[Solved] Export to PDF mishandles Galliard "fi" and "fl"

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[Solved] Export to PDF mishandles Galliard "fi" and "fl"

Postby pnm_asst_ed » Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:14 am

Can anyone suggest a workaround for this problem? (I cannot change fonts or line justification. Both are our publication standards.)

Steps to reproduce:
1) Open a new, default, text document
2) Change font to ITC Galliard (note: you may need to install this font)
3) Set the paragraph alignment to Justified
4) Enter text with the following features:
a) first line contains one or more words featuring "fi" or "fl" (e.g. fluid, fitting, outfit; must be lower-case)
b) text extends onto a second line such that justification of the first line requires space between words expand
5) Export to PDF

When you view the PDF, you will see that the letter following the "fi" or "fl" is placed too close. (To really see the problem, highlight your text and change the character spacing to Expand by 10 pts.)

Notes:
1) I believe this is specific to ITC Galliard, which appears to treat "fi" and "fl" as a single letter. Presumably, though, any other font with this characteristic would do the same.
2) This problem does not occur with TextEdit. It appears specific to OpenOffice.

OOf 3.3.0 (build 9567)
Mac OS X 10.6.8
Adobe Reader 10.1.0

Thank you very much,

Aaron Malver
Assistant Editor
Perspectives of New Music
Last edited by Hagar Delest on Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: tagged [Solved].
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Re: Export to PDF mishandles Galliard "fi" and "fl"

Postby pnm_asst_ed » Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:26 am

Note also that exporting to x/html works correctly.
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Re: Export to PDF mishandles Galliard "fi" and "fl"

Postby pnm_asst_ed » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:05 am

This problem doesn't happen in OO 2.4, which runs under X11 (and therefore uses different font definition files?). I also notice that in 2.4, when I increase the font spacing, "f" and "i" are separated, whereas they are not in 3.0. I missed this before--3.0 should be separating those characters, should it not? Is this a problem with the font definition itself, or should OO know how to handle this special case?

This may not be a problem in "Export to PDF;" I'll change the title if someone can confirm.
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Re: Export to PDF mishandles Galliard "fi" and "fl"

Postby RoryOF » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:23 am

I haven't tried your instructions because of lack of time and also unwillingness to tamper with a working system, but I don't doubt your findings. I suspect what you are seeing is support for "ligatures", where in old fashioned lead typesetting various character combinations were closely spaced and cast on the same body. Among these were
fi, ff, fl, ffi, ffl
(fuller discussion at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typographic_ligature)
The problem may not be specific to ITC Galliard; there are certainly some few other fonts which support ligatures, but most don't - for fault finding try a global font change to Ariel or Times New Roman. A quick and awkward fix may be to replace any letter f with f followed by a miniscule space, perhaps even by a null space.

You should Google to see if it is possible to turn off ligature support in PDF files and/or in OpenOffice.
Last edited by RoryOF on Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Export to PDF mishandles Galliard "fi" and "fl"

Postby Hagar Delest » Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:40 am

I don't see that with Linux Libertine so it may be a problem with the Galliard font (and not OOo ligature support).
Libertine ligature.png
PDF made with OOo 3.3 (vanilla version) on Ubuntu 11.04.
Libertine ligature.png (5.62 KiB) Viewed 4051 times

Galliard font seem to be a commercial one so can't test it.
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Re: Export to PDF mishandles Galliard "fi" and "fl"

Postby pnm_asst_ed » Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:19 pm

I have finally been able to do some more testing. I am able to reproduce the problem using the steps outlined above and with the Linux Libertine OpenType font. For your scrolling convenience, here are the steps:

1) Create a new, blank text document
2) Paste the following text into the document:
Thus fluid and fixed confiscation of unflappable text requiring the expansion of spacing toallowforlinejustificationneedsareallylongword.
3) Edit --> Select All
4) Change the font to "Linux Libertine O"
5) Change the paragraph alignment to "justified"
6) Export the document to PDF format

In the PDF, "fi" or "fl" ligatures will be spaced too closely to the character following them. This is the same as the problem I saw with the Galliard font.
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Re: Export to PDF mishandles Galliard "fi" and "fl"

Postby RoryOF » Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:32 pm

Rather than Export to PDF, perhaps you should look for a PDF printer driver - Adobe 52.3 is the number that sticks in my mind. This is a driver that replaces the normal printer driver and handles the production of the PDF output file. It comes with Adobe Acrobat and other Adobe products; because of its origins it may handle typographic niceties such as ligatures much better than OOo.
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[SOLVED]: Export to PDF mishandles "fi" and "fl" ligatures

Postby pnm_asst_ed » Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:37 pm

Thank you! This seems to suffice for us. I've updated the Subject line to better reflect the issue.
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