 8 (or 8.1) OpenOffice (no matter which version) uses a wrong font for math symbols. The symbols are too small, misplaced and without serifs. Even more serious: The square root symbol is "broken" (i.e. there is a gab between the root symbol and the bar behind it).
This "effect" has nothing to do with the OpenOffice version -- I tried with 3.x and 4.1 which made no difference -- and replacing the opensymbol font file doesn't help either.
In PDF output the symbols are correct but on the screen formulas look very ugly, whith makes Impress almost unusable for lectures at university!
I found one "work-around" that recommends to use the font replacement in the OpenOffice settings and to replace opensymbol by the Windows symbol font. With this some symbols look a little bit better, but others are missing completely (e. g. arrows above letters). So this is not a real solution.

In my opinion this is a very serious problem -- especially if you use OpenOffice in lectures at university -- and I'm a little bit surprised that there seems to be no progress on this topic since months.

Does anybody has an idea -- or even better: a solution for this problem?
(I don't want to switch to Microsoft Office!)
Last edited by Hagar Delest on Tue Dec 30, 2014 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: tagged [Solved].
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Wrong math symbols on Windows 8 [Solved]

Postby martin_g » Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:19 pm

By a lot of work I managed to solve the problem: I took a very old version of OpenSymbol (V1.7) which is Win 8 compatible but does not contain up-right greek letters. So I added the missing symbols, scaled them to the same size of the other glyphs and saved all this to a new font file (OpenSymbol_V1.7_new.ttf) - see attachment. Installing this font (uninstalling the existing version first) finally leads to correct and nice looking formulas in Open Office / Libre Office under Windows 8(.1).

 Edit: Please find the latest version here:
https://forum.openoffice.org/en/forum/v ... 82#p342182 
Attachments
OpenSymbol_V1.7_new.zip
modified OpenSymbol for Win 8
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Last edited by martin_g on Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: [Solved] Wrong math symbols on Windows 8

Postby Hagar Delest » Tue Dec 30, 2014 6:08 pm

Thanks for the follow-up!
Perhaps you can file a bug report to see if the AOO devs can do something about that: [Tutorial] Reporting bugs or suggestions.
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Re: Wrong math symbols on Windows 8 [Solved]

Postby acknak » Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:46 pm

martin_g wrote:... Installing this font (uninstalling the existing version first) finally leeds to correct and nice looking formulas in Open Office / Libre Office under Windows 8(.1).

Do you have an idea why this is necessary for OO on the Windows platform and not on Linux or Mac?
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Re: [Solved] Wrong math symbols on Windows 8

Postby martin_g » Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:57 am

Yes, I have an idea: When you open the font file OpenSymbol version 2.4.3 in a font editor like FontForge or Hi-Logic FontCreator these tools show several errors / warnings due to things like "non integral coords" etc.. So this file (and some of the previous versions) seems to be corrupted. Obviously Linux, MacOS and Windows 7 (or older) can ignore these problems while the font rendering engine of Windows 8 seems to have more trouble with it.
When you generate a PDF output with OO this can be displayed correctly on any OS because the glyph metrics are directly embedded in PDF files - so that Acrobat Reader does not need to load the font file itself.

But this is only a guess -- I'm not an expert in Microsoft's font handling mechanism.
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Re: [Solved] Wrong math symbols on Windows 8

Postby acknak » Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:54 am

martin_g wrote:... these tools show several errors / warnings due to things like "non integral coords" etc.. ...

I'm not seeing those errors with the opens___.ttf included with OO 4.1.1 for Linux. Fontforge shows the font version as 2.4.3.

I'm wondering if I have a different file?

I suppose it's possible that the font management on Windows is detecting problems that--as you mentioned--may be ignored or dealt with silently on Linux.
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Re: [Solved] Wrong math symbols on Windows 8

Postby martin_g » Wed Dec 31, 2014 1:04 pm

Please find attached a documentation of the error messages shown by FontForge and by FontCreator.
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OpenSymbol errors.pdf
Documented error messages and warnings
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Re: [Solved] Wrong math symbols on Windows 8

Postby acknak » Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:46 pm

Thanks!

I don't see the warnings when opening the font but I do see the same messages on validation or font generation.

Could you attach a copy of the ttf file that comes with OO so I can check that it's the same as what I have? You'll likely have to zip the file in order to get the forum to accept it.

It might be useful as well to have a small example (a .odt text document) that shows the rendering problems that you're seeing.

 Edit: PS: 
This problem has come up before: https://forum.openoffice.org/en/forum/v ... 12&t=67772
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Re: [Solved] Wrong math symbols on Windows 8

Postby martin_g » Wed Dec 31, 2014 5:11 pm

acknak wrote: Could you attach a copy of the ttf file that comes with OO so I can check that it's the same as what I have?


I've attached ZIP files with the font file "opens__.ttf" and a sample document that shows the problem.
Attachments
opens___.zip
font file
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Example doc with glyphs.zip
sample document
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Re: [Solved] Wrong math symbols on Windows 8

Postby acknak » Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:02 pm

The ttf files from OO/Windows and OO/Linux are exactly the same, bit for bit.

And your example renders correctly with OO/Linux.

All of which supports your idea that the font file raises problems on Windows but not on Linux. I wonder if other versions of Windows show the same, or if this is something new with Windows 8. My guess is that it's something new or people would have noticed before now.

Thanks for all the follow up work!
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Re: [Solved] Wrong math symbols on Windows 8

Postby martin_g » Thu Jan 01, 2015 3:11 pm

acknak wrote: I wonder if other versions of Windows show the same, or if this is something new with Windows 8. My guess is that it's something new or people would have noticed before now.

It's definitely a Win 8 problem. I used OO on Win XP, Vista and 7 without such an effect.

acknak wrote:Thanks for all the follow up work!

No problem. Since Microsoft replaced the menu bar with the less useful tool ribbon I prefere to use OO -- and I use it very intensively for my lessons at university. So I'm glad to give a little bit back to the community.
(I filed a bug report as suggested by Hagar Delest and I included my font file as a proposed solution.)
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Re: [Solved] Wrong math symbols on Windows 8

Postby happilymambox » Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:19 pm

I've downloaded the OpenSymbol_V1.7_new4.zip file created by martin_g, but unfortunately, I've never installed or uninstalled a font file before. Can anyone direct me to instructions for doing so, or does it require special software or knowledge of system internals? Thanks.
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Re: [Solved] Wrong math symbols on Windows 8

Postby martin_g » Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:16 pm

happilymambox wrote:or does it require special software or knowledge of system internals? Thanks.


Absolutely not! Just open the folder "C:\Windows\fonts", there you'll find the old (corrupted) font "OpenSymbol Standard". Select this file and press the button "delete" (above the list of fonts). Then drag my new font file into this folder. That's all.

If you're using Windows 10 you may have to deactivate the font replacement in Open Office (see menu Tools -> Options -> OpenOffice.org -> Font Replacement). As far as I've seen on Windows 10 systems there is an automatic font replacement (from OpenSymbol to CambriaMath) activated per default to "moderate" the font problem. With my reworked font file this is no longer necessary.

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Re: [Solved] Wrong math symbols on Windows 8

Postby happilymambox » Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:53 am

martin_g,

I've attached 3 PNG files showing what I see after installing OpenSymbol_V1.7_new4.ttf. The 2 Sine Tree files are 2 snips of the same file, using different Zoom settings. Notice that square root signs show up almost perfectly using Optimal Zoom factor, but using 100% Zoom factor causes all minus signs to disappear, and all plus signs to appear as single vertical bars with no crossbar. Also, the OO Impress Presentation file shows its square root signs almost perfectly, but still with a small horizontal gap between the overbar line and the vertically slanted line at the left side, but at least the vertical gap has been closed.

I almost had a heart attack when I first installed the .ttf file by copying it into the C:\Windows\Fonts folder - it locked up my system, so I had to restart, and then tried right-clicking the .ttf filename and choosing "Install" from the context menu - that seemed to work better, without locking up my system. I saved a copy of the original opens___.ttf file before I even started, just in case I need to go back to it if this doesn't work out.

So this new font file seems to be a great improvement over the old one, but it still seems to have some unpredictable glitches (such as the vanishing minus signs, and plus signs with no horizontal crossbars) associated with it.

Well, I just previewed this post, and it seems the attached PNG files have been reduced in size, so they're now useless - I don't know how to get you copies of these files at full scale - I thought attaching them would give you the option to download them, or at least view them at full scale. This system seems to place the files inline at greatly reduced size, whether you click on "Place Inline" or not (I didn't.)

I have to believe that the devious little minds that run the show at Microsoft are probably behind this font file being corrupted in the first place. I'm sure they would like nothing better than to make OpenOffice unusable for everyone who uses it. I'm sure the file didn't just corrupt itself without someone helping it along. Of course, Microsoft Office products are probably immune to this problem, since they probably don't use the OpenSymbol Regular font file. Maybe, rather than trying to fix Microsoft's mess, we should be trying to fix Microsoft by contacting the U.S. Attorney General's office (or his German counterpart) to look into this kind of skullduggery.
Attachments
OO Impress Presentation.PNG
OO Impress Presentation File
Sine Tree at Optimal Zoom.PNG
Same Sine Tree at Optimal Zoom
Sine Tree at 100 Pct Zoom.PNG
Sine Tree at 100 Pct Zoom
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